2017 R1 Update Rollup 1

Business Process ManagementPermanent link for this heading

Work List and Ad Hoc WorkflowPermanent link for this heading

The integrated workflow system is a core component of Fabasoft Folio. A central element is the “work list” that is clearly displayed as a “to do” list for individual users showing activities awaiting completion (i.e., activities and their individual working steps). Processes are used to define who receives which activities in his/her work list and when. The respective users have the choice between performing the activities or, within the context of their specific access rights, delegate or instruct another user to complete the job.

Starting an Activity in the Work ListPermanent link for this heading

Each user’s activities are displayed in the respective work list. An activity is an open task that is divided up into several working steps.

To start an activity, perform the following steps:

  1. Locate the activity you want to start
  2. Right-click the activity and then click “Properties”.
  3. Click “Yes”, to confirm, that you want to start this activity.

Executing a Working Step for an ActivityPermanent link for this heading

Users can carry out the working steps defined for an activity if the activity has been placed in his/her work list.

To execute a working step of an activity, perform the following steps:

  1. Locate the working step to be executed in the Work Items column.
  2. Click the working step, to execute it.

In brackets next to the name of the working step, it is displayed whether this working step has not been executed yet (open), or this working step can be executed again (repeat).

Suspending an ActivityPermanent link for this heading

An activity can be postponed and set to be completed at a later date. The activity is removed from the “To Do” tab and placed on the “Suspended/Pending” or “Long-Term Suspended” tab. After the set time period has elapsed, the respective activity will re-appear on the “To Do” tab.

Note: The “Long-Term Suspended” tab is only available if it is correspondingly configured. For this purpose a time interval has to be defined in the workflow configuration from when a suspension is considered as long-term. As soon as the activity is no longer considered as log-term suspended, it will be moved from the “Long-Term Suspended” tab on the “Suspended/Pending” tab.

To suspend an activity, perform the following steps:

  1. Locate the activity, which should be suspended.
  2. Right-click the activity and then click “Suspend”.
  3. Define a re-submission date and enter a remark if necessary. The re-submission can be carried out either by a certain date (type: Fixed Date) or after a certain period of time (type: Time Interval).
  4. Click “Next”.

Reactivating a Suspended ActivityPermanent link for this heading

Activities that have been postponed can be manually reactivated for completion before the time period has elapsed.

To reactivate a suspended activity, perform the following steps:

  1. Click the “Suspended/Pending” or “Long-Term Suspended” tab in your work list.
  2. Right-click the activity that should be activated and then click “Activate”.

The activity is removed from the “Suspended/Pending” tab and placed to the “To Do” tab of the work list.

Accepting an Activity as SubstitutePermanent link for this heading

A user can be substituted by another user in a specific role and even personally. Users can act as an assigned proxy by selecting the respective role and placing themselves in the context of the access rights for that specific user.

To accept an activity as a substitute, perform the following steps:

  1. Change into the substitution role using the “User Settings” button (your user name).
  2. Locate the activity on the “Substitutions/To Do” tab or on the “Substitutions/Other” tab.
  3. Right-click the activity and then click “Take Over”.
  4. Enter a remark, if necessary.

The activity is moved to the “To Do” tab and the working steps can be executed.

Delegating an ActivityPermanent link for this heading

A user can delegate an activity in his/her work list to another user, which also transfers the process responsibility. The other user receives that activity in his/her work list.

To delegate an activity, perform the following steps:

  1. Locate the activity, which should be delegated.
  2. Right-click the activity, and then click “Delegate”.
  3. Select a responsible user for the process and click “Next”.

Prescribing an Activity (With or Without Template)Permanent link for this heading

A user can instruct another user to perform a specific activity. It is also possible to instruct several users (at the same time or successively) to perform activities. Templates can be created and reused if the need for this occurs regularly.

  1. Locate the activity, which should be prescribed.
  2. Right-click the activity, and then click “Add New Activity”.
  3. If prescribe templates are available, these will be offered for selection. Select a prescribe template.
  4. In the Prescribed Activity list, select an activity.
  5. In the Participant field, specify an abstract participant, a user, a group or a position.
  6. Edit further prescribe fields if necessary, and click “Next”.

