Using Domino Workflow Using Domino Workflow

Using Domino Workflow Using Domino Workflow
SG24-5963-00
Part No. CT6GNML
Using Domino Workflow
Printed in the U.S.A.
Using Domino Workflow
Søren Peter Nielsen, Carol Easthope, Pieter Gosselink, Karl Gutsze, Janno Roele
International Technical Support Organization
SG24-5963-00
www.redbooks.ibm.com
SG24-5963-00
xii Lotus Domino Release 5.0: A Developer’s Handbook
SG24-5963-00
International Technical Support Organization
Using Domino Workflow
May 2000
Take Note!
Before using this information and the product it supports, be sure to read the general information in
the Special Notices section at the back of this book.
First Edition (May 2000)
This edition applies to Lotus Domino Workflow 2.0.
Comments may be addressed to:
IBM Corporation, International Technical Support Organization
Dept. HYJ Mail Station P099
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Poughkeepsie, NY 12601-5400
When you send information to IBM, you grant IBM a non-exclusive right to use or distribute the
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© International Business Machines Corporation 2000. All rights reserved.
Note to U.S. Government Users: Documentation related to restricted rights. Use, duplication or disclosure
is subject to restrictions set forth in GSA ADP Schedule Contract with IBM Corp.
Contents
Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix
2 Domino Workflow architecture . . 15
.........
Comments welcome . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1 Workflow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Workflow defined . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Main workflow components . . . . . . . . . .
Basic concepts of Domino Workflow
The team that wrote this redbook
Summary of main workflow
components . . . . . . . .
...........
Getting structure into your work . . . . . . .
The life cycle of workflow . . . . . . . . . . .
Why use a workflow tool? . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Workflow support in Lotus
Domino/Notes . . . . . .
2
.......
Binder concept . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Activities and their owners . . . . . . . . . . .
Routing relations: defining the flow . . . . .
Process map: visual process definition . . . .
3
Potential activity owners versus activity
owners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
ix
xi
1
1
4
6
7
...........
..........
7
............
Managing your processes . . . . . . . . . . . .
Change management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
8
Transparency of the process
Visualizing your business
processes . . . . . . . .
Separating workflow development and
application development . . . . . . .
...
Where should I use a workflow tool? . . . .
What is Domino Workflow? . . . . . . . . . . . .
Business process orientation . . . . . . . . . .
Activity orientation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
People orientation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Document orientation . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Integration into Lotus Domino/Notes . . . .
Integration with other systems . . . . . . . . .
Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
8
9
9
10
10
11
11
12
12
12
13
13
14
...
Using groups and roles . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Processes and their instances: jobs . . . . . .
Managing existing processes: job owners . .
Team concept . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Parallel paths: splitting up your binder . . .
Basic architecture of Domino Workflow . . . . .
Working environment: the workflow
engine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.....
Designing processes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Running your jobs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Enhancements to the basic architecture . . . . .
Connecting all the parts . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Using multiple applications . . . . . . . . . .
Using alternative organization models . . .
Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
15
16
16
18
19
20
21
21
22
24
24
25
25
31
34
37
37
39
41
42
3 Installation and basic setup of
Domino Workflow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
.........
...................
Domino server requirements . . . . . . . . . .
Overview of the setup procedure
43
Before you begin
44
44
iii
Installing product components on the
workstation . . . . . . . . . . . .
.......
Choosing the components to install . . . . . .
Creating your work environment on a server . .
Creating Domino Workflow databases on the
server . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
General database creation procedure
.
.....
45
46
47
47
48
Enabling and signing Domino Workflow
Engine agents . . . . . . . . . . . . .
....
49
Enabling the agents in the Application
database . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
....
49
Enabling the agents in the Organization
database . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
...
49
.....
Creating the setup document . . . . . . . . . .
Configuring the setup document . . . . . . .
Configuring the Application database . . . . . .
Creating the setup document . . . . . . . . . .
Configuring the setup document . . . . . . .
50
Configuring the Organization Directory
database . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Setting the Access Control Lists for the
databases . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Quick start ACL settings
......
............
Populating the Organization Directory with
person data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
50
51
53
54
54
55
55
..
56
..
Copy and paste from Domino Directory . .
Review your basic setup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4 Defining your first process . . . . .
What is involved in process design . . . . . . . .
56
Importing people or groups from Domino
Directory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
iv Using Domino Workflow
59
......
Defining the tasks to process a customer
request . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
62
..
63
...
63
Specifying when the basic application
tasks are performed . . . . . . . . . .
....
64
Implementing the “Who”: define your
organizational units in the
organization directory . . . . . . . .
....
65
Identifying the workflow participants in
the basic scenario . . . . . . . . . . . .
Implementing the “What”: design your
forms in the application database . .
...
First prototype continued: implementing the
“When” using the Architect . . . . . .
71
..
74
...
Creating a new process . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Setting the basic process properties . . . . . .
75
Creating a database profile and opening
the databases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Creating and defining the process
activities . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.......
Defining the create request activity . . . . . .
Defining the research request activity . . . .
Defining the create response activity . . . . .
Saving and activating the process . . . . . . .
Second prototype: adding more basics . . . . . .
Prototyping strategies . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Creating forms and process copies for the
second prototype . . . . . . . . . . . . .
59
Making changes to the process and
activity properties . . . . . . . . .
61
Third prototype: getting more difficult
..
77
77
81
82
86
88
90
91
91
93
61
Getting started with the prototype
. . . . . . 95
. . . . 103
. . . . . 104
.
61
Modifications to the create request
activity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
105
Changing the routing relations
105
...
62
Preparing for the process design: the three
Ws . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
What is involved in implementing your
solution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
57
The first prototype: a basic scenario to
handle customer requests . . . .
......
.......
Enabling other new documents in job
binders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
....
107
...
Finishing up the third prototype . . . . . .
Fourth prototype: nearly there . . . . . . . . . .
Modifying the create response activity
Defining the marketing research
approval cycle . . . . . . . . .
.......
Defining the response approval cycle . . .
Defining the reply to customer
activity . . . . . . . . . . . . .
........
Finishing up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Fifth prototype: last version . . . . . . . . . . .
Defining the automated send
acknowledgment activity
.........
Adjusting routing and binder joins . . . . .
Finishing up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
109
110
110
111
115
119
119
120
127
127
130
130
130
132
133
...
134
.....
....................
Disadvantages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
137
Advantages
137
138
138
Customization of the Domino Workflow
Web user interface . . . . . . . . .
139
Summary
140
....
.......................
.....
Creating the review process . . . . . . . . . . .
Review process definition . . . . . . . . . . .
Organization database . . . . . . . . . . . . .
141
Overview of the process in the existing
application . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Customizing the Document Library
template . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.....
.......................
142
142
143
147
7 A closer look at Domino
Workflow: process design and
implementation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151
............
Enable your application forms . . . . . . . .
Activate the Web agents . . . . . . . . . . . .
Adjust the setup document . . . . . . . . . .
Update the process cache . . . . . . . . . . .
Advantages and disadvantages of the
standard Web user interface . .
141
126
129
Accessing the workflow database through
the standard Web interface . . . . .
..
Summary
.....
Use of the Domino HTTP
server . . . . . . . . . .
General steps to add Domino Workflow to
your application . . . . . . . . . . . . .
121
5 Accessing Domino Workflow
from Web clients . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129
How to make your workflow database
available to Web clients . . . . .
6 Introducing Domino Workflow
in an existing application . . . . . . . . 141
150
Using existing elements: Business Object
Library . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
151
Custom attributes
154
....
..................
Standardizing corporate routines:
subprocesses . . . . . . . . .
Using a subprocess
........
...............
Customizing Domino Workflow using the
Developer’s Toolkit . . . . . . . . . .
...
Various ways to initiate your job . . . . . . . .
Standard initiation of a new job . . . . . . .
Advanced initiation . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A practical initiation scenario . . . . . . . .
Realization of the scenario . . . . . . . . . .
Naming your job automatically . . . . . . . . .
By a standard initiation . . . . . . . . . . . .
Using workflow events . . . . . . . . . . . .
Basics of automating an activity . . . . . . . . .
Sending a mail message . . . . . . . . . . . .
Executing a server program . . . . . . . . .
Starting a LotusScript agent . . . . . . . . .
155
156
157
158
159
160
165
166
168
168
168
169
170
170
171
Contents v
Additional scenarios using an automated
activity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.
Automatic claim of activities . . . . . . . . . . .
Supporting a family: parent-child processes .
Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
175
176
178
8 Using the organization
directory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179
..
....................
Why use a separate organization directory
Conclusion
Advanced use of the Domino Workflow
organization directory . . . . . . .
....
Relations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Job properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Alternative organization directories . . . . . .
Integrating an alternative organization
directory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Mapping files
.....
..................
Adding your own OrgaTypes to the
Architect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.....
Replace design elements based on the
Toolkit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
...
Change your Setup document . . . . . . . .
Change your data sources in the Architect .
Change and reactivate your processes . . .
Integrate with other organization directories .
Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
9 Distributed processing . . . . . . . .
Multiple databases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Process subsets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Subprocesses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Multiple replicas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Server cluster . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Local replicas - mobile users . . . . . . . . .
Using an agent server . . . . . . . . . . . . .
vi Using Domino Workflow
................
Selective replication . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Handling replication conflicts . . . . . . . . . .
Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Location replicas
174
179
182
182
183
186
188
191
192
192
194
195
196
197
197
198
199
201
201
201
202
202
203
203
205
205
206
207
208
10 Integration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 209
.....................
..................
Initiating workflows . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Archiving . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Automated activity search . . . . . . . . . .
Automatic check in/check out . . . . . . . .
Domino.Doc
Access profiles
Linking between Domino.Doc and
Domino Workflow documents
......
Restrictions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
XML . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
XML defined . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Domino Workflow and XML . . . . . . . . .
Configuring Domino Workflow . . . . . . .
Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
209
210
211
211
212
213
214
214
215
215
215
216
217
11 Running Domino Workflow
applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219
.............
Change the team working on an activity .
Make changes at run time
Introduce some new activities
(reassign) . . . . . . . . . .
.........
Change the route of your job (reroute) . . .
Cancel a job . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Keep an eye on the jobs . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The most important views on workflow . .
Get all details of one specific job (process
Viewer) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.
Recording your job context (audit trail) . . . .
Using events to customize the audit trail .
Managing the audit information . . . . . .
219
219
223
225
227
228
229
233
235
236
236
.............
Setting up an archive . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Various ways of archiving . . . . . . . . . .
Optimizing your workflow application . . . .
Design elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Performance issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Troubleshooting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Some common errors . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
General tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A completed job (archive)
237
237
239
241
242
243
247
247
250
252
12 Domino Workflow and
LotusScript . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 253
................
Automation agents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Redbook Binder classes . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Binder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Binder document . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Extending the classes . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Redbook automation agent class . . . . . . . .
Redbook automation agent . . . . . . . . . .
Examples of automation agents . . . . . . .
Unsuccessful automation agents . . . . . .
Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Changes to the event library . . . . . . . . .
Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Automated activities
253
253
255
256
256
........................
Concepts and features used . . . . . . . . . .
Steps to make it work . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Sample code for Parent Spawn agent . . . . . .
Sample code for Child Post Back
Response . . . . . . . . . .
.........
Before starting to build your Web user
interface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.....
Programming the Web solution . . . . . . . . .
Views in the application . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The “Desktop” views . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Change the standard views . . . . . . . . . .
How to add or remove views . . . . . . . .
The Workflow Navigator . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Starting new jobs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Binder documents / Domino Workflow
Information Subform . . . . . . . . . .
Other functionality
..
.................
Adding your own code for activity
validations . . . . . . . . . . . . .
275
276
279
282
283
284
285
285
286
289
.....
289
.....
.......................
290
Adding custom Actions (Web style
subform only) . . . . . . . . . . .
256
Summary
257
Appendix C LotusScript sample
classes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 291
257
258
259
261
261
264
Appendix A Parent-child
processing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 265
Scenario
Appendix B Advanced Web use
of Domino Workflow . . . . . . . . . . . . 275
265
265
266
267
270
..............
RedbookBinder Class . . . . . . . . . . . . .
RedbookBinderDocument Class . . . . . . .
Redbook automation agent library . . . . . . .
RedbookAutomationAgent . . . . . . . . . .
Deactivated automation jobs view . . . . . . .
Redbook automation template agent . . . . . .
Redbook activate waiting jobs agent . . . . . .
Special notices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Additional Web material . . . . . . . . .
How to get the Web material . . . . . . . . . . .
Related publications . . . . . . . . . . . .
IBM Redbooks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Other Lotus-related IBM Redbooks . . . . . . .
Redbook binder library
290
292
292
295
296
296
296
297
297
299
303
303
305
305
306
Contents vii
....
Other resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Web sites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
How to get IBM Redbooks . . . . . . .
IBM intranet for employees . . . . . . . . . . . .
Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
IBM Redbooks review . . . . . . . . . . .
IBM Redbooks collections on CD-ROM
viii Using Domino Workflow
308
308
309
311
311
315
319
Preface
In this book we describe how to support your business processes with
Domino Workflow™. We do this with an example scenario, to which we add
enhancements and variations throughout the book. First, we describe, step
by step, a full implementation of a simple process using the built-in Domino
Workflow functionality. Next, we show how to enable our application for
Web access, before walking through a case study where we enable an
existing Domino application with Domino Workflow. In the latter part of the
book we discuss topics like customization, advanced techniques, the organization directory, and integration with other systems.
The examples used in this book are available on the IBM Redbooks Web site.
This redbook is written for Domino Workflow solution designers and
programmers, customers, Business Partners, and other members of the IBM
and Lotus community who need a good technical understanding of how to
use Domino Workflow.
The team that wrote this redbook
This redbook was produced by a team of specialists from around the world
working at the International Technical Support Organization Center at Lotus
in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
Søren Peter Nielsen works for the International Technical Support
Organization at Lotus Development, Cambridge, Massachusetts. He
manages projects that produce redbooks about all areas of Lotus products.
Before joining the ITSO in 1998, Søren worked as an IT Architect for IBM
Global Services in Denmark, designing solutions for a wide range of
industries. Søren is a Certified Lotus Professional at the Principal level in
Application Development and System Administration.
Carol Easthope is a Principal Systems Engineer with the Architected
Solutions Group, Lotus Professional Services, Cambridge. In the five plus
years Carol has been with ASG, she has participated in the design and
development of large-scale Notes/Domino/Web applications for clients in
the financial, energy, manufacturing, and computer technology industries.
Carol joined Lotus in 1991, as a research engineer engaged in the research
and prototyping of workgroup and collaboration products.
ix
Pieter Gosselink is an IT Specialist at AT&T Global Network Services
Netherlands. Pieter has over eight years of experience in application design
and development, including three years with Lotus Notes and Domino. He
graduated in Computer Science at Twente University, Netherlands.
Karl Gutsze is a consultant with Mettenmeier Business Services (MBS), a
German company specializing in development and implementation of
workflow-based solutions. Before this he spent three years with ONEstone
(a company that developed the prototype of Domino Workflow), first as part
of a quality assurance team and later on leading the market research and
technical evaluation of workflow products. He holds the master’s degree in
Wirtschaftsinformatik (Business & Computer Science) in Paderborn, and is
also a CLP in Application Development.
Janno Roele is a technical Domino Workflow specialist working for
Workgroup Enabling Business Solutions at Origin Netherlands. He joined
Origin after earning the master of science degree in Information
Management at Tilburg University. Janno has over two years of technical
and functional Domino Workflow experience. He did several projects
developing and implementing Domino Workflow applications for industries
like insurance, manufacturing and petroleum. Besides this Janno is also a
Certified Lotus Professional in Application Development.
A number of people have provided support and guidance. We would like to
thank the following people from Lotus (unless otherwise noted):
•
Markus Dierker
•
Stephan Gieffers
•
Niklas Heidloff
•
Ralf Heindoerfer
•
Wolfgang W. Hilpert
•
Judy Jalbert
•
Claudia Sauer
•
Lisa Toussaint
•
Cees van der Woude
•
David Morrison, ITSO Cambridge
•
Alison Chandler, ITSO Poughkeepise
•
Graphic Services, Lotus Cambridge
x Using Domino Workflow
Comments welcome
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•
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•
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•
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Preface xi
Chapter 1
Workflow
This redbook describes the Domino Workflow product. Before we get into
the specifics of this product, we need to explain some general terms related
to this subject as we understand them. The most important of them is the
term workflow, which has recently come into common usage, and which is
used — and misused — in various contexts. Sometimes the only purpose of
speaking about workflow is strategic; sometimes it is merely a buzzword. As
we consider it to be much more than that, we want to introduce workflow as
completely as we can. This chapter includes the following topics:
•
The most important characteristics of workflow
•
The advantages of using a standardized workflow product
•
How Domino Workflow fits into the general workflow context
Workflow defined
There are many ways to define workflow. There are also many applications
and solutions which offer workflow and which attempt to define workflow
based on their own feature sets and value propositions. None of them is
totally right or totally wrong. Nevertheless, many common elements of each
definition can be easily recognized. Since this redbook, like all redbooks,
doesn’t try to cover the subject on an academic level, we provide a pragmatic
working definition that will allow you to understand the subject as it is and
that doesn’t pretend to be the best and only one. It should help you to
understand some important aspects that have to be considered before using
workflow. Specifically, in this section we discuss:
•
The main workflow components:
• Business processes
• Information
• People
•
Different types of structured workflow processes
•
The life cycle of workflow processes
1
Main workflow components
Before you consider workflow, you have to give some thought to the
organization of your company. You can define what your company does
through its goals. Some action has to be taken in order to reach those goals.
Such action usually involves fulfilling a number of activities or tasks and
requires cooperation of multiple organization members. That is what
workflow is about: it concerns the coordination of people, information
objects, events that cause work to flow (for instance, deadlines) and the
state or status of work required to meet business objectives.
Business processes
Business processes describe what things have to be done, how they must be
done, and who should do them. They are like recipes in a cookbook that
define how business objectives can be accomplished. This approach has been
very well researched in the production factory environment, but was largely
ignored in the office world, partly due to missing technology. In the last ten
years technologies have emerged to support this kind of approach in the
office environment. Today, office workers spend the main part of their time
using computers plugged into networks with access to LAN devices and the
Web. Communication between various systems is possible, as well as the
ability to automate and facilitate work are there. Timely communication
between people and information objects, based on business rules, is what
workflow is all about in the office environment today. If you organize your
work in this manner, you are essentially already dealing with workflow.
To successfully automate the flow of work in your company, you must
select the appropriate business processes on which to apply structured
workflow. Such a selection involves evaluating several other factors about
the company: its goals and priorities, and the nature of the information
associated with the particular business process to be automated.
First, consider the goals and priorities of your company. You should
concentrate on automating processes that matter, that make a big difference
to your company. Your goals should be clearly set and prioritized. It is a
good practice to include some measurable values, like speeding up your
process from two weeks to eight days or increasing the throughput of one
person from two claims per hour to three. Every workflow has an entrance
and an exit point; and an overall goal that should be reached between those
two. It also describes the way in which things have to be done. It can’t give
you a ready recipe for how you should do things, but it is a helpful tool for
the realization of your ideas.
2 Using Domino Workflow
Information
The second consideration, when selecting which of your business processes
to automate, is the information associated with the process. This is a more
technical issue, and it relates to your infrastructure and environment. You
should choose processes where some clear patterns are visible and you can
precisely describe them. You should also be able to clearly define the
context in which the work can be done. Such an approach allows for the
quick automation of some steps. Workflow can exist only in cases in which
you can at least partly define the structure of the information that is
required to finish your job properly.
People
The most important component in most workflows is people. They are the
ones who create content, make decisions, delegate work, and oversee the
completion of work. It is not the purpose of workflow automation to make
the users’ efforts more complicated, but rather to help them concentrate on
the important parts of the business process. People shouldn’t have to work at
maintaining workflow; workflow should evolve around them. This approach
differs significantly from the industrial one, where the production processes
are very stable and don’t require human interaction in the realization phase.
In contrast, in an office environment workflow has to be built around human
actors assuming various roles in various situations. Therefore, it requires
well-defined roles and organization relationships.
Summary of main workflow components
Combining all of the factors described previously yields a general definition
of workflow as:
•
Partly automated business processes that achieve a given goal in a
predefined way
•
Automatically presenting required information to the right group of
people at the right time
•
Automating strictly repetitive parts of the work
Chapter 1: Workflow 3
This definition is also illustrated in the following figure:
Business Process
Information
Organization
There is much more to workflow then the points covered by this definition.
Among the other significant issues are:
•
Controlling existing processes and optimizing them
•
Interdependencies between processes and enterprise-wide infrastructure
standards
•
Concerns about the fact that business rules and responsibilities need to
dynamically change with the business environment
Each of these issues, as well as other considerations, will be discussed in
detail in later sections. The differences between a standard workflow tool
and a custom-made workflow are also explained.
Finally, it is quite impossible to draw a clear line between workflow and
other enterprise resource and knowledge management issues. They are all
about your company, and sometimes cover the same things from various
perspectives. However, the workflow perspective will help your company
to make the next step forward successful.
Getting structure into your work
There are various scenarios concerning workflow. Some of them require
more structure, some less. Most processes can be assigned a place in a
workflow continuum that tries to classify processes according to their
structure. Knowing what type of process you are dealing with helps you
to pick the right workflow solution for it. In this section we describe the
features of four process types:
•
Structured processes
•
Semi-structured processes
4 Using Domino Workflow
•
Cooperative processes
•
Real-world processes
Structured processes
Structured processes are the best-known processes. You can find them in any
production plant, where it is very well defined which machine has to work
on which part of the process, the production times are set precisely and the
production workers are assigned well-defined jobs. Such processes can also
be found in some offices that deal with mainly repetitive jobs that have to be
controlled and documented according to strict rules. Examples of this
include the high volume claim processing done by an insurance company
and license-issuing activities performed by governmental departments.
In some parts of such well-structured processes some exceptions can be
allowed. It helps to make them flexible. Nevertheless, all exceptions have
to be controlled and documented. Examples of such exceptions include a
manager having the ability to override someone’s decision, or an exceptional
consultation request being made at one of the process steps. Such exceptions
don’t change the process, and they are not recurring. If they are, they should
be explicitly included in the process.
Semi-structured processes
In many cases only the overall process structure can be defined in advance,
but certain activities may require that people participate in the process in a
manner in which every step of their work is not predefined. For instance, a
graphic design group creating an identity for a new product may work in a
completely collaborative manner, and their approach and team members
may vary with each project they are engaged in. The new product launch
process also has many activities that are based on predefined business rules
and assigned to persons based on a role or position within the organization.
For instance, the legal search activity to determine whether the new product
name is copyright and trademark free is a structured step in the process.
The ability to support both structured and collaborative work in a process is
important for many strategic business processes.
Cooperative processes
This group of processes has the least predefined structure of all described
types. You make most of the decisions at the time of execution, and they are
based on your personal experience and knowledge of your organization. Such
processes can be based on e-mail or some other kind of a shared environment,
such as database or Web space. Such processes don’t pose any restriction on
the creativity of the participants, but are very difficult to handle or to control.
They can usually be found in small companies, where processes evolve
around the individuals participating in them. Such processes usually cause
Chapter 1: Workflow 5
very big problems after organizational changes, such as when someone
leaves the company or joins it. Therefore, many companies try to migrate
the spontaneous processes to a more structured form.
Real-world processes: mixed forms
All those classifications are very theoretical, and for the most part not exactly
applicable to real business processes. Nevertheless, you can probably at least
partly assign your processes to one such category. You should also be able to
assign a category to various groups of tasks in your processes. It is good
practice to do this, both to better understand your requirements on the
workflow, and to choose which parts will be easy to automate and which
have to be defined first. Keep in mind that workflow will never be better
than your business practices. If you have problems within your company,
workflow may help you to visualize them and to implement some changes,
but you’ll still have to decide what those changes should be.
The life cycle of workflow
Every company is a living organization and therefore it undergoes constant
changes. If it doesn’t change, it dies. It has to grow, to mature, to learn, and, at
some point, to find some ways of managing the constant changes in order to
react to a changing environment. All the business processes have to accompany
these changes. The reason for it can be just a simple change in the organization,
a rationalizing action, or a constant improvement process. So, because business
processes change over time, your workflow also has to change.
As already mentioned, you don’t start running your company by creating
workflow. You run your company by getting things done. By doing this you
create some documents, and you invent ways of getting them processed.
Therefore, you do have some existing document processing.
6 Using Domino Workflow
To create workflow, start by analyzing your existing document processing.
This analysis will lead you to some kind of definition of your processes.
This is where the workflow starts. From the definition of the processes you
can identify recurring patterns that are your first workflow design. You
create workflow definition data by storing this data in any repository. The
next step is automating some parts of your processes and automating the
transition between the process steps. After you have done this, you have a
functional workflow that has to be evaluated in practice.
The first part of the evaluation is always theoretical: you can introduce
some changes in the existing processes to make them more efficient. The
second part of the evaluation takes place after you have worked with the
automated processes (the workflow) for some time. In both cases you return
to analysis of your workflow in order to make it better. After this the cycle
starts from the beginning. It is a never-ending cycle of changes that makes
your company better all the time. Concentrating on workflow makes the
changes a natural thing. It helps you to redefine your goals and to make
your processes more suitable for reaching your company’s goals. It also
helps the organization to grow and mature.
Why use a workflow tool?
Once you have decided to automate some parts of your processes, you have to
choose a strategy for doing it. The two main choices are doing it all yourself or
using a standardized workflow tool. In this section we compare the two
approaches when building on top of Lotus Domino/Notes and show some of
their good and bad points. The criteria we consider for each approach are:
•
Transparency of the process
•
Visualization of the business process
•
Management of the process
•
Change management for process change
•
Keeping process definition and application logic separate
In addition, we give some advice about how to identify processes where a
workflow tool can help.
Workflow support in Lotus Domino/Notes
Lotus Domino/Notes already offers a lot of simple mechanisms that support
workflow. You can create workflow fields and rules in a Domino application
using the Domino Designer, and for simple, unstructured processes this may
be the most cost-effective approach. However, building applications that
support more complex business processes using this approach comes at a cost.
Chapter 1: Workflow 7
It is very easy to define a review cycle on a couple of documents, but if you
want to transfer your deployment to some other application, you have to do
the work over again. If the logic of your review cycle changes, you have to go
into various documents and change field values or LotusScript code. If you
want to keep an eye on your processing cycle you have to know the right field
values. All this causes no problems as long as you are dealing with simple
processes that don’t change a lot. However, if you try to manage complicated
activities, the complexity of your application grows exponentially and your
application quickly becomes difficult to maintain. This is the point where you
should consider using a workflow product. The real question is not if you can
automate your processes with Lotus Domino/Notes, but how much effort
would it take to create and maintain the workflow using this method.
Transparency of the process
As mentioned previously, workflow is not a goal in itself; its purpose is to help
you manage your business processes. Therefore, you actually don’t need to
know how things are done from a technical point of view. You want to
concentrate on your work, on the application you are working with, and on
the documents and their content. How your workflow is managed technically is something that a workflow tool can hide from you. Such a tool lets
you allocate your skills to the development of the important part of your
processes — the part that is unique for your company and can’t be found
somewhere else. A standard tool lets you interact with workflow mechanisms
through well-defined interfaces, and hides the internal fields and code that
gets the work done for you. It’s the same approach Lotus has taken in
providing you with customizable, ready-to-use templates. Skilled customization is a challenging task, though, and no Domino/Notes developer would try
to do everything on their own. The workflow field is much more complex;
that’s why you have to buy a whole product instead of using a simple
template. A workflow product lets you concentrate on business and workflow
instead of bothering with internal fields and formulas.
Visualizing your business processes
One of the really big advantages of a process-oriented company is its ability to
see the content of the work in its context. The most important context of work
is its integration with overall goals. The best way to define this is to set the
goals, describe the processes leading to them, and then describe the activities
included in those processes. You can visualize it using any kind of chart that is
appropriate to your activities. Regretfully, there is always a big gap between
such charts and the way things actually get done. When creating a chart you
can’t foresee the technical problems you may encounter implementing it.
There can also be a big gap between the time you create a chart and when you
implement the defined process. This is another reason for using a standard
workflow tool. You can visualize your processes and be sure that they can be
8 Using Domino Workflow
deployed the way you have drawn them. There will always be a small time
period between drawing your chart and implementing a process, but it will be
reduced to the minimum. You only have to concentrate on the forms you need
and their logic; you do not have to worry about the workflow logic as well.
You will be able to present the processes as they are to their users, reducing
the introduction phase.
Managing your processes
After you have developed your workflow, you have to maintain it. You want
to be able to see who is doing what, at which stage a specific process instance
is, or what has to be done in the next step. In order to reach such a goal you’ll
have to create some views and agents. It takes a lot of time to specify your
needs and mechanisms to fulfill them. A standard workflow product comes
with such views and the mechanisms right out of the box. You will probably
want to customize some of them or add new ones, but you can use the
interfaces provided for you. It won’t be necessary to keep a long list of
elements you created, as you can find such a list in the documentation. You
will also be able to delegate the maintenance to someone else, documenting
only the changes you have made. You will also gain experience that is useful
the next time you need to use the tool. The basic knowledge is easy to transfer
and the specific knowledge can be quickly enhanced and leveraged.
Change management
As the processes go through their life cycle, they change. In production
environments such changes are pretty rare, because they are restricted by
technology and machines. In the office environment, where people are doing
their job using flexible tools, such changes can happen frequently. Therefore,
good support for all kinds of changes has to be integrated into every workflow
solution. If you are planning to do your own workflow solution, you have to
document all fields and actions that store or use relevant information, and you
have to be aware of all their interdependencies. Even minor process changes
can force you to rewrite a large section of your code. You also have to develop
some strategy for transferring existing processes into a new version. It’s a lot of
work and you create a lot of overhead, but it has to be done. Once more, an
existing workflow product can save time and effort. Even if you customize it,
the basic architecture will be taken care of, and in the first deployment stage
the basic mechanisms of the tool might even be adequate.
Chapter 1: Workflow 9
Separating workflow development and application development
We have already mentioned the importance of separating business processes
from workflow implementation. This is such an important concept that it
bears reinforcing here. Lotus Domino/Notes allows you access to your code
at any place. It has some advantages for implementing small local changes,
but it can make documenting an application very difficult. In a processoriented company you’ll want to have a clean environment, in which it is
easy to tell where the code is and what it does. It is the best way to efficiently
manage your processes and their changes. Because of this you will have to
put your workflow-related code and design elements in some well-defined
places to separate them from the rest of your application. By doing this you
will end up essentially developing a workflow product. Why should you do
something that has already been done? It is much easier to deploy an existing
product. If you are already using some templates and script libraries, the next
logical step would be to use a workflow product. Then you can easily
concentrate on the application development and use the time you intended to
invest in developing the workflow part learning the handling of the workflow
product instead.
Where should I use a workflow tool?
While this question looks like a simple one, it takes some consideration to
answer it correctly. A workflow solution can be used to automate any
business process, but it might not always be the best choice. Consider the
answers to the questions listed below to better define your requirements:
•
Can you identify some recurring patterns in your process?
•
Do you pass your documents between various groups of people?
•
Can you identify some context for the work?
•
How often do your processes change?
•
How long does it take to accomplish one instance of your process?
•
Can you identify some recurring simple tasks?
Workflow is a very powerful paradigm to support dynamic processes
containing reoccurring patterns. Therefore, it is crucial to identify them. If
you can’t identify any structure, it doesn’t make sense to use workflow tools.
Workflow can automate passing the documents between various people or
groups of people. If all the work is done by one person, it will only put some
restrictions on this person without being of much help.
Workflow lets you present some context to a specific person dealing with
specific work. If you can specify this context, you’ll be able to present it at
the right time, speeding up the work.
10 Using Domino Workflow
Though workflow supports constant change, you will encounter problems if
dealing with processes whose structure changes more quickly than the
processes can be finished. If, for example, your process of building an apartment house lasts three years from planning to selling the apartments, and the
legal restrictions change every year, you will end up having a lot of problems.
You will have to migrate your process to a newer version several times. In
such a case it is preferable to create smaller processes containing tasks like
making first drafts, obtaining building permits, getting some investors, actual
building, and selling the apartments. You can chain your processes into a big
one or put them in some kind of a container from which they will be triggered;
this way your processes will run according to the actual restrictions. The
recurring simple tasks are the perfect candidates for full automation.
There are also workflows that concentrate on the full process automation. In
such a case it is wise to use a workflow product that focuses on the automated
flow of work between various machines and applications and is not peopleoriented (like Domino Workflow is), such as MQSeries Workflow. Workflow
products can simply use a different workflow definition and therefore aim at
different goals. Getting the best of each kind of product and combining them
can lead to a very high level of efficiency without restricting people from
doing what they can do best: deal with highly complex situations using their
experience, judgment and creativity.
What is Domino Workflow?
In the first part of this chapter we introduced some characteristics of a
workflow system, in the second part we discussed the advantages of a
standard workflow tool, and in this section we focus on some of the main
concepts underlying the workflow tool that is the subject of this book,
Domino Workflow. A conceptual overview of the product is included here;
the architecture is discussed in the next chapter, and the technical issues are
presented in the rest of this book.
Business process orientation
The main focus of Domino Workflow is business processes. Therefore,
if you want to introduce workflow into your organization, you should
start by focusing on the ways in which work gets done in your company.
Don’t be concerned with the technical implementation details at first;
instead concentrate on your company, your business processes, and the
way to get things done more quickly and efficiently. Domino Workflow
provides an organized approach to help you think about your company’s
goals and the best way to achieve them. To help you visualize what are
otherwise abstract concepts, the Domino Workflow Architect lets you draw
your processes as a flowchart of activities that have one starting point and
Chapter 1: Workflow 11
proceed towards a specific goal. Drawing such a flowchart lets you not only
define your workflow, but also helps you to focus on the important thingsyour business processes.
Activity orientation
To complete a process various things have to happen. Such things are
represented in Domino Workflow as activities. Activities are groups of tasks
that lead towards reaching an overall goal of the process. Each such group of
tasks is performed by one person and can include additional sub-goals that
should be reached by this person. All activities are connected through logical
relationships that define the order in which they have to be worked on. As
some parts of the work can be done automatically, there are also automated
activities in this model. Such an approach lets you easily understand what
happens in your business process, why it happens, and what the previous
and following actions are. Passing the right information between activities
and putting it into the right context are key capabilities of Domino Workflow.
People orientation
As we mentioned previously, introducing workflow in an office environment
is different from automating a production plant. You don’t want to automate
the way people think, and you don’t want to deprive them of their creativity.
Domino Workflow has been designed with a people-oriented approach to
workflow: you have to put people working on problems in the middle of
your picture. Domino Workflow doesn’t interfere with the way you do your
job — it takes away the burden of deciding what to do after you have finished
your part of the work. It may also help you to automate some parts of the
process, but that’s not its main focus. Domino Workflow is about improving
organizational effectiveness and knowledge management and not about, for
instance, automating the way your fax gateway works. You can try to use it
for such an automation also, but you shouldn’t focus entirely on that. Domino
Workflow is at its best bringing structure into areas in which Domino excels:
organizing the work of various people, helping them to cooperatively work
on shared goals, and coordinating their efforts to reach their goal. Using it for
such a purpose lets you leverage its possibilities and guarantees you a lot of
satisfaction by reaching your goals. If you can put people in the middle of
your processes, you can use Domino Workflow.
Document orientation
As Domino Workflow is a product that deals with the business processes
taking place in the office environment, it is document-oriented. It inherited
this approach from Domino/Notes. Documents are very natural things for
people to work with, as they have been dealing with them all their lives.
What’s more, documents let you put all the relevant changing information
12 Using Domino Workflow
into the context of some more static information concerning the task you want
to perform at the given moment. Domino Workflow moves the documents
around, passing them to the appropriate people, taking care of the access
rights and letting the work move smoothly. Work tends to have more
complex content than just a single document: workflow allows you to do all
the operations on a whole set of documents connected logically into binders.
The way Domino Workflow does all these things is described visually at the
process modeling stage, so you don’t have to bother with these actions on the
Domino/Notes level. All this logic is hidden from the users working in their
normal environment — except for the elements you want them to see, and
mechanisms allowing them to influence the course of actions defined.
Integration into Lotus Domino/Notes
One of the most important strengths of Domino Workflow is its integration
with Domino/Notes. Domino Workflow is fully integrated into this platform,
leveraging all its capabilities. The parts used to define processes and their logic
are not essential to deploying the product at run time. At run time you are
dealing only with pure Domino/Notes databases containing some design
elements, scripts, and agents. That’s why you don’t have to worry about
integration issues. If you need to connect to any other product to which you
have successfully connected Domino, it will work exactly the same way with
Domino Workflow. You don’t need to worry about running any additional
tasks on your server: Domino Workflow uses only some LotusScript agents.
The forms you use are Domino/Notes forms, the actions and scripts as well.
