Defining, configuring, and deploying a workflow involves several
interrelated activities, each of which plays an integral role in
the workflow’s successful outcome:
Defining the workflow layout, which consists of
dragging and dropping actions on the design canvas and connecting
them using directional arrows that define the sequence and
dependencies of the process.
Setting up e-mail templates, which deliver
notifications, requests, or assignments, and keep participants
informed about the progress of the workflow.
Creating and activating an event listener, which
captures data from the designated data source, passes it to the
workflow, and triggers the workflow to start.
Setting up field mappings (default or custom),
depending on how the workflow process will receive and share data
as it moves toward completion.
How do I get started?
You will find that creating and deploying processes will go more
smoothly if before starting to design the workflow, you consider
and answer the following questions:
What is the purpose of the workflow; what task(s) do
I want it to automate?
What event or new data should trigger the workflow to
start? Will this event occur in a database, an email account, a web
service, or something else?
Who needs to be involved as participants in the
process? Will they be active participants (receive workflow-related
assignments) or passive participants (only receive notifications
What data or information needs to be captured from
the triggering event or data source so it can be used in the
Once you have a good feel for the above issues, you are ready to
create the workflow. For most situations, we suggest following the
steps in the order listed below:
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
Create an event listener. Depending on the
data source (database, email, or web service), create an event
listener to monitor the data source, capture any applicable data,
and trigger the workflow to start.
Create fields. This is an optional step, which
is only necessary if you want to create custom fields instead of
having Process 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.
Create e-mail templates. Create an e-mail template for each
type of message (notifications, approval requests, task
assignments, etc.) that Process Manager needs to send to workflow
participants. Decide what the message needs to say, what
information needs to be communicated, who will need to receive the
message, and what kind of task needs to be assigned. You can insert
fields to customize your templates and make them easier to re-use
for other workflows.
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 Process Designer’s built-in error checker to
insure all required attributes are defined. Save the workflow.
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.
For a step-by-step exercise which walks you through the above
steps to create and deploy a sample workflow, see "Sample workflow
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, reduce or eliminate bottlenecks, or accommodate new
requirements or changes in business processes.
Use Process Designer’s Revision History feature to save
different versions of your workflow while fine-tuning it; this way
you can always 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.