Creating and deploying workflows

Defining, configuring, and deploying a workflow involves several interrelated activities, each of which plays an integral role in the workflow’s successful outcome:

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:

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:

  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 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  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 Process Designer’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.

For a step-by-step exercise which walks you through the above steps to create and deploy a sample workflow, see  "Sample workflow setup".

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.