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Workflow Editor

The front-end of the system is a simple and intuitive Workflow Editor. Using our web based Workflow Editor and Work Ticket Interface platform, you can design and use a simple workflow process in less than 5 minutes.

Each Administrative user has access to the drag and drop Workflow Editor. This tool utilizes JavaScript and XML to provide a simple and effective interface for designing workflow process definitions. The Workflow Editor is implemented to run in Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5+ or Mozilla Firefox.

Our Workflow Editor utilizes JavaScript and XML provides 10 easy to understand icons in order to describe a work ticket routing. In our terminology, each icon represents a "Stage" through which the work will travel. Most stages will performed by a person, a worker at your company, while the software will complete other stages automatically.

Workflow FORM Icon 1. The FORM. We are all familiar with forms. Any time you type in your name, password, address, or other information you are filling out a form. A Form requires the user currently assigned to the Work Ticket to provide answers to specific questions. A Work Ticket Form can ask as many questions as needed, allowing the user to fill out text boxes, radio buttons, check boxes, or to choose selections from dropdown lists. The answers are permanently stored in the work ticket and can be viewed later, used programmatically, or reported upon.
Workflow DECISION Icon 2. The DECISION. The Decision Stage requires the current user to choose from a specific list of choices. The routing for the workflow can then split in different directions based on the answer the user selected.
Workflow EXCHANGE Icon 3. The EXCHANGE. The Exchange Stage moves the Work Ticket from one user in your company to another. It is common to have a work process which involves many different users. This Stage allows for a physical transfer of the workflow process, recording when it was handed off and when it was received.
Workflow EMAIL Icon 4. The E-MAIL. The E-Mail Stage sends an automatic E-Mail to the addresses listed. This makes it easy to notify people of events automatically. The users e-mailed do not have to be members of
Workflow NOTE Icon 5. The NOTE. The Note Stage allows you to notify one user of an event. It records when the NOTE was sent and when it was read.
Workflow Editor Ticket Icon 6. The TICKET. The Ticket Stage creates a new Work Ticket for the designated user. While a single Work Ticket runs in a "serial" process, which must be completed in a straight line, the Ticket Stage allows for one Work Ticket to create another, allowing for multiple related processes to be occurring simultaneously.
Workflow Editor Wait Icon 7. The WAIT. The WAIT Stage puts the Work Ticket on hold for the specified time. It can be ignored until the WAIT expires, or manually processed past the WAIT Stage.
Workflow Editor If Then Icon 8. The IF..THEN. This allows for the workflow to split based on the answer to a question in a form. This will be familiar to computer programmers.
Workflow Editor No-Operation Icon 9. The NO OP. A No-Operation Stage exists as a placeholder between two lines. If you need to bend lines around the diagram, it will sometimes be easier to drop a NO-OP stage in between them. You can then drag the NO OP wherever you need it.
Workflow Editor API Icon 10. The API. The API Stage allows for companies that need very specialized solutions to use programming languages to invoke software on their own systems. We have a generalized API module that works well in many programming environments. The API software and documentation is available for an additional fee. Consulting services are also available.

As each Stage is dragged onto the work area, a Properties Window will open. The Properties Window will contain different fields depending on the type of Stage. Generally, the more complex the Stage, the more complex the Properties. A FORM Stage, for instance, can contain many questions, answers, default values, list boxes, check boxes, and more, and can have a very complicated properties page. On the other hand, the Start Stage, which only defines the Process and the typical default users, is much simpler:

Workflow Editor Properties Page

The fields on the Start Stage exist on most Stages. They are very important to the workflow process definition:
  • Stage Title: The Title of the Stage is displayed on the Work Process diagram and in the Work Ticket to the user.
  • Time Limit: The Time Limit is the maximum amount of time this Work Ticket can exist in this Stage before it is escalated to the back up person and manager. This field must be defined in hours and can be blank if no timeout is required.
  • Primary: A primary associate can be chosen from a list of all company e-mail addresses. If a user is chosen as the Primary User, then the Work Ticket will switch to this user when it reaches this Stage. If no Primary User is listed, then the Work Ticket will remain with the user who is currently assigned to it.
  • Backup: A list of all e-mail addresses for all company associates are listed. The Backup user has access to perform this work in replacement of the Primary user. They have access to links to check on all work for which they are listed as a Backup.
  • Manager: A manager can be chosen. The manager will have special access to reporting about this Stage, as well as notification of all Work Tickets not completed within the Time Limit.
  • Instructions: Work Instructions are displayed to the user who is performing the Stage. This is the Administrator's area to describe to the associate exactly what work is to be performed.

Any Administrative user can design Work Ticket processes using the graphical user interface. There are some general rules in force to keep users from creating Work Tickets that are not properly define. The Work Process definition must check out without errors before it can be saved and utilized.
  1. Every Work Ticket must have a single Start and a single End point.
  2. Every Icon except for the Start must have at least one line leading in
  3. Every Icon except for the End must have at least one line leading out
  4. The Name of the Stage can be changed to something more descriptive
  5. A Primary Associate can be designated to handle the Work when it is in this Stage. If this field is not populated then the work ticket remains assigned to the current user. If it is populated, then the work ticket will change ownership from the previous user to the new user.
  6. A Backup Associate can be designated to handle the Work when the Primary Associate is not available. TIP: The Backup Associate listed for the Start stage can backup all stages in the process.
  7. A Management Associate can be designated to receive any reports about this Stage. TIP: The Manager Associate listed for the Start stage will be able to manage all stages in the process.
  8. A Time Limit in hours can be specified for the Stage. If the Stage is not completed within the specified time, the Backup or Manager will be notified.
  9. Each Stage has parameters that must be populated to describe the stage further. For instance, the E-Mail Stage requires a from address, to address, and message to send.

After the Administrator has defined one or more Work Ticket Processes, they are ready to have other users begin using!

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