Workflow Introduction (104)

Derick Larson
Administrators and Developers New to Kinetic
V5

Introduction

The workflow process takes over after the front-end form is submitted. Workflow (using the Task Engine) has the ability to update and retrieve from numerous other systems, perform calculations (using Ruby), and dynamically determine process steps.

Goals

Understand the basics and vocabulary of the Task engine.

Workflow Introduction Video

Vocabulary

Workflow Engine The Workflow Engine takes input from applications and walks through a predefined set of tasks also known as a task tree. Tasks can perform data lookups, add approvals, create entries in other systems, send notifications and much more.

Builder Graphical process builder that allows configuration and sequencing of tasks.

Task Handler Standalone collection of code designed to perform a business task. Task Handlers take parameters, return results and can throw exceptions in the event of an error.

Available from the Integration portion of the New Community.

Task Node (also referred to as a Task) Configured parameters applied to a specific instance of a Task Handler on a task tree.

Connector Link between two task nodes. Can have logic applied to limit processing.

Task Tree A Task Tree is a process defined by nodes and connectors. It can be called/run from an external application. It can accept inputs and reference values from the external application.

Routine A tree that is meant to run independent of a Form. Often used to perform repeatable processes.

Global Workflow

The majority of effort for your workflow build and activity is available in the Global Workflow console.

V5 Workflow Console

Trees and Routines

These consoles allow you to build task workflow. The individual trees are described and named based their Source (this class uses the Kinetic Request CE Source). Routines have a different naming structure because they are independant of any Source. See below for basic tree building examples.

Runs, Triggers, and Errors

The Runs console presents a view of a single pass through a Tree or Routine.

V5 Sample Run

The default view is Tasks in chronological order. You can get to the Tree by clicking on the Build Button. You can also re-run the tree using the Actions button.

Clicking on the triangle to the right of the node name reveals details about the individual Task process.

Creating a Tree

Similar to Forms, there are three ways to create workflow/trees, clone, create from scratch, and Import. Creating from scratch is covered in the video, so the other two methods are described below.

Import

Importing a Tree is normally done when moving a process from one environment to another (Dev to QA for example).

Clicking on the Import Tree button opens a dialog with two options, by File or by URL. If you select by File (default), just drag the export file of your tree into the middle of the dialog (similar to importing a Form). If you select the by URL option a field appears for you to enter the URL of your handler.

You can export a tree from the dropdown menu for the individual tree on the Tree list dialog.

Clone

Cloning a tree creates an exact duplicate of the tree, except for the Source > Source Group > Name combination. The option to Clone is available on the dropdown menu for each Tree on the trees console. Selecting Clone opens a dialog similar to Creating a Tree, except all the options are filled with the source trees information. From here you need to select new information so that you can save the tree.

Features of the Builder

The Builder is where workflow is constructed. Even though it's covered in the video, it's important enough to hit the highlights again here.

Example of the Builder:

V5 Sample Tree in Builder

Accross the top of the builder:

  • Tree Name - Source, Group and Name
  • Search Nodes - search capability to find a node on the tree.
  • Actions - dropdown list with the following options, Run (run an instance of the tree - see below), Clone, and Export.
  • Save - save any changes you have made to the tree
  • Help - link to Community and internal refence docs

The central area of the Builder is where the Tree is created and maintained.

In the Next Article

Next we construct some basic trees, and learn more about nodes and connectors.

Story for the Class

As a new Kinetic Admin, you have been tasked with cloning an existing Facilities form to collect more information. You also need to construct a basic notification after it's submitted.