You can use the knowledge about Domino/Notes you already have, so it
won’t be necessary to learn any new programming techniques. You will have
to understand the architecture of Domino Workflow to make the most of it,
but as soon as you have done so, you’ll be able to build many new features
yourself. You will always stay in the same environment. For this reason you
can build workflow for Domino/Notes on your own. Thus, Domino Workflow
is an enhancement to the Domino platform using only the features of the
platform. On the other hand, you shouldn’t forget how much time and effort it
takes to develop such a complex tool.
Integration with other systems
As we already mentioned, Domino Workflow can be integrated with any
other system that can be integrated with Domino. It does not need its own
interfaces, but uses those of Domino. There are real-world examples of
integration with SAP R/3, Domino.Doc, Domino Enterprise Connection
Services ( DECS) and other systems. A later chapter in this book is devoted
to the topic of integration, mainly to show that it is nothing to fear.
Chapter 1: Workflow 13
Summary
In this chapter we presented a discussion about workflow, the kinds of
problems it deals with and some of its most important aspects. We
described the workflow approach taken by Domino Workflow. We also
explained why it may be wise to use a workflow development and
management tool instead of programming it yourself. Finally, we
introduced Domino Workflow to you in a very general way.
14 Using Domino Workflow
Chapter 2
Domino Workflow architecture
In this chapter we discuss the architecture of Domino Workflow. To do this we
will introduce some basic concepts used to create workflow, the components
required to deploy workflow along with their interdependencies, and some
scenarios that you might use in order to customize the architecture according
to your needs. We don’t intend to describe all the concepts and dependencies,
as you can find them in the product documentation. Much more important for
us is to establish a general understanding of Domino Workflow and the way
that it works.
Basic concepts of Domino Workflow
We start our discussion by introducing a simple, general scenario that shows
how the work gets done. This scenario does not show any real situation. It is
purposely abstract, to best introduce the terms of Domino Workflow and its
basic architecture. We can introduce this concept more easily only in the
context of an office environment. Here is the scenario:
Something happens. You create a document to write down what happened.
If it’s required, you pass this document to someone else. The next person
works on the document, and afterwards passes it on to someone who will
work on it further. Some time later, after the work is done, the case is closed
and the document gets archived. It is a typical way in which things get done
in the example company. We can illustrate it with a simple figure:
Requirement
Register the case
Work on the case
Close the case
Type text
Archive
15
Binder concept
It may also happen that the content of the work requires more then one
document. In that case you can create a binder consisting of multiple
documents that will be passed between people. This is also how Domino
Workflow works. You have binders consisting of a logical collection of
documents being passed between people. Each binder consists of a binder
cover, which is a document containing information about the overall
content of the work; then you have one main document that stores the most
important information relevant to your business case; and finally you have
a collection of other documents containing the rest of the information
related to this particular business case. All these documents will be passed
around together among the people who play a part in solving a business
case. The following figure illustrates the structure of a binder:
Binder
Main Document
Cover
Main Content
of a Business Case
Workflow-related
Information
Binder Documents
Additional Content
We should also mention that a binder is only a logical structure. There is no
physical connection between the parts of a binder. Such an approach allows
for flexibility when customizing Domino Workflow, as you can show only
parts of a binder to your users and refer to its other parts only internally.
Activities and their owners
Every business case has particular people working on it. They are called
activity owners, since the binder is their responsibility at some point in time.
There is only one person working on a binder at one time (excluding cases of
parallel work, which will be discussed later on). Therefore, there is always one
activity owner at any given time. As Domino Workflow is people-oriented, so
are the activities. All the work that has to be completed by one person before
passing the binder to the next person is grouped in one activity. One activity
can contain diverse tasks, but as long as one person is in charge of them, they
16 Using Domino Workflow
shouldn’t be modeled as separate activities. (There are some circumstances
when you might do this, but it’s a complex process that involves extending the
basic model underlying Domino Workflow.) For example, consider the tasks
of reading incoming mail, classifying it, and putting some comments on it. If
one person will do the classifying and commenting, both tasks would be part
of one activity. If one person classifies the mail and another person comments
it, you would model it as two activities.
Activity A
Type text
Person A
Task X
Task Y
Task Z
Activity B
Task Q
Task R
Task S
Person B
Activity C
Person C
Task K
Task L
Task M
Important Always remember that an activity is a group of tasks related to
one person. Splitting your activity into many smaller ones would have a big
impact on the performance of your system, since some agents have to be run
between activities, and all workflow fields have to be evaluated. Therefore,
new activity always implies a new person being in charge of a business case.
Note Not all the activities have people assigned to them. There are also
automated activities included in the model. In automated activities various
tasks can be defined that are based on the context and don’t require human
interaction. Such tasks can include sending an e-mail, executing an agent, or
running an executable on the server. The visual representation of automated
activities differs from that used for the standard people-oriented activities.
Chapter 2: Domino Workflow architecture 17
Routing relations: defining the flow
It is typical for most business cases that there are a number of ways of
handling them. To create a workflow you have to model all of the ways.
Your model must contain not only activities that are used in one particular
business case, but also activities that might be used in some other case of
the same process. All these activities are related to each other in a specific
way, which is described as a routing relation and symbolized through a
unidirectional connector that shows who is passing a binder to whom. The
following figure shows possible activities involved in one kind of business
scenario that are connected through the appropriate routing relations:
A
If x = 10 then go to B
If x <> 10 then go to C
B
C
The same scenario can be illustrated using Domino Workflow Architect,
which will be introduced later on; the next figure shows this:
Activity A
X <> 10
X = 10
Activity B
Activity C
Since not all activities will take place in any one particular case, not all the
routing relations are the same. Domino Workflow offers you the possibility
of defining when each particular way should be taken. You can make this
choice by setting the attributes of the connection.
18 Using Domino Workflow
The next figure shows you all the possible attributes of the routing relation:
You can decide to forward a binder along a routing relation in any case
(Always), you can let the activity owner choose exactly one of the exclusive
choice routing relations (Exclusive choice), or you can let this person choose
any number of routing options (Multiple choice). There is also the possibility
of defining the routing relation without the user’s action, based on the job
content evaluated through any formula you want to write (Condition). The
last available possibility (Else) should always be included in an activity
where all the outgoing routing relations are multiple choice or conditions.
This routing relation is switched on only if all other routing relations do not
fulfill their conditions. Such a connection saves many jobs from producing
an error. It is possible to combine any kind of routing relations leaving one
activity; they all evaluate independently from each other.
Process map: visual process definition
In Domino Workflow you define your processes visually using a tool called
Domino Workflow Architect (henceforth referred to as simply Architect).
This tool is used to draw a model of your process, including the start and
end points, activities, and routing relations between them. The diagrammatic
representation of your process is called a process map.
Chapter 2: Domino Workflow architecture 19
The following figure shows an example of a process map designed with
Domino Workflow Architect. It shows a sample of processing a purchase
order; you can find a similar process in the sample database delivered with
the product.
> 1000
Start
Initiate
Controlling
<= 1000
CC Approve
Approval
CC Deny
Manager Deny
Approve > 1000)
Approve <= 1000)
Multiple Source
Always
Options
Bids
Single Source
Select
Vendor
Purchase
Order denied
Issue
Purchase
Order
End
Verify
Contract
Complete
It contains a starting point, an end point, and some activities between them.
The activities are connected through various types of routing relations. A
process map illustrates exactly the workflow you will use later on, as Domino
Workflow will translate its content into a process definition as soon as you
activate a process.
Potential activity owners versus activity owners
Creating a general scenario of a business case generally doesn’t allow you to
define exactly who will be working on each activity. For each activity there
will probably be a group of people who could be working on it. It is usually
quite impossible to decide in advance which member of such a group will be
available and have enough time to work on a specific case. Therefore, in
modeling you are not defining the actual activity owners (the individuals
who will take the responsibility for an actual case) but potential activity
owners — people who could take charge of a case.
20 Using Domino Workflow
Important When designing a process, you always assign potential activity
owners to activities. Actual activity owners will have to claim their
responsibility for a specific business case. There can be many potential
activity owners for one activity but there is always one actual activity
owner — the one who claimed the responsibility for an existing activity.
Previous Activity
T ype text
Activity with
potential activity
owners
Work on the case
Activity with an
activity owner
Work on the case
Claim the
(responsibility for
the) activity
Next Activity
Using groups and roles
When designing your workflow, avoid using specific people as potential
activity owners. When you create groups and roles as participants in your
processes, instead of individuals, you can save a lot of work as things change
in your company. The process can remain the same, with changes made only
to your underlying organization structure and not in the processes themselves.
Otherwise, you might end up changing your processes very often, much more
often than the logic of your processes changes. Domino Workflow offers you
the possibility of defining various kinds of groups in its Organization
Directory.
Important Always try to assign roles and groups to your processes instead of
using person names. It will save you a lot of effort in maintaining your work.
Processes and their instances: jobs
After you design your activities and potential owners, as well as the
documents that will be used in the process, you can activate your process. To
activate a process means writing its definition on a specific database (Process
Definition Database), allowing business cases to be worked on according to
the rules you defined. Each business case based on this process is called a job.
You need to distinguish clearly between processes and jobs. A process
contains all the rules and possibilities and a job is a particular instance of
such a process revolving around one business case.
Chapter 2: Domino Workflow architecture 21
Process:
All possible
activities with
potential activity
owners
Job:
Actual activities
with activity
owners
Activity
Activity
Activity
Activity
Activity
Activity
Activity
Activity
Activity
Activity
Activity
Activity
Activity
Activity
Activity
Activity
Important A process is an overall abstract definition of all activities that
might happen in a business scenario, containing as well the rules of work on
all its business cases and potential activity owners. A job is one specific
business case, with its data, history, activity owners working on it, and applied
rules of handling it. There are multiple jobs based on the same process.
There are three more important concepts that relate to the process models.
First is the process owner, the second concerns the way a team works, and
the third describes the way parallel paths work.
Managing existing processes: job owners
A job owner is a person or a group of persons that have overall control of the
execution of one process; that is, they are responsible for one kind of
business scenario. A job owner doesn’t always have to decide how things
should be handled or necessarily have to participate in defining a process.
This is the responsibility of a process owner — the person who designs a
process in Architect and activates it. The job owner also doesn’t have to be
involved in every business case, at least as long as everything goes smoothly.
On the other hand, job owners have to know the structure of the process
very well, since they may be asked to intervene at any point in the process,
to take over the job of any people involved in any specific case, or delegate
the responsibility. If any errors or unpredictable behavior occurs at run time,
the process owners get a notification and are expected to intervene and to
22 Using Domino Workflow
solve the problem. Job owners are administrators of the processes; they
should always be looking at the whole picture. You will probably want to
assign this function to some of your managers, or at least to the most
experienced people involved in any process.
Acti vity
Acti vity
Acti vity
Activity
Acti vity
Acti vity
Acti vity
Acti vity
Acti vity
Acti vity
Acti vity
Acti vity
Activity
Activity
Activity
Activity
Acti vity
Activity
Acti vity
Job owner
Activity
Activity
Acti vity
Acti vity
Activity
Acti vity
Acti vity
Acti vity
Activity
Acti vity
Acti vity
Acti vity
Acti vity
Acti vity
Acti vity
Acti vity
Acti vity
Acti vity
Job owner is set at the time of defining a process and belongs to the process
definition. As illustrated in the previous figure, a job owner is supposed
to know the process at every stage, and to take a look at any instance of
the job at any time something goes wrong that can’t be fixed by the current
activity owner. It is also the job owner’s responsibility to watch over the
time restrictions and workload for each workflow participant. Unlike the
case with activity owners, who can vary by various jobs, the job owner
group stays constant for all the jobs belonging to one process (although it
may vary if you change members of the group, which is one more reason
to use groups instead of persons when modeling your processes).
Note If you define job owner as a group, it will be resolved to people at the
time a new job is created. Therefore, all later changes of the group members
don’t change the context of the existing jobs. You have to be aware of this in
order to check your existing jobs after major organizational changes; there is
no automation that will do it for you.
Chapter 2: Domino Workflow architecture 23
Team concept
One more concept that has to be introduced at this point is the team concept.
Everybody knows what a team is: a group of people working together to reach
a common goal. In terms of Domino Workflow, a team is a group of people
working on one activity. In Domino Workflow there is one special thing about
a team: each team has a leader who takes responsibility for this activity, and
who is the activity owner of this activity. The activity owner is the only person
who can decide when the activity is completed. All the other team members
can work on the case, and compose and edit related documents, but they can’t
decide when the activity is completed because they are not responsible for
making this decision. In this definition of a team it will always be possible later
on to identify a person responsible for all the actions of the team, also in the
situation in which this particular person was only coordinating the actions of
the other team members.
Previous Activity
Current Activity
Type text
Next Activity
Activity
Owner
Team
Parallel paths: splitting up your binder
When there are multiple paths coming from one activity, there are two
possibilities. One is that only one path can be taken for each specific business
case, and other paths remain inactive for that case. However, in many
situations it is much more effective for several people to simultaneously
work on the binder. Domino Workflow allows multiple participants to work
on the same document only in the team scenario, where there is an activity
owner who can take care of potential save or replication conflicts. All the
other scenarios of parallel work are realized using multiple copies of the
binder. This allows you to put the parallel paths on different servers or in
multiple domains, thereby avoiding most of the potential conflict. The cost of
such an approach is the necessity of joining binder copies coming from the
parallel paths. There are various strategies for this that you can choose in the
advanced process and activity properties in the Architect.
24 Using Domino Workflow
Those settings are described in the product documentation.
A
Copy of a binder
Copy of a binder
Parallel paths
B
C
Two binder copies
Join of copies
D
Joined binder
Note If you use multiple paths and are sure that there will never be two
copies of a binder that should be joined, choose the Disable Join property
for these activities. This will spare the agents the necessity of checking for
the conditions to join the binder and speed up routing. Use this property
very carefully, as it can cause a lot of problems if used in the wrong place.
Basic architecture of Domino Workflow
In this section we introduce the main components of Domino Workflow,
describe their importance for the whole system, and show how they relate to
the other parts of the system. This is intended as an overview of the product
architecture; technical discussion and connection details are included in later
chapters and in the product documentation.
Working environment: the workflow engine
The main difference between the various parts of Domino Workflow is when
they are used. Parts such as Viewer are used only for running jobs based on
the process definition; other parts, including Architect and Design Repository,
are required to create a process map and process definition. Finally, there are
parts that are crucial for getting the job done; these parts are collectively called
the workflow engine. The core engine consists of an application database, an
organization directory database, and a process definition database. These can
be enhanced by adding a separate database for the audit trail and archive.
Chapter 2: Domino Workflow architecture 25
You can see the relationship between these databases in the following figure:
Process
Definition
Optional
read
Archive
write
Application
read
Audit Trail
Organization
Directory
Workflow front-end: an application database
An application database is where the real work takes place. In this database
you can store all the information about a business case, check for new work
items, and get information about existing work items. It is also where the
main part of the workflow takes place. Such an application database can be
based on a template delivered with Domino Workflow or it can be any of
your existing databases enriched through some workflow elements (this
subject will be discussed in detail in Chapter 6). You will probably need some
views and elements related to the workflow. You can find detailed
descriptions of the standard elements that ship with the product in the
product documentation. Among the elements are several views for regular
work with the workflow (Inbox for new work items, Personal Workspace for
items that you currently work on, Team, and some others), views that are
important for people overseeing the business cases (that is, for job owners,
who can view jobs sorted on a variety of criteria) , and views for the
administration of Domino Workflow.
26 Using Domino Workflow
The following figure shows all the views that are designed for the standard
work with Domino Workflow:
The next figure shows views built into Domino Workflow that allow the
viewing of all existing jobs sorted on some relevant criteria:
Chapter 2: Domino Workflow architecture 27
Finally, the next figure shows all the views available for administration of
Domino Workflow:
More details about each view can be found in the product documentation.
They are mentioned here just to remind you that they exist and to show you
where they can be found.
Workflow back-end: an application database
An application database is also the place where agents dispatching work run
and the workflow definition is converted to reality. This database is where all
the workflow actions get triggered. On the other hand, it can’t work alone.
Because the data about processes shouldn’t be stored in the same place as the
data concerning a business case (this is a point on which all standardizing
approaches agree), it has to be placed in some other database. This other
database, the process definition database, will be discussed later on. There is
one more view on processes, and it concerns people and organizational
structure. The database that stores such information will be discussed later in
this chapter.
28 Using Domino Workflow
The following figure shows the interaction between the three databases:
Process
Definition
Organization
Directory
Check process definition
Resolve organization members
Assign next participant
Automated workflow
agent
Application
Complete activity
Workflow
participant
Organization model
It is impossible to define workflow without describing its participants. You
have to model your organization and the relationships between its parts, as
well as the possible points where you might automate the transitions of work.
You can do it to some degree using Domino Directory, but you’ll very quickly
notice that this product is not well suited for such a task. Therefore, Domino
Workflow offers you an additional database in which you can model your
organization as it is. This database is called the Organization Directory. You
can use strictly hierarchical departments, hierarchical workgroups, simple
roles, or any combination of all these. Furthermore, you can define any
relationship between the elements you want, and you can evaluate a relationship when needed using information from the content of a business case. (An
example of such a relationship would be the manager of an employee who
creates a request, where an employee would be set at run-time.)
There are also job properties stored in the same database. Job properties are
ready-to-use formulas, extracting some of the job context at run-time, that
can be used in Architect to design the process logic. (An example of a job
property would be an initiator of a particular job.) The database in which all
this information is stored is the organization directory. It is a crucial part of
the workflow engine.
People and groups
Relationships
Substitution Rules
Resources
Organization
Directory
Job Properties
Chapter 2: Domino Workflow architecture 29
It requires some effort to synchronize all your people and groups with the
Domino Directory, but most of it can be easily automated. There are also ways
to eliminate the organization directory, which are described in a later chapter.
The better your organization model is, the more you will be able to get from
your workflow system. Your goal for introducing workflow is probably to get
things done quicker, better, and in a more predictable way. Central to this goal
is a good definition of your organization.
Process definition
A process definition database stores the descriptions of all the processes that
are currently used. It is a Notes database with regular Notes documents in
which information is stored. This is the source of information for the agents
stored in the application database that manage the routing of work between
workflow participants. You can also find information about the previous
versions of the current processes here. The process definitions in this database
are created and activated in the Architect, which is discussed in a later section.
Important Domino Workflow always runs a job with the process version
with which it was started. Therefore, if you want to delete any old process
version from the process definition database, make sure there are no jobs
running with this version. There is no automatic way to do it; you have to
take care of it manually. The only way to physically delete a process from
this database is through the regular Notes mechanisms.
Note You should avoid making changes directly in this database; use
Architect for this purpose instead. Furthermore, copying the whole database
with processes is not allowed, as Domino Workflow uses internal algorithms
using Document Unique IDs. If you copy documents, the document ID will
change and can cause routing errors with various error messages.
Archive
As you don’t have to use the archive, it doesn’t belong to the core of the
workflow engine. However, there are standard views provided for your
convenience to allow for the quick deployment of the archiving functionality.
To use an archive, you must first define it in the organization directory as a
resource. The exact steps for doing this are described in the product documentation. You can also use some other kind of archive in your solution. It
is only necessary to define an e-mail interface in the organization directory
to use the standard mechanisms for archiving provided to you in Domino
Workflow.
30 Using Domino Workflow
Audit trail
Audit trail is another database where you can store workflow information. It is
generally used for a record of who has done what at what time, and it doesn’t
contain the actual content of the work. An audit trail database is optional, and
therefore it doesn’t belong to the core engine. The audit trail information can
be stored in the application database also. This possibility can be useful in
small databases, where it is not crucial to control their size. To gather audit
trail information you have to enable this feature in the Architect, but that’s
already part of setting up a product anyway.
This concludes our review of the parts of the workflow engine. In the next
section we discuss how the engine gets the information on which it performs.
Designing processes
In order to provide the engine with the process definition, you have to
create such a definition using special tools provided by Domino Workflow.
A discussion of these tools and their relationship to the engine follows.
Visual modeling tool: Architect
The most important tool for defining a process is called Domino Workflow
Architect (or just Architect). The Architect is a visual modeling tool that runs
under various versions of the Windows operating system. It is basically
personal software that can be installed on your PC or installed on a network
for multiple users. In either case you’ll have to use a Windows operating
system on your local PC, as well as a Notes client, to run the Architect.
Architect needs your Notes directory as a working directory in order to work.
Important Domino Workflow Architect runs on your local machine, not on a
server. It accesses the Domino server with your identity in order to exchange
data.
Architect
Windows OS
Workflow Engine
Domino Server
+ Lotus Notes
Chapter 2: Domino Workflow architecture 31
If you try to access any element that requires authentication, the Architect
will use your ID together with the password you provide in each session. In
this way all the security mechanisms provided by Lotus Domino/Notes can
be fully utilized. Architect doesn’t change your ID in any way and doesn’t
include mechanisms to save your password. Therefore, you can consider
using it quite safe.
Connecting to the world
In order to define a process you have to connect all the process attributes
into one whole construction. This is exactly what happens in Architect. You
create a new process in a process window (this is a part of Architect on
which you draw a process map by placing activities and connectors and
assigning them attributes). You can use objects that were previously
designed through the Business Object Library, reuse parts of some other
processes that are stored in the Design Repository, or create your own. You
will also need some information concerning forms and other design elements
from the working environment. Therefore you will need to connect to the
application database. On the other hand, to assign people and groups to the
activities, it will be necessary that you connect to the organization directory.
In the end, when the modeling work is done, you will want to write the
information into a process definition database. A connection to this database
also has to be set. All these connections have to be set in Architect.
Organization
Directory
Architect
Design
Repository
Application
Process
Definition
32 Using Domino Workflow
Since there can be various sets of databases you work with, you can define
multiple profiles in Architect. The configuration of any group of databases can
be set or changed by choosing File - Open databases from the pull-down menu.
Storage facility: design repository
The Design Repository is a Notes database intended to be accessed only
through the Architect. It is used to store all of the object information related to
process definitions. It also holds information for processes which have not yet
been activated or completed. This database is only used for this purpose; you
won’t find any views here that help you to work with Domino Workflow, and
no documents containing user readable information. Use of the Architect is
required to make sense of the information stored in this container, or to use
and manipulate it for modeling purposes. The existence of this database is
crucial for developing workflow, but you don’t have to directly monitor its
content.
Using all objects: Business Object Library (BOL)
The Business Object Library is a part of the Architect that allows you to utilize
all available resources required for modeling a process. It tells you where the
resources are located and lets you use them without concern for whether they
are stored in the design repository, organization directory, or application
database. This tool lets you concentrate on designing your processes instead of
looking through various databases for the required elements. Such an
approach speeds up your work, boosting your efficiency.
Chapter 2: Domino Workflow architecture 33
Running your jobs
The whole process of setting up the product and defining your workflow is
aimed at one goal: to make your work on the business cases more efficient. In
this section we discuss how the processes run and what happens when they
are done. It is important to understand this in order to manage the processes
and to avoid problems. When problems do occur, this information is useful to
diagnose and eliminate them.
Initiating a job
In the vocabulary of Domino Workflow, to initiate a new job means to create
a new binder that will gather all the information about a single business case
and be passed between various people according to the rules defined in some
business scenario. Each job has to be assigned to just one scenario. This means
that each job has to be assigned to one active process describing what could
possibly happen to the newly created binder. Each job also needs a job name
to distinguish it from other jobs. The job initiation procedure is illustrated in
the following figure, which also specifies the first workflow step:
Requirement
Register the case
Type text
Choose the appropriate Process
Assign unique job name
Create new job
Work on the case
Close the case
Archive
There are various ways in which a job can be created. The most basic way is
using an action provided in the application database that lets you choose
among active processes available and define a job name. You can also view the
available processes using a Domino Workflow Viewer (referred to simply as
the Viewer in the rest of this book), a visual tool that is discussed later in this
chapter. You can also initiate a job through an e-mail (your application has to
be a mail-in database and this initiation method has to be enabled in the
application setup document) or by creating a new document based on a
specific form (appropriate settings have to be made in the application setup
document and some fields have to be added to the form to enable this
method). In addition to being discussed later in this book, all the methods are
described in detail in the product documentation.
34 Using Domino Workflow
Send an e-mail
Create a job manually
Type text
Application
Create a document
manually
or automatically
Working on an activity
As mentioned previously, an activity is a part of a job confined to one person.
An activity can be assigned (or offered) to a group of people, but after you
have decided to work on one particular activity, you have to claim the
responsibility for it. You can do this from the Inbox view or from a binder
document. After you have claimed the activity, you are in charge of it — you
are an activity owner. It means that you are the only person who can declare
this activity as completed. You can allow other people to help you do this
work by designating them as team members (if they haven’t been assigned to
a team through a process default). If you encounter problems in completing
the activity you can delegate the responsibility by reassigning it to some other
person. Domino Workflow provides a standard reassignment feature; see the
product documentation for more details. When you have completed all the
tasks that are part of a particular activity, you must specify that it has been
completed. Only then will Domino Workflow pass the binder to the next
activity described in the process definition.
Routing
Passing the documents over from one activity to the next one is called routing.
There are basically two kinds of routing you can use: client routing and server
routing. The choice of the appropriate routing option is made during the
workflow design process done in Architect.
Client routing is generally preferred for transitions that have to happen
immediately. It causes the workflow agents to run the moment an activity
is completed. However, parts of the script run on your workstation and
you have to wait until they are completed. This waiting time is the main
disadvantage of client routing; it must be weighed against the advantage of
immediate accessibility for the next workflow participant. Server routing
occurs some time after the activity is completed. The agents run on the
server according to their schedule. The main advantage of this way of
routing is quick reaction to commands like activity complete, but it entails
some waiting time between activities.
Chapter 2: Domino Workflow architecture 35
Domino Workflow needs some information in order to pass the binder. Some
of this information is contained in a binder itself, but most of it has to be
collected from the other databases, as described in the general architecture
part of this chapter. Therefore, after the activity is completed, a process
definition has to be recovered from its database, groups and names have to
be resolved using information contained in the organization directory, and
information contained in the workflow-related fields has to be updated. A
successful routing puts the binder into the Inbox of a person or group of
people (or changes the status of the binder to Automation in case of automated
activity following). If it’s impossible to do this, a routing error occurs and a job
owner is notified.
Viewing your job
Domino Workflow includes a visual tool for looking at each of your running
jobs: the Viewer. This tool gives end-users a better orientation in the context
of their job, and provides quick access to the data about a particular job. This
tool can be applied only to existing jobs, and only to get some information.
The first time a Viewer is accessible is when a job is initiated. At this point all
the available processes can be projected visually, along with all their
attributes and rules. Later on, the Viewer can show the route a particular
business case has taken and provide information from which to derive
conclusions concerning remaining time and tasks. To use a Viewer, the option
for storing the right information has to be switched on (in the Application
Setup document), you will need the role of resource user in the organization
directory, and you will need at least reader rights for the binder containing
the job you want to view.
Completing the job
There is no special step to complete the whole job; it happens automatically
when all copies of the binder created in the job have reached a status of
Routing Path Completed. As long as at least one copy of a binder has not
reached that status, the whole job is not completed. There might be multiple
paths leading to the completion of routing. Multiple paths don’t have to be
joined explicitly. At the end of routing, Domino Workflow joins all
documents into a single binder.
36 Using Domino Workflow
Enhancements to the basic architecture
In this section we describe some ways to use the existing architecture of
Domino Workflow in more advanced scenarios. It is not intended as a how-to
guide, but instead it introduces some general ideas of what can easily be done
and some names of the required features. In this way it should provide you
with enough information to understand what has to be done and what features
have to be looked up in the help database provided with the product. To get
detailed information about this feature, consult the product documentation.
Connecting all the parts
This section deals with the technical realization of the Domino Workflow
architecture. This is an overview of the topic; exact details for setting up
Domino Workflow are in the next chapter.
Before you can start designing your process it is necessary to set up the
databases you’ll be working with in Architect. To define a process in
Architect you must first define some resources on the Domino side, and
then create some forms in the application, where your jobs will be running.
Note You can also use your existing forms, as discussed in Chapter 6.
You will need these forms (or at least some dummy versions of them) to
define the basic process and activity forms. If you want to use agents to
automate activities, define them before modeling the process; you will not
be able to use them otherwise. To assign the right actors to your process you
should have a model of your organization in your organization directory.
Also, any external resources you want to use should be defined in the
organization directory.
The organization directory database contains not only people, groups and
relations between them; but also job properties, out-of-office profiles, and
resources. In this section we discuss the kinds of resources that can be
stored there and used to design processes.
The first kind of a resource is an application database. It has to be defined in
the organization directory in order to make routing between multiple
applications possible. The definition of the application has to contain its
name (in exactly the same form as in the application setup document) and its
mail address.
The next kind of resource is a client-driven program that allows you to
assign some resources to a job on a process level in the Architect.
Chapter 2: Domino Workflow architecture 37
Mail addresses allow you to communicate with people or applications not
included in your organization directory. Mail addresses are also places on
which you can define the location of your archive and audit trail databases
in case you want to use them (they have to be declared as mail-in databases
in the Domino Directory as well).
The application database also needs some configuration. One application
works with exactly one process definition database and one organization
directory. Both of those databases have to be specified in the application setup
document (accessed by choosing View - Administration - 1. Application Setup
from the pull-down menu). In addition, the application database itself must be
defined in this database to allow routing between various applications and to
enable a Web user interface.
The rest of the components do not have to be specially set up (except for
their access control), as they play only a passive role in the workflow and
are accessed through other components.
38 Using Domino Workflow
Using multiple applications
As it might not always be appropriate to run all your jobs at all their stages
in the same application, there are some other possibilities to consider. This
section briefly introduces some of them. The purpose is to show you what is
possible without stretching Domino Workflow out of the defined borders.
Some of the scenarios are:
•
Distributing your workflow on more than one server through replicas
of your application database.
To use this strategy you will also have to replicate the process definition
database and organization directory. Be very careful to avoid the
possibility of various people taking responsibility for the same binder
(claiming it) at the same time on two different servers. You will have to
know exactly who works on which server and on each activity to compose
its potential owners from people doing their work on the same server.
Process
Definition
Process
Definition
Application
Application
Organization
Directory
Organization
Directory
Chapter 2: Domino Workflow architecture 39
•
Multiple applications working with the same process definition
database.
This might be an interesting scenario for high volume processes with a
lot of jobs. In such a case you might want to have a separate application
for each process. You can decide which process will be available in each
application by setting an appropriate filter in the setup documents of
the applications.
Process
Definition
Application
Organization
Directory
Application
•
Multiple applications working with the same process.
You might have the same process running in different parts of the
organization, with each part having their own organization directory with
the same roles resolving to different people. It is of no importance for this
scenario whether the applications are on the same or on different servers.
Process
Definition
Application
Application
40 Using Domino Workflow
Organization
Directory
Organization
Directory
•
Hierarchical processes.
It is possible to substitute a single activity in your process with a whole
other process (this is called a subprocess). In such a case the second process
can run in the same or any other application, using process definitions
stored in an appropriate database. Actually, you don’t have to know the
exact process definition of your subprocess, as it is referenced in the main
process only through its name and an application database. Such a
construction allows for distributed process development.
Process
Definition
Application
Process
Definition
Application
Organization
Directory
Organization
Directory
There are many other scenarios possible, but we don’t want to discuss all the
possibilities in this chapter. We are only trying to show some of the standard
possibilities which should give you an awareness of the product flexibility
and the ability of Domino Workflow to scale up to your needs.
Using alternative organization models
As mentioned previously, it is not necessary to use the organization directory
provided by Domino Workflow. You can use Domino Directory instead, or,
as a matter of fact, you can use any other organization model Domino can use
such as the Lotus Solution Architecture Organization Directory. This allows
the use of all the elements offered by the interface without knowing what
kind of organization structure is used on the other end.
You should carefully consider whether external directories offer all the
information and functionality that is required for your long term workflow
needs. We can only challenge you to come up with some relatively complex
scenario that you may want to automate in the future, and to check whether
you can make a workflow out of it using an alternative organization
directory. Make your final decision about which directory to use only after
you have done the checking. (You don’t have to come up with a working
prototype, but you should check the logic of routing against all concepts
and architecture).
Chapter 2: Domino Workflow architecture 41
Summary
In this chapter we discussed some basic characteristics of Domino
Workflow. We introduced a few basic concepts underlying this product as
well as its basic architecture. You should know by this time what a binder is
and what parts it contains, what an activity is and how you should group
tasks to design efficient activities. You should also know what an activity
owner is and how an activity owner differs from potential activity owners.
The concept of a team working on one activity under the leadership of an
activity owner should be clear to you. We also hope that you can easily
distinguish between an abstract process and its instances, called jobs. The
idea of the workflow engine consisting of three databases that don’t need
any other part to run workflow should also be clear to you. You should
know that Architect and its design repository are a separate part of the
product required only to define the processes or to change them, working
visually. You will need all these basics to understand the following
chapters, which discuss some aspects of Domino Workflow in detail. We
hope that the process of product configuration will be easier now that you
have learned how various parts of it interact. We also hope your overall
understanding of the product will let you design better, more efficient
processes.
42 Using Domino Workflow
Chapter 3
Installation and basic setup of Domino Workflow
This chapter takes you step-by-step through a very basic, simple installation
and setup of the Domino Workflow Release 2.0 product components. The
aim is to get you to a state where you can start developing your first Domino
Workflow application as quickly as possible.
Many of the advanced and more detailed aspects of setup and configuration
are not covered here. Find this information in later chapters and in the
product documentation.
This book assumes that you know how to use Notes and Domino as a
developer or administrator. If you are new to Notes and Domino, you may
want to read this redbook first:
•
Lotus Domino R5.0: A Developer’s Handbook, IBM form number
SG24-5331, Lotus part number CC7EDNA
Overview of the setup procedure
The following list gives the required steps for setting up a basic Domino
Workflow development environment. Later in this chapter each step is
discussed in detail.
The required steps, in the order you should perform them, are:
1. Install the product components on your client workstation.
2. Replicate the database templates and Help database to a Domino
server.
3. On the server, create four databases:
• A design repository database
• A process definition database
• An organization directory database
• An application database
4. Enable and sign agents in the organization directory and application
databases.
5. Create and configure setup documents in the organization directory
and application databases.
43
6. Set the Access Control Lists (ACL) for the four databases.
7. Populate the Organization Directory with some Person documents.
Tip Use this list as a checklist to make sure that you did all the steps
required for a successful installation.
Before you begin
The minimum requirements to install Domino Workflow are the following:
•
The Domino Workflow 2.0 product
You can also use Domino Workflow 2.0, but there will be minor user
interface differences. You can download a trial version of Domino
Workflow from the Lotus Web site at:
http://www.lotus.com/workflow
•
A Domino server R4.6.1 or higher for running and testing your
application.
•
A Windows 95/98/NT/2000 workstation with:
• Domino Designer R5.0 and Domino Administrator R5.0
Domino Administrator R5.0 comes together with Domino Designer
R5.0. You need it to be able to sign database templates. The ability to
sign templates is included with Notes Designer for Domino R4.6.
or
• Notes Designer for Domino R4.6
From now on we will refer to either of the development clients as simply
Domino Designer.
Domino server requirements
We recommend that you use a “sandbox” server for your initial development
of Domino Workflow applications. That way you will not affect your
company’s day-to-day work while “playing” with Domino Workflow.
You will need certain access rights on the server. In addition, there are
minimum platform requirements.
Your Access Rights on the Server
To create and configure the Domino Workflow databases you must have
the following access rights on the Domino Server:
•
Ability to create databases.
44 Using Domino Workflow
•
Ability to run (at least) restricted agents. To be on the safe side it’s
better to be able to run unrestricted agents.
If you are not the server administrator, contact that person and ask to have
the above permissions set for your Notes ID. This is done in the “Security”
section in the Domino Directory server document for your server.
Admin ID
It may also make sense to create an ID for a non-existing user in order to
administer Domino Workflow, as recommended in the product. You then
use the Domino Workflow Admin ID, instead of your own Notes ID, when
creating the databases and enabling the agents. This lets you send all the
mail and messages generated by Domino Workflow to the administrator ID,
instead of yourself. It also makes it easier to trace the problems generated
by Domino Workflow. If you use such an ID, make sure that it has all the
required rights, as described above.
From now on we will assume that the Notes ID you are using has the rights to
create databases and run unrestricted agents on the server where we are
installing.
Installing product components on the workstation
The following components make up the Domino Workflow installation kit:
•
Architect program files
The installation process will install the Architect program and put
shortcuts in the Windows Start Menu.
•
Engine files
The templates used when creating Domino Workflow databases.
•
Help database
A Domino database containing the online help for Domino Workflow.
•
User guides
PDF files covering topics such as installation, configuration, getting
started with Domino Workflow, and the Viewer.
•
Samples
Databases containing sample workflow applications and processes.
Note These are not the same samples used in this Redbook.
