Creating and deploying workflows

Creating, configuring, and deploying a workflow involves several interrelated activities:

How do I get started?

You will find that creating and deploying processes will go more smoothly if, before you start to design the workflow, you consider and answer the following questions:

Once you have answered these questions, you are ready to create the workflow. For most situations, we suggest following the steps in the order listed below:

  1. Create the workflow layout. Drag and drop actions on the design canvas to visualize, plan, and map out the logical steps in the workflow, and in what order they need to happen. Determine what dependencies exist and what role different individuals will play in the workflow execution. Don't worry about filling in all the attributes yet, as some of those details may only come into focus as you complete steps 2 and 4 below. Save the workflow.
  2. Create a form. Depending on the data source (form, database, e-mail, or web service), create a form or create an event listener to monitor the data source, capture any applicable data, and trigger the workflow to start.
  3. Create fields. This is an optional step, which is only necessary if you want to create custom fields instead of having Asset Lifecycle Manager autogenerate them. If you want to define your own fields and did not autogenerate them while creating the event listener, you can define them now and map them according to the requirements of the workflow.
  4. Create e-mail templates. Create an e-mail template for each type of message (notifications, approval requests, task assignments, etc.) that Asset Lifecycle Manager will send to workflow participants. Decide what information needs to be communicated, who will receive the message, and what kind of task will be assigned. You can insert fields to customize your templates and make them easier to re-use for other workflows.
  5. Finalize the workflow and assign the attributes. Make any necessary changes to the workflow layout. Review each action in the workflow, making sure any dependencies are satisfied, and use the Design console’s built-in error checker to insure all required attributes are defined. Save the workflow.
  6. Start the event listener. Once you have started the event listener, it will begin to monitor the designated data source. When the listened-for event occurs, the workflow will be automatically triggered and the process will be executed. If you use forms to trigger workflows, you don't need to configure an event listener.

What if I need to make changes?

While you are creating or testing the workflow, or even after deploying it, you can continue to make revisions to improve efficiency, or accommodate new requirements or changes in business processes.

Use the Design console’s revision history feature to save different versions of your workflow while fine-tuning it; this way you can revert to an earlier version if necessary. You can also save or export different versions of the workflow to allow for variations of your processes, or to create workflows that can be shared with other users on your system.