Workflow steps

A workflow consists of a series of steps. Only an Admin or a user assigned Admin privileges should make changes to a workflow definition.

Each step in a workflow defines a particular part of a business process. For example, you might have a "Set Pricing Info" step to allow your pricing department to enter prices for each item. You might have a "Product Detailing" step where the marketing department adds product descriptions and images.

The Workflow Console provides a list of workflows defined in the system. When you click Create new workflow two main tables display; a New Workflow table and a Workflow Steps table. You define the routing of an entry in the Workflow Steps table. The Workflow Steps table displays a list of the steps that created for this workflow, however, these steps are not yet organized. You must define the order that the steps need to follow for an entry to be completed and successful.

The Initial step in a workflow is always the first step by default. Across from the Initial step is where you define what the first step is in your workflow. You continue this process until you are done creating a relationship between all of your steps within your workflow. Routing of steps is similar to creating a path for an entry to complete all the steps that you created in your workflow. The steps are connected together based on exit values.
Note: Although you start with the Initial step by default, you can Import into other steps instead of starting with a checkout. You can select the Allow Import Into Step check box to do this.

There is a constraint when setting up an ItemEdit and an ItemLocation attribute in a workflow. Because location attributes are meant to be different then global attributes, the two attributes can not share the same attribute collection. They must have different attribute collections.

Each step consists of a number of components:
  • One or more performers. These are the users or roles who are allowed to interact with entries in this step. The collaboration area administrator is automatically a performer for all steps and does not need to be specified. However, if a step needs to be performed by the administrator of the collaboration area only, you still need to assign at least one performer.
  • A set of viewable attributes. These are the attributes that can be viewed for reference in this step, but not edited.
  • A set of editable attributes. These attributes can be edited in this step. These must be valid according to the attributes' spec in order for the entry to be allowed to leave the spec.
  • A set of required attributes. These attributes can be edited in this step. These must be valid according to the attributes' spec and are required to have a value even if the spec does not enforce it, in order for the entry to be allowed to leave the spec.
  • One or more exit values. Each exit value represents a route out of the step which the performer can send one or more entries out on. Each exit value will have one or more associated next steps, to which the entries will move if sent to that exit value.
  • Optionally, an IN function and an OUT function may be provided in script or Java™; this is user-provided code that is issued against an entry when it enters or leaves the step.

When an entry is checked-out to a collaboration area, it moves to the first workflow step for processing by the performer of that step. Ultimately, it will reach a step with an exit value of SUCCESS (which causes the entry to be checked in to the source container) or FAILURE (which results in the checked-out entry being abandoned and the source container unaffected).