Chapter 3: Installation and basic setup of Domino Workflow 45
•
The Viewer
The installation procedure is straightforward. You start it by running
the setup.exe, found either on the product CD or in the directory where
you placed the unzipped download files.
Step through the dialog boxes that ask for your registration information
and whether you accept the licensing agreement.
Note A Notes Client must be installed on the machine that you are using
for the installation. If there is no Notes Client, the installation program will
terminate without installing any of the components.
Note If you have more than one copy of the Notes Client, a dialog box asks
which copy you want to use for Domino Workflow. You may choose only one.
Choosing the components to install
Next you are asked to choose what components to install and where to put
them. The components are shown in the following figure:
At minimum, select the Architect, Engine and Help components for
installation. However, it’s a good idea to install all the components now.
You can also change the installation locations for the components. To do so,
click on the individual Browse button for a component.
Continue through the other dialog boxes until the installation program
finishes.
46 Using Domino Workflow
Creating your work environment on a server
So that various members of your organization are able to develop workflow
applications, you should create the workflow templates on a server. To ensure
that your local product version reflects the version on the server, we
recommend creating replicas of the templates and databases instead of copies.
The following list shows the elements that you should replicate to the server:
•
The Help database, DWF_Help_21_en.nsf
Note The Help database is installed with replication temporarily
disabled. Enable replication on your local copy before replicating to the
server. Afterwards, disable replication for both the local and server
copies. Databases that don’t change, such as help databases, usually
have replication turned off.
•
The template files:
• DWF_Application_21_en.ntf
• DWF_Archive_21_en.ntf
• DWF_AuditTrail_21_en.ntf
• DWF_DesignRepository_21_en.ntf
• DWF_OrganizationDirectory_21_en.ntf
• DWF_ProcessDefinition_21_en.ntf
Note The design elements in the templates are signed by “Administrator/
DominoWorkflow.” To avoid problems with Execution Control Lists (ECL),
you should sign the design elements in the templates before you replicate.
To see the templates in the template list, place them in the root of your
server directory. For the Help database you can choose any place on the
server.
Creating Domino Workflow databases on the server
For the minimal initial setup of Domino Workflow, you need to create only
four databases out of the possible six types:
•
A Design Repository database
•
A Process Definition database
•
An Organization Directory database
•
An Application database
Create these databases from the Notes Client on your workstation.
Chapter 3: Installation and basic setup of Domino Workflow 47
General database creation procedure
Use the following steps to create each of the four databases:
1. Select File - Database - New in the Notes Client to get the New
Database dialog box (see the following figure).
2. Enter the name of your development server.
3. Enter a title and file name for the database.
Tip Put your databases in a subdirectory so you can find them easily.
4. Click Template Server.
5. Select or type the name of your development server in the dialog box
that pops up. Click OK.
6. Select the Domino Workflow template for the kind of database you are
creating. For instance, select “DWF Design Repository” when creating a
design repository database.
Note All the Domino Workflow templates have DWF as the first part
of their title.
7. Click OK to create the database.
48 Using Domino Workflow
Enabling and signing Domino Workflow Engine agents
The Application and Organization Directory databases you just created each
have scheduled server agents that need to be enabled. As you enable them,
they will be signed with the user ID you use. Therefore, you should have
permission to run unrestricted Lotus Script Agents on your development
server.
Note In practice, the authors of this book have found that the right to run
is only necessary if you run executables as part of automated activities. If
your server administrator is cautious about giving you unrestricted agent
rights, and you are not planning to run executables in automated activities,
you can settle for the lesser right to run restricted agents.
Enabling the agents in the Application database
Open the Agents view in the Application database that you just created.
Enable the following scheduled agents:
•
OS Domino Workflow Backgrounder
This is the main workflow agent that triggers all the routing actions.
•
OS Administration
This agent triggers administrative actions like cache update or archive.
•
OS TimeManagement Backgrounder
This agent triggers all actions devoted to keeping track of time settings.
As you enable each agent, you should also specify your development server
as the server where the agent runs.
Enabling the agents in the Organization database
Open the Agents view in the organization directory database that you just
created. Enable all the scheduled agents:
•
Delete temp Forms
•
OrganizationCheck
•
OS LockCheck
•
OS EXPAND CACHE
•
OS EXPAND CACHE scheduled
As you enable each agent, you should also specify your development server
as the server where the agent runs.
Chapter 3: Installation and basic setup of Domino Workflow 49
Configuring the Organization Directory database
For the kind of simple, “quick start” setup this chapter describes, there are
only a few things you have to do to configure your Organization Directory
database.
Later, when you design more advanced workflows or when you place your
application into production, you may have to change or add to these settings.
For instance, you may have to decide later who should carry the responsibility
for the organization directory. Or you may want to configure for pasting in
documents from custom databases.
The minimal configuration steps are:
•
Create a Setup document.
•
Make sure that all the people who will be making any changes in the
organization directory are listed in this document.
Caution Only people defined in organization setup as organization
owners are allowed to paste, import, or create person documents.
Also, only organization owners can change documents. Therefore,
we recommend strongly that, in the introductory phase, you list all the
people who will be evaluating Domino Workflow in the organization
directory. However, this setting has to be changed as soon as you switch
to production.
•
Additionally, specify settings for pasting documents into the database. It’s
not a required action, but we paste person documents from the Domino
Directory to populate the organization directory later on in our example.
Creating the setup document
To create the setup document:
1. Open the Administration - Setup view in your Organization Directory
database.
2. Click the view action button Create Setup document.
50 Using Domino Workflow
A new setup document opens in edit mode. It will look like the following
figure:
Configuring the setup document
Follow these steps to configure the Organization Directory database:
1. By default, the Organization Directory Owner field contains the current
user ID. Add the IDs of all people who will be in charge of the
Organization Directory or will want to do any changes in it. Only
people listed in the setup document will be able to perform actions such
as importing or creating people or group documents and changing the
setup document.
If you are using an Admin ID, add your own user ID as well.
Note Do not delete the Admin ID just yet. You can do so later when
you have added yourself to the Access Control List.
Chapter 3: Installation and basic setup of Domino Workflow 51
2. Expand the “Settings for pasting documents” section. Then expand the
“Person documents” and “Workgroup documents” sections under that,
as shown in the following figure:
3. The default paste setup for pasting person and workgroup documents
assumes that data will be copied from another Organization Directory
database.
Change the paste setup to work with documents coming from a Domino
Directory by clicking the buttons that set paste setup to Domino Directory
or Notes N&A book. The names in the fields under the buttons will
change. For instance, the next figure shows how the “Person documents”
fields changes after you click that button.
52 Using Domino Workflow
4. Close and save the setup document.
Configuring the Application database
For the kind of simple, “quick start” setup this chapter describes, there are
only a few things you have to do to configure your Application database.
Later, when you design more advanced workflows or when you place your
application into production, you may have to change or add to these settings
in various sections. Many possible settings are described in the scenarios
found in later chapters of this book. You can find information on the rest of
these settings in the product documentation.
The minimal configuration steps are:
•
Create a Setup document.
•
Make sure you are named as the owner of database. This will allow you
to receive notifications if some errors occur (for instance, those relating
to automatic process initiation).
•
Specify the Organization Directory and Process Definition databases
used with this Application database.
Chapter 3: Installation and basic setup of Domino Workflow 53
Creating the setup document
To create the setup document:
1. Open the Administration - Setup view in your Application database.
2. Click the view action button Create Setup document.
A new setup document opens in edit mode. It will look like the following
figure:
Configuring the setup document
Follow these steps to configure your application database:
1. By default, the Application Owner field contains the current user ID.
If that is your ID, just leave it there.
If you are using an Admin ID, add in your own user ID as well.
2. Specify the information for the Organization Directory and Process
Definition databases used with your application.
Tip Instead of typing in the database information, use the Location
buttons. You then select a path name from the list of databases on your
server. When you click OK, the title, path name, and replica ID are set
in the setup document.
3. Close and save the setup document.
54 Using Domino Workflow
Setting the Access Control Lists for the databases
You can find full documentation and discussion of Access Control List
(ACL) settings for the various Domino Workflow databases in:
•
The Domino Workflow Help 2.0 database. For each database type there is:
• An “About” document that discusses the different kinds of users of
that database and the ACL settings for those users.
• A “How Do I” document that puts the above information into a
table.
Tip You can quickly find all these documents under “ACL Settings” in
the Index view.
•
The Administrator’s Guide for Configuring the Domino Workflow Engine.
This is an Adobe Acrobat file that comes with the installation kit.
You can find discussion of ACLs in various places in the document.
Tables of ACL settings, listed by database, are in Appendix A,
“Recommended ACL Settings for the Domino Workflow Engine.”
Quick start ACL settings
After you prototype and test your first few Domino Workflow workflows,
you will need to put the above ACL recommendations in place for your
defined user groups.
For now, however, you need to make sure that your own user ID has “all”
rights and roles in the database ACLs. (This is because you will be acting as
owner, designer, workflow architect user, and workflow participant.)
For each of the four databases, do the following:
1. Add your own full user ID to the ACL if it’s not already there.
2. Give your ID Manager access.
3. For your ID, select all roles that are listed.
4. Add your server to the ACL if it’s not already there.
5. Give your server the same access and roles as the “Involved (Domino
Workflow) servers” entry.
6. Change the Default to No Access.
Note If you have been using an Admin ID you can switch back to your
own Notes ID after changing all the ACLs. From now on you can “be
yourself.”
Chapter 3: Installation and basic setup of Domino Workflow 55
Populating the Organization Directory with person data
This section shows you how to quickly populate your organization directory
with person data from the Domino Directory. As you develop and design
your application and workflows, you will need to organize Persons into
Roles, Workgroups and Departments. Later chapters in this book discuss
how to do that in the context of a scenario.
Importing people or groups from Domino Directory
The easiest way to populate your organization directory is by using the
import feature of Domino Workflow. You must be an organization owner
(according to the organization setup document) to use this feature.
1. Access this feature by selecting the menu item Actions - Import Persons
from N&A Book when you are in the “0. Persons” view, as shown in the
following figure:
2. Choose the Domino Directory from which your organization members
will be imported and commit your choice.
56 Using Domino Workflow
3. Choose some names from the Domino Directory. You can choose more
than one name by marking each on the left side of the dialog box. In one
invocation of the import action you can import a maximum of 700
people into your organization directory. (If you have more people than
that, you can do the import action several times, each time importing
groups consisting of 700 persons or less). After making your choice,
confirm it by clicking OK.
Domino Workflow will confirm the creation of new person documents.
If you try to import people that already exist in your organization directory,
Domino Workflow will generate an appropriate message and import only
those persons that do not exist yet.
Copy and paste from Domino Directory
Another method to populate your organization directory is by copying and
pasting people from the Domino Directory. Use the following steps to do this:
1. Set up the Organization Directory for pasting Person documents from a
Domino Directory. (See the section “Configuring the Organization
Directory database” earlier in this chapter.)
Chapter 3: Installation and basic setup of Domino Workflow 57
2. Open the People view in the Domino Directory.
3. Select the People you want to put into the Organization, as in the
following figure:
4. Select Edit - Copy from the menu.
5. Open the Persons view in the Organization Directory database.
58 Using Domino Workflow
6. Select Edit - Paste from the menu. When the paste is finished you will
see a status message, as shown in the next figure:
Review your basic setup
Take time to double check that you have completed all the steps in the basic
setup. Did you complete each of the seven steps listed at the beginning of
this chapter, in the section “Overview of the setup procedure”? If so, you
are now ready to begin designing your first procedure.
Summary
In this chapter we described the process of setting up a simple working
environment for Domino Workflow. If you have done everything as described,
you’ll be able to develop workflow processes using the steps discussed in the
next chapter, and you will be able to run your jobs in this newly created
environment. We remind you that for real production workflows it will be
necessary to make some configuration adjustments, for instance, concerning
access rights to the databases. The environment that we created here should
only be used to learn how to use Domino Workflow and for trying out its
various features.
Chapter 3: Installation and basic setup of Domino Workflow 59
Chapter 4
Defining your first process
Once you have created and configured a basic set of Domino Workflow
databases, as outlined in the previous chapter, you can begin defining your
first Domino Workflow process and application.
In this chapter you will learn process design “by example;” the chapter
takes you, step by step, through several prototype implementations of a
simple workflow process. Each successive prototype will add more
complexity to the process, and at the same time introduce one or more
features of Domino Workflow.
Only “out of the box” features are used. Mastery of these basic features will
give you the capability to design and implement your own nontrivial
workflow applications.
What is involved in process design
As with the development of any application, your first step in defining a
workflow process is to:
•
Understand the elements of the problem to be solved.
•
Find out the requirements that a successful solution is to meet.
•
Choose the components and tools available for use in the solution.
Obviously, Notes, Domino, and Domino Workflow are among the
components and tools that you will use in your solution. But remember,
there may be other tools that can be used. For instance, spreadsheet
programs and graphic editors can play a part in the solution.
Preparing for the process design: the three Ws
If we say that a Domino Workflow process is the implementation of the
answers to the question “Who does what when?”, then a particularly useful
way to organize the facts you gather about your problem is to list each of
them under one of the “Ws” of that question:
•
Who? — Who are the people involved in the workflow? What roles do
they play? How are they organized? Are the groupings flexible and
dynamic? Or more fixed and static?
61
•
What? — What is it that the people do? How do they do what they do?
Do they approve things? Do they create documents? Edit a part of a
document? Call vendors for prices? Plan a campaign? Transfer
information to other people?
•
When? — In what order do people do their tasks. Do they do it
sequentially or in parallel? Are the tasks always done, or only
sometimes? If only sometimes, under what conditions? How long
should each task take?
What is involved in implementing your solution
In general, things involving “Who” mean that you, or an organization
administrator, will create entries in the organization directory database.
“What” items usually pertain directly to the application, and mean that you
or an application developer will design and implement forms in the
Domino Workflow application database.
“When” items are implemented as part of defining a process using the
Domino Workflow Architect. As you implement the process in the
Architect, changes will be made to the design repository and process
definition databases.
When defining a process in the Architect you will have to refer to entries in
the organization database, and to forms in the application database. So it’s
best to start your implementation with those two databases.
The first prototype: a basic scenario to handle customer requests
The sample problem used throughout this chapter is to design and
implement a Domino Workflow application and process that handles
customer requests within a company.
This section describes the implementation of the most basic customer
request workflow process. However, the first prototype of an application
often involves the most upfront work.
In particular, these are the steps you need to do while implementing your
first prototype:
1. Organize what you know about the problem into Who, What and When
categories.
2. Implement the What portion of the prototype by designing forms in the
application database.
3. Implement the Who portion of the prototype by defining the necessary
organizational units in the organization directory database.
62 Using Domino Workflow
4. Prototype the solution by defining a workflow process using the
Domino Workflow Architect program.
5. Activate and test the prototype process.
Defining the tasks to process a customer request
The following are the individual tasks of the basic customer request
scenario:
•
Creation of a customer request record. This record needs to contain:
• Basic information about the customer
• Details of the request
•
Creation of the response to the customer. This involves:
• Writing the response
• Editing the response for presentation to the customer.
•
Research into the development and marketing issues related to the
customer’s request, which may affect the response.
Identifying the workflow participants in the basic scenario
When defining processes, you don’t want to specify actual individuals as
the workflow participants. Instead, you want to identify people by the roles
they play in the process, or by the groups they belong to.
These are the organizational groupings and roles that participate in the
sample customer request process:
•
The people from three of the company’s departments participate, in one
way or another, in the customer request process. These departments
are:
• The Customer Service department
All the members of this department can be main participants in the
customer request process. They are the ones who create a customer
request record and subsequently create the response to that request.
• The Marketing department
Some of the members of this department play a regular and
consistent role in researching marketing issues relating to a request.
Other members of this department only occasionally assist in request
processing.
Chapter 4: Defining your first process 63
• The Development department
As with the marketing department, only some members of the
development department play a regular and consistent role in
researching development issues relating to a request. Other members
of this department occasionally assist in request processing.
•
The people from Marketing and Development who are regularly
involved in request research can be thought of as a “workgroup”.
Workgroups are more flexible organization units than departments.
A person can belong to more than one workgroup, whereas an
individual can only belong to one department.
Although people from different departments can belong to the same
workgroup, for the sample problem the workgroups are defined as two
separate groups, one for each of the two departments:
• A Marketing Research workgroup
• A Development Research workgroup
•
While, as a whole, all members of the Customer Service department
participate in customer request processing, there are subsets of people
in the department who participate in a more enhanced or in a more
limited fashion, or “role”. The roles for the Customer Request process
are:
• The “CS Supervisor” role - people with this role have enhanced
capabilities in the process. For instance, Customer Service
Supervisors can oversee the work of more junior personnel. They are
also the owners of the customer request jobs.
• The “Junior CSR” role. These are customer service representatives in
training. The responses that they write need to be reviewed and
approved by a supervisor before being sent on to a customer.
•
Finally, there is the role played by you in the process. Beside designing
the application and defining the workflow process, you test it by
actually creating jobs and claiming and working on process activities.
You have the role of “Testperson.”
Specifying when the basic application tasks are performed
For the first scenario, the workflow model is a simple, basic, temporal
ordering of the tasks. This is, in fact, the definition of the three activities of
the first process prototype:
1. The Create Request tasks are performed.
2. Marketing and development research tasks are performed.
3. Using any research results from the research activity, the Create
Response tasks are performed.
64 Using Domino Workflow
Implementing the “Who”: define your organizational units in the
organization directory
Define organizational units used by your process in the Organization
Database that you created and configured in the previous chapter. You also
need to have previously populated the organization directory with some
Person documents.
As you define your process using the Architect, you will need to refer to
groups or roles. Therefore, you need to create them before you define your
workflow process.
Create department definitions
For this scenario, you need to create department documents for the
Customer Service department, Marketing department, and Development
department.
To create a new Department definition, do the following:
1. Open the organization directory in Notes.
2. Click Departments in the left navigator to open the Departments view.
3. Click the Create a Department document action button. You will then
see an empty Department document, as in the following figure:
Chapter 4: Defining your first process 65
4. Give a name to the Department. Select the Name button and type in the
name in the dialog box that appears. We used the following three
departments:
• Customer Service
• Development
• Marketing
A department name may contain spaces. However, there are several
special characters that are not allowed. The Name entry dialog box lists
those invalid characters. Click OK to save the name.
5. Click Manager to specify the manager of the department. A dialog box
appears, from which you can pick the name of the person who is the
manager of the department. This is shown in the next figure:
You can choose only one person as the manager. Make your choice and
click OK.
Note The manager of a department is not automatically a member of
the department. For instance, if you specify that a department is a
potential owner of a job, then the manager is not automatically one of
the potential owners. If you want the manager to be considered a
member of the department when you refer to the department by name,
you must add the manager’s name to the Members list in the next step.
66 Using Domino Workflow
6. Assign persons as members of the department. Expand the twisty
beside Members and then click Add next to the Persons box. You will
see a dialog box similar to the following figure:
Select as many people from the list as should be in the department, and
click OK when finished.
A person can belong to only a single department. You will get an error
notification if you chose a person who is already assigned to a
department. You must remove that person from the other department
before you can assign him or her to the new department.
7. For this scenario we are not specifying surrogates for the department.
But if you wish, you can define surrogates.
Note Department surrogates are persons (whether specified
individually or as part of a group) who can act on behalf of the
department when all the regular department members are out of the
office. A person is considered out of the office when an Out-of-Office
Profile document has been created for that person in the organization
directory.
8. Click “Save and create new Department document” to save the
department definition.
Note The new department document does not close after you click
Save. It remains open so that you can create other department
documents.
9. Repeat steps 3 though 7 to create the rest of your department
definitions.
10. When you are finished creating Department documents, click Close to
close the new department window.
Chapter 4: Defining your first process 67
You should then see a view of your departments similar to the following
figure:
Create workgroup definitions
Two workgroups need to be defined for the customer request scenarios:
Marketing Research and Development Research. These workgroups define
the subset of members from their respective departments that deal with
customer requests on a regular basis.
Workgroups are very much like departments, but with these differences:
•
A person can be assigned to more than one workgroup.
•
A workgroup can contain other workgroups as members.
The steps to create workgroups are similar to those to create departments:
1. Open the Workgroups view by selecting the Workgroups button in the
navigator.
2. Open a new workgroup document by clicking the Create a new
Workgroup document action button.
3. In the same manner as you did with departments, name the
workgroup, specify its manager, and add persons as members. In our
example we use the following two workgroups:
• Development Research
• Marketing Research
68 Using Domino Workflow
Note For these scenarios we only assign persons to workgroups. If you
wish to, you can assign other workgroups to the new one you are
defining. In that case use the Add button next to the Workgroups box.
4. Click the action button that lets you save the current document and
create a new workgroup document.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the other workgroup, and then close the new
workgroup window.
The workgroups view now looks like the following:
Chapter 4: Defining your first process 69
Create role documents
Besides being members of departments and workgroups, individuals can
have one or more roles in the organization or workflow processes.
For instance, in our scenarios, there is a role named “CS Supervisor.”
People with this role have enhanced parts to play in the workflow process.
You can create roles documents in a similar manner to departments and
workgroups:
1. Open the Roles view.
2. Select the “Create Role document” action.
3. Name the role.
4. Add persons as members of the role.
5. Save the role document by clicking Save and create new Role
document.
This saves and closes the current role document and opens a new role
document. If you have no more roles to add, simply close the new
document by clicking Close.
For our scenarios create the following three roles:
•
CS Supervisor
•
Junior CSR
•
Testperson
Important Don’t forget to give yourself the Testperson role.
Another way to add or remove members
You can add or remove a person from a department, workgroup, or role by
editing their Person document.
Whenever you make an assignment modification in a Person document, the
relevant workgroup, department, and role documents are updated.
Likewise, member modifications in department, group, and role documents
cause updates to the relevant person documents.
Create a calendar document
A calendar document defines information about your organization’s normal
working hours and holidays.
The Domino Workflow Engine determines whether an activity is overdue
by using the times in the calendar. For instance, if a workflow job is only
supposed to take two business days, specified holidays will not be counted
as part of the job time.
70 Using Domino Workflow
Access the screen to create or edit the calendar document with the menu
selections View -> 8. Administration -> 1. Setup. Use the screen shown in
the following figure to specify and change work days and hours, and to add
or delete holidays.
Implementing the “What”: design your forms in the application
database
Domino Workflow supports the use of multiple forms for the main
document. Thus, at each activity, a document can look and behave in a
manner tailored to the activity’s tasks.
Note How to specify what form to use in an activity is covered in the
sections dealing with process definition. This section only discusses how to
create the main document forms.
The basic customer request scenario uses this multiple forms functionality.
For the first basic scenario we designed three forms in the application
database:
•
“Customer Request 1” form used by the persons creating the request. It
has the following fields:
Field name
Properties
Value
TicketNumber
Text, Computed
when composed
@Unique
CustName
Text, Editable
No default value
continued
Chapter 4: Defining your first process 71
•
Field name
Properties
Value
CustEmail
Text, Editable
No default value
CustAddress
Text, Editable
No default value
CustRequest
Text, Editable
No default value
A “RequestResearch 1” form used by the researchers. It has the
following fields:
Field name
Properties
Value
TicketNumber
Text, Computed
when composed
@If( @IsAvailable(TicketNumber);
TicketNumber; “”)
CustName
Text, Computed
@If( @IsAvailable(CustName);
CustName; “”)
CustRequest
Text, Computed
@If( @IsAvailable(CustRequest);
CustRequest; “”)
ResearchComments Text, Editable
•
@If(
@IsAvailable(ResearchComments);
ResearchComments; “”)
A “ResponseToRequest 1” form used by persons composing the
response to the request. It has the following fields:
Field name
Properties
Value
TicketNumber
Text, Computed
when composed
@If( @IsAvailable(TicketNumber);
TicketNumber; “”)
CustName
Text, Computed
@If( @IsAvailable(CustName);
CustName; “”)
CustEmail
Text, Computed
@If( @IsAvailable(CustEmail);
CustEmail; “”)
CustAddress
Text, Computed
@If( @IsAvailable(CustAddress);
CustAddress; “”)
CustRequest
Text, Computed
@If( @IsAvailable(CustRequest);
CustRequest; “”)
ResearchComments Text, Computed
@If(
@IsAvailable(ResearchComments);
ResearchComments; “”)
RespToCust
@If( @IsAvailable(RespToCust);
RespToCust; “”)
Text, Editable
Note All these forms also contain a hidden, computed Subject field. A
subject field is required for Domino Workflow views.
72 Using Domino Workflow
Creating your forms using the Domino Workflow sample form
Besides the request-specific fields listed previously, your main document
forms must contain fields and design elements used by the Domino
Workflow Engine.
An easy way to ensure that you have the required workflow fields is to base
your forms on the sample form that comes with the application database.
Using the following procedure, create the “Customer Request 1”,
“RequestResearch 1”, and “ResponseToRequest 1” forms.
To create your forms:
1. In Domino Designer, make a copy of the application database form
“Sample form.” (See the previous figure.)
2. Open the copy and name it.
3. Place your application-specific design elements between the existing
fields BeginHideTagOS and EndHideTagOS. Do not change anything
before or after those fields. You can modify the look and feel of the
form as you wish. You can also delete the Body field.
Important The form must contain a text field named Subject. (It’s used
like a title for the document in the various workflow views.) However,
it need not be a visible or editable field.
Chapter 4: Defining your first process 73
The figure below shows the “Customer Request 1” form used in the
first prototype:
4. When you have finished making your design changes, close the form
and save it.
First prototype continued: implementing the “When” using the Architect
A Domino Workflow process is what ties the “who” and “what” together in
a “when” sequence. Before beginning to implement the process, you need
to make the changes to the organization directory and the application
database as described in the previous section.
The steps to create your first process in the Domino Workflow Architect are:
1. Create a database profile and open all the databases you need for your
application.
2. Create a new process and set its properties.
3. Create activities in the process, and set their properties.
4. Connect the activities by routing relations (arrows).
5. Check process syntax, and correct if necessary.
6. Activate and save the process.
74 Using Domino Workflow
Creating a database profile and opening the databases
All process and activity definition takes place in the context of the currently
opened design repository, process definition, organization directory, and
application databases.
Therefore, after you start the Architect but before you start defining a
process, you need to open all four of the Domino Workflow databases.
Caution The Architect always starts up with the database profile that was
last used. If you chose to install the sample databases, the Architect was
configured with the “Sample” database profile as its “last used profile.”
When you start the Architect for the first time, you have the sample
databases as your context.
All your databases can be opened at once if you have defined a database
profile for the set. To define a profile and open the databases:
1. Choose File - Open databases from the menu.
2. A Data Sources dialog box opens. Click New. Then, in the Profile Name
dialog box, type in a name for your database profile. For instance, enter
Redbook Scenarios as the name. Click OK.
The Data Sources dialog box now looks like this figure:
Chapter 4: Defining your first process 75
3. Select a type in the Data Source Type list and click Browse. In the
database selection dialog box, choose the server location of your
database and then choose the database, as in the following figure:
4. Repeat step 3 for each of the database types. A check mark is placed
before each database type if you have specified a valid database for that
type. When you are done, the Data Source dialog box looks like the
following figure:
5. Save the profile and open all the databases by clicking OK.
Tip If you work in the Architect with more than one application, define a
database profile for each one. You can then quickly switch from one set of
databases to another.
76 Using Domino Workflow
Creating a new process
You can create a new process by choosing File - New Process from the
menu.
If there is not an open toolbox window, one now opens. The default toolbox
location is the left side of the Architect. You can change the location of the
toolbox from the Options menu.
An empty process window also opens, ready for you to start drawing your
process.
However, it’s a good idea to set the process properties before you begin
defining activities. There are two categories of process properties: basic and
advanced. For the first prototype, you only need to specify basic properties.
(Advanced properties are discussed in later prototypes.)
Setting the basic process properties
You can access the basic properties screen by either of the following
methods:
•
Select Process-Basic Properties from the Architect’s menu bar.
•
Right-click on the empty space in the process window, then select Basic
Properties from the pop-up menu.
Either way, the same Basic Process Properties dialog comes up. Enter a
name for your process. In the first prototype we use the process name
Basic Scenario
Tip For a production process, give the process a short, descriptive name
that the end-users understand.
Chapter 4: Defining your first process 77
The basic properties dialog box is a tabbed one that looks like the figure
below. The next subsections discuss each of the tabs in turn.
Job owner property
Job owners are responsible for the overall execution of a process. Compared
to Activity Owners, who are responsible for only one activity, job owners
have wide-ranging rights to intervene in jobs. Job owners play a more
managerial than technical role in a job.
Specify who the job owners are by clicking the Include Select button.
To exclude persons or groups as job owners, click the Exclude Select button.
You would use Exclude if, for instance, you want to include a department
as a job owner, but exclude the more junior members of the department
from job ownership.
78 Using Domino Workflow
For the customer request scenarios, we assign persons with the CS
Supervisor role as the job owner, as show in the next figure:
Important Never assign just one individual as a job owner. Once a job is
started its actual owner or owners do not change. If only a single person is
specified as a job owner, and that person becomes unavailable, then no one,
not even the surrogate, can act as the job owner.
Click the OK button to close the Job Owner property dialog when you have
made all your selections.
Process Initiators property
This property specifies who may start a job. The choices are depicted in the
following figure:
Chapter 4: Defining your first process 79
All means anyone with access to the application database can initiate a job.
Potential Activity Owner of first Activity means only those who are
potential owners of the first activity in the process can initiate a new job.
This is the default setting.
For the customer request application only members of the Customer Service
department can initiate jobs. Therefore, we accept the default setting for the
Initiators property, as we will assign that department as the owners of the
first activity.
Process forms property
This tab is where you specify the form to use for the main document in the
job’s binder. You can also specify if any other documents in the binder are
allowed, and if so, what forms to use for them. These settings can be
considered the “process defaults” since you can define a forms property for
each activity.
For the main document, select the Customer Request 1 form that you
designed in your application database.
Also, select the None radio button under the “For new documents” section,
since this scenario does not use any other documents. The Forms tab now
looks like the following figure:
Process timing and version properties
The Timing tab is used to specify how long a process should take. You can
also specify whether job overdue notifications are sent to the job owners,
and when. By default nothing is set in this tab. This chapter’s scenarios do
not use process timings.
80 Using Domino Workflow
The Version property is set and updated by the Architect program every
time you save the process. You cannot modify the property directly. The
Version tab shows the process version number, who created and modified
the process, and when.
Process description property
The Description tab is used to enter a short description of what the process
does.
This is displayed to end-users when they initiate a new job. It helps them to
make the correct choice among the available processes.
The process description is also put in the job’s cover document.
Click the OK button to close the basic process properties dialog when you
have entered your information.
Creating and defining the process activities
Only basic routing is used in the first scenario, Basic Customer Request.
This means that there are no special routing situations. Each activity follows
sequentially after the other, from the start of the process to the end.
Tip Drawing in the Architect is easy and intuitive. However, you may
want to practice drawing a bit before you start drawing a process diagram
in earnest. For in-depth instruction on drawing process diagrams, see the
Domino Workflow Help database.
Chapter 4: Defining your first process 81
Using the Architect’s drawing tools, construct a three activity process
diagram that has the same shape as the scenario diagram in the next figure.
Note Your activity boxes won’t have names until you set the activity’s
properties.
Start
Create
Request
Basic
Customer Request
Scenario
Research
Request
Create
Response
End
Accessing activity properties
Now you are ready to give names to your activities, and set their other
properties.
Like processes, activities have two types of properties: basic and advanced.
To access an activity’s properties you can do one of the following:
•
To access the Basic Properties set, double-click on the activity.
•
To access either the Basic or the Advanced Properties set, first select the
activity box. Then click mouse button two (normally your right button)
once. You will get a pop-up menu where you can select either of the
property sets.
Defining the create request activity
The first activity in the process is Create Request. To name it and define it
further:
1. Select the first activity box in the diagram and access its basic property
set.
2. Type Create Request in the Name field of the properties dialog box.
82 Using Domino Workflow
Activity owner property
Now select who may be an owner of this activity.
For all scenarios in this chapter, only members of the Customer Service
department may initiate and create a customer request. So choose that
department, as in the following figure, as the activity owner:
Also select the Testperson role as a potential activity owner and click OK
to close the dialog box for selecting the activity owner. The Create Request
owner tab now looks like the following figure:
Chapter 4: Defining your first process 83
Activity tasks property
The Tasks tab lists all the tasks that make up the Create Request activity.
We have two required tasks defined for the Basic Scenario:
•
Enter Customer Contact Info
•
Describe Request
Click on the Tasks tab and write the tasks in the dialog. Set a mark in the
check box for each task to make them required.
You can see the tasks in the following figure:
The tasks entered here will show up on a task list on the cover document
and the user can check them off as they are completed. Domino Workflow
does not allow routing to the next activity before all required tasks are
marked as completed.
The Decision button is discussed in a later scenario.
The Advanced button is used to specify resources and tools available to the
end-users when they perform the tasks. See the Domino Workflow Help
database for more details on this feature. It is not used in any scenarios in
this chapter.
Activity forms property
The Create Request activity uses the same form for the Main document that
was defined for the process, so you select the Unchanged radio button on
the Forms tab (see the next figure).
84 Using Domino Workflow
Also, in the “For New documents” section, select the None radio button.
Activity timing and description properties
The Timing tab is the place to specify how long an activity should take, and
what notifications should be sent for overdue and unclaimed activities. The
scenarios in this chapter do not use activity timing. However, in real world
processes, you should use process and activity timing features.
The activity’s description is placed in the cover document. Enter a brief
description of the activity, or instructions for the activity owners.
Click the OK button to close the basic properties dialog when you are done.
Activity reassign property (advanced)
When handling customer requests we want the same person who initiates
the job to also complete the first activity. To enforce this, set the Reassign
property to “Not Allowed,” as in the following figure:
Chapter 4: Defining your first process 85
Note Reassign is an advanced property. You need to open the Advanced
Properties dialog to access it.
Defining the research request activity
The second activity in the basic scenario is Research Request. In the same
way you set the properties for the first activity, do the following:
1. Name the activity Research Request.
2. The people who work on the second activity are the researchers, so
assign the two research workgroups as the potential activity owners,
as in the following figure. Also, don’t forget the Testperson role
(that’s you).
86 Using Domino Workflow
3. On the Tasks tab, enter Provide Research Information as the single
required task.
4. Researchers use the same main document as the creator of the request.
However, they use a different form to see and edit it so select the
Change form to button, and select the RequestResearch 1 form from the
list box. Then select None for other documents. The Forms property
should look like the following figure:
5. Enter a description for the activity on the Description tab.
6. Click OK to close the basic properties dialog box and open the
advanced properties settings dialog box for your activity by
right-clicking it.
Chapter 4: Defining your first process 87
7. Researchers can reassign this activity among themselves but they
cannot reassign it to anyone else, so set the Advanced property to
Reassign as shown in the next figure:
Defining the create response activity
Define the third and last activity as follows:
1. Name the activity Create Response.
2. We want the person who created the request to also create its response.
To enforce that, select the predefined job property, Initiator, for the
activity owner, as in the following figure:
88 Using Domino Workflow
3. Enter the tasks for this activity as in the following figure:
4. When writing a response, the activity owner uses a third form,
ResponseToRequest 1, for the main document. Therefore, set the
Forms property as shown in the following figure:
5. Enter a description for the activity.
6. Close the basic properties dialog box and open the advanced activity
properties dialog box.
7. Since only the initiator of the request is to write the response, set the
advanced Reassign property to Not Allowed.
Chapter 4: Defining your first process 89
Saving and activating the process
You are almost finished defining your first process. The Architect window
should look something like the following figure:
Tip The box in the above figure lists almost all the properties for the
Create Request activity. It displays when the mouse “hovers” over a
diagram object. You can set the Architect to display object properties by
selecting the menu item Options - Preferences, and then choosing your
Display Property preferences in the resulting dialog.
All that is left to do now is check the process syntax, and then activate and
save it.
Choose the menu item Process - Check Syntax. The Architect will report
any syntax errors. Correct any errors found, and check the syntax again.
When the process syntax checks out OK, you can save and activate the
process by choosing the menu item File - Activate Process.
Activating a process saves the process definition in the process definition
database. End-users can now use the process to create new customer
request jobs.
Activating the process also saves the process design in the design repository
database.
Note You can save an unfinished process design in the design repository
without first activating it.
90 Using Domino Workflow
Congratulations! You have just finished defining your first process. Try it
out by opening the application database in the Notes client and starting a
new job.
Second prototype: adding more basics
The first scenario’s routing relations are very simple, and there are some
“flaws” in the workflow design.
For example, all requests get routed to the Research Request activity, where
both marketing and development researchers are the potential activity
owners. Both types of researchers have to look at each incoming request to
decide whether they need to claim it or not.
We want to improve the workflow so that a request goes only to one group
of researchers, so we split the second activity into two research activities,
one for each department. We then have the creator of the request decide
where to next route the request.