Details for performing a prescribe

In the standard view, the following fields are available for defining a prescription:

  • Prescribed Activity
    In this field, you can select the activity to be prescribed.
  • Participant
    To define the participants, you can complete several fields.
    • Abstract Participant
      Using this drop-down list, you can select an abstract participant (for example, “Person responsible for process”, “Approver”, “Responsible”). The activity will then be automatically prescribed to the assigned user.
    • User
      By specifying a user, the activity will be assigned specifically to this user. Users can be selected from the drop-down list. Furthermore, a user can be selected from the organization hierarchy using the “Select from hierarchy” button, or a search can be performed using the “Find” button.
    • Group
      In this field, you can specify a group to which the activity is prescribed. Groups can be selected from the drop-down list. Furthermore, a group can be selected from the organization hierarchy using the “Select from hierarchy” button, or a search can be performed using the “Find” button.
      Note: For a group, you can define which position within the group is responsible for the group's job listing. Users in this position receive the activity in their job listing.
    • Position
      In this field, you can specify a position. The activity will be prescribed to all users in this position. If the activity is started by a particular user, then it will be removed from the job listings of the other users.
  • Distribution List
    Instead of a specific user, you can specify a Distribution List containing several users. The activity will then be prescribed to all users in this list in parallel.
    Note: A Distribution List will be generated in an Administration Tool.
  • Remark
    You can enter a remark in this field.

Define deadlines

Deadlines can be defined for every prescribed activity. Click “Show Deadlines” to show the fields for specifying deadlines. The following fields are available:

  • Date for Submission
    In this field, you can define when the activity should be submitted.
    Note: Until this date, the activity can be found in the job listing of the relevant user on the “Suspended/Pending” tab.
  • Date for Start
    In this field, you can define when the activity should be started.
  • Date for Completion
    In this field, you can define when the activity should be completed.

Prescribe several activities

To apply the settings for a prescribed activity, click the “Take” button. A graphical preview of the prescribed activities is displayed, and you now have the option to insert additional activities that are also prescribed. Click the relevant “+” button in the graphical display to insert an activity before, after or parallel to an already defined activity and enter the prescribe data.

In the graphical display, you can switch between the individual prescribe activities and edit these again. To do so, click the activity you want to edit. The prescribe data will be displayed again and can be edited. To apply the changes, click the “Take” button.

Change order of the prescribed activities

In the graphical display, you can also change the order of the prescribed activities using the drag and drop feature. To do so, perform the following steps:

  1. Point to the dotted area of the activity the position of which you want to change, and press and hold down the mouse button.
  2. Drag the object to where you want to insert the activity. A grey bar indicates that the activity can be inserted at this place.
  3. Release the mouse button. The activity will be inserted into the desired place.

Delete an activity again

To remove a prescribed activity, double-click the activity to select it and click “Delete”.

Store the prescribe as a template

To store the prescription as a template for repeated use, click the “Save as Template” button, enter a Name for the prescribe template and click “Next”.

Advanced view

To switch to the advanced view, click the “Advanced View” button. There you can make additional entries (for example, regarding substitution).

E-Mail Notifications for Workflow EventsPermanent link for this heading

You can configure e-mail notifications for workflow events (e.g. pending activity expired) via “Account” > “Workflow” > E-Mail Notification for.

Approval ProcessesPermanent link for this heading

Approval processes comprise those process definitions and activity definitions that Fabasoft Folio provides as standard.

Obtain Approval for a Business ObjectPermanent link for this heading

For each business object for different tasks a responsible user can be defined. These responsibilities are entered on the “Document” tab in the Responsibility field of the business object. If in a Category responsibilities have been defined, they are automatically taken over by the assigned business objects. The responsibilities can be adjusted in single business objects.

Note: If for the “Approve” role no responsible user has been defined, the “No participant defined” error message is displayed when executing the approval process.

To obtain approval for a business object, do the following:

  1. Select the business object you want to have approved.
  2. Execute the “Tools” > “Initialize Process” > “Approval Process” command.

The approval process will then be initiated for the business object and the user responsible receives the Approve activity in his/her job listing.

After the approval you get the Approved activity, if the business object is not approved you get the Approval denied activity. Both activities can be finished clicking Accept.

Approve a Business ObjectPermanent link for this heading

To approve a business object, do the following:

  1. Locate the Approve activity for which the business object for approval is displayed in the Applies to column.
  2. Click the Open work step to view the documents for approval.
  3. Click the Approve work step.
  4. Enter your password to authorize the signature.
  5. Type a Remark and click “Next”.

Note: The approval (including the remark) will be added to the business object on the “Remarks” tab. In addition, the approved status of the object will be backed up in the form of a recorded or approved version.

Refuse Approval of a Business ObjectPermanent link for this heading

To refuse approval of a business object, do the following:

  1. Locate the Approve activity for which the business object for approval is displayed in the Belongs to column.
  2. Click the Open work step to view the documents for approval.
  3. Click the Refuse Approval work step.
  4. Enter your password to authorize the signature.
  5. Type a Remark and click “Next”.

Note: The non-approval (including any comment) will be added to the business object on the “Remarks” tab.

Business Processes With BPMN 2.0Permanent link for this heading

The support of BPMN 2.0 (Business Process Model and Notation) allows you to model business processes and benefit from the advantages of a platform-independent notation. The created process diagrams can be directly executed with the Fabasoft Folio Workflow Engine.

