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15. Nodes and Connectors

Using Parameters, Deferred Nodes, and Connectors

Node Parameters

One of the features of the task engine that makes it so flexible is the different data that it can use in handlers. Besides just placing static text in the parameter field, you have the following options.

Application Config Values - Select the Mid-Tier or web server values

Service Item Answers - answers from your request

Service Item Dataset - attributes of the request

Service Item Template Fields - other fields associated with the request base record

Task Results - returned values from nodes in the tree.

See Appendix B for more details

Deferred Nodes

Deferred nodes create a pause in processing of the task tree while some other process completes. The most common example is the approval node - it must wait until the approver acts. When the process is complete (the approver makes their decision) a trigger must be created to re-start the task tree. 

Deferred nodes have a check in the defer check box on the top right of the node.

Other common deferred nodes are from creation nodes (incident and change).

The task engine identifies the deferred node to restart by means of a token. A trigger restarting a deferred node only needs to have the token and the restart action (Update or Complete) to be valid. There are other optional fields that add more information, specifically results that can be used by the restarted node. This is discussed more in the Approval chapter.

Connectors

The arrows that connect the nodes have a variety of options. First, they connect the nodes in a set direction. Second, they allow you to use qualifications to limit which connectors are used. Lastly, there are different types of connectors to give you more options when creating trees.

The three types of connectors:

Create - connector fires when a node is first created. Useful to continue a tree when a deferred node first fires.

Update - least used connector, normally used to update a message or send a notification when an update trigger is processed.

Complete - default type - moves to the next node when the current one is complete.

Each different type of connector has a different presentation on the tree, from solid for complete to light dashed for create.

Activity

Activity Fourteen - pass results to a deferred node