We also want to tailor somewhat how each research group sees the request
without having to design separate research forms. We also want to
automatically capture in the document which group did the research.
Finally, we want to specify the occasional involvement of other members of
the marketing and development departments.
We achieve these aims by using more of the basic Domino Workflow
features. The features we use in this prototype are:
•
Exclusive Routing
•
Team Attribute
•
Custom Attributes
Prototyping strategies
Before starting to make your changes to your first prototype, you need to
choose a strategy for making the changes. You can use one of two
prototyping strategies:
•
Directly change the process definition.
•
Make changes to a copy of the process definition.
Chapter 4: Defining your first process 91
Directly change the process definition
Domino Workflow supports versioning of process definitions. When you
activate a later version of a process, the previous version is “frozen”, which
means:
•
New jobs are started using the latest version.
•
Uncompleted jobs continue to be processed with the earlier version, to
avoid inconsistencies.
Caution While Domino Workflow supports versioning of process
definitions, forms are a different matter. Therefore, you may want to make
your changes to a renamed copy of the form.
To make a new version of a process:
1. Make your changes to the process in the Architect.
2. When satisfied with the changes, save and activate the new version.
3. Since there is a previously activated version of the process, you will be
asked if you want to “freeze” the old version, and activate the new one.
Answer Yes to do so.
Make changes to a copy of the process.
This strategy implies changing the name of the process, since process names
must be unique within any one process definition database.
With this strategy, you will need to take special measures to stop users from
creating new jobs in the old process:
1. Go to the Administration/Setup view in your application database.
2. Open the Setup document for editing.
3. In the application database’s setup document, expand the Initiation
Settings section.
4. Click the “use selected Processes only” check box. Then use the browse
button next to that to choose only those processes you want to use for
this application database. That is, don’t select the old process.
Note This check box controls new job initiation only. Jobs already
started under the old process will continue under that process until
they finish.
Once all jobs initiated under the old process finish, you should, for
performance reasons, delete the old process from the process definition
database. To completely delete a process from the process definition
database, you must delete all documents for all versions of the process.
92 Using Domino Workflow
Which strategy to use
Use the “direct change” strategy when making small, incremental changes
to a process.
Use the “change copy” strategy when:
•
The changes are so substantive and widespread that the resulting
process can be considered an entirely new workflow.
•
You are developing on your sandbox server, and you want to test,
compare and evaluate the different changes you are making, before
deciding on the final version.
Because this chapter is a teaching tool, we use the “change copy” strategy,
even though each prototype is only slightly changed from the previous one.
Creating forms and process copies for the second prototype
For the second scenario we will be making changes to the application forms.
Before creating the second process in the Architect, make copies of the three
application forms and change their names as follows:
•
Rename Customer Request 1 to Customer Request 2.
•
Rename RequestResearch 1 to RequestResearch 2.
•
Rename ResponseToRequest 1 to ResponseToRequest 2.
We discuss the changes needed for the research and response forms when
we discus Custom Attributes later in this section.
Note The customer request form does not change in this scenario, so
strictly speaking you don’t have to copy it. We copy and rename it just to
keep all the form names consistent from prototype to prototype.
Chapter 4: Defining your first process 93
Creating the process from a copy
Now create the second process prototype by doing the following:
1. In the Architect, open the first Basic Scenario process (if it’s not already
open).
2. Choose File - Save Process as - Copy menu item, as shown in the next
figure:
94 Using Domino Workflow
3. Enter a new name and description for the process copy in the Save
Process dialog, as in the following figure:
Caution When the dialog box first pops up, the name of the process
you are saving appears in the name field and its description in the
Description field. As you type in your new name, other processes in the
process list will be highlighted. Ignore them.
4. Save the process with its new name and description by clicking Save.
Making changes to the process and activity properties
When you made your copy of the process, all process properties (except
name and description) and all activity properties remained the same as in
the original. Thus, you don’t have as much work to do when defining this
prototype as you did with the first.
Changes to process properties
The only other process property you change is the Forms property:
1. Access the basic properties for the process.
2. On the Forms tab, select Customer Request 2 for the Main document.
Note The change to the process Forms property is not strictly necessary,
since no changes are made to the Customer Request 1 form. However, to
keep a consistent form naming convention across the sample prototypes, we
copied and renamed the customer request form, and we assigned that new
name to the process.
Chapter 4: Defining your first process 95
Creation and basic modifications of the research activities
When the second prototype is completed, its diagram will look like the
following figure:
Start
"More Basics"
Customer Request
Scenario
Create
Request
Excl. Choice - Mkt.
Excl. Choice - Dev.
Development
Research
Marketing
Research
Create
Response
End
To create two research activities and make some basic modifications to their
properties, use the following steps:
1. Move the Research Request activity box over to the left side of the
diagram.
2. With the activity still selected, use Edit - Copy and Edit - Paste to make
a copy of the activity and place it on the right side of the diagram.
3. Connect arrows to and from the copy, as shown in the previous figure.
4. Change the names of these two activities to Development Research and
Marketing Research, as shown in the figure.
5. In both research activities modify the Forms property by changing the
main document form selection from RequestResearch 1 to
RequestResearch 2.
Note The actual form changes are discussed later in this section.
Modifying who participates in the research activities
For each of the two research activities, you need to remove the opposite
research group as potential activity owners.
For instance, for the Marketing Research activity, you would do as follows:
1. Access the basic properties for the activity.
2. On the Owner tab, click the Include, Select button.
96 Using Domino Workflow
3. In the Select Activity Owner dialog box select, from the left-hand list,
the research group to remove as owner. Then click Remove.
The next figure shows the Development Research workgroup being
removed from the Marketing Research activity.
4. Click OK to confirm the removal and to return to the properties dialog
box.
5. Click OK to save the Owner property change.
We also want to define a team for each of the research activities. Members
of a team can assist in an activity and make changes to binder documents.
However, they don’t own the activity, and thus can’t mark the activity as
complete.
In the second prototype, you need to assign the department associated
with the activity as the team. For instance, the figure below shows the
assignment of the Marketing department as the team for the Marketing
Research activity.
Chapter 4: Defining your first process 97
Note Team is an advanced activity property.
Modifying routing relations
The arrows that you have been drawing so far are called Routing
Relationships. They define how a job and its binder are routed from one
activity to one or more other activities.
Like activities, routing relations have properties. It is these properties that
define how the binder is routed from one activity to one or more other
activities. So far, our routing relations (arrows) have used the default
properties. Thus each of our arrows indicates that the routing path is always
taken.
For the second scenario, we want the next activity after Create Request
to be either Development Research or Marketing Research. This is called
“Exclusive Choice” routing. To achieve the desired routing, do the
following:
1. Select an arrow leading from Create Request and going to one of the
research activities. For instance, select the arrow leading towards the
Development Research activity.
2. Right-click the mouse, then choose Properties from the pop-up menu.
3. In the Routing Relations Properties dialog box, type in a name for the
relation.
Tip The name is used in the routing choice dialog box presented to the
end-user when process jobs are run, so enter a name that is descriptive
of the choice to be made.
98 Using Domino Workflow
4. On the Routing tab, select the “Exclusive choice” radio button, as
shown in the following figure:
5. Click the Description tab, and enter a short description of the routing
relationship. Click OK to save the properties changes.
6. Repeat steps 1 through 5 for the other arrow leading from the Create
Request activity.
Disabling joins
Our second prototype is an example of multiple parallel routing paths
leading from one activity, Create Request, that later join again in the Create
Response activity.
When there are parallel paths, Domino Workflow creates multiple copies of
the job binder and its documents. This is to avoid editing conflicts in the
different paths.
When the paths rejoin, Domino Workflow then merges all the binder copies
back into one binder. This copying and merging is a performance hit. Also,
the joining is subject to the scheduling on the server of the application
database’s backgrounder agent.
Even though our process has multiple parallel paths, any given job going
through the process follows only one of those paths. Therefore, we can
improve performance by “disabling joins” for exclusive choice routing
paths.
Chapter 4: Defining your first process 99
For our process, disable the binder copying and merging by doing the
following:
1. Select the Create Response activity, then access its advanced properties.
Note Set the disable join in the activity where the exclusive choice
paths meet up again.
2. On the Join Settings tab, select the “Disable join” check box, as shown in
the following figure:
3. Click OK to save the property change.
Custom attributes and how they work
The final changes we want to make in this scenario are:
•
Dynamically tailor what each research group sees in the main
document, without having to design more than one research form.
•
Save a record of the kind of research done for the request in the main
document.
We achieve both these aims by using the Custom Attribute feature. Here’s
how custom attributes work:
•
You define a custom attribute in an activity’s advanced properties.
•
When a job enters that activity, Domino Workflow puts that custom
attribute, as a Notes item and value, in the main document.
•
When the job leaves that activity, Domino Workflow removes the
custom attribute (Notes item and value) from the main document.
To make use of custom attributes, you need to make design changes to the
form used for the main document in that activity.
100 Using Domino Workflow
Defining the prototype’s custom attributes
For our prototype, you need to define a custom attribute in each of the
research activities by using the following procedure:
1. Select the activity and access its advanced properties.
2. Click the Custom tab.
3. In the blank space under Attribute type the string
ResearchActivityType
Note This string is used as the item name in the main document.
4. In the space under Value type the string:
• Development if you are editing the Development Research activity.
• Marketing if you are editing the Marketing Research activity.
Note This string is used as the item value in the main document.
The next figure shows the definition of the custom attribute in the
Development Research activity.
5. Click OK to save the custom attribute definition.
Tip Sometimes you can’t click OK if focus was last in the Value field.
If that happens, put focus back in the Attribute field by clicking there.
You can now click OK.
Important Since we are using exclusive routing, there is no problem with
using the same custom attribute name in two different activities. However,
in other processes, with different kinds of routing paths, it may be safer to
use a different name in each activity.
Chapter 4: Defining your first process 101
Using the custom attribute in the research form
You need to make the following changes to the RequestResearch 2 form:
•
Save the value of ResearchActivityType into a field that persists after
the activity completes. In our example we put the value of the custom
attribute into a field called ResearchDept. It is a hidden field of type
Text, Computed with the value:
@If( @IsAvailable(ResearchActivityType);
ResearchActivityType; “”)
•
Display the value of ResearchActivityType, so researchers see their
department name when viewing and editing the research main
document.
The following figure shows the design changes we made to the sample
RequestReseach 2 form.
102 Using Domino Workflow
Finishing up
You have finished almost all the modifications needed to transform the first
prototype into the second.
The only things left to do are:
1. Change the ResponseToRequest 2 form to display the ResearchDept
field that was added to the main document during the previous
research activity.
2. Change the Create Response activity’s Forms property: set the main
document form to ResponseToRequest 2.
3. Check the process syntax.
4. If there are syntax errors, make your corrections.
5. When the syntax checks out OK, activate and save the process.
Third prototype: getting more difficult
In this prototype, we tinker some more with the way customer request jobs
are routed to the research activities. This is done because we observed the
following facts about requests:
•
Some requests require no research at all.
•
Some requests require both Marketing and Development research.
•
Some requests require either Marketing or Development research.
To implement the above, we use the Conditional Routing feature of Domino
Workflow. Conditional routing means that a path is taken if a specified
condition is true.
In this prototype, the conditions tested for are the existence of particular
values in a field of the main document. The initiator of the request will set
these values as one of the tasks in the Create Request activity.
Chapter 4: Defining your first process 103
Upon completion, the diagram of the third prototype will look like the
following figure:
Start
"Getting More Difficult"
Scenario
Create
Request
Mkt. Res.
Dev. Res.
No Research
Development
Research
Marketing
Research
Create
Response
End
Getting started with the prototype
Use the following steps to create the new process and its main document
forms:
1. In the application database, copy and rename forms as follows:
• Copy Customer Request 2 and rename it Customer Request 3.
• Copy RequestResearch 2 and rename it RequestResearch 3.
• Copy ResponseToRequest 2 and rename it ResponseToRequest 3.
2. Create a copy of the second prototype’s process More Basics Scenario.
Change the process properties as follows:
• Name the new process Getting More Difficult Scenario.
• Enter a new Description for the process. For instance, type in
Conditional routing and joining binders.
• Set the main document form to Customer Request 3 in the process
Forms property.
104 Using Domino Workflow
Modifications to the create request activity
Before you can modify the routing relations leading from the Create
Request activity, you will need to do the following:
1. In the Notes Designer, edit the Customer Request 3 form as follows:
• Add a new field named NeedResearch.
• Set its type to Checkbox and Editable. Allow multiple values.
• Set two choices for the check boxes: Marketing and Development.
• Do not allow values not in the list.
The following figure shows how we modified the request form:
2. Change the Tasks property of the Create Request activity as follows:
• Add a third task.
• Check new task as required.
• Enter its description, Determine if research is needed.
Changing the routing relations
To effect conditional routing, you need to do the following:
•
Change the routing to Development Research to the conditional type.
•
Change the routing to Marketing Research to the conditional type.
•
Add a new routing leading from Create Request.
Chapter 4: Defining your first process 105
Modifying the routing relation going to Development Research
Make your modifications as follows:
1. Click the arrow leading from the Create Request activity to the
Development Research activity.
2. Access its properties, and change its name to Dev. Res.
Also change the description to Needs research from Development
Dept.
3. Click the Routing tab and then select the Condition radio button.
4. Click the Condition tab and enter the following Notes formula in the
Condition edit field:
@IsMember(“Development”; NeedResearch)
The following figure shows what the Condition tab should look like:
Note Selecting either of the buttons, Formula or Decision, will give
you formula editing dialog boxes. These have various selection lists and
buttons to help you construct complex formulas. For more information
on formulas and how and where to use them, see the Domino
Workflow Help database.
Modifying the routing relation going to marketing research
Make your modifications as follows:
1. Click the arrow leading from the Create Request activity to the
Marketing Research activity.
2. Access its properties, and change its name to Mkt. Res.
Also change the description to Needs research from Marketing
Dept.
106 Using Domino Workflow
3. Click the Routing tab and then select the Condition radio button.
4. Click the Condition tab and enter the following Notes formula in the
Condition edit field:
@IsMember(“Marketing”; NeedResearch)
Adding an “Else” Routing
When using conditional routing, it’s a good idea to provide an “else” path
in case none of the conditions are met.
In some scenarios, the else path may lead to an error handling activity. But
for this chapter’s third prototype, the else path is an actual requirement of
the workflow design.
Define the new routing path as follows:
1. With the angled arrow tool, draw a routing from the Create Request
activity to the Create Response Activity.
2. Access its properties, and name the routing relation No Research.
3. On the Routing tab, select the Else radio button.
4. Click the Description tab, and enter Customer Service Dept. has
expertise to handle request.
Enabling other new documents in job binders
In our previous scenario, which used exclusive choice routing, we only had
a single main document in the job binder. Now that a request can be routed
to both research groups, we want to minimize editing conflicts while still
having only one main document. We can do this by allowing researchers to
add their comments as new additional binder documents, using a special
research form.
To make the changes for new documents, do the following:
1. Modify the main document form, RequestResearch 3, so that none of
its fields are editable. Add instructions telling the researcher to create
a new document for the research results. The next figure shows the
sample form we used.
2. Create the new document form in the application database as follows:
• As you did for the first prototype, base your form design on a copy
of the Sample form, and maintain the required Domino Workflow
fields.
• Name the new form ResearchResults.
• In order to inherit the custom attributes from the main document,
check the form property Formulas inherit values from selected
document.
Chapter 4: Defining your first process 107
• Add non-editable fields displaying customer request data. Add other
editable fields for the researchers to enter their results. The figure
below shows the sample form we used.
3. For each of the two research activities, Development Research and
Marketing Research, change the Forms property as follows:
• In the “For Main document” section, keep the Change form to button
selected but select the RequestResearch 3 form in the list box under
that button.
• In the “For new documents” section on the right side of the tab,
select the Selected radio button.
• In the list box under that button, select the form ResearchResults.
108 Using Domino Workflow
The forms property should now look like the following figure:
Modifying the create response activity
Because a job can now concurrently go through two routing paths, you
need to re-enable binder joins at the activity where the paths rejoin. That
activity is Create Response.
You also need to specify the new main document form name.
Note No changes were made to the second prototype’s response form.
However, in order to keep a consistent form naming convention across
prototypes, we made a copy of the form and renamed it.
Make the following changes to the Create Response activity:
1. Access the basic properties and change the main document form to
ResponseToRequest 3.
2. Access the advanced properties and click the Join Settings tab.
3. Deselect the Disable join check box.
4. Since we want to keep the new documents created by researchers, select
the Keep only updated versions of documents radio button.
5. Since the main document can’t be changed during the research activity,
it doesn’t matter what main document is used in the join. Therefore,
select the Randomly select out of available Main documents radio
button.
Chapter 4: Defining your first process 109
The Joins Settings tab should look like the following figure:
Finishing up the third prototype
The third prototype definition is now complete. All you need to do is:
•
Check the process syntax.
•
Make any necessary corrections.
•
When the syntax checks out OK, activate and save the process.
Fourth prototype: nearly there
In this scenario we add:
•
A new activity, Reply To Customer
•
Two “approval cycles” to the workflow
Note They are called cycles because, in the diagram, the not-approved
path loops “backwards” in a circular fashion. The job only moves
“forward” when approved.
110 Using Domino Workflow
The final process diagram for the fourth prototype looks like the following
figure:
Start
"Nearly There"
Scenario
Create
Request
Mkt. Res.
Dev. Res.
Development
Research
Marketing
Research
No Research
Disapprove
Approve
Research
Approve
Create
Response
Adjust
Response
Disapprove
Approve
Response
Approve
Reply to
Customer
End
As you did in the previous prototypes, create the new prototype by copying
the third prototype’s process, and rename it Nearly There Scenario.
This scenario uses the same forms as the previous scenario, so you don’t
have to create new ones.
Defining the marketing research approval cycle
There is a requirement that the results of marketing research be approved
before the request is sent on to the Customer Service department. If the
research is not approved, then the job goes back to the Marketing Research
activity for more research.
Chapter 4: Defining your first process 111
Create the approve research activity
The marketing approval cycle consists of a new activity and two condition
routing paths. To create the new activity, do the following:
1. Create a new activity between Marketing Research and Create
Response.
2. Set its basic properties:
• Name the activity Approve Research
• Include the Marketing Research workgroup and the Testperson role
as the activity owner
• Enter the description Approve research results
• For Forms property, Select the Unchanged button for the Main
document, and the None button for new documents.
3. No tasks are performed in this activity. However, an approval decision
is made during this activity so on the Tasks property tab, click Decision.
Now enter a description of the decision to be made. This description is
placed in the job’s cover document, so it should tell the activity what
to do.
Enter two decision choices, Approve and Disapprove. These two
decision choices are made available as job properties. The routing paths
leaving this activity can then use these values in condition formulas.
The Tasks tab should now look like the following figure:
4. Set the advanced Reassign property to Allow among potential Activity
Owners.
112 Using Domino Workflow
Create the disapprove routing path
From the new Approve Research activity, you need to create a new path
(draw an arrow) back to the Marketing Research activity. Then set its
properties as follows:
1. Set its name to Disapprove and its description to Sends job back to
previous activity for more research.
2. On the Routing tab, click the Condition radio button.
3. On the Condition tab, click Decision, to bring up the edit
decision-formula dialog box.
Double-click Disapprove that appears in the Decision choices list on the
right-hand side of the dialog box. That action puts the following job
property formula in the left-hand formula box:
@JobProperty([Decision]) = “Disapprove”
The formula dialog should look like the following figure:
Chapter 4: Defining your first process 113
4. Click OK in the dialog box. That brings you back to the properties
dialog box. The Condition tab should now look like the following
figure:
5. Close the properties dialog box and save your settings by clicking OK.
Create the approve routing path
To create the approval path, you need to modify the existing routing
relation (arrow) leading from the Approve Research activity and going to
the Create response activity.
The changes you make are similar to the ones you made previously for the
disapproval path. They are:
•
Name the routing relation Approve and put in the description
Approval sends job on to Customer Service.
•
Set routing type to Condition.
•
Using the same steps as you did in the Disapprove path, except that
you choose Approve, define the condition formula:
@JobProperty([Decision]) = “Approve”
Tip Now that you know how to write the decision formula, you can
choose to type it in directly instead of using the formula-writing dialog
boxes.
114 Using Domino Workflow
The Condition tab should now look like the following figure:
And that’s it for creating the marketing research approval cycle.
Defining the response approval cycle
The response approval cycle is similar to the marketing research cycle you
just defined, and you define it in a similar fashion.
The “extra” feature here is that instead of looping the Create Response
activity, the disapprove path goes to a newly defined Adjust Response
activity. And to get the cycle, the Adjust Response activity loops back to the
Approve Response activity.
Note We introduce the Adjust Response activity so that we don’t loop
back to an activity where parallel paths are being joined.
Chapter 4: Defining your first process 115
Draw activity boxes and arrows between Create Response and the End
node to match the diagram excerpt shown in the following figure:
Create
Response
Adjust
Response
Disapprove
Approve
Response
Approve
Reply to
Customer
End
Define approve response properties
Set the properties of the new Approve Response activity as follows:
•
Name it Approve Response and type the description If a Junior CSR
wrote the response, then a CS Supervisor must approve it.
•
Select the roles CS Supervisor and Testperson as the activity owners.
•
Set the Tasks property as shown in the following figure:
•
Set the advanced property Reassign to Allow among potential Activity
Owners.
116 Using Domino Workflow
Define approval and disapproval routing relations
Just as you did for the marketing approval cycle, set the routing relations
(arrows) leading out of the Approve Response.
•
The arrow going to Reply to Customer activity is the Approve path. Use
the same techniques you used for marketing cycle to define its
properties.
•
The arrow going to the Adjust Response activity is the Disapprove path.
Again use the same techniques you used in the marketing cycle to
define its properties.
Define the adjust response activity
This activity is very similar to the Create Response activity. The “extra”
here is that we use a formula to assign the activity owner.
The formula is evaluated when the job is run, and it specifies that the
person who was the Create Response activity owner is to be the potential
activity owner of Adjust Response activity.
Do the following to define the activity’s properties as follows:
Note We show how to define the activity owner formula in the next
subsection.
1. Name the activity Adjust Response and type the description The
response needs adjustment or correction.
2. Set the Tasks property as shown in the following figure:
3. Set the Main document form to ResponseToRequest 3.
4. Set the advanced Reassign property to Not Allowed.
Chapter 4: Defining your first process 117
Defining the owner formula
Just getting to the point where you can actually define the formula is a bit
torturous. You have to go down through several dialog levels, as follows:
1. On the Owner property tab, click Include Select to open the Select
Activity Owner dialog box.
2. Before you can select the formula, you have to define it. To define the
formula, select Formula from the right drop-down list box, as shown in
the following figure:
3. Click Create formula to open the Formula Properties dialog box.
Set the name of the formula to Author of Response.
On the Formula tab enter this formula:
@JobProperty([Activity Owner of Activity];“Create
Response”)
118 Using Domino Workflow
The Formula Properties dialog box should look like the following
figure:
4. Click OK to save the formula definition and to close the dialog box.
Now, back in the Select Activity Owners dialog box, add the formula
you just created, Author of Response, to the list of owners.
5. Click OK to close the dialog box and save your owner formula.
Defining the reply to customer activity
Defining this activity is straightforward and simple. You set its properties
as follows:
1. Name the activity Reply to Customer.
2. Set its description to Send the response to the customer.
3. Define a single required task, Send the response to the customer.
4. Select the Initiator job property and the Testperson role as the activity
owners.
5. Set the advanced Reassign property to Not Allowed.
Finishing up
The fourth prototype is now complete. As usual, check process syntax.
When it checks out OK, activate and save the process.
Chapter 4: Defining your first process 119
Fifth prototype: last version
We want to send each customer an acknowledgment that his or her request
is being processed. We also want to include the request’s ticket number in
the acknowledgment.
We can use an Automated Send Mail activity for sending the
acknowledgment, thus lessening the work that the Customer Service
Representative has to do when initiating a new request job.
The process diagram for this fifth and final prototype is shown in the
following figure:
Start
"Last Version"
Scenario
Create
Request
Mkt. Res.
Dev. Res.
Send
Acknowlege
ment
Development
Research
Marketing
Research
Disapprove
Approve
Research
Approve
Create
Response
Adjust
Response
Disapprove
Approve
Response
Approve
Reply to
Customer
End
Follow the usual steps in creating a new prototype:
•
Make a copy of the Nearly There Scenario process.
•
Rename it Last Version Scenario.
120 Using Domino Workflow
•
Give it a new description. For example:
The final version of Customer Request Process. Added
automated activity to send the customer a mail
acknowledgment.
Defining the automated send acknowledgment activity
The following subsections describe the steps you perform to draw the
automatic activity and to set its properties.
A major part of setting properties for automated send mail activities
involves writing formulas that specify values for the mail’s Send to, Subject,
and Body items. We discuss those properties in a separate subsection.
Drawing the automated activity and setting some of its properties
Create the Send Acknowledgment activity as follows:
1. Draw the activity and its routing relations:
• Using the automated activity drawing tool (the white box), place the
activity in the diagram between Create Request and Create
Response.
• Place an arrow going from Create Request to the new activity.
• Place another arrow going from the new activity to Create Response.
Note You do not have to set properties for these new routing relations.
We want them to have the default routing type of Always.
2. Double-click on the automated activity to open the properties dialog
box. The dialog box will look like the following figure.
Note Automated activities have only a single set of properties.
Chapter 4: Defining your first process 121
3. Enter the name for the activity, Send Acknowledgment.
4. On the Description tab, enter a description for the activity. For our
sample, we used:
Send customer the ticket number of the request.
5. The default action for automated activities is Send Mail, which is what
we want for this prototype. Therefore, you do not have to set an action
type.
Defining the send to formula
Important The send mail formulas you write will be evaluated when the
process runs. They are Notes formulas, and are evaluated in the context of
the job’s main document.
To specify the Send To formula, do the following:
1. Click the Action tab in the Send Acknowledgment properties dialog
box.
2. Click Select to the right of the Send to box.
A dialog box similar to the Select Activity Owners dialog box appears.
To open a Formula Properties dialog box, select Formula from the
drop-down list box.
Click Create Formula.
3. In the Formula Properties dialog box, enter a name for the formula. Our
sample uses Customer Mail Address as the formula name.
4. Write the formula to evaluate the Send To value in the edit box on the
Formula tab.
For our prototype we want the acknowledgment to go to the customer’s
e-mail address. That address is stored in the CustEmail field of the
main document.
122 Using Domino Workflow
Enter that field name in the edit box. The Formula Properties dialog box
should now look like the following figure:
5. Click OK to save the formula definition and to close the Formula
Properties dialog box.
6. You are back in the Select mail recipient dialog box. Select the formula
you just created, Customer Mail Address.
Click the Add button to add the formula to the selection list. The dialog
box should look like the figure below:
Chapter 4: Defining your first process 123
Note In this prototype we only send the acknowledgment to the
external customer. However, it is possible to send automated mail to
others as well. To do that, add recipients to the list in the same manner
that you used to choose activity owners.
7. Click OK to save the recipient list.
Defining the subject formula
To specify the Subject formula, do the following:
1. Click the Action tab in the Send Acknowledgment properties dialog
box.
2. Click the Formula button to the right of the Subject to open the Subject
Selection Formula dialog box.
3. Compose a formula in the left-hand edit box. For our sample we used
the following formula that puts the request’s ticket number in the
subject:
“Your Request Ticket Number is ” + TicketNumber
The dialog box should now look like the following figure.
Tip Use the various buttons and list boxes to compose more complex
formulas, such as those involving job properties.
4. Click OK to save your subject formula.
124 Using Domino Workflow
Defining the body formula
To specify the Body formula, do the following:
1. Click the Action tab in the Send Acknowledgment properties dialog
box.
2. Click the Formula button to the right of Body to open the Body
Selection Formula dialog box.
3. Compose a formula in the left-hand edit box. For our sample we used
the following formula that puts the request’s ticket number in the
subject:
"This is to acknowledge your service request of "' +
@Text(@Now) +".
It has been assigned ticket number : " + TicketNumber + ".
Please refer to that number if you have any questions
about the request."
The dialog box should now look like the following figure:
4. Click OK to save your body formula.
Chapter 4: Defining your first process 125
After you have finished defining all your formulas, the Action properties
tab for the Send Acknowledgment should look like the figure below:
Click OK in the activity properties box to save all your formula definitions.
Adjusting routing and binder joins
If at this point you were to check process syntax, you would get a warning
that the Else routing path may not be reachable.
Because the routing to Send Acknowledgment is of type Always, we no
longer need the fallback Else path. Therefore, delete the Else arrow.
Due to the always-type routing, we can make a better main document
selection choice when binders are merged in the Create Response activity.
To make this adjustment, do the following:
1. Open the advanced properties for the Create Response activity.
2. On Join settings tab, select the button labeled Select Main document
coming from activity.
3. We always want to use the main document as it comes from the Create
Request activity, since we know it’s not edited during the research and
send mail activities; and because we now have an always path to Create
Response.
You can’t use the browse button to make your activity selection since
that button presents only the activities that are the immediate
predecessors to Create Response.
You need to enter the following in the edit box:
PreviousActivityOS = “Create Request”
126 Using Domino Workflow
4. The Join Settings tab should now look like the following figure:
Click OK to save your join modifications and to close the dialog box.
Finishing up
The fifth and last prototype is now complete. All you need to do now is
check its syntax, make any corrections, and then activate and save it.
Summary
In this chapter we described how to define your first complete Domino
Workflow process, using the normal “out of the box” features of Domino
Workflow.
We showed you how to define increasingly complex processes by building
on an earlier, simpler version.
The following lists, by prototype, the Domino Workflow features covered in
this chapter:
1. Basics Scenario
• Use of multiple forms in different activities
• Basic routing
2. More Basics Scenario
• Use of exclusive choice / multiple routing paths
• Disable join
• Custom Attribute
Chapter 4: Defining your first process 127
3. Getting More Difficult Scenario
• Conditional routing based on a keyword field
• Joining binders
4. Nearly There Scenario
• Introduced looping (Approval cycle): loop back to previous activity
• Introduced another approval cycle: loop back to a separate activity for
adjusting response
• Use of job property “Activity Owner of Previous Activity”
5. Last Version Scenario
• Automated Send Mail activity
Within the examples we also discussed the following Domino Workflow concepts:
• Workgroups
• Roles
• Job properties
• Team activities
• Shared activities
128 Using Domino Workflow
Chapter 5
Accessing Domino Workflow from Web clients
If you want to make your application available to Web clients, you can use
the standard Domino features to do this. Domino Workflow is plain Domino,
so everything you can do in Domino, you can do in Domino Workflow.
Additionally, Domino Workflow offers an out-of-the-box Web user interface
that you can use to make your application available for the Web clients.
This chapter describes how you can make the process that was created as
the final example in Chapter 4 accessible for participants using Web clients.
It happens by means of using the standard Web user interface of Domino
Workflow. We also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using
Domino Workflow through a Web client. Finally, we go into some
customization issues regarding the Domino Workflow Web application.
How to make your workflow database available to Web clients
There are several scenarios you can consider for Web-enabling your workflow
application. First, you might think of allowing Web users to initiate new
workflows, but you can also consider offering all the workflow functionality
to Web clients.
In the first scenario, only initiation from the Web, you can use the feature
mail-based or form-based initiation of Domino Workflow. By using mail- or
form-based initiation, you can create a document or send a mail to your
application whenever a Web user fills out an order form or files a
complaint. The workflow will be initiated in the background automatically.
The details of this feature are described in Chapter 7.
In the second scenario, Web-enabling all functionality in your workflow
application, you need to do more. To make Domino Workflow work
through the Web there are four main things you have to do:
1. Enable the application forms used in the process for Web use.
2. Activate the Domino Workflow Web agents.
3. Adjust the setup document.
4. Update your process cache.
129
Use of the Domino HTTP server
Before enabling the Domino Workflow application, your environment should
be Web-enabled. This means that the Domino server has to run an HTTP task
and workflow participants must be able to access the Domino server with
their Web browsers. For details refer to the Domino Administration Help.
Enable your application forms
When you enable your application for Web use, you must also Web-enable
the forms used in your processes. Domino Workflow provides a standard
subform with all necessary HTML code for the workflow actions.
You need to consider whether you want to allow use of your application
only by Web clients or by both Web and Notes clients.
In the first case, using only Web clients, you need to replace the “(OS
Domino Workflow Information)” subform with the “(OS Domino Workflow
Web)” subform on your workflow form.
In the second case, using both the Notes client and Web browser, you should
include a computed subform based on a formula that determines what client
type you are using. To determine this, you can use the following formula:
@If(@ClientType = "Notes";
"(OS Domino Workflow Information)";
"(OS Domino Workflow WEB)")
When you use your forms on the Web, you should be aware of some
limitations of Domino. For instance, some @Functions will not work on the
Web, like @MailSend, @PickList and @DialogBox. For more information
about these unsupported features for Web clients, look in the Domino R5
Designer Help database.
Note On the sample form used in the scenario there is a field called
“AllowNoWebClientOS”. To enable Web clients, delete this field from your
form or give it the value “no”. If this field has the value “yes”, Web clients
will not be allowed to edit.
Activate the Web agents
The workflow activities done by a Web client are transferred to your
application by agents. Therefore, you must enable all agents used on the
Web with the administrator ID of the server. We recommend using a special
Domino Workflow Administrator ID which is allowed to run unrestricted
agents on the server.
130 Using Domino Workflow
You must enable the following agents:
•
OS Web Activity Completed
This agent is used when the Web user has completed an activity.
•
OS Web Claim Binder
This agent is used when the Web user claims a certain binder.
•
OS Web New Job
This agent is used when the Web user wants to start a new job. When a
new job is started the only command necessary is:
@Command([Compose];"(OS Web New Job)")
The “OS Web New Job” agent is used in the QueryOpen event of that
particular document.
•
OS Web NoEditRights
This agent is used when the Web user does not have edit rights to the
specific document. An error will be generated.
•
OS Web Process Init
This agent is used when a Web user initiates a new job. This is done
after giving the process name and job name on the “(OS Web New Job)”
form. This is the QuerySave agent of the form “(OS Web New Job).”
•
OS Web ReassignAndReturn
This agent is used when a Web user returns a document after a
reassignment. If a document was reassigned using the option “Return
Activity after completion,” an activity cannot be completed (by the user
it was reassigned to), but only returned to the person who reassigned
the activity originally.
•
OS Web Save Document
This agent is used when a Web user saves a document from the binder.
Chapter 5: Accessing Domino Workflow from Web clients 131
The signed and enabled agents are shown in the following figure:
You enable the agents the same way as described in Chapter 3 in the section
“Enabling and signing Domino Workflow Engine agents.”
Note The only reason why all Web agents of Domino Workflow have the
setting “on schedule/never” is to require users to enable them before being
used. By enabling, the agent is signed by the user. This is important to
ensure sufficient rights for these agents.
Adjust the setup document
The setup document in your application database must be changed. Enter a
reference to the server name or IP address and enable the process cache
(process cache is explained later in this section).
Use the following steps to do this:
1. Open your application database.
2. Choose View - Administration - Application Setup.
3. Open the setup document in this view.
Note If there is no setup document available, the view will be empty.
In Chapter 3 you will find information on how to set up the database,
including the setup document.
4. Put the document in Edit mode by clicking the Edit Document button.
132 Using Domino Workflow
5. In the section “database settings” fill in the server name or IP address
and the path and file name for the application database. In our example
we use the server name: myserver.lotus.com
and the path and file name: myapplication.nsf
In the field for server IP address you can either specify an IP address,
like 9.95.34.10, or you can give the DNS name of the server, as we did.
In most cases it is easier for end-users to recognize the DNS name of the
server.
In the field for database path you can either specify the physical path
and filename of the database (relative to the data directory) or you can
specify the replica ID of the database.
Note If you specify the path, avoid spaces in both the path and the
filename, as the resulting URL may not be usable. If you specify replica
ID in the path field, the colon (:) has to be removed from the replica ID.
6. In the section initiation settings, you must enable the process cache.
The process cache stores a list of processes that can be initiated in the
application. The start time for new jobs can be reduced by using the
process cache. Use of the process cache is required when using Web
clients. The process cache ensures that processes will appear in the process
selection box, when initiating a new job from the Web. Without the
process cache you will not be able to start any job from your Web clients.
7. Once it is enabled, you can schedule updates of the process cache by
clicking the Schedule button. Schedule the routine based on how often
your process changes.
8. Save and close the document.
Tip The URL generated by the setup document can be copied to the
clipboard to have a reference to the Domino Workflow application. The
setup document has to be in Reader mode to do this.
Update the process cache
The process cache will be updated on a regular basis by an agent called
“(OS Administration).” The frequency with which this agent should update
the process cache can be set in the application setup document, described
previously.