For BPMN process diagrams a meaningful presentation is chosen depending on the context. In PDF overviews, when using the Folio network drive or the Folio App a picture of the process is displayed. In exported process diagrams (ZIP file) a PNG file and a SVG file (vector graphic) are provided as graphical preview.

Besides process diagrams also choreography and conversation diagrams can be created.

Creating a BPMN Process DiagramPermanent link for this heading

BPMN process diagrams are used to model business processes, which can be directly executed in Fabasoft Folio.

To create a process diagram, perform the following steps:

  1. Create a new “BPMN Process Diagram” (“Object” > “New”).
  2. Open the process diagram in one of the following ways:
    • Double-click the BPMN process diagram.
    • Context menu command “Open” (as overlay) or “Open Process Diagram” (as own window).
      An own window provides more space for the graphical modeling.
    • In the attribute editor on the “BPMN Process Diagram” tab using the “Edit” button.
  3. Design your diagram (see chapter “Working With the BPMN Editor”) and finish editing by clicking “Next”. Further information about the diagram elements can be found in the BPMN literature.

Working With the BPMN EditorPermanent link for this heading

In the graphical BPMN editor, besides the modeling of the process, for example Folio users and activity definitions can be assigned to BPMN elements, in order to be able to execute the process directly with the Fabasoft Folio Workflow Engine.

The BPMN editor is subdivided in three areas. The left pane contains the BPMN elements that can be dragged and dropped on the middle design pane. The right pane (folded by default) shows properties for the element that is currently selected in the design pane. The right pane is also used to assign Folio objects for process execution purposes.

The keyboard shortcuts Ctrl + Z and Ctrl + Y can be used to undo and redo actions. Ctrl + S allows saving changes made in the editor. For copying, cutting, pasting and deleting elements the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl + C, Ctrl + X, Ctrl + V and Del are provided. The executability of the process can be checked with the “Check Executability in Fabasoft Folio” button.

Executable process must or may contain following elements:

  • Pool
    The pool represents the Fabasoft Folio Workflow Engine. Exactly for one pool in the process diagram the property Is executable must be set to “Yes”.
  • Lane
    Lanes represent responsibilities. A Fabasoft Folio workflow participant can be assigned to a lane. When creating tasks the values defined for the lane are used as default values for the tasks, which allows comfortable working.
    Note: When creating a pool one lane is implicitly generated.
  • Start event
    The process flow starts with a start event. For documentation purposes all types of start events can be used in executable processes. But the start event type has no effect on the execution of the process.
  • End event
    The process flow ends with an end event.
  • Terminate end event (optional)
    Terminates the whole process and the process is marked as completed.
  • End error event (optional)
    Terminates the whole process and the process is marked as aborted.
  • Task
    A task represents an atomic unit of work that has to be done within a process. Currently, tasks of type “User” are supported. The task must have a Fabasoft Folio activity and participant assigned. When carrying out a process the tasks are displayed in the work list of the corresponding user.
    Tasks can be run in a loop (type “Standard”). The loop condition can be tested before or after the iteration. The maximum number of iterations can be defined, too.
  • Sequence flow
    The sequence flow describes the order of events, tasks and gateways. A condition expression (Fabasoft app.ducx Expression Language) may be assigned to a sequence flow outgoing from a gateway. The expression can be entered directly in the text field or can be defined in the condition editor.
  • Gateway (optional)
    A gateway allows the distinction between cases or parallelization in a process. Currently data-based exclusive gateways and parallel gateways are supported.
  • Subprocesses (optional)
    Subprocesses are used to enclosure complexity. Subprocesses can be nested and run in a loop (type “Standard”). The loop condition can be tested before or after the iteration. The maximum number of iterations can be defined, too.
    • Expanded subprocess
      An expanded subprocess is embedded in the process as structuring element.
    • Collapsed subprocess
      A collapsed subprocess references a separate BPMN process diagram that is therefore reusable.
  • Artifacts and data objects (optional)
    For documentation purposes all artifacts and data objects can be used in executable processes. But these elements have no effect on the execution of the process.

Note: Go-to sequence flows can currently not be executed.

The usability of BPMN process diagrams can be restricted to template and document categories on the “Process Execution” tab in the Usable for field. This way processes are only offered if they are useful for the object on which the process should be carried out. When selecting activity definitions for tasks in the BPMN editor, only activity definitions are provided that correspond to the usability of the process diagram.

Uploading and Downloading a BPMN Process DiagramPermanent link for this heading

BPMN process diagrams may be imported and exported. In case of an executable process diagram, possibly assignments to Folio objects have to be adapted, if the Folio objects are not available in the target system. Component objects will be identified by the reference. Non component objects will be identified by the External Key (if defined by the administrator) or object address.

