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Alfresco Process Automation

Using Process Automation

The default user interface for managing content, processes and tasks is the Alfresco Digital Workspace. An instance of Digital Workspace is deployed with every application and used to manage the processes associated with that application.

Users need to have been given user access to an application in order to access and manage content and processes in the Digital Workspace.

Note: The Digital Workspace can be extended or replaced with a custom interface built using the Application Development Framework.

Processes

The Processes section is used for monitoring all the process instances in the application. The three default views are:

  • Running which displays all in-flight process instances.
  • Completed which displays all process instances that have been completed.
  • All which displays all in-flight, completed, cancelled and suspended process instances.

Properties

The properties for each process instance are:

Property Description
Name The name given to the process instance when it was started.
Process Definition Name The process definition the instance is using.
Status The current status of the process instance. See the table below for a list of possible statuses.
Start Date The time since the process instance was started.
Completed Date The time since the process instance was completed. It will be blank if the process instance has not yet been completed.
Started By The name of the user that started the process instance.

Note: Further details are available to view for each process instance by clicking on it. A properties panel will appear on the right-hand side of the screen.

The status of process instances are:

Status Description
RUNNING The process instance is currently running.
COMPLETED The process instance has been completed.
SUSPENDED The process instance is currently suspended and cannot continue until it is reactivated.
CANCELLED The process instance has been cancelled and cannot be completed.

Start a process instance

To start a process instance:

  1. Sign into the Digital Workspace.

  2. Click the NEW dropdown.

  3. Select Start Process.

  4. Choose the process definition to use from the dropdown and give the process instance a name.

  5. Click Start Process.

Start a process instance from a file

Process instances can also be started from a file in the repository. If the process definition contains a start event that contains a form with an attach file field then the content will be attached to the process as it is started.

  1. Sign into the Digital Workspace.

  2. Navigate to, or search for the file to start the process with.

  3. Right click on the file and select Start Process.

  4. Select the process definition to use from the dropdown. If the definition does not contain an upload field then a notice is displayed.

  5. Give the process instance a name and click Start Process.

Filter process instances

The default process instance views can be updated by changing the filters. New views can also be created by editing the filters for a view and selecting saving a new one.

The properties for filters are:

Property Description
Process Name The name of the process instances to display.
Process Definition The process definition to filter by.
Status The statuses of process instances to display.
Sort by The column to sort by, for example Process Name, Status or Initiator.
Order by Whether the ordering is ascending or descending.
Completed Date The date range for when the process instances were completed.
Started Date The date range for when the process instances were started.

Once you have customized a filter, there are two options:

  • Save filter: Selecting this will save the filter over the current view.
  • Save filter as: Selecting this will give you the option to provide a name for a new view for your filter and add it under the Processes section.

You can use the Delete filter option at any time to remove a view.

Tasks

The Tasks section is used for monitoring all the tasks in the application. The three default views are:

  • My Tasks which displays all tasks assigned to the user.
  • Queued Tasks which displays all unclaimed tasks the user is eligible to claim.
  • Completed Tasks which displays all tasks completed by the user.

In the Digital Workspace you are notified of new tasks assigned to you next to My Tasks and Queued Tasks. The number within the indicator displays how many tasks of that type you have been assigned. If at least one task has not been seen yet the indicator will be orange. The number within the task counter will continue to display until the tasks are completed.

Properties

The properties for each process instance are:

Property Description
Name The name of the task.
Status The current status of the task. See the table below for a list of possible statuses.
Assignee The user assigned to the task. It will be blank if the task is unclaimed.
Status The current status of the task. See the table below for a list of possible statuses.
Created Date The time since the task was started.
Last Modified The time since the task was last updated.
Due Date The date and time the task is due to be completed by.
Priority The relative priority of the task.

Note: Further details are available to view for each task by clicking on it. A properties panel will appear on the right-hand side of the screen.

The status of tasks are:

Status Description
CREATED The task has been created but not yet assigned.
ASSIGNED The task has assigned but not yet completed.
COMPLETED The task has been completed.
SUSPENDED The task is suspended because the process instance it belongs to has been suspended. It cannot be completed until the process instance is activated.
CANCELLED The task has been cancelled and cannot be completed.