Chapter 5: Accessing Domino Workflow from Web clients 133
If you already have a process running in your application database, as we
do in our example, you have to update the process cache manually if you
want to test the initiation immediately on the Web.
Only users with the role “[Process Cache]” in the application database ACL
are able to update the process cache manually.
Use the following steps to update the process cache manually:
1. Open your application database.
2. Choose View - Administration - 7. Cache\2. By process.
3. Click Update process cache.
The process cache will now be updated and you will be able to initiate new
jobs from your Web clients.
Tip The cache views can also be used to troubleshoot a situation where a
process is not displayed for a specific user. In the view Administration - 7.
Cache\1. By initiator you are able to see which users can start which processes.
Whenever you make changes to the initiation settings of a process that
should take effect immediately at run time, you must update the process
cache manually, as described above, after activating the process.
Accessing the workflow database through the standard Web interface
If you performed all the steps described in the previous paragraph, your
application will now be accessible for the Web clients. You will be able to
participate in the workflow by performing the following steps:
1. Start your Internet browser.
2. Type in the correct URL, for instance:
http://myserver.lotus.com/myapplication.nsf/?opendatabase
Tip You can also copy the URL from the Setup document, as described
above. When you do this the database will open the “All Jobs”
navigator and view and the start screen will not be shown. The URL
will then look like this:
http://myserver.lotus.com/myapplication.nsf/OS+WD+A+Name?O
penView
3. Domino will prompt you for a user name and password.
Note The user name should be complete with domain, and the
password must be the Internet password registered in the person
document in the Domino Directory.
134 Using Domino Workflow
4. The start screen of the Domino Workflow Web user interface will be
shown. This start screen is the form “$$ Navigator Template for All
Jobs”. This form is a design element of the application database and, as
such, is subject to any changes in wording and code that you may want.
You can access its design from the Domino Designer. The default start
screen looks like the following figure:
5. Click the link “Open Domino Workflow Web UI” to open the database.
Domino Workflow opens the default view of the database, which by
default is the “Inbox” of the current user. You will now be able to
perform the most common tasks, like initiating a job and claiming an
activity from your Web client. The following figure shows you the
standard Web user interface of Domino Workflow:
Chapter 5: Accessing Domino Workflow from Web clients 135
The screen in this figure shows the “(OS WD D Inbox)” view within the form
“$$ ViewTemplate for OS WD D Inbox.” In this form the Web page is built
with HTML and Domino functionality (so no additional functionality is used).
On this form you can customize your design in terms of changing a title or
displaying different information. For instance, you can change the subform
“(OS Domino Workflow Headline WEB)” and add your company logo and
standard header. This head will be used in all other “$$ ViewTemplate” forms.
Shared fields are used to embed references to image files. These references
can be changed to your own image files. The image files you want to use
must be stored in the directory “domino\icons” or any subdirectory of the
directory “domino\icons.”
Note The “domino\icons” directory is a standard subdirectory from the
Domino data directory on your server.
The shared fields you can change are listed in the following table:
Field name
Description
DominoDefaultLinesPerView The number of documents which should be used in
the “Next Page” and the “Previous Page” button.
WebBackgroundOS
The background image that is used in the cover
document, main document and in all application
documents. It is also used as a background image
for the “New Job” form.
$$HTMLHead
The style sheet that should be applied to all
Application Web user interface views. Style sheets
are located in your Domino data directory in the
subdirectory “domino\html.”
ImageSearchOS
The path and filename of the search image.
ImageMoveFirstOS
The path and filename of the image used on the
navigation control that navigates to the first
document in the current view.
ImagePreviousPageOS
The path and filename of the image used on the
navigation control that navigates N documents
backwards in the current view.
ImageMoveMiddleOS
The path and filename of the image used on the
navigation control that is used to go to the middle of
the view.
ImageMoveMiddleBottomOS The path and filename of the image used on the
navigation control that is used to go to the middle of
the view.
continued
136 Using Domino Workflow
Field name
Description
ImageNextPageOS
The path and filename of the image used on the
navigation control that navigates N documents
forward in the current view.
ImageMoveLastOS
The path and filename of the image that points to
the last document in the view.
ImageExpandAllOS
The path and filename of the image that allows you
to expand all documents in the current view.
ImageCollapseAllOS
The path and filename of the image that allows you
to collapse all documents in the current view.
ImageGoToTopOS
The path and filename of the image that is used in
the desktop views to jump to the top of the page.
Advantages and disadvantages of the standard Web user interface
There are advantages and disadvantages to using the standard Web user
interface in Domino Workflow 2.0. They are discussed in this section, along
with some conclusions regarding the use of the standard Web user interface
that Domino Workflow provides.
Advantages
Advantages of using the standard Web user interface include:
•
The standard Web user interface is an out-of-the-box Web solution.
Domino Workflow ships with its product a standard Web user interface
that can be used after making some small adjustments to your application
database. You don’t need a skilled software engineer to make this work.
•
You do not need to change any process-related issues to use the Web
clients.
If you are using the Web clients to access your workflow application, the
processes you have already developed with the architect do not have to
be changed or reactivated.
•
Custom changes are fairly easy since the code is all Domino technology
and HTML.
Changes to the Domino Workflow standard Web user interface can be
made using Domino technology. For instance, you can easily create a
frame set where the application should work. Because you use standard
Domino technology, customization is possible and fairly simple.
Chapter 5: Accessing Domino Workflow from Web clients 137
•
There is nearly no additional learning curve for the workflow participants
because the Web user interface is closely related to the Notes user interface.
If you are familiar with the Domino Workflow Notes user interface, it
should not take long to familiarize yourself with the standard Web user
interface.
Disadvantages
Disadvantages of using the standard Web user interface:
•
The standard Web user interface will, in some cases, not fit into the
standard intranet environment your company is running on.
It is very likely that you need to customize the Web user interface
before your workflow application can be put into production.
•
You cannot access all workflow functionality from the Web user interface.
For example, “add document” functionality, manual join capability,
client-based routing, reassignment, and team change are only available
through the Notes client.
•
The standard Web user interface is very basic, which sometimes affects
its user friendliness.
For example, the functionality to complete your activity (Activity
complete) is done based on a keyword field where you have to specify
the action you want to do on the document and then use the “Submit”
button to complete your activity.
•
The Web user interface is built based on Domino R4.6. It does not
utilize any of the Domino R5.0 Web features.
A lot of Web development features are added to Domino R5.0. These
features are not used in the Domino Workflow application because the
design is based on Domino R4.6. By adding features such as frames and
outlines you can create a better Web user interface for your application.
Conclusion
Considering the advantages and disadvantages of using a standard Web
interface, we came to the conclusion that it will, in many cases, be necessary
to customize your application Web user interface. The customization can be
done with standard Domino technology. Therefore, it should be possible for
any experienced Domino developer to create a new user interface. By adding
R5 features, for instance frames or outlines, you can create a Web user
interface which is user friendly and will fit into your intranet environment.
138 Using Domino Workflow
If you only occasionally have workflow participants connecting through the
Web, the standard Web user interface of Domino Workflow will be an easy
and good solution to use. In such a case you can enable your application for
those Web users very easily and without much effort.
Customization of the Domino Workflow Web user interface
The Web user interface shown in the previous figure can be customized
according to customer demands and corporate standards. The next figure
shows an example of how it can look when you customize it utilizing some
of the additional features introduced in Domino R5.0.
A highly customized user interface is shown in this figure. The application
is accessed through a frameset consisting of three frames (top, left bottom,
right bottom).
The top frame always shows your company’s intranet navigator, in this case
it is Lotus. In a real-life scenario the workflow application is likely to be
embedded in your intranet environment.
The left bottom frame, when first opened, shows the workflow home
navigator. From there you are able to initiate jobs. When a specific
document is opened, the cover document is visible in the left bottom frame.
The right bottom frame displays Domino views. You can make your choice of
one view at a given time. Personal views are customized and the cover
document is no longer shown in the view, as compared to the standard user
Chapter 5: Accessing Domino Workflow from Web clients 139
interface. When a specific document is opened, the binder cover is displayed
in the left bottom frame and the main document is opened in the right bottom
frame. In the left bottom frame you can also find links to the other documents
in the binder. Clicking any of these links causes the specified document to be
opened in the right bottom frame.
As you can see, there are a lot of possibilities to customize your Web workflow
application. A lot can be done by using Domino technology, including the use
of JavaScript. Further discussion of how to implement these changes is
presented in Appendix B.
Summary
In this chapter we discussed how to Web-enable your Domino Workflow
application. This can be done by adjusting the setup document, updating the
process cache, adding a subform to your forms, and enabling the Domino
Workflow Web agents with the administrator ID. When these changes are
made, workflow participants can access the workflow database with standard
Internet browsers and perform most workflow-related actions as they would
from the Notes client.
There are some advantages to using the standard Web user interface. You do
not have to make any changes and it is an out-of-the-box solution. However,
the Web user interface may not fit into your corporate intranet environment.
It is also not always easy to use. Therefore you might prefer to customize the
standard Web user interface in many cases. Such a customization can be
easily done by using the standard Domino features. The details of how to
customize your application are discussed in Appendix B.
140 Using Domino Workflow
Chapter 6
Introducing Domino Workflow in
an existing application
The goal of this chapter is to show what needs to be done to enable (retrofit)
Domino Workflow in an application with a custom-made workflow solution.
We will use a standard Document Library database as our example because
it features some basic concurrent and sequential workflow. There are several
ways to add Domino Workflow functionality to an existing application. In
the approach we show in this chapter, we will only use Domino Workflow
features introduced in the previous chapters.
General steps to add Domino Workflow to your application
To replace an existing solution use the following steps:
1. Determine the features of the current solution.
2. Create the Organization, Design repository, and Process Definition
databases.
3. Define the process in the Domino Workflow Architect, including as
many features of the old solution as possible.
4. Add the Domino Workflow design elements to the application database.
5. Customize the Application database to use the Domino Workflow
version of the process.
Overview of the process in the existing application
The Document Library is a Domino application that gives teams a place to
prepare and share documents and have them reviewed. Besides the content
itself, documents have a title, they can be assigned to one or more categories
and each document has a review status. Once a document is ready for review,
the author selects which people should perform the review. The reviews can
be done in serial or in parallel. The author can select to have an e-mail message
sent for each completed review or only when all reviews are completed and it
is also possible to set a time limit (in days) for each review.
141
The part of the document form where the review parameters are specified is
shown in the following figure:
The review process of the existing application has the following characteristics:
•
The originator is known.
•
There can be any number of reviewers (at least one).
•
Review order can be concurrent or sequential.
•
Reviewers get a notification for a review activity.
•
Notification of the Originator can be done either at each finished review
or only at the end of the review process.
•
The allowed review time can be specified per document.
•
If sequential reviewing is selected, optional automatic submission of a
review if it’s overdue can be enabled.
Creating the review process
Before we customize the Document Library design, we first have to define the
review process in Domino Workflow. This requires us to create a Process
Definition database and an Organization database.
Review process definition
We want the new process to cover as many of the features of the review
process — as it is defined in the Document Library — as possible. Some of
these features can easily be implemented in Domino Workflow, while others
require the use of the Domino Workflow 2.0 Developer’s Toolkit (see Chapter
7 for instructions on how to get it). However, we will only use features and
techniques that were introduced in the preceding chapters, so the process
won’t be defined exactly according to the current implementation.
New review process features
The new process we will implement has the following features:
•
One to four reviewers can be accommodated.
•
Concurrent or sequential review order is possible.
142 Using Domino Workflow
•
Reviewers get a notification for a review activity.
•
The originator is notified at each finished review if sequential reviewing
is chosen, and always at the end of the review process.
•
A review is overdue after three days.
Organization database
The Organization database has to be populated with process specific elements
such as Roles, Persons, and Job Properties. For the review process we will only
need a few of the features of the Organization database.
Roles
We will only define the Reviewer role; we will use it to define who may create
documents and consequently start the review process.
Persons
The organization database must contain the people in our organization who
will be using our new workflow process.
Job properties
We will need access to two fields from the main document.
Note To shield the process definition as much as possible from the
implementation details of the main document, it is a good practice to create
a Job Property for each field you want to access:
Job Property Name
Formula
List of Reviewers
ReviewerList
ReviewType
@If(ReviewType = “1”; “Sequential”; “Concurrent”)
To reduce the complexity of the formulas in the process design we need
some additional Job Properties:
Job Property Name
Formula
Select Reviewer
@subset(@subset((@JobProperty([List of
Reviewers]) : “”); @input); -1)
Reviewer 1
@JobProperty([Select Reviewer]; 1)
Reviewer 2
@JobProperty([Select Reviewer]; 2)
Reviewer 3
@JobProperty([Select Reviewer]; 3)
Reviewer 4
@JobProperty([Select Reviewer]; 4)
Chapter 6: Introducing Domino Workflow in an Existing Application 143
Now we are ready to define the process. We have designed the review
process to be used for both the sequential review and the concurrent review.
This means that there will be a number of conditional routings in the whole
process. The flow is determined by the number of specified reviewers and by
the review type.
The recurring element in the process is illustrated in the following figure:
From Previous Sequential Review
S
From First Activity
C
Please
Review
To Last Activity
S
Notify Initiator
of Review
To Next Sequential Review
The route from the first activity to the review activity is only taken if
Concurrent reviewing is chosen. Both the ’S’ routings are chosen only if
Sequential routing is chosen.
144 Using Domino Workflow
The whole review process, with the maximum of four reviewers, will look
like the next figure:
The main document is
preserved by routing it
directly
Start
Notify Initiator
of Finished
Review
Create
Document
R1
Please
Review
S R2
End
C = Concurrent Routing
S = Sequential Reviewing
R# = Reviewer #
Notify Initiator
of Review
Please
Review
C R2
S R3
Notify Initiator
of Review
C R3
Please
Review
S R4
C R4
Notify Initiator
of Review
Please
Review
The last sequential review isn't reported separately
Chapter 6: Introducing Domino Workflow in an Existing Application 145
If a four reviewer concurrent process is selected the flow will be as shown
in the following figure:
Start
Notify Initiator
of Finished
Review
Create
Document
R1
C R2
C R3
Please
Review
Please
Review
Please
Review
C R4
Please
Review
146 Using Domino Workflow
End
If a four reviewer sequential process is selected the flow will be as follows:
Start
Notify Initiator
of Finished
Review
Create
Document
R1
End
Please
Review
S R2
Notify Initiator
of Review
Please
Review
S R3
Notify Initiator
of Review
Please
Review
S R4
Notify Initiator
of Review
Please
Review
Customizing the Document Library template
Several steps are required to introduce Domino Workflow in the Document
Library template, as follows:
1. Add all necessary Domino Workflow design elements.
2. Remove or disable the Document Library design elements associated
with the custom workflow implementation.
3. Add the proper Roles to the ACL.
Chapter 6: Introducing Domino Workflow in an Existing Application 147
Adding Domino Workflow
Not all the design elements in the Domino Workflow Application template
are required. Some are required if you want to participate in a process
through a Web client, some are required if you want to integrate with
Domino.Doc, and so on. Refer to the Domino Workflow documentation to
see which elements you require for your application. The table below
describes the required and optional design elements when all users will be
using a Notes client (see also the Domino Workflow documentation). The
asterisk (*) stands for any sub string, so “(OS *)” matches all names which
start with “(OS “and end with “).” Element names which are between
square brackets are optional.
Element Type
Notes / Web
Web only
Agent
(OS *)
OS *
[Show *]
OS Web *
Database Script
Postopen
QueryDocumentDelete
Folders
Search Report
Search Report
Forms
(OS *)
(XXX-LanguageProfileTag-XXX)
(OS Web *)
$$*
(OS Binder Cover Web)
Navigators
Script Libraries
*
*
Shared Fields
*OS
$$HTMLHead
Subforms
(OS *)
(OS * Web)
Views
Administration\1. Application Setup
[Administrator\*]
[Desktop\*]
[All Jobs\*]
(OS *)
*
148 Using Domino Workflow
Removing custom workflow
The visible part of the custom workflow is displayed on the Document
Form shown in the following figure:
The fields ReviewWindow, ReviewTime and NotifyAfter change from
editable to Computed When Composed. The “Time Limit Option” is always
“Keep sending reminders after time limit expires.” The “Time Limit” is
always four days. The “Notify originator after” is always “final reviewer.”
The actions “Submit for Review,” “My Review is Complete,” and “Clear
Review Cycle” are removed.
The hidden field Status reflects where the document is in the process definition.
Its value was set directly via actions, but it is changed to a Computed for
Display field and it gets its value from the Custom Attribute CA_ActivityAlias.
The field ReviewerNumber was also set via the actions, but was not present
on the form. It is added and it gets its value from the Custom Attribute
CA_ReviewerNumber.
Adding roles to the ACL
You should add the following Roles to the ACL:
•
Install
•
Process Reader
•
Process Cache
•
Process Server
The Install role is used to do the initial application setup. The Language
document can only be created by people who have this role.
The Process Reader role is assigned to everybody who should be able to see
all documents. People who do not have this role won’t be able to see any
document.
Chapter 6: Introducing Domino Workflow in an Existing Application 149
The Process Cache role is assigned to the administrator group. People with
this role are able to update the process cache. The process cache is necessary
if the application is to be used via a Web client.
The Process Server role is assigned to the server on which the Domino
Workflow agents are enabled. People with this role will be able to run the
agent manual, which might interfere with the scheduled agent.
Follow the directions in Chapter 3 to correctly set up the application
database.
Summary
This chapter covered the steps necessary to replace an existing workflow
solution with a Domino Workflow solution. There will always be advantages
and disadvantages when replacing a custom workflow solution with a
Domino Workflow solution.
Advantages might include:
•
Easy maintenance of an existing process is enabled.
•
More complex workflow is possible.
•
It is easy to visualize your process.
•
Availability of advanced workflow management features such as Time
Management or Audit Trail.
On the other hand, there may also be disadvantages:
•
Process features of the existing solution might be difficult to design in
Domino Workflow.
•
The system grows because you need at least two additional databases.
150 Using Domino Workflow
Chapter 7
A closer look at Domino Workflow: process design and
implementation
In this chapter we introduce some ways to enhance the process created in
Chapter 4. You can use these enhancements individually or in combination.
We introduce them separately because you should be able to read and
understand any part of this chapter without referring to the other parts.
The enhancements described in this chapter are:
•
Using parts of existing designs through the Business Object Library
•
Adding job- or activity-specific information to your binder document
through custom attributes
•
The use of subprocesses to standardize corporate routines
•
Various ways to initiate your jobs
•
Automatic naming of activities
•
Automated activities, that is performing tasks without user involvement
•
Automatic claim of activities
•
Using parent-child processes to add flexibility to your process
Using existing elements: Business Object Library
The Business Object Library (BOL) is a feature of the Domino Workflow
Architect.
It allows you to easily use all the workflow elements that are stored in the
databases set in the currently used profile.
Note You can check which databases are currently open by choosing File Open databases from the pull-down menu to display the databases dialog.
In this dialog you can also change data sources, as well as create multiple
profiles for various environments.
151
You can find the Business Object Library in a split window on the right side
of the process window (the window in which you draw your process maps),
as shown in the following figure.
Note that in the figure most categories are collapsed. Click on any of the
categories to expand it and show the list of all the elements belonging to it.
There is also another way to access a Business Object Library: choose
Options - Library from the pull-down menu (or Ctrl L) to create a floating,
separate window where you can see all elements for the category you select.
One of those is shown in the next figure.
You can open as many windows with the Business Object Library as you want.
This is useful for providing access to various object types through several
windows without changing the category. The Business Object Library lets you
use many different kinds of predefined objects. You can use activities from
other processes with all their attributes, as well as automated activities, routing
relations, and whole processes.
Note When you reuse a whole process, Domino Workflow creates a process
link to the specific process. If this is not what you want because there are some
changes in the process, you should open the specific process, rename it, and
use “Save as Copy.”
You can also reuse formulas that were formerly defined. All those elements
are stored in the design repository. From the organization directory there
are persons, workgroups, roles, and departments, as well as relations, job
152 Using Domino Workflow
properties, and resources (including application databases, mail addresses,
client-driven and server-driven programs) that can be used for modeling.
The application database is used to provide the forms that can be used
through the process.
You can use the elements of Business Object Library through the drag-anddrop technique. (Choose the element of interest with your mouse, press and
hold the left mouse button, drag the element to the place you want to put it,
and finally, drop the element by releasing the left button.) You can recognize
the permitted and forbidden places to drop your object through the changing
shape of your cursor. To transfer elements from one design repository to
another, put them in your process window, change the design repository (by
choosing File - Open databases from the pull-down menu and selecting the
right one), and save your process. When transferring whole processes, the
process has to be open in its own window. In case of other references you
have to take care of the existence of the referenced objects in the appropriate
database.
Note Reusing activities, automated activities, or routing relations always
means creating a new copy of the object. Therefore, if you don’t want to end
up with multiple elements with the same name, rename them for each use.
All the other elements used through the BOL are references — you can use
them in multiple processes.
Chapter 7: A closer look at Domino Workflow: process design and implementation 153
Tip Try using your right mouse button for dragging Business Object
Library objects. Using this method business objects can be assigned to
specific properties of Activities.
Custom attributes
Domino Workflow Architect offers you the opportunity to add temporary
fields to the main document of a binder. In Chapter 4 we saw how this
feature allowed us to use the same form for two parallel activities and still
be able to distinguish between the documents produced because the field
value comes from a custom attribute. Custom attributes can be added at the
process or the activity level.
Activity level
Domino Workflow adds the fields when a binder is routed to an activity then
removes them when the activity is completed. In the Domino Workflow
Architect you specify the field name and the value of this attribute in the
dialog box for the advanced properties of an activity. For example, you can
use these attributes:
•
To pass parameters to an agent in an automated activity. In this way
you can use the same agent in different places.
•
As activity aliases, so you are not dependent on the full name of the
activity or the internal activity identifier to perform actions.
154 Using Domino Workflow
Process level
Domino Workflow adds the fields to the main document when a binder is
created. In the Domino Workflow Architect you specify the field name and
the value of this attribute in the dialog box for the advanced properties of a
process.
A custom attribute applied to the whole process is not removed after a job
has been completed, while one added at the activity level is removed when
the activity is completed.
Standardizing corporate routines: subprocesses
The most important way to reuse processes, as well as run processes in
multiple databases, is through the use of subprocesses. Subprocesses are
actually just regular processes that are part of some other process. Within
the host process you can set them at any place where an activity can be
used. You can use a subprocess as some kind of extended activity, with an
entrance and exit (point).
A subprocess may also include some other process itself. Therefore, with
subprocesses you can create structures of any level of complexity. A process
can have more than one subprocess and can be included in other processes,
according to your needs.
Note Subprocesses are regular processes embedded in other processes.
Therefore, you cannot determine from the view of a process if it is used in
some other process as a subprocess. In case you should need such information,
you’ll have to store it on your own (for instance as a Custom Attribute of a
process, in its Advanced Properties).
Chapter 7: A closer look at Domino Workflow: process design and implementation 155
Using a subprocess
The following two methods can be used to introduce a subprocess to your
application:
1. Go to the Business Object Library that stores available processes.
Drag a required process to the place you want it to run and drop it there.
All basic properties of a process link (that is, what you create using
subprocesses) will be set to default values, allowing you to use it as it is.
2. Create an empty link using the Toolbox and manually set the parameters.
The exact description of the parameters can be found in the product
documentation. However, you should look at the most important link
properties, which are under the General and Target tabs.
In the general settings you can decide, for some of the properties, whether they
should be set according to the subprocess or overruled by the settings of the
main (host) process. In the target settings you can specify in which application
the subprocess should run. You can choose the same application or any other
application database, including one located on some other server or even in
some other domain. The choice of the application can be based on a dynamic
formula.
Note Make sure that the application in which your subprocess will run is
connected to a process definition database containing the active process
definition of the subprocess. Also, make sure that the application databases
are included as resources in the appropriate organization directories and
that they are listed as mail-in databases in the Domino Directory.
156 Using Domino Workflow
Note You always have to differentiate between Link Properties and Process
Properties. Link Proprieties are stored in the main process (containing an
embedded subprocess), and Process Properties are always stored with the
process to which they refer.
Note Domino Workflow Architect also offers an object called Cluster. A
cluster is used to hide complexity when working in the Architect by
representing a subset of the process with a single box. It looks like a
subprocess, but the main difference is that a cluster (group of activities) is
an integral part of the process and not a reference. Also, a cluster has no
attributes other than name and description. It is completely ignored by the
engine at the time of process execution.
Customizing Domino Workflow using the Developer’s Toolkit
We introduce Domino Workflow 2.0 Developer’s Toolkit here because we
refer to it when discussing various ways to initiate a process. The information
covered in this section should help you to understand some Toolkit basics, to
aid in your understanding of other topics.
You can also use the Developer’s Toolkit for Domino Workflow R2.0 or later
to enhance product flexibility. It is a Domino database with LotusScript
libraries, other Domino design elements, and documentation. It contains the
workflow events that allow you to extend workflow engine functionality,
interfaces to organization directories other than the product’s own (as
described in Chapter 8), a definition of the XML subprocess interface, and a
LotusScript API, as well as definitions of the internal workflow fields. All
these elements can be used to customize your own workflow environment.
You can get the toolkit from the Lotus Web site at:
http://www.lotus.com/workflow
Important As most elements of the Toolkit are very close to the internal
structures and routines used by Domino Workflow, upward compatibility
to future versions is not guaranteed. Therefore major new product releases
may require you to review customized code extensions. This is especially
true once new feature sets are introduced that affect already existing
features. However, all the functionality available through the Toolkit will
also be supported for future releases. Some custom code may also become
obsolete in case a workaround implemented using the Toolkit is replaced
by a newly introduced feature. To ease migration we recommend encapsulating the workflow fields and routines into your own functions in order to
make the transition easier. Such an encapsulation is always a good practice,
as it also makes the maintenance of your application much easier. For more
information about encapsulation, see Chapter 12.
Chapter 7: A closer look at Domino Workflow: process design and implementation 157
Note To use the elements of the Developer’s Toolkit you’ll have to copy
some elements included in the database into your application. The exact list
of elements you have to copy will depend on your needs and is documented
in the Toolkit. Afterwards you’ll be able to use the provided mechanisms.
Important All the workflow events apply to the whole database. Therefore,
you have to define the binders appropriate for the action within the event.
Such an architecture can also have an impact on system performance since
the code will be run every time the event occurs.
Various ways to initiate your job
As we mentioned in a previous chapter, there are basically four ways to
initiate a job:
Initiate a job manually using the “New Job” button in your application.
Initiate a job by incoming mail (mail-based initiation).
Initiate a job by creating a document in the application database
(form-based initiation).
Initiate a job by using the Domino Workflow Developer’s Toolkit.
These four variations allow you to use the initiation scenario that best fits your
needs. Such scenarios include initiating a job from the application database or
from any other database (by manual initiation), creating a workflow-initiating
document manually, through an agent, or based on an special event (by
form-based initiation or the Toolkit). In the next few paragraphs we’ll describe
the four basic scenarios in detail. If you need more help on some special
features, you can find it in the product documentation.
158 Using Domino Workflow
Standard initiation of a new job
The standard initiation can be accomplished from most of the regular views
that can be reached using the provided navigator. To initiate a job, click the
appropriate action as illustrated in the following figure.
The easiest way to check whether you can initiate a job based on a particular
process is by trying to initiate it. If you have any problems finding the right
process, there are various settings you can check. They are described in the
rest of this section, along with possible settings that you can deploy later on
your own.
Note If you want to initiate a job, you must have created and activated a
process on which this job will be based. Your application database has to be set
on the right process definition database. (You can check it in the application
setup: choose View - Administration - 1. Application Setup from the
pull-down menu.) You must also be included in the list of people who are
allowed to initiate a job based on this particular process. (You can check this in
the process definition database, in the Architect, or in the process cache view if
you are using a process cache. You can find a process cache view by choosing
View - Administration - 7. Cache - 1. By Initiator in the pull-down menu in the
application database.) If you’ve restricted the processes that can be initiated in
your application to some chosen ones, you should also make sure that the
process on which your job is to be based is allowed to run in this application.
You can check this setting in the application setup document, in the initiation
settings section as shown in the following figure.
Chapter 7: A closer look at Domino Workflow: process design and implementation 159
Viewing accessible processes
After clicking New Job, you will be presented with a dialog box for choosing
the correct process. If you are not sure which process is the right one, you
can read their descriptions and also see the process maps as defined in
Architect. Use the Viewer to do this (if you set it up in the organization
directory and have been given authorization to use it). Access the viewer by
clicking View Process as illustrated in the next figure.
The Web initiation looks basically the same, only without the possibility of
using a Viewer.
Advanced initiation
In many scenarios you may want to hide workflow by presenting users with a
simple interface, without requiring them to go through workflow-related
dialogs. For such purposes you can use advanced initiation. This kind of
initiation also can be used in scenarios with remote initiators and for processes
that should be triggered automatically. To enable advanced initiation you
160 Using Domino Workflow
have to set the appropriate attribute in the initiation section of the setup
document in the application database, as illustrated by the following figure.
Mail-based initiation
Mail-based initiation takes place when workflow initiators are remote, but
can be instructed on how their mail should look or can be given a form on
which to send mail. To use mail-based initiation the parameters shown in
the preceding figure have to be set. Usage of the parameters is as follows:
•
Process
The process can be statically named if all mail items should trigger jobs
based on the same process. Alternatively, it can be a name computed
using an @formula.
•
Job name
You can use strings, field values, or an @formula to set the name of the job.
•
Priority
Priority can be set using strings, field values, or an @ formula.
•
Mail becomes
This parameter defines what should happen to the mail document. It
can be deleted, used as a main document in the binder, or put into the
binder as a regular binder document.
Note The settings for Process, Job name and Priority have to be defined as
formulas. If you want to assign a static string, do not forget to put it in
quotes.
Chapter 7: A closer look at Domino Workflow: process design and implementation 161
After you’ve set all the parameters and declared the application database as
a mail-in database in your Domino Directory, you can begin to initiate
processes by sending mail to the database.
Note The main problem with mail-based initiation is to extract a process
name and a meaningful job name from the fields available in the mail.
Therefore, we suggest using a predefined form that includes fields for a
process name and job name to create your initializing mail items or to use
form-based initiation. An alternative suggestion would be using only one
mail-triggered process for the application database.
Form-based initiation
A similar but more flexible way to initiate a new job is by using form-based
initiation. To use this method you must enable the advanced initiation feature
in the setup of the application database. Form-based initiation starts a new job
after a document containing specific fields has been created, mailed or the
fields have been added to an existing document. Therefore, there are various
scenarios that can be covered with this technique. It is possible to generate a
document manually, or it can be created in any automated way provided by
Domino. It’s important that a newly created document contain the following
fields:
NewProcessNameOS
NewJobNameOS
NewJobPriorityOS
MailStatusOS
InitiateOS
ExternalInitiatorOS
Note These names were used in the 2.0 version of the product. If you’re
using some other version, check the product documentation for details, in
the section “Initiate a Job Using a Form.” In the design of the application
database there is a form called “(OS Form-based Initiation Template)” that
includes the mentioned fields. You should copy and paste these fields into
your form and give them the appropriate value.
The field names give a good indication of what you should put into them:
the name of the process, the name of the job, job priority, decision about
what happens to the initial document, trigger to initiate a job, and the name
of the initiator. For further explanations see the product documentation. If
you have enabled extended initiation, a new job will be created each time a
document containing those fields is created or the fields have been added to
an existing document.
162 Using Domino Workflow
Note A new job won’t be initiated immediately after you’ve created a
document, but only after the appropriate agent has run on the document.
Therefore, you must be prepared for a little delay. The amount of time
between creating a document and initiating a job depends on the settings of
your agent and your server, and the workload of your server.
Caution The background agent will only create new jobs from documents
where the field “initiates” is “yes.” The background agent will give this
field another value. If you make this field a computed field with the value
“yes”, every time the document is refreshed, the field will have the value
“yes” and the backgrounder will try to initiate the job over and over again.
The background agent will disregard all documents that contain the
InitiatateOS is “yes” flag, but that are part of a workflow binder already
(which means they have a field named FolderIDOS).
Initiation using the DWFJobInitiate API function
If you want full control over when and how new jobs are initiated you can
use the API function DWFJobInitiate to initiate a new job. To use this function
you have to download the Domino Workflow Developer’s Toolkit and install
it into your Application database as described in its documentation.
You can use this function from any LotusScript enabled Domino design
element such as buttons, hotspots, from a navigator, a form or an agent. All
that is required is to add the following statement to the Options section of
your script:
Use "OS Domino Workflow API"
Within your script you can then call the DWFJobInitiate function. It has the
following list of parameters:
•
ProcessName: Name of the process that is to be initiated.
•
Jobname: Name of the job that is to be initiated. There is no check
whether the jobname is already in use. Two jobs with the same jobname
will not cause any technical problems, but may be confusing for the
user.
•
Priority: Priority of the process. The priority does need to be based on
the settings in the application setup document.
•
ClaimActivity: If true, the binder will be claimed for the current user; if
false, the binder will not be claimed.
•
Sideeffect: When claimbinder is true, the event PostInitByUser is
triggered, whereas if it is false the PostInitByMail Event is issued.
•
Maindoc: Optional: if this variable refers to a document, this document
is added to the binder and used as a main document. Use ’nothing’ as
the default. See also Returnvalues.
Chapter 7: A closer look at Domino Workflow: process design and implementation 163
•
ErrorMsg: See documentation.
•
ErrorCode: See documentation.
The function returns True if the initiation was successful. In this case the
Maindoc contains a reference to the main document of the newly created
workflow binder. If the function returns false, an error has occurred during
initiation. You can use the ErrorMsg and Errorcode variables to determine
why the initiation failed.
Consider the following scenario: You have implemented a workflow to
check candidates that have applied for an open position. One of the options
is to invite a candidate to a job interview — which you want to implement
as a separate process. At a specific activity you want the Activity Owners to
be able to start this new process manually using a “invite to interview”
button. All information about the candidate is to be transferred to the new
workflow.
You can implement this scenario by creating a button on the form used by the
first process. In its Options section the button contains the statement:
Use “OS Domino Workflow API”
In the Click event the following code is being used:
Sub Click(Source As Button)
Dim ws As New NotesUiworkspace
Dim session As New Notessession
Dim thisdoc As Notesdocument
Dim newdoc As Notesdocument
Set thisdoc = ws.currentdocument.document
Set newdoc = _
thisdoc.CopyToDatabase(session.currentdatabase)
ProcessName = "Invite candidate"
Priority = "2. Medium"
JobName = "Invitation for " + thisdoc.CandidateName(0)
Claim = True
success = DWFJobInitiate(ProcessName, JobName , _
Priority , Claim, Newdoc, ErrorMsg , Errorcode )
If success Then
Call ws.EditDocument(True, newdoc)
Else
164 Using Domino Workflow
Msgbox Errormsg
End If
End Sub
Using the Domino Workflow API function DWFJobInitiate is the most
powerful way to initiate new jobs programmatically.
Note Depending on the version of the Developer’s Toolkit that you are
using, the parameters may be slightly different. There might be an
additional input parameter “OnBehalfOf” that allows you to claim the
first activity for someone other than the current user. This option is useful,
if you are using the DWFJobInitiate function in a Web agent running on the
server’s name. Refer to the documentation for more information.
A practical initiation scenario
Consider the example of two simple processes running in one workflow
application. Both of them can be triggered manually (if a customer calls) or
by e-mail. There is no possibility of influencing the content of customers’
mail; you can only give them two different addresses for the different
processes. This scenario will look like the following figure.
Requirement
Work on the case
Close the case
E-mail
Phone call
Fax
Process A
Archive
Register
the case
Work on the case
Close the case
Type text
Choose the Process
Process B
You can use a manual initiation exclusively for all incoming requirements, or
you can develop some structure to automate a part of the initiation.
The first step would be to create two forms that will trigger your processes —
let’s name them form A and form B. Both of them must include appropriate
fields allowing the creation of a job. In this way a person registering one
requirement can create a document based on an appropriate form to trigger
the right job. To automate creating jobs based on an e-mail, you can create
two mail-in databases that will act as filters for the incoming mail and trigger
the right process. An agent in each of these databases will create a document
in the application database.
Chapter 7: A closer look at Domino Workflow: process design and implementation 165
In this scenario the dispatchers don’t actually work on the case, but only
register it by using the appropriate form. They don’t have to be aware of the
workflow following their action, as all the actions they will take are typical
for Domino. The external initiators also don’t have to know anything about
workflow other than an e-mail address; they send mail with any kind of
subject and content on the appropriate self-explaining address (for instance,
bugs@lotus.com and ideas@lotus.com) that are then automatically processed
by the dispatcher. You can see such a scenario in the following figure where
EmailA is a database, EmailB is a database and Process A and Process B take
place in the same database C. All “create a document” actions happen within
database C.
