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Introduction to the system

This chapter will introduce the user to working with the system. The user will get to know the most common terms used in the system and with working with a BPMN 2.0 standard. This way the user will be enabled to achieve the most out of working with the workflow tool. The chapter includes articles like:



Once familiar with the basics of the workflow engine the user can dive deeper into the capabilities of the system and explore the various role-related guides or search for specific topics or tags.





Definitions

For a better understanding, the terms used by default in the system are explained in detail below.



Process Definition

A process definition describes the process model and the underlying logic of the workflow for the process flow and thus forms the basis for a lived process. The process definitions form the top layer in the order of the individual elements.

In a process definition, the general flow is defined how a process has to run. Concrete values do not yet exist here. A process definition consists of several activities that are to be executed in a particular sequence. These, in turn, consist of one or more tasks that must be performed by a participant.

Instances are started from this process definition and run according to the process model of the definition.

For more information about how to design process definitions, please regard the chapter Modeling Workflows 




Smartform

Smartforms are process-related web-forms and contain all required data for processing the process. These forms are attached to a process definition. From the start of an instance, the Smartform can be viewed at any time and data can be entered and changed.



Process Instance

An process instance is a single process flow, which is based on a process definition. There may be any number of instances for a given process. Tasks to be completed will only be created after an instance has been started. The process of an instance is dependent on the underlying definition.



Activity

A process consists of a range of activities, which are executed in a specific order. A process only continues once an activity has been completed. An activity consists of one or more tasks that must all be completed before the activity can be considered as completed. An activity can contain multiple tasks and is activated as soon as the process flow reaches the activity. All activities are displayed in a list as soon as an instance is selected.




Task

A task is the subunit of an activity. Each activity is made up of one or more tasks. An activity is completed only when all of its assigned tasks have been completed. A task is a concrete work step that must be executed by an employee before the next process step can be started. The task assignment determines who is assigned to the task.


Task assignment

The task assignment clarifies who is responsible for what task. A task can be assigned directly either to a user or to a group. If a task is assigned to a user, the user has to do the assigned task. If the task is assigned to a group, a user from the group has to do the task. A user can grab a task before starting the work, to ensure that no task is done twice. Also, users can hand over tasks if they cannot complete it. In this case, the task is released for editing to the entire group. 

Besides the general user options for grabbing and throwing task, process owner with owner rights have the opportunity to change the user and group assignment in the assignment area of the properties tab. If a user has the role team-manager, the user is allowed to change the user assignment within the corresponding group. If requested, this functionality can also be enabled for all users of a tenant. Find more information about how to assign tasks to a user and/or group in the chapter 'Assign tasks'.




Group

A group consists of a combination of several individual users. For example, a group can be comprised of one or several divisions within a single company. Groups are necessary if tasks cannot be assigned to one single individual, but rather have to be split between different users in order to be completed within a certain time limit.



Swimlanes

A company can be divided into several smaller departments. These departments are reflected in the process modeling as "Swimlanes". These swimlanes can be assigned to a specific user or a group as an editor.

All activities and tasks that are within the swimlane are assigned according to the stored assignments.

Since there are tasks that can only be assigned to one person in a group there is the option of assigning a swimlane to a specific person from the specified group. Here the following syntax must be used:


group(<GRUPPENNAME>)–>member(<MEMBERSHIPNAME>)



Process variables

Process variables are called the data that has been entered into a smartform and stored in the system. For each HTML element (e.g. input field) a so-called process variable is created. The name of the process variable corresponds to the ID of the field and the content corresponds to the content of the field.

All text data entered into an input field is saved and the next time the smartform is opened, this text field is filled with exactly this information.

The status of the radio buttons, checkboxes and select boxes is also saved and restored when opened again.


Process variables are called with ${<PROCESSVARIABLENNAME>}

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