Claim and release tasks

Tasks that are assigned to a candidate group can be claimed by an individual user to work on the task. Claiming a task will remove it from other candidates Queued Tasks list.

To claim a task:

  1. Sign into the Digital Workspace.

  2. Click on the Queued Tasks view under Tasks.

  3. Click on the task to claim and select Claim. The task status will update to ASSIGNED.

Tasks that have been claimed from a candidate group can also be released. This will remove it from your My Tasks list and put it back in Queued Tasks.

To release a task:

  1. Sign into the Digital Workspace.

  2. Click on the My Tasks view under Tasks.

  3. Click on the task to release and select Release. The task status will update to CREATED.

Filter tasks

The default task views can be updated by changing the filters. New views can also be created by editing the filters for a view and selecting saving a new one.

The properties for filters are:

Property Description
Status The statuses of tasks to display.
Assignee The tasks assigned to which user to display.
Process Definition The process definition to filter by.
Task Name The name of the tasks to display.
Priority The relative priority level of tasks to display.
Sort by The column to sort by, for example Created Date, Status or Priority.
Order by Whether the ordering is ascending or descending.
Due Date The date range for when the tasks are due by.
Completed Date The date range for when the tasks were completed.

Once you have customized a filter, there are two options:

  • Save filter: Selecting this will save the filter over the current view.
  • Save filter as: Selecting this will give you the option to provide a name for a new view for your filter and add it under the Tasks section.

You can use the Delete filter option at any time to remove a view.

Condition builder

The condition builder is a tool that helps you build a JUEL expression for a condition. The condition is composed of a set of boolean statement(s) that are linked by an operator. This means the condition to be created is a statement evaluated as a boolean value. The following is an example.

Condition builder

  • Click the $ button to switch the condition builder to an expression editor where you can display and edit the JUEL expression.

  • Click the + button to add a new statement editor.

  • The available operators are:
    • Every: All statements must be true for the condition to be evaluated as true.
    • At least one: The condition will be evaluated to be true when one or more of the statements are true.
    • None: If all the statements are false, then the condition will be evaluated to be true.

    Note: The operator between statements is the same for all the statements.

  • Click the - button to remove the statement.

Statement editor

The statement editor manages boolean statements. A boolean statement normally consists of two statements and an operator between them, for example <left-statement> <operator> <right-statement>.

The statement editor reproduces the structure, the following is an example.

Statement editor

Left statement

The left-statement can be one of the available variables or a JUEL expression. Switching between variable and JUEL expression can be done using the tabs at the top of the left side. The available operators between statements are:

  • Equals
  • Not equals
  • Greater than
  • Greater or equals than
  • Less than
  • Less or equals than
  • Not set

Note: The Not set operator means that the expression is a single statement expression which means no right-statement is needed.

Right statement

The right-statement can be one of the available variables, a JUEL expression, or a value if the left-statement is a variable value.

Expression editor

The expression editor is a code editor that provides autocompletion and hints when writing an expression that may contain a JUEL expression. The expression editor appears in the following places:

  • Task mapping dialog: when selecting an expression as a variable value
  • Variable dropdown selector: when using the dollar button
  • User task assignment dialog
  • Called element dialog: when using an expression to resolve the called element
  • In the email template dialog: when setting the template for the email used in user tasks
  • In the condition builder
  • When setting the value of a JSON variable

Click the green button to expand the modal dialog to be full size, the following is an example.

Note: The green button only displays if the expression editor has been configured for it to show.

Expression editor

Autocompletion

The autocompletion function is based on the context of the project and depends on where the expression is going to be used. It lets the user know which variables in that context are available. The autocompletion is displayed as the user types but can also be triggered by using the following keyboard shortcuts:

  • In Windows or Linux: Ctrl + Space
  • In MacOS: Cmd + Space

The following is an example.

Auto completion

Autocompletion displays suggestions for operators, in the example empty and eq, and for variables event in the screenshot.

Autocompletion can also show method suggestions and attributes when using the ‘dot’ accessor, in the example below equals and hashcode are methods while data and datacontenttype are attributes of the event object.

Event

Hints

The expression editor provides helpful information when you place the cursor over an element of it. For example, in the image the cursor has been placed over the word event and a hint is displayed that provides a description of the event variable.

Hints

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