Requirement
E-mail
Phone call
Fax
Register
the case
Type text
Create a document
Create
doc. A
Work on the case
Close the case
E-mail A
Process A
Archive
Create a document
Create document B
Work on the case
Close the case
E-mail B
Process B
Realization of the scenario
As we already mentioned, you will need two active processes and two
corresponding forms. Both forms must include the six fields required for
form-based initiation. You have to put the appropriate process names into
the field NewProcessNameOS: use the exact name of process A in form A
and the exact name of process B in form B. Then choose a name pattern for
the jobs. We suggest a name pattern that is at least partly computed and
unique for each job. This will allow you to identify your jobs later on.
Note You can enforce unique job names by setting the parameter Dupe
Check in the application setup as Enabled. If you do this, you must always
provide unique names for the automatically initiated jobs. Otherwise, new
jobs can’t be initiated and the application owner will get an error message.
166 Using Domino Workflow
As a second step you should create two mail-in databases that will receive
incoming mail.
Note You may also use one database with two different e-mail addresses
and then select mail by the address, but it’s basically the same scenario.
Next, create an agent in each database that does the following things:
1.
Create a new document in the application database.
2.
Assign either form A or form B to this document by creating a field
Form with a value of A or B (name of the appropriate form) according
to the required process.
3.
Set the values of all fields required for form-based initiation on the new
document with the following values:
• NewProcessNameOS as process name (A or B)
• NewJobNameOS as job name (according to the instructions given in
the beginning of this section, for example using the subject value of
the incoming mail)
• NewJobPriorityOS as priority according to the rules used in your
company
• MailStatusOS as an empty string to use your newly created
document as a main document in your job
• InitiateOS as yes to allow initiation of a new job
• ExternalInitiatorOS as the name of the author of the mail
4.
Create fields on the new document that will contain the Subject and
Body of the mail and copy the appropriate values into these fields.
5.
Save the new document.
This agent should run on all new documents in the database to be sure that
each mail creates exactly one job in the application database.
Note The most logical trigger for such an agent would be After New Mail
Has Arrived, but you may experience some problems with it, as in some
versions of Domino the scheduling of such agents doesn’t work properly. If
you encounter such problems, set your agent to a schedule.
To enable your new agents, communicate the appropriate mail addresses
to all potential authors of incoming requirements and the jobs can be
created — manually or automatically.
Chapter 7: A closer look at Domino Workflow: process design and implementation 167
Naming your job automatically
Creating meaningful names for every job is not an easy task for end users.
You may already have some naming conventions for specific jobs. In such
situations it is easier to create job names automatically rather than
manually. You can do this easily with Domino Workflow.
By a standard initiation
When initiating a job with the “New Job” button, Domino Workflow creates
a dialog box based on the form “(OS Dialogbox Init).” In this dialog box you
must fill in the specific process you want to start, the job name you want to
give to the job and the priority of the job. By opening the “(OS Dialogbox
Init)” form in Domino Designer, you can change the fields on this form into
computed fields and give them a computed value. In the following figure
the field “JobNameOS” is changed to a computed field with the formula:
@Text(@Now) + " - " + ProcessListDisplayOS
Creating your own computed job names helps you to provide more
consistency in views and to better present the jobs to the end users. It can
also save time during job initiation, as the users won’t have to take care of
the unique and informative naming.
Using workflow events
When you create new jobs using alternative initiation methods, it may be a
good practice to generate job names automatically according to a specific
scheme. While you can reach this goal by attaching some logic to your form or
database, it actually isn’t the right place to do it. The job name is a part of
workflow and, as such, it should be created as a workflow task. The only
problem is the fact that workflow needs a job name; therefore, it has to be
created before the workflow starts. This is impossible to do using a standard
product, but Domino Workflow Developer’s Toolkit offers a QueryInitByMail
event that takes place exactly at the time we need it — when an alternative
initiation takes place, but before a job is created. Before using it, some scripts
have to be added to your application from the Domino Workflow Developer’s
168 Using Domino Workflow
Toolkit, according to its documentation. As an example of what you can do,
we show a piece of code along with code from the Toolkit.
Note The following piece of code uses the methods GetResource and
Evaluate, which you will have to implement in order to make this code work.
Sub QueryInitByMail(Continue As Integer, Mail As
NotesDocument)
' Variable declaration
Dim objSession As Variant
Dim objResource As Variant
Dim vReturn As Variant
Dim docCurrent As NotesDocument
' Find resource in which your job name will be calculated
' It may be a central resource database
objSession
= OpenSession ()
Set objResource = objSession.GetResource
' Set resource -- evaluate your resource
' to get the process name according to your schema
' and set the field value of NewJobNameOS to this name
Call objResource.Evaluate(docCurrent,Null,vReturn)
Call Mail.ReplaceItemValue("NewJobNameOS", vReturn)
End Sub
What you can achieve using such code for creating a job name is the possibility
of keeping all possible job name schemes in one place, in order to bring more
structure into your work.
Basics of automating an activity
Using an automated activity is an easy way to help workflow participants do
their jobs by transferring some of their highly repetitive and standardized
work to the server. Automated activities act on the job context represented
through a binder, and therefore can react to the changing situation according
to the rules you have given them. The standard set of possible actions that
Chapter 7: A closer look at Domino Workflow: process design and implementation 169
can be taken via automated activity includes sending an e-mail, triggering an
agent, and executing a program on the server.
Sending a mail message
The simplest action that an automated activity offers is sending a mail message.
You can send it to any person or group defined in your organization directory.
You can also use job properties to define an address, or you can use a
predefined address or formula that extracts some information from the job
content to specify who should receive the mail. For a subject, you can use any
static string or formula for context information. The body can also be composed
from some static information, and all required content extracted from a job
through your custom formula. To help you with creating the formula there is
an assistant that provides all the available fields and properties.
Note Keep in mind that all parameters have to be defined as @formulas.
Don’t forget to use hyphens when entering text statements.
Executing a server program
Using this option you can trigger an executable on your server. Such a
server program has to be previously defined in the organization directory
as a resource.
Caution If you use this option, be sure that only appropriate people have
edit access to the organization directory. Otherwise, you run the risk of
breaching security by running an executable on your server machine that
could be manipulated by another person.
170 Using Domino Workflow
It is also possible to pass parameters to the executable. Those parameters
can be of statical nature, or they can be computed using formulas that
extract information from the job content.
Starting a LotusScript agent
The most powerful possibility for an automated agent is executing a
LotusScript agent. You can use the automation template delivered with the
product to create an agent, as described in this section.
Note You have to make sure that CustomSubroutine in the template is
changed to return True. Without this change the automated activity will
never be completed.
Important You have to be sure that your agent was enabled (signed)
by somebody with the authority to execute unrestricted agents on the
server. Otherwise, execution of the agent will be impossible — and the
only place where you can see it is in the server log. Domino Workflow
sends no notification at such a point, as the problem is related only to
server access rights.
Developing a LotusScript workflow agent
The template for your agents used in the automated activity is an agent
called (OS Automation Template). You should make a copy of this agent
and name it according to your rules and needs. Your agent name must not
start with “OS,” “DWF,” “(OS “ or “(DWF” as agents starting with these
letters will be regarded as Domino Workflow system agents and are not
listed by the Domino Workflow Architect.
This agent allows you to access the parts of a binder through the variables
described in the function, CustomSubroutine. Those variables are:
binder
Contains a NotesDocumentCollection of all Binder Documents (including
Cover and Main document).
cover
Contains a NotesDocument, referencing the Cover Document.
main
Contains a NotesDocument, referencing the Main Document (if you use
parallel paths, the binder may contain several main documents).
The function CustomSubroutine should be extended with your own
LotusScript code. The result of your code should set the value of the
variable “CustomSubroutine.” In order to route the binder further in the
process after executing your code, it is crucial that the CustomSubroutine
Chapter 7: A closer look at Domino Workflow: process design and implementation 171
variable is set to True. This will happen when you put the following line on
the end of CustomSubroutine, just after your code:
CustomSubroutine = True
If you want to temporarily disable further routing of the binder, you can set:
CustomSubroutine = False
This will protect the binder from being passed to the next activity. You can
picture scenarios where your script decides whether the binder should be
routed or held. When the CustomSubroutine is False, the background agent
will evaluate the code every time it runs, until the CustomSubroutine is True.
An example
Consider a scenario in which you want to use an automated activity to
retrieve employee information from your human resources system. The
Custom Subroutine function of your Automated Activity Agent may look
like this:
Function CustomSubroutine (binder As OSDocumentCollection,
cover As notesdocument, main As notesdocument) As Integer
On Error Goto errorhandler
Dim EmployeeID As String
Dim EmployeeData As Variant
Dim success As Integer
EmployeeID = main.EmployeeID(0)
success= GetEmployeeDataFromHRSystem(EmployeeID,
EmployeeData )
If success Then
main.Salary = EmployeeData(0)
main.Manager = EmployeeData(1)
main.Office = EmployeeData(2)
CustomSubroutine = True
Else
Error 20000, "Data cannot be fetched"
End If
Exit Function
Errorhandler:
172 Using Domino Workflow
' implement a function to report the error
CustomSubroutine = False
Exit Function
End Function
When creating your own Automated Activity agents you should keep the
following recommendations in mind:
•
Always implement error handling. Within each routing cycle the agent
is only called once and processes all activity instances that are assigned
to this agent. If the agent is aborted when processing the first workflow
binder, all other workflow binders that need to be processed by this
agent will also be skipped, even though the error that causes the agent
to abort may only occur in very specific circumstances.
•
Do not use any NotesUI classes. As automated activities are run on
the server, UI classes cannot be used and will prevent the agent from
executing.
•
Automated Activity Agents are started by the OS Backgrounder agent
using the agent.run method. This has a side effect; prints will not
appear in the server log. You may use the NotesLog class or another
protocol mechanism instead.
•
Debugging Automated Activities may require some workarounds.
Since Automated Activity Agents are automatically triggered by the OS
Background agent, you are not able to debug them using the LotusScript
Debugger. However, there is a workaround that you may use. You can
prevent the agent from starting automatically either by using client based
routing or by renaming the agent after activating your process. If you
then start a new job and route the binder to the activity in which it will be
processed by your agent, the binder will have the status “Automation.”
You may copy the binder to the clipboard in order to debug the code
several times. If you have renamed the agent, undo this change. Now you
can run the agent from the agent menu, with the LotusScript Debugger
turned on. If the CustomSubroutine function is not called, the agent
cannot find any workflow binder to be processed. This is usually related
to a change in the agent name. If the CustomSubroutine is called you can
debug your code. If you want to prevent the agent from actually routing
the activity (in order to debug it again), abort the agent, before the
CustomSubroutine is completed. To repeat your debugging session, you
can also delete the original binder (assuming you have the access rights
to do so) and paste the binder that you have copied to the clipboard back
into the Application.
Chapter 7: A closer look at Domino Workflow: process design and implementation 173
When debugging an Automated Activity Agent, bear in mind that you
are debugging in a client environment, whereas the agent is executed
on the server in the operational environment.
Additional scenarios using an automated activity
Although the techniques used to create automated activities were already
covered, there are also some enhancements to Domino Workflow that can
be done. In the basic version of the scenarios that we introduce here, it’s
enough to create an agent based on the automation template by setting the
variable CustomSubroutine to True, as described previously. Then you can
call this agent from the automated activity placed in the appropriate place
according to the scenario, and the rest will happen automatically. You can
put additional code into the agent if you want to enhance its functionality,
but we strongly recommend trying the scenarios with a very easy agent at
first to eliminate possible process errors.
Automatically created jobs with multiple entrances
There are some cases where you have a process with more than one possible
first activity. This may happen, for instance, if some of the incoming requests
were already categorized by the sender and some others were not. You would
categorize them in the first activity, but those that are already categorized
shouldn’t enter this activity at all. Since a process can have only one entry
point, there is only one way of solving this problem. You can start your
process with an automated activity that will represent only a staring point for
the process, without any further functionality. To do so you should let this
activity trigger an agent based on the automation template that evaluates to
True (as described previously in this chapter). Then you are able to create
multiple paths exiting the first activity and routing a binder to some other
activities according to the rules defined in the routing relations.
Start
Automated
Activity
Path B
Path A
End
Such a situation happens rather often. You could also try to resolve it using
embedded processes, subprocesses, parent-child processes, or some other
workarounds, but we consider this solution to be the most efficient, quick,
and elegant one.
174 Using Domino Workflow
Loops to the same activity
There are some activities that have to be repeated many times, each time
evaluating the new group of potential activity owners. Such a situation might
happen, for instance, in the serial review of a document. There are various
ways of modeling such a situation, but the easiest and most comprehensive
possibility involves using an automated activity. Such an activity executes
only a dummy agent based on the automation template and its evaluating to
True, as described previously. Then you should define a condition on which
the loop will be activated (it may also be an explicit decision of the activity
owner) and you can run your process. At every loop the potential activity
owners will be newly evaluated, and might change according to the logic
included in their definition on the process level (in Architect). Make sure that
your loop will come to an end at some point, and the binder is routed to
another activity. Otherwise your job will never terminate.
Start
Create
Content
Automated
Activity
Serial
Review
Archive
End
Note You may also put some custom code in the agent triggered from the
automated activity. It’s a perfect place to move some evaluating logic from
your form to a place where it’ll be more obvious and easier to document.
More information about automated activities running LotusScript agents
can be found in Chapter 12.
Automatic claim of activities
In Domino Workflow, a job always has to be claimed by one of the potential
activity owners before they can work on it. However, there are many
situations in which such an approach slows things down and is not
appropriate. For example, you may have only one potential activity owner.
In such a situation, you can automate claiming of the binder and move it
directly to a status in which a workflow participant can start to work. You
can develop such a mechanism by using the Domino Workflow Developer’s
Toolkit. Write an agent acting on the documents and use the function
Chapter 7: A closer look at Domino Workflow: process design and implementation 175
DWFActivityClaim to change the status of the binder from New to In
Progress and to transfer the binder into the In Progress view of an activity
owner. This function is a part of the Domino Workflow API, and is described
with all its parameters in the Developer’s Toolkit product documentation.
After you add the required script library from the toolkit into your
application database (“OSApplicationEvents”), you can use it everywhere
inside your application. Therefore, it’s also possible to use this function in
the event PostFolderRouting that also is included and documented in the
Toolkit, as well as in an agent. In this case, it is possible to enable automatic
claim for all activities that have only one potential activity owner.
Note The workflow events refer to all jobs in the application database and
are executed for every process. Therefore, you may need to include an if or
select statement within your event code to limit the functionality that you
have added to a specific process, activity, or scenario. Often it is useful to
create custom Job or Activity Properties in the Domino Workflow Architect
in order to be independent of Activityname or Jobname changes.
Supporting a family: parent-child processes
In many situations it is necessary to create one or more jobs based on some
dynamic parameter or event. If the process type doesn’t change and the
number of jobs that should be created is stable, you can do this through
subprocesses. However, if any of those conditions do not fit, you run into
trouble. It is not possible to handle such a situation using only a standard
model of Domino Workflow. You have to extend this model with your own
development. The possible scenarios that require such an effort are:
1.
Unknown number of related processes (depending on dynamic situation).
Process A
Activity
Activity
Activity
Activity
Subprocess A
Activity
Activity
Activity
Activity
Subprocess B
Subprocess ...
Activity
Subprocess N
176 Using Domino Workflow
An example of such a situation is the review cycle of some marketing
materials, where for less important materials up to five reviewers exist;
but in the case of strategic materials all sales managers (20, 30, maybe
more) are also asked for a review.
2.
Processes based on just a part of the content of the host process.
An example process related to marketing material production can be
used, in which various parts of the material should be reviewed by
different people. The reviewers shouldn’t be informed of the existence
of other parts of the material.
3.
Processes that don’t return any information to the host process.
In this category are all processes that don’t relate to the parent process
after creation.
In all those scenarios you can start the child processes through a form-based
initiation. The appropriate documents can be created by an agent which will
be triggered from the automated activity. For the most complex scenario — the
one with an unknown number of subprocesses that have to be coordinated
with the main process — you can find a detailed description and the required
code in Appendix A.
The basic idea of this scenario is:
Place an automated activity at the place in your process where you want
to generate some new processes. Create an agent that takes care of the
following actions:
1.
Create a field in a binder of a parent process to register all created
documents.
2.
Create and register the required amount of documents for initiating
new processes in the appropriate databases.
3.
Add the fields required to initiate a job to those documents.
4.
Transfer the appropriate content into the newly created documents.
5.
Transfer parent reference information to the child processes.
6.
Set binder status so that the binder waits for all child processes.
You also have to create a mechanism for the response from the child processes.
They have to provide the required information to the parent process, check
themselves out from the parent process, check if there are any more children
left, and (if there are no more children) set the status of the binder to the one
that allows further routing of the binder. For the code used in the agents and
an example look in the referenced appendix.
Chapter 7: A closer look at Domino Workflow: process design and implementation 177
Summary
In this chapter we’ve tried to show you some more features of Domino
Workflow that can help you to automate your processes. We’ve described
some standard possibilities for workflow deployment, as well as some ways
requiring more complex customization. There is much more to workflow
than we were able to cover here, and your company will probably need
some features and customization that we didn’t cover. We only hope that we
can help you to make the first steps that are common for most installations.
You’ll still need all your Domino skills to build a perfect environment for the
work that happens in your company, of which workflow is only a part.
178 Using Domino Workflow
Chapter 8
Using the organization directory
The organization directory is an important part of your workflow environment.
Domino Workflow has its own organization directory database where you can
define persons, departments, workgroups, roles, surrogates and out-of-office
profiles. Besides the organization data, it is possible to store system-specific
information in the organization directory, such as relations, job properties,
application databases, client- and server-driven programs and mail addresses.
In this chapter we discuss the use of the system-specific information. The other
functions of the organization directory were presented in Chapter 3.
In addition to using the organization directory supplied by Domino Workflow,
many organizations already use the standard Domino Directory to store their
organization data. Furthermore, some organizations have developed custom
extensions to it, for instance, the Lotus Solution Architecture (LSA) organization
directory. In this chapter we discuss the integration of these other organization
directories. We identify some of the advantages and disadvantages of using
another organization directory and describe how it can be done in practice.
Why use a separate organization directory
In every organization, and especially in those using a workflow approach
to execute business processes, people are the most important factor. Your
workflow application will depend on the actions taken by people within
your organization. In a Domino environment every person is registered
in the Domino Directory as a certified server user. In addition, you are able
to define groups in the Domino Directory where you can group certain
people and organization units. Domino Workflow offers some additional
functionality to the Domino Directory in order to use it in the workflow
environment. This additional functionality allows you to automate some
highly repetitive tasks and decisions. Therefore, you can concentrate on
other important parts of your work.
Note All the features used in the Domino Workflow organization directory
can be implemented in the Domino Directory by customizing your Domino
Directory. However, in a lot of organizations the customization of the Domino
Directory is not allowed. This is another reason that Domino Workflow
created its own organization directory.
179
The following functionality, which is used in Domino Workflow, is not
offered in the Domino Directory:
•
Organization hierarchy
In the Domino Directory you are able to group people and thus create a
hierarchical structure. However, this hierarchy cannot be displayed in
Domino Directory views. You are also not able to define the manager of
a certain group. In Domino Workflow, this manager property can be
stored in the Department and Workgroup documents and used by the
workflow engine to send notifications to managers, as designed in
Architect (by the use of a job property which will be described later).
•
Out-of-office and surrogation profiles
When an organization unit is not functional because all members are out
of office, Domino Workflow is able to route the activities to “surrogates.”
By doing this, your process will not be delayed. The surrogates are
defined in the participant, workgroup, department, or role documents;
and the out-of-office profiles are created in a special view, where all
out-of-office profiles are stored.
•
Organization-wide roles
In the organization directory you can create role documents, which you
can use in multiple applications.
•
Resource storage place
Besides offering advanced hierarchy to your organization, the
organization database is also a storage place for system-specific
information. You can define relations, job properties, and resources
such as mail addresses, application databases, and client-driven and
server-driven programs. This system-specific information is the main
subject of this chapter.
Domino Workflow recognizes the Domino Directory as the basic
certification and storage place; therefore, it offers functions to import
information from the Domino Directory into the organization database.
In many organizations, the use of another organization directory will not be
accepted because you will have to maintain your organization data in two
places. Therefore, Domino Workflow allows the integration of the Domino
Directory and other Notes-based organization directories, like LSA Orga, in
their applications.
Domino Workflow also stores information that is specific to a Domino
Workflow environment and that will not be available in other directories.
Examples are relations, job properties and resources. Therefore, the Domino
Workflow Directory can be used as a Resource Database even though the
organizational information is stored in another directory.
180 Using Domino Workflow
Note You need the Domino Workflow organization database as an
organization directory (also containing resources) or only as a resource.
The second case (organization directory as resource storage place) takes
place if you’re using an alternative organization directory, such as the
Domino Directory.
There are advantages and disadvantages to using either the Domino
Workflow organization directory or the Domino Directory. Some of
them are summarized in the rest of this section.
Using the Domino Workflow organization directory
Advantages
• The Domino Workflow Organization Directory is built to host an
organizational model for workflow applications. This includes features
such as managing hierarchical department structures, workgroups,
surrogation rules and Out-Of-Office Profiles.
All structures can be defined independently from other directories,
especially the Domino Directory. This allows creation of a group
structure that explicitly suits workflow needs. It also allows the setup of
Domino Workflow at a departmental level without affecting the general
Domino Infrastructure.
Disadvantages
• You have to maintain your organization directory information in two
places.
You have to maintain the Domino Directory (or another directory
database) and the Domino Workflow organization directory. In small
workflow applications this should not be a big problem, but in larger
applications this may lead to inconsistency problems. It also creates
additional administrative overhead.
Using an alternative organization directory
Advantages
• You have to maintain only a single organization directory.
By integrating your current organization directory with the Domino
Workflow application, you have just one place where your organization
is maintained. There won’t be any concerns about inconsistency
between two organization databases and you will be able to use the full
functionality of your current organization directory.
•
When setting up your workflow infrastructure, it might be easier to set
up Domino Workflow to use the existing organizational information
rather than recreating this information in the Domino Workflow
Organization Directory. This applies if you already have a well managed
organization directory.
Chapter 8: Using the organization directory 181
Disadvantages
• When you use another organization directory you will lose functionality
in comparison with the Domino Workflow organization directory.
For instance, the Out-Of-Office profiles, which can be used in the
Domino Workflow organization directory, cannot be used in another
organization directory. However, you can implement the missing
functionality yourself.
Conclusion
As mentioned before, there is no simple answer to the question of whether
you should use the Domino Workflow organization directory or another
Domino-based organization directory like Domino Directory or LSA
Organization Directory. For every specific situation you should consider
the advantages and disadvantages of your decision.
Advanced use of the Domino Workflow organization directory
In this section we describe the advanced capabilities of the Domino
Workflow organization directory. There are three main advanced issues
in the organization directory, as follows:
1. Relations
Relations are formulas that deliver a particular item of information,
given specific search criteria. For example, Francis is the “Secretary of”
Tim, or Debora is the “Girlfriend of” Janno. In these examples Francis or
Debora are the search criteria and the particular item of information will
be Tim or Janno. You will find more about relations later in this section.
2. Job properties
Job properties are formulas that represent information generated during
the course of a job, and that is therefore not known during design time
For example, “Activity owner of activity,” means the person (belonging
to the group of potential activity owners) that took the responsibility for
a given activity in a particular job. During the job, each activity owner is
stored in a specific field. If you want to know the activity owner of a
specific activity you can use this job property. You will find more about
job properties later in this section.
3. Resources
A resource is an identifier to a specific aspect of your company’s
information technology infrastructure. Resources can be either
application databases, mail addresses, client-driven programs, or
server-driven programs.
182 Using Domino Workflow
Relations
The definition of relations is: “Relations are formulas that deliver a
particular item of information, given specific search criteria.” This is a very
theoretical definition, but if we analyze this, all it says is you have an input
variable (the specific search criteria) and based on that variable you should
find some other information (particular item of information) you want to
use. Examples of relations are “Secretary of,” or “Manager of.”
Using relations in process design allows activities to be assigned in a
flexible way. Relations are usually applied to enhance organizational
concepts or to describe individual structures. Typical relation names are
“Secretary of” or “Department of.” Relations can also be used independent
of any organizational structures, for instance, “Part No. of” that returns the
part number of a given item.
Relations are defined in the organization database and can be used in
multiple processes. If a relation changes you have to change only the
relation document in the organization database and the changes will be
reflected in runtime immediately.
There are already some standard relations defined in the organization
directory, for example “Manager of employee” where the input will be the
employee name and the result will be the manager of that specific employee
as defined in the department document. These can be used in the Architect
while defining your process and activity properties. In addition, you can
also define your own relations.
The result of a relation is either a field value or a column value. When you
are using a column value, the relation will stop at the first document found.
When you are using a field value, it can be either a single value or multiple
values that the relation will return. Be aware of the fact that a relation can
only relate to one document. Therefore, one to many relations are possible
on the field level (multiple value fields) but not on the document level (only
one document is selected).
Relations are often used to assign activities to certain persons related to a
workflow participant. For example, a travel request should be approved by
the manager of the initiator. In the Domino Workflow Architect you can use
relations to calculate activity owners, as shown in the example that follows.
Once a relation is defined in the organization directory database, it can be
used in Domino Workflow formula expressions.
Using relations – an example
This example uses relations to assign a certain activity to a specific person or
group based on a product code. The product code will be information the
initiator will fill in on the form (in a field). For every product code another
Chapter 8: Using the organization directory 183
person will be the activity owner of the next activity. If you want to make
that kind of relation, you need to make the following changes.
Changes in the organization directory
First, you have to change the person form in the organization directory.
We will make the change in the custom subform “PersonInclude.” Do the
following:
1. Open the organization directory in Domino Designer.
2. Open the subform “Person Include.”
3. Add a field to this subform called “ProductCodes” (keywords, text).
4. Save and close the subform.
After adding the field you must create the relation document. To create
relations, your name must be in the owner field of the setup document for
the organization directory. Make sure you have owner rights in the
organization directory and then follow these steps:
1. Go to the Relations view in the organization database.
2. Click the “Create relation document” button.
3. Give the relation a name using the Name button. In our example we used:
Product Manager of
4. Select the database where you want to look up the relation. You can
choose among the organization directory, process definition, or any
other database specified by either replica ID or path and filename. In
this example, we use the organization directory.
5. Give the type of relation. In this example we used “Search within
documents.”
Note You can either search within a collection of documents or within
views. When you search within documents you must specify the selection
formula for the documents to look in (see the following step). If you search
within views you must specify the view name.
6. Write the selection formula for documents to look for this relation in
this example:
Form = "Person" & @ismember(@Input; ProductCodes) &
@isunavailable( InconsistentOS )
7. Write the name of the field where the value for the relation is stored. In
this example we use:
CurrentNameOS
The field “CurrentNameOS” is where the name of the person (our
product manager) is stored.
184 Using Domino Workflow
Note When you specify a view instead, you must specify which column
in the view holds the value for your relation (called the result column).
8. Save and close the relation document.
The relation document should look like the following figure (in edit mode).
The relation is now created in the organization directory. To use it, change
your process in the Architect and your form in the application, as described
below.
Changes in the application database
You need to add a field on your form where the user can specify a
ProductCode. You will use the product code to find the product manager
for the product and then make that person the Activity Owner. To add the
field, follow these steps:
1. Open your application database in Domino Designer.
2. Open the form used in your process.
3. Add a field to the form called:
ProductCodes
4. Make this field a keywords field with the same options used in the
organization ProductCodes field.
5. Save and close this form.
Changes in the Architect
Now go to the Architect and follow these steps:
1. Open the specified process where you want to use the relation.
2. Select the “Basic properties” of the activity where you want to use the
relation.
3. Click Select on the Owner tab.
Chapter 8: Using the organization directory 185
4. To use your relation you must create a formula in the Architect. Do this
with the following steps:
a. Select Formula in the selection screen.
b. Click the Create formula button.
c. Give the formula an appropriate name, for instance
Product Manager
a. Specify the content of the formula:
@Relation([Product Manager of]; ProductCodes )
This formula defines the field that will be used as input for the relation.
Tip You can also select your relation from the library by clicking the
Formula button and then the Library button.
5. Close the formula by clicking OK.
6. Close the Basic properties by clicking OK.
Now you must activate the new version of your process to your runtime
environment to test your changes. Before you test your process, you should
fill in the field, ProductCodes, with the appropriate content on some person
documents so there will be results of the evaluation of the relation.
Tip A relation may not be defined for every possible input value. In the
example used here, there may be a product code to which no product
manager has been assigned. If a relation is being used within a process and
cannot be evaluated properly given the context of a specific job, a routing
error will occur. You can handle this type of problem within your formula
using the @IsError function. An example for an Activity Owner formula
may look like this:
PM:=@Relation([Product Manager of]; ProductCodes );
@if(@IsError(PM);@JobProperty([JobOwner]);PM)
Job properties
Job properties are formulas that represent information generated during the
course of a job, and that is therefore not known during design time. When
you define or use job properties, always consider all possible return values
to avoid errors at runtime. Using job properties you can get access to the
information generated during the execution of a specific job at the moment
you need the information and the information is generated.
Some examples of how you might use job properties are the following:
•
To assign participants to a specific activity, such as Job Owner, Activity
Owner, or Previous Activity Owner.
186 Using Domino Workflow
•
To define routing relations based on, for example, “Decision of
Activity” or “Number Of Executions Of Activity.”
•
To extract information available in binder documents, such as “Job
Priority” or “Due Date.”
To create job properties, your name must be in the owner field in the setup
document for the organization directory. To create a job property follow
these steps:
1. Go to the Job Properties view in the organization database.
2. Click the Create a Job Property document button.
3. Give the Job Property a name using the Name button.
Note There are predefined job properties. Their names are reserved
and cannot be used to create new job properties. The names and
functions of the predefined job properties are listed in the table below.
4. Enter a formula in the formula field.
In the example in Chapter 6, “Introducing Domino Workflow in an existing
application,” the JobProperties were used to get a list of reviewers, select
every reviewer personally, and assign them to another activity.
The predefined job properties offered by Domino Workflow are identified
in the following table.
Name
Description
Output
@JobProperty(
[Activity Due Date])
Shows the activity due date.
Time date
@JobProperty(
Provides the name of the activity owner of a
given activity.
[Name of activity];
“Name of the activity”) If the activity was worked on by more than
one activity owner, the most recent one is
listed.
Text list
@JobProperty(
[Activity Owner])
Provides the name of the activity owner of the Text list
current activity.
If the activity was worked on by more than
one activity owner, the most recent one is
listed.
@JobProperty(
[Activity Priority])
Provides the activity priority of the current
activity.
Text
@JobProperty(
[Approval])
This job property is only supported for
reasons of upward compatibility. It has the
same function as decision. Use decision
instead.
Text
continued
Chapter 8: Using the organization directory 187
Name
Description
@JobProperty(
[Decision])
Shows the decision that was made by the
Text
activity owner at the preceding activity, that
requires a decision from the given
alternatives.
This Job Property should not be used after
binders have been joined, because the result in
this case is undefined. Use the “Decision of
Activity” instead.
@JobProperty(
Shows the decision that was made by the
[Decision of Activity]; activity owner of the specified activity.
“Name of the activity”)
Output
Text
@JobProperty(
[External Initiator])
This Job Property is available if a job was
Text list
initiated by mail or form-based initiation. It
returns the value of the field
“ExternalInitiatorOS” of the Cover document.
@JobProperty(
[Initiator])
Shows the initiator of a job. The initiator is the Text list
person that completed the first activity.
@JobProperty(
[Job Due Date])
Shows the job due date.
Time date
@JobProperty(
[Job Owner])
Shows a list of job owners.
Text list
@JobProperty(
[Job Priority])
Shows the job priority.
Text
@JobProperty(
Shows how often an activity was performed
[Number Of Executions during a job.
Of Activity]; “Name of
the activity”)
Number
@JobProperty(
[Previous Activity
Owner])
Shows the activity owner of the previous
activity.
Text
@JobProperty(
[Tasks Done])
Shows the completed tasks of the previous
Text list
activity. This job property should not be used
after joining binders, as the return value then
is undefined.
Resources
In the organization directory navigator there is a “Resources” button,
which opens the view “7. Resources”. All resources are listed in this
view. A resource is a document identifying some aspect of your company’s
information technology infrastructure. A resource can be either an application
database address, a mail address, a client-driven program, or a server-driven
program. The four types of resources are discussed below.
188 Using Domino Workflow
Application databases
Application resources are documents that contain mail addresses to
application databases. When you are using subprocessing in other databases,
the different databases should be registered as resources in the organization
database. For more information on subprocessing, see Chapter 7.
Note Both application databases also need to be defined as mail-in
databases in the Domino Directory. Each application’s resource name must
also be entered in the setup document.
An application resource is technically the same as a Mail resource. However,
the application resource is dedicated to use for application databases. You are
also able to specify in what format the other database should be informed.
Here you can specify XML or Notes format.
Mail addresses
The mail addresses defined in the organization directory can be either those
of databases or of persons. A mail address resource is nothing more than
the mail address of the specified person or the mail-in name of the specific
database that can be used for designing processes in Domino Workflow
Architect.
If the mail address of a person that is defined in the Domino Workflow
Organization Directory is different from its user name (for example, an
Internet mail address or a mail address defined in a different domain), you
do not need to define a mail resource. Person documents contain a
dedicated field to specify a mail address other than user name.
Note An application database is also a mail-in database, but must be
specified as an application database. Domino Workflow differentiates
between these two sorts of mail addresses because the information is used
in different parts.
There are various kinds of databases that can (or must, if you want to use
them for your workflow) be specified in the resource view:
•
Audit trail database (only when the audit trail is done in a separate
database).
•
Archive database (only when archive is enabled in a separate database).
•
Mail-in databases used in automated activities.
Note Resource mail addresses pointing to some databases must be defined
as mail-in databases in the Domino Directory.
To create a mail address use the button to directly get the databases from
the Domino Directory.
Chapter 8: Using the organization directory 189
Client-driven programs
Client-driven programs are resources that can be launched on any client
computer used by Domino Workflow participants. Client-driven programs
can be stored in the organization directory as installable files, or can just
define a path and a command name for an executable on your hard disk.
If you want to see an example of installable files, install the Domino
Workflow viewer. Otherwise, give the path and the filename of the specific
program on your hard disk or network.
In the Domino Workflow Architect you can assign tasks to workflow
participants and add resources to these tasks. The resources added to a task
can invoke either forms or client-driven programs. You can see an example
of such a task in the following figure. In this figure a resource program is
created that helps the participant to make a certain loan calculation. In the
runtime environment, the Domino Workflow user will find a button in the
binder document which will launch this program. To see and use this button
the document has to be in “Edit” mode.
Clicking this button will launch a program with the parameters as defined
in the Architect. It will allow the workflow participant to concentrate on the
real task instead of bothering with the technical side of the activity, such as
which calculation program to use and with which parameter.
Server-driven programs
Server-driven programs are programs that can be launched from within the
Domino server. The path and filename of a server-driven program is stored
in the organization directory. Server-driven programs can only be launched
in an automated activity. Since the program is launched by the background
190 Using Domino Workflow
agent in the Domino Workflow application, the complete path and filename
should be entered in the resource document.
Examples of some scenarios where a server-driven program would be
useful are the following:
•
If an order is placed during a process, an automated activity can start a
program that dials up the pager of the person responsible for ordering
the goods, to inform them about the new order.
•
In credit applications, actual transactions may be conducted by
triggering mainframe procedures.
Alternative organization directories
Instead of using the organization directory of Domino Workflow you can
decide to directly use information stored in your current organization
directory, whether it is the Domino Directory or some other custom
directory that your company may have created. You need the Domino
Workflow Developer’s Toolkit 2.0 to use another organization directory. The
Toolkit comes with examples of how to use Domino Directory and the Lotus
Solution Architecture (LSA) organization directory with Domino Workflow.
•
Domino Directory
The Domino Directory contains all kinds of organization information.
All people are stored in this database, and groups can be created to
group the people within your organization. Lots of companies do not
want another organization directory where all organization data is also
stored. Therefore, it is possible to integrate your Domino Workflow
environment directly with the Domino Directory.
•
LSA Organization Directory
The LSA Organization Directory is an asset developed by Lotus
Professional Services EMEA. It acts as an front-end to the Domino
Directory and allows you to manage Domino Directory groups from an
organizational point of view. Besides in many other features, it also
allows you to apply surrogation rules to the Domino Directory.
Note Domino Workflow can also be customized to support other
Directories. The integration with the Domino Directory and the LSA
organization directory are just examples of such a customization.
Chapter 8: Using the organization directory 191
Integrating an alternative organization directory
You have to make some adjustments to the Architect and to your application
database to integrate an alternative organization directory, as follows:
1. Change the mapping files (explained below) in the Domino Workflow
Architect directory.
2. Replace some design elements in the application database using the
Domino Workflow Developer’s Toolkit (For more information on the
Toolkit, see Chapter 7).
