Configure rules

Create and maintain rules that determine which activities to implement based on conditions you specify.

Understanding rules and when they run

A rule is a set of conditional statements that, when satisfied, run pre-defined activities. An activity is the operation that the rule runs when the appropriate conditions are satisfied. A condition is a statement that includes a field, an equation, and a value. The condition is met when the statement evaluates to true.

Rules run only in the following situations:
  • When an entity is created or deleted, for example, when an incident is created.
  • When a condition in the rule changed in an entity update event.
For example, if you have an incident with address Paris, France, and a rule with the condition Address contains Paris, France, if you update any other field in the incident, the rule does not run. That is because address was not changed in this particular incident update event.

There are two types of rules, Automatic and Menu Item. An automatic rule runs without user involvement when its conditions are satisfied. A menu item rule displays as an action in the designated object’s Actions menu and runs only when a user selects it.

Rules have three types of activities, ordered, workflow, and message destination. Use ordered activities to set incident field values and add tasks into the task list. You can run internal scripts as an ordered activity.

You can use workflow activities to call predefined workflows. A workflow is a graphically designed set of activities that you can use to create a more complex set of instructions than ordered activities.

A message destination is the location where the message is stored and made accessible to external scripts and programs. You can have a rule, workflow, or function send information to a message destination. You specify a message destination to provide information to such a script or program. For performance reasons, do not use a message destination with a rule if the rule includes a workflow that contains a function. The function defines the message destination.

When a rule starts, it runs the ordered activities first, and in the order listed in the rule. Afterward, it runs the workflows. Workflows are not order dependent and might take different lengths of time to complete depending on their complexity. Finally, it posts to any message destination specified.

You can view, edit, and create rules in the Rules tab. The tab provides the following information:
  • Order. Automatic rules have numbers, which denote the order in which the rules run when a condition runs multiple rules. The ordering can be important especially when different rules affect the same fields, or changes made by one rule impact another rule. You can change the order by dragging the rules. Menu Item rules do not have numbers since they run only when a user runs them.
  • Rule Name. Click the name of a rule to view its details or edit the rule. When you edit or create a rule, enter a name that is descriptive of the rule’s purpose.
  • Process Type. Type of rule, which can be Automatic or Menu Item.
  • Object Type. You assign a rule to one type of object, such as incident, note, milestone, task, attachment, artifact, data table, or email message.
  • Conditions. A statement that checks a field for a value by using an operator such as equal to. Conditions are used to determine when to run the rule. The Rules tab lists the conditions, if any, attached to the rule.
    Note: A condition in red indicates an invalid condition. The reason might be that a selected object or field is disabled or hidden.
  • Enabled. By default, each rule is enabled. You can disable a rule in the Rules page and on the individual rule page. You can choose to disable a rule if it is experimental, under development, or an example rule imported from an app. When a rule is disabled, it appears in red when listed as an associated rule with scripts, phases and tasks, and workflows.
Attention: Rules are not used with playbooks that are created with the Playbook designer.