To upload a process diagram, perform the following steps:

  1. Right-click the process diagram and then click “Properties”.
  2. On the “BPMN Process Diagram” tab, click “Select”.
  3. Enter the path to the process diagram XML file and click “Next”.
  4. Click “Next” to save the changes.

To download a process diagram, perform the following steps:

  1. Right-click the process diagram and then click “Download Process Diagram”.
  2. A ZIP file will be downloaded that contains the process diagram as XML file.

Releasing a BPMN ProcessPermanent link for this heading

To be able to execute BPMN processes, the processes have to be released using the context menu command “Release Process for Execution”. The process can be released for the user himself (testing purposes) or for groups that are assigned to the user. The user needs change rights on the groups.

To release a process, perform the following steps:

  1. Right-click the process diagram and then click “Release Process for Execution”.
  2. If syntax errors are found, that will prevent the execution, you can view and resolve the errors.
  3. If no syntax errors are found, check the groups for which the process diagram should be released and then click “Next”.

Released processes can be easily identified by the symbol. On the “Process Execution” tab, in the Released for Execution field all released process instances are listed.

The release state can be removed by executing the context menu command again and removing the check marks for the corresponding groups.

A renewed release affects only newly started processes. Processes already in progress are carried out using the old released version.

Note: The Usable for field (“Process Execution” tab) can be used to restrict the usability of the process to defined document categories and template categories. If collapsed subprocesses also define restrictions, the executability of the process is restricted to the corresponding intersection.

Executing a BPMN ProcessPermanent link for this heading

To execute a BPMN process on an object, perform the following steps:

  1. Right-click the desired object and then click “Start New Process”.
  2. Select a predefined BPMN process.

The process is started on the object.

Managing BPMN Process DiagramsPermanent link for this heading

For managing business processes under “Account” > “Workflow” the tabs “Personal Settings” and “Predefined Settings” are provided. The Ad Hoc Process Templates and Predefined BPMN Processes fields show an overview of the templates and BPMN processes that are available for the user. You can edit your personal settings.

Process FolderPermanent link for this heading

The process folder allows you to file processes in a structured way and link them with documents, participants and outputs. The processes can be viewed and analyzed from different angles.

The process folder is structured in following four areas:

  • Processes
    A modeled business process can reference subprocesses, documents, participants and outputs.
  • Documents
    The documents that are needed in the process.
  • Participants
    A participant represents an area of responsibility within a process.
  • Outputs
    An output defines a result of a process. Outputs can be structured with help of output groups.

In each area a folder is provided that lists all corresponding objects of the process folder as a not hierarchically structured list.

Processes, participants and outputs that are assigned to the process folder but currently not used in the structure are shown on the “Recycle Bin” tab of the process folder.

For each document, participant and output you can view the related processes at any time.

Defining a ProcessPermanent link for this heading

To define a process, perform the following steps:

  1. Navigate in the process folder to the “Processes” list.
  2. Create a new BPMN process diagram, or add an existing one.
  3. Open the process diagram with a double click.
  4. Define the process. On the right section (by default collapsed), you can assign documents, activities and participants to the BPMN elements.
    • A Fabasoft Folio process participant can be assigned to pools, collapsed pools, lanes, tasks and additional participants. You can define either a Process Participant or a Process Participant (Execution). If you do not just document the process but also want to run it in the Fabasoft Folio workflow, use the Process Participant (Execution).
    • A Fabasoft Folio activity can be assigned to a task.
    • Fabasoft Folio documents can be assigned to every BPMN element.
    • A BPMN process diagram can be assigned to a collapsed subprocess.
  5. Click “Next” to complete the editing.

To assign outputs to a BPMN process diagram, edit the properties of the BPMN process diagram. Define the outputs on the “Process Folder” tab in the Outputs field.

Note: On the “Process Folder” tab of a BPMN process diagram the subprocesses, documents and participants are listed that are defined in the process diagram. In the detail view on the desk, the information can also be found on different tabs.

Defining Documents, Participants and OutputsPermanent link for this heading

You can define documents, participants and outputs implicitly via BPMN process diagrams, as described in chapter “Defining a Process”. Alternatively, you can define documents, participants and outputs in the corresponding lists of the process folder and use them in the BPMN process diagrams.

To define a document, a participant or an output, perform the following steps:

  1. Navigate in the process folder to the appropriate list.
  2. Search for existing objects or create new documents, participants and outputs.

Note: You can use output groups to structure outputs.

Show Related ProcessesPermanent link for this heading

To show the processes a document, a participant or an output is assigned to, perform the following steps:

  1. Navigate in the process folder to the desired document, participant or output.
  2. Right-click the object to open the context menu and then click “Show Related Processes”.