3. Change your setup document in the application database.
4. Adjust your database settings in the Architect to change the organization
database and appoint a resource database.
5. Adjust your process using the new organization directory.
Mapping files
Domino Workflow uses some mapping files for the Architect. The following
mapping files can be found in the Architect directory after installing the
product.
Mapping file name Description and use
Architct.ini
This mapping file is used to configure the Architect with
user-specific information. This file stores profiles and
preferences of the specific user. Also the last processes used are
stored here.
dwforgre.ini
This mapping file is used when the Domino Workflow
organization directory is used as both organization and resource
database.
dwfre.ini
This mapping file is used when an external organization
directory is used and the Domino Workflow organization
database is used as resource database to store system-specific
data.
LSAorg.ini
This mapping file is used when LSA is used as the alternative
organization directory.
NABorg.ini
This mapping file is used when the Domino Directory is used as
the alternative organization directory.
Workflow.ini
This mapping file is used for all graphical tools (Architect and
Viewer). You can find the settings like language and style sheets
in this file.
When you want to use an alternative organization directory, two changes
must be made in order to have access to this directory from the Architect.
192 Using Domino Workflow
•
First, you must specify a resource database in the database profile in
Domino Workflow Architect.
A resource database is the database where information is stored which
cannot be stored in the alternative organization directory. Your alternative
organization directory probably will not support all objects defined in the
Domino Workflow organization database. In this case, the Domino
Workflow organization database has to be used additionally as a resource
database.
When you use the Domino Workflow organization database only as a
resource, many of its design elements won’t be required any more. You
can hide or modify these design elements, as desired. For example, the
navigator can be changed and the buttons for persons, departments,
roles, and workgroups can be deleted.
•
Second, you must specify how information from the alternative
organization directory should be interpreted by the Architect. This can
be done in a mapping file. You can add your own views that can be read
by the Architect. Depending on the type of alternative organization
directory, you can add and change some elements of the specified file.
Specifying an alternative organization directory and a resource
database
In order to use the Domino Workflow Organization Directory only for
storing Domino Workflow specific information and not the organizational
structure, you have to make the following mapping changes in the Domino
Workflow Architect directory:
1. Adjust Architct.ini, add the following row in the “[Configuration]”
section of the file:
AllowResourceDatabase=yes
Note This can be done by double-clicking Architct.ini. A text editor will
be started and you can type in the text. After changing the file, save and
close the mapping file. The change will be effective when the Domino
Workflow Architect is reopened and will allow you to specify a resource
database.
2.
Make the following mapping file changes:
a. Add the dwforgre.ini to use the Domino Workflow organization
database as resource database.
b. Add the LSAOrg.ini if you want to use the LSA organization
directory or the NABOrg.ini if you want to use the Domino Directory
as alternative organization directory.
Note This depends on what kind of organization directory is used in
the Domino Workflow application.
Chapter 8: Using the organization directory 193
Tip In the Domino Workflow Developer’s Toolkit you will find more
information about the mapping files and changes you can make to them.
Adding your own OrgaTypes to the Architect
You can create your own organization types such as Project Teams or
Positions based on folders and views in the organization database. These
organization types must be added to the mapping file before you can use
them in the Domino Workflow Architect. Your own OrgaType will be very
useful in large organizations to group your Domino Directory groups in
more functional groups. This way you do not have to scroll through all the
groups to get the one you are looking for.
Note Whether or not you are using an alternative organization directory,
you are always able to add your own OrgaTypes to the Architect. You only
need to change the mapping file used for the organization directory.
Mapping file types are discussed above.
The following example demonstrates how to create your own OrgaTypes:
1. Create a folder in the Domino Directory called “Departments.”
2. Drag the groups which are filled with department members into the
folder.
3. Go to the Architect directory.
4. Open the naborg.ini mapping file in a text editor.
Add your own type to the “SupportedTypes” in the “[General]” section
(on top of the mapping file):
SupportedTypes=Person, Workgroup, Departments
Add the following lines at the end of the mapping file (these are the
lines that refer to the specific folder):
[Departments]
Selection=View#Departments
SystemName=Field#Listname#TextList#0
DisplayName=Formula#Listname + " , " + Type
TypeBitmap=File#LSA.bmp
In the line starting with Selection= we specify departments as view or
folder containing the relevant information. The next line specifies the
name of the field containing the specific group you want to use for the
process design. In the line starting with DisplayName= you should
specify the name that will be used for display in the Architect. In this
example we used a formula to display the name.
194 Using Domino Workflow
In the last line the LSA.bmp is specified in order to illustrate that a
bitmap can be assigned as a symbol to identify your own organization
types in the Architect. The LSA.bmp is available to everybody with a
standard Domino Workflow installation, so that is why we used this file
in this example. You are free to change it to any kind of bitmap file, as
long as the file is stored in the Architect directory.
Note All bitmap files used in the Business Object Library of the
Domino Workflow Architect are 22x12 pixels.
5. Save and close the mapping file.
6. Start the Domino Workflow Architect and you will now be able to select
people from the type “Departments” as shown in the figure below.
Note If your Domino Workflow Architect was running during the
changes, you have to restart it in order to activate your changes.
Replace design elements based on the Toolkit
You must replace some design elements in the application database to use
an alternative organization directory. Domino Workflow needs some design
elements to interpret the information from the alternative organization
directory. When integrating with the Domino Directory, the following
design elements must be replaced:
Chapter 8: Using the organization directory 195
•
Script library: “OS Application Events” containing events which you
can customize to your specific needs and demands. Compared to the
standard “OS Application Events” library, this version contains several
additional Events dealing with Organizational issues. In this library is
the LotusScript code used to create the integration. Script library: “OS
OAM Events” contains support for the additional organization access
events.
•
Sub form: “OS Domino Workflow CustomApplicationSetup” contains
an extension to define your Domino Directory in your Application
Setup Documents.
The design elements can be found in the Domino Workflow Developer’s
Toolkit which we described in Chapter 7. The elements are also
documented in the Toolkit.
Change your Setup document
The Domino Workflow organization database and the Domino Workflow
process definition database, used in conjunction with the application
database, must be entered in the application setup document in the Domino
Workflow application database.
After replacing standard subform “OS Domino Workflow
CustomApplicationSetup” with the new “OS Domino Workflow
CustomApplicationSetup” subform from the toolkit, the following section
appears (in your application setup document), where you can define the
Domino Directory settings:
The server field is set automatically (Read only). You supply only the path
to the Domino Directory.
Note The Domino Directory must be located on the same server as the
Domino Workflow application database and the Domino Workflow
organization database.
In the organization database section you can define the settings of the
resource database. Because the Domino Workflow organization database is
used as a resource database, you can retain the settings provided.
196 Using Domino Workflow
Change your data sources in the Architect
When you start the Architect you must choose the right databases for your
process. To do this follow these steps:
1. Start the Domino Workflow Architect
2. Choose File - Open Databases
3. Select the organization directory and change the selected database by
referring to Domino Directory or your LSA organization directory
database.
Note The database type will be generated automatically.
4. Select the Resource Database and select your Domino Workflow
organization database as shown in the figure below.
Note Here the database type will be generated automatically.
5. Click OK and the correct databases are selected. You are now able to
use the alternative organization directory in your process design.
Change and reactivate your processes
You have to bear in mind, that once the settings in the Application database
are changed, all organizational units will be evaluated against the directory
that you have defined. Therefore, you may need to change your process
definition and reactivate your processes and then update existing jobs using
the reroute feature.
Chapter 8: Using the organization directory 197
Integrate with other organization directories
As mentioned earlier in this chapter, Domino Workflow does not provide
out-of-the-box integration with other organization directories besides
Domino Directory and LSA organization directory. If you want to integrate
with other organization directories, such as LDAP, Active Directory, and so
forth, there are some things you should be aware of.
1. In the engine, you have to add your own code to the following events
defined in the “OS Application Events” Script Library:
• OnEvaluateParticipants: This event is called whenever the engine
evaluates which users are assigned to an organizational unit.
• OnEvaluateEMailAddress: This event is called whenever the engine
needs the mail address of a user or group.
• OnEvaluateOrgaType: This event is called whenever the engine
needs to determine the type of an organizational unit.
• OnNewOAM : This event is called whenever the participant
evaluation is initialized. Use this event to set global variables such
as a reference to your directory. You may define the path to this
directory by adding fields to the custom subform used in the
Application Setup document.
For more details and examples, refer to the Domino Workflow
Developer’s Toolkit.
Note If you are using a customized Domino Directory, you may be
able to use the code provided by the Toolkit for Domino Directory
integration. You can analyze the code and add your own extensions.
2. You should write your own mapping file so the Architect will know
where to look for the organization directory data. This is documented
in the Toolkit.
3. The Architect can read only from Domino databases. If you want to use
an organization directory other than Domino databases, you currently
have to convert your organization directory data into a Domino format.
Functions to point the Architect against directory sources other than
Domino databases are being developed. Check the Domino Workflow
Web site for updated information about the availability of this
functionality:
http://www.lotus.com/workflow
198 Using Domino Workflow
Summary
In this chapter we discussed two main topics:
1. Advanced use of the Domino Workflow organization directory.
2. Integration with another Domino organization directory.
Advanced use of the organization database will give you opportunities to
build a maintainable application. Relations and Job properties can be very
useful. In addition, you are also able to define resources such as application
databases, mail addresses, server-based programs, or client-based
programs. These resources offer you the possibility of linking your
application to other parts of your information technology infrastructure.
When you use Domino, a lot of organizational data will be registered in the
Domino Directory. Therefore, many organizations do not want another
organization database such as the Domino Workflow organization
directory. Using the Domino Workflow Developer’s Toolkit, you are able to
integrate your Domino Workflow application with your current
organization directory.
Note The Domino Workflow Developers Toolkit provides design elements
for integration with the Domino Directory or the LSA organization directory. It also provides hooks to implement your own integration with other
organization directories.
To make the integration available, you need to make changes in the setup of
your database and the setup of your process. Also, some mapping files need
to be changed. You can also create your own OrgaTypes and access them by
defining views in your mapping files. The integration of an alternative
organization directory can be implemented within a reasonable timeframe.
Chapter 8: Using the organization directory 199
Chapter 9
Distributed processing
In this chapter we show several examples of distributed processing in a
Domino Workflow environment. We divided them into two categories:
•
Multiple Domino Workflow application databases
•
Multiple replicas of Domino Workflow databases
Distributed processing represents an important way to tune your Domino
Workflow application in size, performance, and structure.
Multiple databases
The Domino Workflow solution can consist of multiple Domino Workflow
application databases. They can share the same server and process
definition database or they can be on different servers and have separate
process definition databases.
Process subsets
In the application setup document, you can specify which processes can be
started in that particular database. In this way, the complete set of processes
can be divided between several databases. For example, a contract
management system might have a Domino Workflow application database
for the different contract related workflows and another Domino Workflow
application database for customer related workflows. Both will be part of a
single system and share the same process definition database and
organization database, but have their own set of processes. These Domino
Workflow application databases would be placed on the same server. The
advantages and disadvantages of this architecture are summarized in the
following table.
Advantages
Disadvantages
A single process definition and design
repository database.
Maintenance of multiple Domino
Workflow application databases.
Some processes can be started in more
than one database.
201
Subprocesses
Subprocesses are generally used because these subprocesses are owned by
different parts on an organization (or even different organizations) than the
host process. A credit approval may, for example, be usually handled in a
branch office directly, however, if the credit volume is high, an additional
approval process has to be started in the central bank office. The target
database for the subprocess is reached through mail, so it is even possible
that the subprocess will run on a different server than where the host
process runs. The advantages and disadvantages of this configuration are
summarized in the next table.
Domino
Workflow
databases
Mail
Domino
Workflow
databases
Advantages
Disadvantages
Cross department/organization
processes possible.
Maintenance of multiple Domino
Workflow application databases is
required.
Possible to use different servers for host
and subprocesses.
The application in the subprocess runs
can use a different process definition
database than the host process.
Multiple replicas
The Domino Workflow databases can be replicated to other servers or they
can be replicated locally.
Caution The Domino Workflow agents should only be scheduled on a
single server. The chance of replication conflicts sharply increases if the
Domino Workflow agents are scheduled on more than one server.
All the databases which are needed in a production environment
(Application, Process Definition, and Organization) should be available on
the same machine, either locally or on the server. You will not be able to
work with the application database if all databases not are available.
Domino Workflow normally operates in such a way that either the server or
the activity owner acts on a document, but not both at the same time. This
reduces the chance of replication conflicts.
202 Using Domino Workflow
If the configuration you choose has multiple servers, you should be aware
that because the server on which the Domino Workflow agents are
scheduled is different from the server which (most) end users will access,
they might get notifications for jobs that haven’t arrived yet on their server.
You cannot completely prevent this from happening, but if replication is
scheduled more often than the agents are scheduled, the chances of this
happening are reduced.
Server cluster
The server on which the Domino Workflow databases reside can be part of
a cluster. This can improve the performance and especially the availability
of the databases. Apart from the general notes at the beginning of this
section, at this time, there is no known downside to using Domino
Workflow in a server cluster.
Server A
Server B
Domino
Workflow
databases
Domino
Workflow
databases
Domino
Workflow
databases
Server C
Advantages
Disadvantages
Higher server availability.
Higher infrastructure cost.
One of the servers can be used as
an Agent server (see below).
Local replicas - mobile users
If you allow your end users to work on a local replica, it is important that all
the Domino Workflow databases are replicated. The Notes client will look for
the process definition database and the organization database in the same
location as the application database. Working on a local replica increases the
chance of replication conflicts (especially if there is more than one potential
Chapter 9: Distributed processing 203
activity owner defined or when a team activity is defined). To reduce the risk
of replication conflicts, we recommend that you:
•
Restrict the number of potential activity owners to a minimum.
•
Only claim jobs on the server replica (not in the replica copy on your
local machine).
Note See the section on selective replication for ways to keep your
database size small.
Protecting documents
Another way to prevent replication conflicts, and avoid a situation where
several people unknowingly are working locally on the same documents, is
to have the team members lock documents in the binder they want to work
with offline by using the action “Save & Write Protect,” which can be found
on all documents in a binder. The protection can be switched off via the
“Release Protection” action.
Local Computer A
Domino
Workflow
databases
Server C
Domino
Workflow
databases
Local Computer B
Domino
Workflow
databases
Advantages
Disadvantages
Better performance than over a network. Higher chances of replication conflict.
Users have the ability to work offline.
Dependent on replication schedule of end
user.
Data not up to date on server and on local
drives.
Increased disk usage on the client side.
204 Using Domino Workflow
Using an agent server
If the processes you defined contain many automated activities, which take
a lot of processing power, you can add an extra server on which you
schedule all Domino Workflow agents. This server can be part of a server
cluster or connected to the other server via a normal replication schedule.
The end users should not have access to this server.
Server A
Server B
Domino
Workflow
databases
Domino
Workflow
databases
No Scheduled Agents
End User Access Allowed
Agents scheduled
No End Users Access
Note If performance is an issue it is also very important to keep the
databases as small as possible, for example through archiving completed
jobs, because one of the more demanding tasks of the Domino server is
keeping the indexes of all the views up to date.
Advantages
Disadvantages
End users don’t notice the workload of
agents.
Notifications can get sent too early.
Can be combined with a server cluster.
Higher infrastructure cost.
Location replicas
People who access the Domino Workflow server from distant locations may
experience longer response times than users sitting on the same LAN as the
server. This is often due to network latency. Network latency is the time it
takes for the client to get an answer on a question. The Notes client is sensitive
to network latency because it generally has a lot of ’small’ transactions with
the server for each user action. There are basically two ways to solve this:
1. Redesign the application to make it less sensitive to long network
distances.
2. Locate the server closer to the users.
For advice on designing for performance, see the redbook Performance
Considerations for Domino Applications, SG24-5602, Lotus part number
CT7V6NA. To minimize the distance between servers and users, consider
adding new servers that are close to groups of users. All the servers need to
be connected through a replication schedule.
Chapter 9: Distributed processing 205
Advantages
Disadvantages
Better performance in case the network
distance for users becomes shorter.
Higher infrastructure cost.
Notifications can get sent too early.
Selective replication
Selective replication means that only a subset of all the documents is
replicated. Selective replication can be between Domino servers or between
a Notes client and a Domino server.
Tip If you can define a few typical user groups, you can define a view for
each that will contain all the documents each particular group needs. In this
way the replication formula is part of the design instead of a replication
setting. Include only one column with, for example, the document number
(@DocNumber won’t take up any view index space) to keep the view as
small as possible.
Server to server
The most difficult part of selective replication is to avoid ending up with an
inconsistent subset of all the data. For example:
•
Binders without a Cover document
•
Binders without the Main document
One way to avoid this situation is to formulate the replication in a negative
way. So, you would formulate what you don’t want to have in this replica.
For example to leave some process out of a certain replica you would use:
Select !(ProcessIdOS = "SomeProcesA1")
or, to leave out the audit trail documents:
Select !(Form = "(OS Audit Form)" : "(OS Audit Merge))"
Note Be careful, though, when comparing list values with scalar values.
For example the formula:
!("a" : "b" : "c" = "a")
is False, whereas the following formula, which looks similar, is True
"a" : "b" : "c" != "a"
206 Using Domino Workflow
Client to server
Client to server replication works in the same way, except that the
administrators of the databases have no control over the formula. It is up to
the end user to specify the replication formulas, and it can be difficult to
track down erroneous behavior of the application at the client side if
selective replication is used.
Domino
Workflow
databases
Selective
Domino
Workflow
databases
Advantages
Disadvantages
Smaller Domino Workflow databases.
The replication formulas are difficult to
maintain.
People get only the data they need.
Increased chance of replication conflicts.
Views can be used to preselect data sets. Additional administrator tasks.
Knowledge about Domino Workflow
fields is necessary.
Client to server selective replication is
difficult to manage.
Handling replication conflicts
It is important that all replication conflicts are repaired as soon as possible,
because binders will fail to route if the binder contains a replication conflict
document.
Chapter 9: Distributed processing 207
To be able to get an early alert that a replication conflict has occurred, you
can schedule an agent defined as in the following figure.
This agent will send a memo to the members of the group Admins if there
are replication or save conflict documents.
Summary
In this chapter we discussed two kinds of distributed processing in a
Domino Workflow environment. The workflow load can be distributed
across different Application databases and servers by using several
Application databases or by using Replication. Multiple databases can be
created and limited only to support dedicated processes. Workflows can
span multiple Application databases based on the subprocess feature. This
also allows different parts of an organization to be responsible for specific
subprocesses.
Alternatively, replicas of Domino Workflow databases can be used to
overcome network limitations as well as server load restrictions.
208 Using Domino Workflow
Chapter 10
Integration
In this chapter we discuss two integration possibilities for Domino
Workflow:
•
Integration with Domino.Doc
•
Integration with other workflow systems via XML
As we mentioned in Chapter 2, Domino Workflow builds on top of Domino
and can utilize all services offered by Domino. Therefore, there also are
integration possibilities with products like DECS, MQSeries, and so on.
Integrating these products with Domino Workflow is the same as their
general integration with Domino applications. To learn more about the
integration options check out the Redbooks about Domino enterprise
integration listed in the “Related publications” section in the back of the
book.
Domino.Doc
Domino.Doc is a document management product that supports distributed
document management and handles the complete life cycle of documents:
authoring, review, approval, distribution, and archiving. Built on top of
Lotus Notes and Domino, it leverages the power of Domino to provide
replication, scalability, flexibility, and security services.
Five main techniques can be used to integrate Domino.Doc and Domino
Workflow. All necessary code to implement any of these scenarios is
shipped with the product.
•
Initiating Domino Workflow processes from Domino.Doc
•
Archiving Domino Workflow Binders in Domino.Doc
•
Automatic search in Domino.Doc for specific documents in an
automated activity in Domino Workflow
•
Automatic check in/check out of documents in Domino.Doc
•
Linking between Domino.Doc and Domino Workflow documents
209
For more information about integration, consult the product documentation, particularly the Domino.Doc and Domino Workflow Integration Guide that
is delivered together with Domino.Doc as a Domino database.
Access profiles
Some of the building blocks for integration with Domino.Doc are based on
Automated Activity agents that communicate with Domino.Doc using the
Domino.Doc OLE API. As the API requires the agents to authenticate
against Domino.Doc, a username and password has to be provided. As
this is sensitive security information, Domino Workflow stores these
items in reader field protected documents, the Domino.Doc Access Profiles.
Only users with appropriate access rights — and the agents themselves
running on server access rights — are able to read (and change) password
information.
Domino.Doc Access Profiles can be defined in the Application
Setupdocument within the Domino.Doc Integration Section. An example
of an access profile is shown in the following figure.
210 Using Domino Workflow
Initiating workflows
You can offer a Domino.Doc user the functionality to initiate Domino
Workflow jobs from their Domino.Doc application. You can use
event-based initiation or interactive initiation to do this.
Event-based initiation
In event-based initiation, an event that occurs within Domino.Doc initiates
a new workflow. Examples of such events are the check in of a new
document or the moving of a document from one binder to another.
Initiation will start automatically, in the background, without any user
interaction. The first activity in the process has to be claimed by one of the
potential activity owners of the first activity.
You can enable this feature in the Domino.Doc Document Type settings.
Note The technique used is Form-based initiation.
Interactive initiation
In the “workflow” tab the user can select a process from a list of available
processes. The job will be directly initiated from the Domino.Doc client
(based on the “New Job” functionality of Domino Workflow). The user will
be the activity owner of the first activity when he enters the Domino
Workflow application.
The Domino.Doc Library Administrator enables this feature for a given
Domino.Doc Document Type. The administrator can also elect to limit a
document type to use dedicated processes only, or define which processes
are available.
Archiving
Instead of the standard archive feature of Domino Workflow, you can use
the Archive to Domino.Doc feature. An automated activity agent is
provided in your application database. All binder documents that are
routed to an automated activity based on this agent are automatically
archived into a Domino.Doc file cabinet. The workflow documents are
recreated within a Domino.doc file cabinet, and the original documents are
removed from the Workflow application database.
To enable this feature you should create an access profile in the Domino
Workflow setup and add an automated activity to your process, as shown
in the following figure. You also have to set up a Domino File cabinet to be
used as a Domino Workflow Archive. Refer to the Domino.Doc Domino
Workflow Integration Guide for more information. This guide is part of the
Domino.Doc documentation.
Chapter 10: Integration 211
Automated activity search
Domino Workflow provides an automated activity agent which will search
Domino.Doc for specific documents. You can assign this automated activity
agent to an automated activity to search the Domino.Doc Document Library
for specific documents. For instance, you can search based on a customer
number for other documents related to this customer. To enable this in your
application your workflow binder has to contain a document that contains
the following fields that are used as parameters for the agent.
Fieldname
Value Range
Functionality
DDSearchExecute
“Yes”, fixed This field acts like a flag for a search request.
value.
The DD Search agent skips through the binder
and stops with the first document that contains
this field with the value set to “Yes”.
DDSearchCriterion Text. Must
be a valid
full text
search
criterion.
This field contains the query that will be
executed by the DD Search Agent. You can
compute the query by using a computed field.
This allows you to make the query dependent on
a field value, for example:
FIELD Customer_Number = \ “” +
Customer_Number + \ “”
DDSearchMaxDocs Number.
This field limits the number of hits returned on
the query. Set to 0 to return all matching
documents.
Tip The fields can be copied from the “(OS DD Search Setup)” subform
contained in the Workflow application database.
212 Using Domino Workflow
Automatic check in/check out
A set of automated activities agents are available in the application
database template to check out or check in Domino.Doc documents and
retrieve their associated files. These agents all follow the same pattern. First
they search the workflow binder for a Domino.Doc Document Reference.
This reference is automatically added, when a workflow process was
initiated within a Domino.Doc document. However, you can also add your
own code to create a reference to a Domino.Doc document before using any
of the automatic check in/check out agents. Then the agent authenticates
against Domino.Doc using the OLE API of Domino.Doc. The login is done
based on the Access profile defined in the application setup. Finally the
document is located using the Domino.Doc Document reference and then
processed according to the required action. The agents can be used in the
automated activities in your process. The following agents are provided for
automated check in and check out activities:
1. DD Check Out and Attach
This agent checks out a document from Domino.Doc and attaches the
file to a workflow document. The document is checked out under the
name of the user specified in the access profile.
Note A Domino.Doc document can only be checked out once,
therefore it can only be handled by one workflow at any given time.
2. DD Check In as Version
This agent checks in a copy of the attachment that was added by a “DD
Check out and Attach” agent. A new version is created in Domino.Doc.
After creating a new version, the document is checked out again. As a
result, the file is still owned by the workflow job and the attachment is
still within one of the workflow binder documents, but the Domino.Doc
document Library contains the new version of the document.
3. DD Check In as Draft
This agent works the same way as the “DD Check In as Version” agent.
However, the attachment is checked in as a new draft instead of being
checked in as a new version.
4. DD Check In as Version and Detach
This agent checks in a copy of the attachment that was added by a “DD
Check Out and Attach” agent. A new version is created in Domino.Doc
and the attachment is removed from the Domino Workflow binder. The
file is now owned by Domino.Doc again.
Chapter 10: Integration 213
5. DD Check In as Draft and Detach
This agent works the same way as the “DD Check In as Version and
Detach” agent. However, the attachment is checked in as a new draft
instead of being checked in as a new version.
Note Automated activities cannot print into the server log. If an error
occurs the job owner is informed via e-mail.
Note If the binder does not contain a reference, the automated activity is
skipped.
Note If a document cannot be checked out, an error is reported, but the
activity will be repeated until it is finally successful.
Linking between Domino.Doc and Domino Workflow documents
In order to allow users to view a Domino.Doc document from within a
workflow binder or to view workflows related to a Domino.Doc document,
specific UI building blocks are available.
A Domino.Doc document type can be workflow enabled by setting the
Document Type accordingly. After this enablement, all documents created
with this type will have an additional tab titled “workflow.” This tab
contains all the functionality you need to view related workflows or to
initiate new ones (if that is allowed for this document type).
If a workflow has been initiated from Domino.Doc a reference to the
Domino.Doc document is added to the workflow document. You can use
the subform “(OS DD Connector)” to display the link to a user. It contains
all the functionality you need to view a file attached to a Domino.Doc
document or to open its profile document. All the functionality within this
subform is based on agents shipped with open code. You can easily change
the design of this subform or add elements to the forms that you have
designed for your process.
Restrictions
If hosting the solution on non-Windows NT servers there is a limitation:
•
The automated activities for Archive, Search, and Check in/Check out
from Domino Workflow are based on the OLE API of Domino.Doc.
Because automated activity agents run on the server, this API has to be
available for the LotusScript environment of this server. Therefore,
non-Windows NT machines cannot run the automated activities.
However, initiation of workflows from within Domino.Doc and the UI
integration also work on non-NT servers.
•
If Domino.Doc and Domino Workflow are installed on different servers
there are some limitations. Please review the Domino.Doc Domino
Workflow guide for more information.
214 Using Domino Workflow
XML
XML defined
XML, Extensible Markup Language, is the language for documents
containing structured information. Structured information contains both
content (words, pictures, and so forth) and some indication of what role
that content plays (for example, a process name of a certain job instance).
A markup language is a mechanism to identify structures in a document.
The XML specification defines a standard way to add markup to
documents.
XML is not a single, predefined markup language. It is a metalanguage (a
language for describing other languages) which lets you design your own
markup. (A predefined markup language like HTML defines a way to
describe information in one specific class of documents. XML lets you
define your own customized markup languages for different classes of
document.) It can do this because it’s written in SGML, the international
standard metalanguage for markup.
Domino Workflow and XML
Domino Workflow subprocesses can be used to reduce the complexity
of processes and the reuse of parts of a process in other processes.
Supplementary subprocesses can run in other Domino Workflow
applications.
The Domino Workflow XML interface enhances the subprocess feature and
enables connectivity to other workflow management systems. You can use
not only Domino Workflow processes as subprocesses, but also processes
from other workflow management systems, by implementing a special
interface. XML is used to interchange documents and process properties
between different workflow management systems.
If a workflow management system implements this interface, Domino
Workflow is able to start processes and receive the results of processes from
this external workflow management system. Conversely, the external
workflow management system can start Domino Workflow processes and
receive the results.
To reduce the complexity of the interface, and because of features excluded
from Domino and XML, there are some restrictions:
•
It cannot be warranted that the same interface will be provided in
future versions of Domino Workflow. As there is standardization work
in this area, the interface definition is likely to be changed to conform
with these standards.
Chapter 10: Integration 215
•
Only simple data types (String, Integer, Date, and lists) can be
interchanged. Notes RichText items, and attachments in documents, are
not supported.
•
The information from all documents to be interchanged is sent in one
e-mail message. If you use Lotus Notes/Domino 4.5 or 4.6, this e-mail
must be less than 32K.
Configuring Domino Workflow
Before you can use the XML subprocess interface you must configure
Domino Workflow.
Configuring the Domino Workflow Engine
1. Create an Application Resource in the Domino Workflow Organization
Database to define the e-mail address of the Domino Workflow
Application Database. The Application Resource must have the type
“XML”.
Note The name of the Application Resource must be the same as the
e-mail address.
2. Choose this resource in the “Application” section of the Application
Setup document in the Domino Workflow Application Database.
Using external processes in the Domino Workflow Architect
You can use external subprocesses in the Domino Workflow Architect by
designing a (normal) Process Link. The only difference between including a
Domino Workflow subprocess and an external subprocess is the
specification of the target application.
1. Create an Application Resource in the Domino Workflow Organization
Database to define the e-mail address of the target application. The
Application Resource must have the type “XML”.
2. Choose this resource as the target application in the dialog “Process
Link Properties” (application tab) in the Domino Workflow Architect.
Communication protocol
Domino Workflow uses a very simple communication protocol between
applications. The communication protocol defines which commands are
sent by e-mail between distributed workflow management systems.
There are only four different commands:
•
JobSubmit: starting a subprocess
•
JobRemit: receiving the results of a subprocess
•
ACK: positive acknowledgment
216 Using Domino Workflow
•
NAK: negative acknowledgment
Starting a subprocess
The workflow management system where the host process is running sends
a JobSubmit command to the target workflow management system. Then
the target application checks the command. If the target application can
start the process successfully, it will send back an “ACK” command.
Otherwise it will return a “NAK” command.
Receiving the results of a subprocess
After the subprocess has been completed, the workflow management
system in which the process is running sends a “JobRemit” command to the
host application. If the command is correct, the host application will send
back an “ACK” command. Otherwise it will return a “NAK” command.
More information
For more information on XML, see the Web site at:
www.xml.com
For more technical information and examples, refer to the Domino
Workflow 2.0 Developer’s Toolkit. See Chapter 7 for instructions on how to
get the toolkit.
Summary
In this chapter we discussed how Domino Workflow integrates with
Domino.Doc.
We also discussed the concept of integrating with other workflow systems
via the XML interface.
Chapter 10: Integration 217
Chapter 11
Running Domino Workflow applications
In this chapter we introduce a few concepts related to running your
Domino Workflow application. These topics are less important than the
design of your processes with the Domino Workflow Architect, but they can
be crucial for achieving overall success in introducing Domino Workflow
applications in your organization.
We want to show you a few features that can be useful for running your
jobs, as well as some important issues that you should consider when
designing your workflow environment. We won’t discuss basics about
claiming an activity or reserving a document, as they are not only
well-documented elsewhere, but are also self-explaining.
Make changes at run time
In addition to process design in the Architect prior to deploying the process,
you can also make some changes to the process at the time of the job
execution. All the changes that you make at run time affect only the
particular job, and don’t have any influence on other jobs or the process
definition.
Change the team working on an activity
An activity owner has the ability to change the team acting on the activity
for which he is responsible. The basic team will be a group of persons, a
workgroup, role, or department in the organization database. This team is
assigned to the team activity in the Architect at the process level. In some
situations it might be necessary to change the team. If this is a structural
change you can just change the specific document in the organization
database. If this is an incidental change, the activity owner can overrule the
static setting. The activity owner must open the cover document in Edit
mode and select the “Team” option shown in the following figures.
219
You can also access this action from any binder document that is open in
Edit mode. Do this by choosing Action - Cover document - Team.
After selecting the “Team” option, you are presented with a dialog box
allowing you to change the predefined team (as shown in the next figure).
You can add new members to the team, as well as remove existing ones.
These changes are valid for one specific activity in one specific job.
220 Using Domino Workflow
You can choose the team members from your job context (initiator, job
owner, potential activity owners of the current activity or an owner of one
of the previous activities), or from the context of your whole organization as
defined in the organization directory.
As your organization directory grows bigger, browsing through it might
not be the most efficient way to locate people. Therefore, it’s possible to
choose a person directly by typing their name using the appropriate
interface. The new team member has to be included in your organization
directory.
Chapter 11: Running Domino Workflow applications 221
By assigning new team members you give them rights to edit workflowrelated documents and apply changes to the binder. However, those people
don’t necessarily know about their new rights. If you use the team feature
often, they may be checking the appropriate view.
However, if that is not the case, you should send them some kind of
notification. You can do this using the Mail Inquiry feature. You can find
this feature in the same document as the Team feature (Cover document).
This option is only available when the document is open in Edit mode.
222 Using Domino Workflow
It presents you with a screen in which you can choose people from your
organization directory that should be notified, and allows you to send them
some text and a link to the specific binder documents. In this way you can
notify the team members without sending mail from your own mailbox.
A copy of the mail inquiry becomes a binder document. This allows you to
keep track of all such correspondence.
There is one more way of changing the team members. You can define an
action on your document that allows you to set a new team. It requires
changing the value of the internal workflow field named TeamAuthorsOS
and TeamBackupOS in all binder documents to the user names of the
people you want to have on the team. At the end of your code you can
automatically create a mail inquiry and send it to the new team members.
Introduce some new activities (reassign)
In all processes that don’t require very strict routing control you can allow
the activity owners to reassign their work to someone else. To do this you’ll
have to allow for reassignment in the process definition (which is a default
setting). You can find the reassignment settings in the advanced activity
properties section in the Domino Workflow Architect (select an activity,
right-click on it, and choose Advanced Properties).
Chapter 11: Running Domino Workflow applications 223
While working on your job you will have access to the Reassign feature
only when you have one of the binder documents or the cover document
open in Edit mode. Then you can choose Actions - Cover document Reassign from the menu, as shown in the following figure.
224 Using Domino Workflow
From the cover document it is also possible to use the more directly
accessible Reassign action button. The cover document has to be in Edit
mode to make this action accessible.
When you choose reassignment you’ll be presented with the screen that
allows you to select the persons to whom the job will be reassigned, as well
as other settings. As the reassignment allows you to create a dynamic
quasi-activity, you can specify its name and give it a description. You can
also specify that you want to work further on the same activity before it is
completed, you can prevent further reassignment, and you can send mail
notification about this assignment.
You remain an activity owner as long as nobody else claims the job. Up to
this moment you are also able to withdraw your reassignment and to
continue working on the binder. If a reassignment is accepted, the job’s
further path depends on the settings you’ve made.
Change the route of your job (reroute)
As a job owner you are able not only to reassign the current activity to some
other person, but also to change the flow of the job entirely or to evaluate
the potential activity owners one more time. Such a possibility can be very
important for avoiding errors at run time and for testing your processes. To
enable rerouting in your application you must enable the reroute option
(the default setting is “disabled”) in the application setup document (in the
section “Global Settings”) as shown in the following figure.
Chapter 11: Running Domino Workflow applications 225
The Reroute action becomes available in the pull-down action menu in the
view Desktop - 5. By Job Owner once you have enabled this option.
Note The only place where you can access the rerouting feature for a
specific binder is in the view Desktop - 5. By Job Owner.
When you select the Reroute option from the action menu a dialog box will
appear as shown in the following figure. It gives you the ability to move the
binder into some other activity belonging to the same process, to change to
a new process version, or to jump into some totally different process. It also
allows you to evaluate the potential activity owners one more time. This
capability is very important if some organizational changes occur and the
members of the group that should work on a particular activity have
changed. It may also be useful if someone gets sick and you are using
surrogation rules in your company.
Therefore, the reroute feature allows you to update or migrate your
processes in case of any changes that have to be done to the existing jobs.
226 Using Domino Workflow
Cancel a job
There can be situations in which further routing doesn’t make much sense
and an activity owner decides to terminate the routing of a binder. Since an
activity owner doesn’t have enough authority to execute such an action
(responsibility is extended only to one activity and not to the whole job),
such an action requires help from the job owner. An activity owner has to
open the cover document in Edit mode and then the appropriate action
becomes available, as shown in the following figure.
Note In the same place you can suspend the further routing of the job or
postpone it until a given date.
Chapter 11: Running Domino Workflow applications 227
The following dialog box is shown after Request to cancel Job is selected.
Here the activity owner can explain why the job should be cancelled. This
explanation is saved with the job and unless the activity owner deselects the
option it also is sent to the job owner. The mail being sent to the job owner
is shown in the following figure:
Afterwards a job owner has to decide if a job will be canceled or not. This is
done by opening the cover document and selecting one of the available
actions. A job owner can also cancel a job without receiving a request to do
so, as it is the job owner’s responsibility to take care of the overall execution
of the jobs.
Keep an eye on the jobs
In many cases you want to know what happens to a job someone else is
working on. It might be information that a customer requires or just a piece
of statistical information. It might also be a way to check if everything goes
smoothly in your processes or to track and trace a certain job.
228 Using Domino Workflow
Domino Workflow provides several features to provide you with this
information. The most common mechanism is specific workflow views. This
section describes some of the views you will find useful. The product also
includes the Domino Workflow Viewer, a visual tool that gives you quick
access to all the relevant information about a particular job.
The most important views on workflow
The most common mechanism used in Domino to display documents sorted
on various criteria is views. Domino Workflow also uses this mechanism to
provide you with some standard ways to look at your jobs. There are some
views that you can use for the regular work, as well as views that allow you
to keep an eye on the jobs. There are also some administrative views that
make the maintenance and troubleshooting of your application easier. In
this section we introduce some of the most important ways to look at your
jobs. We won’t try to explain all of them, as some are self-explaining and
some others are rarely used. For complete details of all views see the
product documentation.
Important You are likely to develop your own views and ways to display
workflow jobs. Nevertheless, be careful with eliminating the provided
views, as some functionality may be accessible only from them. We strongly
recommend hiding standard views from the end-users instead of deleting
them (at least until you are completely familiar with Domino Workflow and
have used it operationally for some time).
What happens to a job?
In many scenarios you’ll need to have access not only to your own work,
but also to the work done by some other members of a specific group. To
give you this ability you can define readers as an advanced process
property in Domino Workflow Architect. This will allow you to view all
jobs based on this process in the For Your Interest view that you can access
through the navigator by selecting “Desktop.”
Note The default setting for readers in the Architect is All, and such jobs
are not displayed in the For Your Interest view. Only jobs with an explicit
specification of readers will appear in the For Your Interest view.
Browsing through all jobs
One more easy way to find some jobs, or some kind of overview of them, is
through the views that show all the jobs. If you know the name of the job
you’re looking for or if you use some naming convention, you can have
direct access to a particular job through the view called By Job Name. If you
want to have a look at the overdue jobs or the jobs that are close to being
overdue, you can use the view By Due Date.
Chapter 11: Running Domino Workflow applications 229
Note The view By Due Date makes sense only if the Timing setting was
used in the basic process properties in the Architect. The due date shown in
the view is a date on which a process is due, and not a due date for its
activities. Timing settings for the activities have nothing to do with the
timing setting for the process.
The next view after By Due Date sorts the jobs by status. This view is
important for two reasons. The first reason is to show you how many new
jobs exist in your application that have yet to be assigned to some person.
This information lets you plan the work better. The second important
reason concerns automated activities. You can determine from this view if
the automated activities run without problems and if the jobs are routed
further on.
Eliminating potential problems
The view sorting jobs by participant allows you to check the workload
being put on all the workflow participants and to intervene in case of
organizational changes. For instance, if someone had an accident and can’t
come to work for the next few weeks, you can check what jobs he already
claimed (those jobs with a status of In Progress) and, as a job owner,
redirect them to someone else. Such a change can be made by a job owner
using the reroute feature, as described previously.
Finding old work
There are also views showing completed and archived jobs. These jobs can’t
be found in any other view for all jobs or desktop since they are no longer
active and nobody needs to work on them. They might be of relevance to
the customers, or needed for some statistical reason, and that is why you
see them at all.
What happens in the application?
An application database contains not only views that allow access to the
documents on which you work, it also contains views that help you to get
your application up and running, and to check if everything is behaving
according to expectations. Those are views reserved for the administration
of your application. Therefore, you can find them in the pull-down menu
under View - Administration. They not only allow you to have a look at
various things, but also to take some actions that may be required.
Alternative initiation
Since the regular views show only active jobs, we need a place to look at the
potential jobs that will be initiated through one of the alternative mechanisms. Such documents can be found in the view Administration - To be
initiated. This is the place to look for all new documents that will initiate a
job by the next execution of the appropriate agent.
230 Using Domino Workflow
It is also the place for documents that actually should initiate a job, but
didn’t do it for some reason. If you want to check jobs belong to this
category, you can trigger the action called Mail-based initiation from this
view. You need the appropriate rights on the server to run an agent
triggered by this action. After you try to initiate new jobs, there should be
no document in this view. If any document is left, you should check why
it’s still there. Among the items to check are that the process name can be
found in the right place, and that all required fields are set. You can also
check for errors in the view called Administration - Error log. A copy of
each error notice can be found there.
Speeding up your tests
One of the administrative views looks very similar to the view for all jobs. It
is a view for all jobs sorted by status. There is one big difference between
those views: in the administrative view you can trigger an action calling the
background agent. This agent takes care of all the routing in your
application. Therefore, it may be useful for test purposes to run it after
completing some activities. In this way you can force some transitions
between activities without changing the client routing. (Like server routing,
this is an advanced process property described in the product documentation.) You can also verify if a job is being routed further on or if it stays at
one point of a process.
Note Always make sure that you have enough rights on the server to run
restricted agents, and that you are assigned a role of process server in the
application database before triggering a background agent. Otherwise, the
correct execution of the agent will not be possible. You also have to make
sure that the agent that you are running is not running scheduled on the
server at the same time, as this could potentially cause many replication
conflicts.
View all documents contained in the database
Another Administration view allows you to see all the documents in the
application database sorted by their form. This is the only view in which all
documents can be seen, and therefore it’s a very important one for
troubleshooting. If you have some problems with your application and you
can’t find any way of solving them, you can always go to this view, try to
find a document that causes trouble, and analyze it thoughtfully. You can
also consider deleting it and creating a document with similar content, but
if you do so, make sure that this document is not a cover document or a
main document in one of the jobs — otherwise you’ll destroy the binder to
which your document belongs.
Watch out for the cache
You may decide to use a process cache to allow quicker initiation of the
processes. You can set this property in the application setup document in
the initiation section. The default setting is without cache.
Chapter 11: Running Domino Workflow applications 231
Enabling the cache allows you to eliminate the need to make a database
lookup into the process definition database for each initiation of the process.
All information about processes that can be initiated and people who can
initiate them is stored in the application database and updated according to
the schedule set in the application setup. A price for using the cache is, that
the latest process changes may not be reflected in the cache. If a user was
just added to a role or granted access to a process, this information may not
be available in the cache right away. However, once a new job is started it
always refers to the most current process version. In the regular environment such an inconsistency will rarely be a problem, as it lasts only a short
time. However, it might be a problem in the testing and introductory phase
of the process, where a lot of changes can happen in a short time. Therefore,
you can use two views for monitoring your cache and updating it when
required through a corresponding action.
Check all workflow actions (audit trail)
There is also one administrative view that doesn’t show you the job
documents at all, but only what happened to the job. This view is called
Audit Trail, like all the documents that are displayed there. To have
documents created for this purpose, an audit trail has to be enabled in the
advanced process properties in Architect.
232 Using Domino Workflow
In the same place you can set the percentage of jobs that will be trailed,
choose which kind of information should be registered, and choose a
database in which all this information will be stored. More information
about the audit trail follows later in this chapter.
Get all details of one specific job (process Viewer)
If you’re interested in one particular job, its history, context, and possible
outcome, the Domino Workflow Viewer should probably be your tool of
choice. The Viewer is a visual tool that looks like the Architect, but allows
you to see runtime information such as who initiated the job, or how long it
took to complete a given activity. The Viewer can only read properties and
does not allow you to change them. You can view a graphic representation
of the job you’re working on, see detailed information about the process the
job is based on, determine who has already worked on the binder documents, and see who can claim the binder when you’re done with the current
activity. You can even preview the process design before you start a job.
Chapter 11: Running Domino Workflow applications 233
As you can see on the following figure, it shows information that Architect
doesn’t show. It shows, for instance, the current position of a binder and
what steps it has gone through. It is also possible to see who has worked on
the binder and what exceptions took place.
Note The Domino Workflow Viewer is the only part of Domino Workflow
that has to be installed locally on the user’s machine. However, the Viewer
is an optional tool and is not required to use Domino Workflow. The
installation process is quite easy and is supported through an assistant.
234 Using Domino Workflow
It happens automatically when a workflow user decides to view a job for
the first time by using a corresponding action in the binder document or a
cover document. You must be assigned the role of [Resource User] in the
organization directory to be able to use a Viewer.
Note Viewer is stored in the organization directory as a resource. Since
version 2.1 of Domino Workflow, Viewer is part of a standard installation;
previous releases require a separate Viewer installation.
In order to be able to view a job, you also have to set appropriate properties
in the application setup document.
You have to enable the log, and specify if you want to record time of actions
and the names of their executors. If you disable these options you’ll gather
less information, but your information will be clearly aimed at controlling a
process without controlling the people. Such an approach might be
appealing to companies that want to show that they trust their employees
or those that may be required to do so for legal reasons.
More information about Viewer can be found in the product documentation
and by following the links to the Business Partner Zone for Domino
Workflow on the Lotus Web site at:
www.lotus.com
Recording your job context (audit trail)
As we mentioned previously, it is also possible to keep track of all major
workflow actions using audit trail. It records actions that occur at the job or
activity level, such as who claimed an activity, who received work
reassignments, and the time and date work was completed. By analyzing
the audit trail, you can discover bottlenecks in the process and other
irregularities. Each action recorded is stored in a separate audit trail
document. The audit trail can be stored, as well as archived, in separate
databases. The audit trail must be enabled in the advanced process or
activity properties before you can use it.
Chapter 11: Running Domino Workflow applications 235
Note If you’re using a separate database to store your audit trail, it must
be a mail-in database in your Domino Directory and defined as a resource
in the organization directory.
Using events to customize the audit trail
You can use the events included in the Domino Workflow Developer’s
Toolkit to extend the features of the audit trail.
You can use audit events to append additional data to the audit document;
for example, you can append the current team members, or perhaps the
current state of other processes. Audit events can be used to extend and
modify the audit document that is passed as a parameter in every audit
event handler. They can also be used to perform actions you define, such as
creating or modifying other documents.
Nearly half of the Domino Workflow events are audit events. Every audit
event is a query event. You can set the Continue flag to False to prevent the
system from creating an audit trail entry.
Important Audit events (“QueryAudit . . .”) will be executed only if audit
trail is enabled in the Domino Workflow Architect.
Managing the audit information
In addition to activating audit trail on the process and activity level,
choosing the storage application on the process level, and using some
events to customize the way audit trail works in a specific application
database, you can set some properties for all processes in one application.
These additional properties can be set in the application setup document.
Since audit trail creates one document for each action, there are a lot of
documents created for one job. Therefore, in most cases you will want to
merge all this information in one document. Domino Workflow can do it
236 Using Domino Workflow
automatically for you if you choose the appropriate setting in the
application setup document. If you decide to store the audit trail in a
separate database, an agent deletes the original documents from the
application database after mailing a copy of them into the central audit trail
database. If you activate any of those settings, you have to decide on what
schedule the appropriate agent would run. To do this, use the Schedule
button that appears on the right side after you enable any option.
A completed job (archive)
After the last activity in a job is completed, the whole job can be found in
the view called Completed Jobs. It may stay there as long as the database
exists, but it’s also possible to archive it. With archiving you can prevent the
application from growing too fast, and also remove old jobs from the
operative server. You must determine what kind of archive is appropriate
for your company; in this section we introduce the archiving mechanism
offered by Domino Workflow.
Tip Always consider the use of archiving in your application database to
keep your runtime environment as compact as possible. Performance
problems can occur if your database is too large. Therefore, a general rule in
developing Domino Workflow applications is to keep your application as
compact as possible.
Setting up an archive
Prior to using archive in your application, you have to set some properties
to enable it on the process level (in the Domino Workflow Architect) and on
the application level (in the application setup document). In Domino
Workflow Architect you can find the archiving settings on the advanced
process properties tab. Use the following steps to set up your archive.
1. Enable archiving — by default archiving is turned off.
2. Decide when the documents should be archived. For example, you may
want all documents to be accessible in the application database for a
few days after completing a job in order to allow easy access to them.
3. Define the database into which the documents should be moved.
It has to be a mail-in database defined in Domino Directory and it has
to be declared as a resource in the organization directory. The archiving
mechanism uses e-mail for transferring the documents into an archive.
4. Specify the documents that should be archived. You can use any
formula that would work as a view selection formula for making such a
choice. This setting allows you to archive only selected documents
containing some important information. The next setting allows you to
Chapter 11: Running Domino Workflow applications 237
mark other, unimportant documents for deletion (documents that were
archived don’t have to be explicitly deleted).
5. The last setting on the Archive tab lets you specify what happens to the
audit trail information of a completed job. It may be kept in the
application database, moved into the archive database, or deleted.
After you’ve enabled archiving for any process, you also have to change
some settings in the application database in order to make archiving work.
To make these changes you have to open the application setup document
and look into the archive and audit trail section. You can see the possible
settings on the following figure.
•
Enable the agent running the archive procedure (and schedule it using
a button that appears on the right side as soon as you enable a setting).
•
Choose whether to delete the archived documents (in the process
settings you choose which documents should be moved and
automatically marked as such). If you don’t enable this setting, two
copies of the archived document will exist: one in the application
database and one in the archive database.
•
The last setting allows you to schedule the deletion of documents
marked for deletion according to your specifications in the process
settings.
238 Using Domino Workflow
Various ways of archiving
The easiest way to archive your jobs is to use a standard archive database
that comes with Domino Workflow. You just have to put it on a server,
declare it a mail-in database in Domino Directory, create a corresponding
resource in the organization directory, and set up archiving properties as
described earlier in this chapter. This will provide you with a working
environment that takes care of your basic archiving needs. However, you
may want more from your system. You might consider some other
scenarios for archiving completed jobs. Just as your scenario can be
implemented with Domino, it can also be implemented with Domino
Workflow.
Electronic document management systems (EDMS)
One common archiving scenario incorporates the use of an electronic
document management system as a logical way to store your documents.
You can connect your workflow with any EDMS by placing an automated
activity on the end of your process, writing an agent that connects to a
EDMS and checks all binder documents in, and by triggering this agent
from the automated activity. In order to execute such an agent the
information about your EDMS will have to be used. You can put it in the
custom part of the application setup document, as the same information
will probably be used for all processes. If you use Domino.Doc as your
EDMS, you can set it up in the Domino.Doc Integration Setup part of your
application setup document. You can also use an appropriate agent that is
included in Domino Workflow (DD Archive), as Domino Workflow is
already prepared for integration with this EDMS. There are other
techniques to integrate Domino Workflow and Domino.Doc; they are
described in the chapter about integration.
Chapter 11: Running Domino Workflow applications 239
Archiving just the results
In many cases you won’t be interested in archiving all the job information.
It may be enough to extract some results produced in the job and some
reference information. You can do this with a custom agent that will be
triggered in the automated activity placed on the end of your routing path,
or you can use some events provided in the Domino Workflow Developer’s
Toolkit. If you use Audit Trail you can place your code in the event
QueryAuditJobCompleted, which offers you a hook to the binder cover,
through which you can find the rest of the binder documents. In this way
you can extract all the required information from the binder and, if desired,
delete the documents. You can also use the events QueryArchiveMove,
QueryArchiveDelete, and QueryArchiveMarkPermanent. These events are
accessible if you’ve enabled the archiving functionality of Domino
Workflow; they let you access separate binder documents. By writing some
script into them you can also extract only the desired information, ignoring
the rest of the job or binder content.
Archiving with stubs
One more archiving scenario may be considered very interesting. It is based
on the assumption that you don’t want to keep your jobs in your
application any longer than required (for the obvious performance reasons)
but want to be able to find all their information very quickly if required. To
do this you will need some information in the application database that
allows you to access a particular archived job. There are many ways to
accomplish this, for instance by inserting your script into workflow events
as described in the previous chapter, or by disabling default archiving and
writing your own agent for this purpose. You can run this agent on all
completed jobs that are found using the following formula:
SELECT InstanceIDOS != “” &(@UpperCase(FolderStatusOS) = “JOB
COMPLETED”)
Your agent should run on each binder, and on each binder document. It
should perform the following actions:
1. Get the binder cover.
2. Create a new job reference document.
3. Copy some job information from the cover to a new job reference
document.
4. Copy the binder cover to the archive database.
5. Create a link to the binder cover in the archive database.
6. Place the newly created link into the new job reference document.
240 Using Domino Workflow
7. For all binder documents:
a. Get document.
b. Create a copy of this document in the archive database.
c. Extract some document information.
d. Write this information into the job reference document.
e. Create a link to the archive document.
f. Place your link on the job reference document.
g. Delete the binder document.
8. Find the Audit Trail document for this job (if it exists).
9. Create a copy of this document in the archive database.
10. Create a link to the archive document.
11. Place your link in the job reference document.
12. Delete the Audit Trail document.
13. Save your job reference document.
14. Delete the cover document.
It is your choice what information will be saved in the reference document.
It is also possible to create a link only to the main document or some other
kind of document, but those decisions have to be made depending on your
process scenarios. This discussion shows you only an overview of how you
can easily customize your environment according to your needs.
Optimizing your workflow application
A Domino Workflow application is just a customized Domino database, so
the optimizing information that applies to any other database also applies
to your application. A good source of information about designing for
performance is the IBM Redbook Performance Considerations for Domino
Applications, SG24-5602-00. More information about this book is on the Web
at http://www.ibm.redbooks.com.
All the optimizing issues that are important for Domino are also applicable
for Domino Workflow. Nevertheless, we want to remind you of some issues
that we view as critical for the safe deployment and successful performance
of your workflow.
Chapter 11: Running Domino Workflow applications 241
Design elements
To customize your application you might need design elements other than
those included in Domino Workflow. Customization is easily done and
causes no harm, as long as you don’t change any elements that have OS or
DWF in their names. You can change, for example, all the views that will be
presented to the workflow participants and other elements of the user
interface. However, you shouldn’t change the hidden views that are used
for accessing workflow information. You might add some graphics to the
included subforms, but you should still preserve all the contained fields.
Hiding a cover document
Probably the most common customization of Domino Workflow is
connected with hiding a cover document. In the cover document you can
find a lot of information about a process and current activity, but not the
content of your binder. Therefore, the real work happens mostly in the main
document. A cover document can be considered the overhead that is
required to put the binder into the right context so that it can be occasionally accessed, but without the need for it to be exposed all the time. You can
create a new view that displays all the workflow documents, but doesn’t
contain cover documents. To do this you can just add one more restriction
to the view selection formula, eliminating those documents. For the view
showing all documents your selection formula will look like this:
SELECT InstanceIDOS != “” & @UpperCase(FolderStatusOS) != “JOB
COMPLETED” & @UpperCase(coverdocOS) != “YES”
You’ll still have access to the binder cover from the document using the
appropriate action. For further customizing of the view, you might want to
preserve the first three columns that categorize your jobs and you might
leave the fourth column showing the status of the job. You can customize
the rest of the view according to your needs.
Customizing actions and dialog boxes
Generally, it’s no problem to customize workflow actions or dialog boxes,
as long as you don’t change the workflow references contained in them. It
means that you can change the look and feel of the user interface as far as
you want, as long as it doesn’t change the logic of your workflow context.
You can remove some actions from the workflow subforms if you don’t
want to make them accessible for the participants. You can also change
names of the actions, but do not change the reference to the agents that they
trigger. It is also possible to place your company’s logo inside of the dialog
boxes or to use the names that are more suitable for your company. You just
have to remember not to change any workflow fields included in them.
242 Using Domino Workflow
Performance issues
In many companies the performance of Domino Workflow can be
considered one of the most important issues. As Domino tends to have
pretty long response time in some situations, you have to be even more
aware of this problem in the case of an application based on Domino. It is of
utmost importance to design your workflow application according to some
basic rules to avoid slowing it down.
Minimizing the size of your application
One of the basic rules in designing a Domino application is keeping the size
of it as small as possible. This general rule applies to a workflow application
even more than to any regular one because of the overhead caused by the
workflow information. In the next few paragraphs we briefly discuss some
important strategies for minimizing application size.
Archive
We already discussed the methods for archiving in this chapter. Here we
only want to stress one more time the importance of this technique. To keep
your application in top condition we recommend strongly that you move
completed jobs into some other application as soon as possible, and perform
all aggregations and evaluations on the archive database. It is of no
importance whether you use the provided mechanisms for archiving or
implement your own archiving solution, as long as your application
contains mainly current, running jobs and not the obsolete ones kept only
for statistical or legal purposes.
Distribute your application
Another way to keep your application small is by dividing it into more than
one database. There are two different possibilities for achieving this.
The first and obvious way is to create separate applications for each process
(or group of processes). This approach works very well with high-volume
processes where workflow participants work mainly on one process. Then
each participant has an application database that acts as a main field of
work, and in case of involvement in some other processes a participant
should get a mail notification of the required involvement. This approach
doesn’t work if the participants have to work with multiple databases in
which some work is sometimes assigned to them, as the process of looking
for work can require more resources than the work itself.
In a situation in which the workflow participants can be clearly assigned to
one server and the groups that are used in the process model are always
using an application replica located on one server, you can try to reduce the
size of the application by means of selective replication. However, the issue
is complex which is why a separate chapter of this book (Chapter 9) is
devoted to the distributed environment and replication issues.
Chapter 11: Running Domino Workflow applications 243
Delete outdated data
You will probably create a lot of design elements and save copies during
the implementation of a workflow application. When a development cycle
is finished, you can delete all design elements that are no longer relevant.
These elements will not completely disappear; their corresponding stubs
will remain in the database. The stubs are needed to refresh replicas of the
database when the deletions are made in them. If these stubs are no longer
relevant, you should remove them from the database. Stubs can’t be
removed by compacting a database. However, they can be deleted by
changing the replication settings under “Space Savers.” Change the default
setting from 90 days to 0 days. Deletion stubs are also created when
deleting documents from a database. For each document, a deletion stub
remains in the database. With the procedure described here, all these stubs
will be deleted, too. To recapture the free space that removing these stubs
has created you have to compact the database.
Setting up your application
It is not only the size of your application database that has impact on the
performance. There are also some settings in the application database that
you have to consider. Most features that automate some kind of product
behavior also have some impact on the workflow performance because
some conditions have to be checked, and if required, some action has to be
taken. In most cases you probably will not use all of those features, and
therefore you should disable them in order to reduce the overhead caused
by the workflow. All the settings that we discuss in the next few paragraphs
can be found in the application setup document that can be accessed from
the pull-down menu View - Administration - 1. Application Setup.
Option subprocesses
Remote subprocesses — the task that moves binders into remote
subprocesses (that is, they run in a different application database) — can be
deactivated if your application database does not run processes that move
binders into remote subprocesses. The runtime of the Domino Workflow
Backgrounder Agent will be reduced if this option has been deactivated
because less program code has to be executed. Disabling this option will
still allow you to run subprocesses within the same application database
that is running the host process.
Send mail notifications
This option can be deactivated if no e-mail notifications need to be sent to
the potential activity owners during a job. Again, the runtime of the
Domino Workflow Backgrounder Agent will be reduced if this option has
been deactivated.
244 Using Domino Workflow
Dupe check
The Dupe check routine is used for interactive initiation to check whether a
user-defined job name already exists within the application database. The
time necessary for activating a new job will be reduced if this option has
been deactivated. No check will be made whether a job name exists. If you
can be sure that each job name will be unique, or you don’t care about it,
you can deactivate this option.
Process cache
The time necessary to start a new job will be reduced if this option has
been activated. Make sure that you do not merely check the box; you also
have to update the cache view in the application database under View –
Administration – Cache, or make sure that the OS Administration agent
runs regularly. If you want to use the application database on the Web, this
option must be activated; otherwise, you won’t be able to start a new job.
Routing options of the backgrounder agent
You can set the backgrounder agent to call the program code for routing
and automated activity processing several times during each execution of
the agent. Using this feature, you can reduce the amount of time that is
necessary for one binder to route through several automated activities
within a complex job. Keep in mind, however, that with an increasing
number of routings the time for one run of a single backgrounder execution
job will increase accordingly.
Note This effect has to be considered in the server document for the
maximum execution time settings for the agent. If the time that is set there
will exceed the new average runtime of the backgrounder agent, the
corresponding value has to be increased accordingly.
Setting up the organization directory
Though we are focusing primarily on the concerns related to an application
database, we should also consider a few settings in the organization
database that have a very big impact on the performance of the whole
system. These settings can be found in the setup document of the
organization directory.
Work with surrogates
Domino Workflow offers you the possibility of using automatic surrogating
mechanisms. If you have defined surrogate rules for an organizational unit,
they will be used in jobs when no members of a specified unit are available.
You can use surrogates not only for people, but also for departments,
workgroups, and roles. If you don’t use this feature, you should disable it.
When substitute management has been disabled, the routing task takes less
time because the engine does not need to check for Out Of Office Profiles
and evaluate replacements.
Chapter 11: Running Domino Workflow applications 245
Activate cache
When you activate this option, indirect members of groups and any
substitutes will be pre-evaluated. In most cases, a significant performance
enhancement during routing can be realized by this. The deeper the
structure of the involved organization units, the greater the enhancement.
Routing schedules
Routing options and their related response times depend on many different
factors. These include, for example, the complexity of the organization
directory, the amount of data stored in the application database, and the
size of the binders and documents belonging to them. For complex data,
server-based routing is recommended. Routing of binders will be executed
over the server. When an activity owner completes an activity, the binder
will get the status “Ready to route”. Only specific program modules run, so
the document will close faster and the user can get back to work sooner.
To reduce the time intervals necessary for evaluation on the server, you can
reduce the cycles of scheduled agents. These time parameters are set in the
configuration document of the server. The corresponding numerical data
should be set individually.
AMgr_DocUpdateAgentMinInterval = 0
This parameter indicates the minimum number of minutes that have to pass
between executions of the agent that is triggered for the update.
AMgr_DocUpdateEventDelay = 0.
This parameter indicates the time delay in minutes, before the agent
manager is triggered after an event that updates the document.
Note Setting these values at 0 still means the polling time is going to be
two minutes.
The corresponding scheduled agents won’t be activated with the option
“scheduled,” but they will be activated with the option “when documents
are created or changed.” This new setting will result in a more homogeneous as well as a reduced server load since the agent only has to execute the
modified and new data. This results in a noticeable performance
enhancement for the actual users.
Important Changing the Agent Manager settings has an impact not only on
your workflow application but also on your entire server performance. You
should always consider all possible impacts of such a change.
246 Using Domino Workflow
Troubleshooting
Domino Workflow is a complex software tool. Therefore, there are many
possible error sources in case of any malfunction. It is impossible for us to
anticipate and list all the possible errors and ways to avoid or fix them.
What we can do is try to identify some very common errors and give some
general advice on where to look for help. However, the best source of
knowledge about the common errors, system limitations, and ways to
handle them is the product documentation and the ongoing Domino
Workflow discussion on the Web at:
http://www.lotus.com/workflow
in which the most common problems are discussed. In this forum you can
also post questions, and possibly get direct answers from the product
developers.
Some common errors
In the next few paragraphs we’ll discuss some errors that can happen to
everybody. Most of them are easy to repair, and therefore worth
mentioning for quick reference. This should also show you some potential
error sources and some general ways to handle them.
Errors when activating a process
The first time you can encounter errors with your process is when
activating it. There are mainly two reasons for problems at this point, and
both of them are easy to identify. They are also relatively easy to correct.
The first possible cause of an error when activating a process is due to
insufficient access rights on the process definition database. As you try to
activate a process, Domino Workflow involves you in a dialog where you
have to choose in which database a new process should be activated. If you
choose a database that is not a process definition database, or if you don’t
have appropiate access to write information into it, Domino Workflow
generates an error notice. You have to correct the error and try to activate
your process once more.
The second possible cause of an error while activating your process is a
consequence of logical errors in the process. Domino Workflow performs a
syntax check by activating a process. If any errors are found, they are all
listed in a syntax check box, together with a description, and they’re also
highlighted in the process map to help you to locate them. You can activate
your process only after you correct all the errors. You can also perform a
syntax check without activating a process, using an appropriate command
from the menu.
Chapter 11: Running Domino Workflow applications 247
Problems while initiating a job
After activating your new process you might still encounter problems when
creating a job based on its definition. Here we describe briefly a few of the
most common job-initiation problems.
Not listed as initiator in the process definition
If you have activated a process and can’t start a job based on it, the first
thing to check is whether your process definition allows you to start it. You
can initiate a job if you are one of the potential activity owners of the first
activity or if everybody is allowed to initiate a job. You can check both those
settings in the Architect. However, you must be sure your current version
was activated. Therefore, it’s usually easier to check your process in the
process definition database. There you can check who can initiate a job and
be sure that those settings are active.
False database configuration
If you’ve verified that you should be able to activate a job based on a
specific process but it’s still not possible, check whether your databases are
correctly set up. You can do this by checking the paths in the application
setup document. If you have multiple servers, you also have to check the
server. If you have multiple replicas on one server, check that they contain
the same information. You can also check the configuration, looking at the
availability of some other processes.
Only listed processes can be initiated
Database configuration may cause some problems during the first process.
If you already have at least one running process in your working
environment, the introduction of the next processes shouldn’t cause any
trouble, as the configuration doesn’t change. Problems can be caused,
however, if you restrict the processes to only a few explicitly listed in the
application setup document. In such a case you should change the
application setup document (which you can access from the pull-down
menu View - Administration - 1. Application Setup) in the Initiation
Settings section, under the first item, which relates to Available processes.
Process cache activated
In some cases you can use the process cache in the application database.
The cache can be used for performance reasons and must be used if you
want to allow process initiation from the Web browser. In such a case there
is some delay between activating a process and being able to deploy it.
When testing, or if it is necessary to work with a process as soon as possible,
you will need to update the cache manually. Otherwise, you have to wait
until the scheduled cache update takes place. To update the cache, open the
view Administration - 7. Cache - 1. By Initiator from the pull-down menu
and trigger the appropriate action by clicking Update Process Cache.
Afterwards the names of all people that can initiate a job will be listed,
together with the processes that are available to them.
248 Using Domino Workflow
Note A good aid for troubleshooting problems related to initiation is to
populate the Process Cache even though it may not be used by the
application. Open the view Administration 7. Cache - 1. By Initiator
or ... - 2. By Process. If you have the approriate access rights (database role
[Process Cache]), you will be able to use the view action “Update Cache.”
After using it, a document will be created for each process that can be
started within this database. You can review who is allowed to start these
processes or whether there are any other problems.
Routing problems
Most problems happen after a job is initiated: there are all kinds of errors
possible at this time. We’ll describe here only a few of the more common
ones. It is not possible to come up with a complete list of all possible errors,
as they can be caused by false process logic, problems with your
application, or problems with Domino in general. Therefore, we show only
some errors typical for Domino Workflow. They all cause a situation in
which a binder can’t be forwarded after completing an activity.
Next participant can’t be evaluated
The logical consequence of problems with evaluation of the next participant
is the lack of routing. If the workflow engine doesn’t know who should
work on the next activity, it can’t pass the work any further. If such a
problem occurs during a client routing, the participant of the completed
activity is presented with a screen informing them about the situation and
offering a choice of people who can be sent a message. If a server routing
causes the error, a job owner gets a message. In both cases the binder stays
with the last activity owner and is shown in a view with an additional
comment about a routing error.
Such a situation can be caused by changes in your organizational structure
such as deleting a group or removing all its members, by removing some
members from your organization, or by creating some out of office profiles
without defining surrogates. The other possible source of the error is
routing using a formula or field value for evaluating workflow participants
that doesn’t evaluate to the people listed in the organization directory.
In any of these cases a job owner (in some cases also an activity owner ) has
to check what caused the trouble and then reroute the activity as described
earlier in this chapter. A reroute should follow the activity following the
completed one. This strategy should let you solve a problem relatively
quickly and should let you continue workflow as soon as possible.
All conditional paths evaluate to false
There is also a possibility that the binder cannot be forwarded because of
the lack of a routing path leading to the next activity. Such a situation can
happen if you use conditional routing without using an else connector. If
you change some of your fields or the context of your process changes
Chapter 11: Running Domino Workflow applications 249
somewhat, what can easily happen is that all conditions will then evaluate
to false and no further routing is possible. For Domino Workflow this
situation is just like the last one described: the next activity owner can’t be
evaluated. An error like this can’t be fixed by a job owner other than by
using the reroute feature, it has to be resolved by a person responsible for
designing the process. Therefore, you should always have an else connector
coming out of any activities with only conditional routing relations. In this
way you are always on the safe side with minor design changes because a
default routing path exists.
No further routing by an automated activity
Automated activities always carry a potential risk. If a job gets stuck in
them you don’t always receive an error notification and no workflow
participant can see the problem directly in the work environment.
Therefore, it’s important for a job owner to look into the view showing the
status of all jobs from time to time and to check the automated activities
periodically. If an automated activity should send a mail notification, there
is no problem. If it sends a mail, the binder is routed further, and if it can’t
send mail, a job owner is notified. It’s more complicated when running a
LotusScript agent. An automated activity should be passed on further after
the completion of the script. Because of this, if some errors in the script
execution occur, the activity is not ready for further routing. It waits for the
next cycle of the executing agent to complete the script. If the completion
never happens, the activity will never be completed. Therefore, it’s the
responsibility of a job owner to take care of such activities and to notify
process designers.
General tips
There are also some general problems that may occur during workflow
execution. Some of these problems generate an error notification, others do
not. In the next section we want to show you a few such problems.
Job owner not available any more
In some situations it’s possible that a job owner is not available any more.
This problem can be caused by the fact that the group of job owners is
evaluated down to the individual people by the job initiation. The owners
of the job stay the same to the end of a job. Therefore, if your processes last
for some time and the environment changes, the probability of personnel
changes grows larger. Unfortunately there is no explicit feature to change
the job owner. Domino Workflow offers you no mechanisms for doing it.
However, given appropriate access rights, you can write a small agent that
changes the field JobOwnerOS in all binder documents. Please take care to
use canonical usernames for all fields containing participant names.
250 Using Domino Workflow
Save conflicts
If a save conflict of any kind is generated in Domino Workflow, it can only
be resolved manually. This is the same approach that Domino takes. You’ll
probably assign this job to a job owner, the person with the best overall
knowledge of the process. It is necessary to transfer the whole content into
one document and to delete the additional document. However, you can
encourage your workflow participants to use locking mechanisms on the
document level in order to avoid such situations. If your team members
(save conflicts are typically created by teams rather than individuals) are
working on the same server, locking should eliminate the problem.
Missing binder parts
There can be some situations where binder parts are missing. Such a
situation may not happen without these documents being manually
deleted. If the Access Control list is set properly users are not able to delete
Cover documents. However, if they are Activity Owners they may delete
binder documents. If this happens accidentally there is no undo mechanism.
However, you may be able to replace the orginal document. You can do so
by adding a new binder document or by pasting a similar document using
the standard copy and paste mechanism. If for some reason the Cover
document was deleted (e.g., by an automated activity agent that contained
a bug), there is no way to recover this document. There are two alternative
procedures. You can start the job from scratch and reroute it to the stage in
which it became inconsistent. If the old binder documents are still
consistent, you can cut and paste them into the newly created job. If the
cover becomes missing in a parallel path of a workflow, you may be able to
skip this path and continue at the next join. Both procedures cannot be
applied universally and can only be used with caution. Whenever skipping
workflow activities the data model may become inconsistent (for example, a
decision is skipped and then missing later on in the process). There may
also be interdependencies with external applications such as relational
databases or Domino.Doc file cabinets used by the process.
As you can see, it’s not easy to correct such an error, so it is best to avoid it.
by setting the Access Control list properly and by educating your users.
Chapter 11: Running Domino Workflow applications 251
Summary
In this chapter we wanted to share some thoughts about running a process
and about mechanisms that can help you to take better care of your
processes. During the real implementation of your processes you’ll
probably encounter additional difficulties, since your processes will be
getting more and more complicated and your organization will depend
more on workflow. At the same time you’ll become more accustomed to
Domino Workflow and you’ll learn to avoid making some simple errors.
You’ll also learn to use efficiently some advanced techniques and features
to control your workflows. However, you should always keep in mind that
workflow is only one part of your company and its goal is to help people to
get the job done. Your focus should be on business processes and people
who work on them. If it sometimes means that you should apply less
control and, in some cases, stop using workflow altogether or just embed
workflow into some other context — this is what you should do. Workflow
is a great tool to help you make your company more efficient and Domino
Workflow is a great workflow tool — but it’s no more than that. Your
company has to create efficient business processes and execute them. That
is the core concept behind the workflow idea.
252 Using Domino Workflow
Chapter 12
Domino Workflow and LotusScript
Not all coding in Domino Workflow can be done with @Formulas. If you
want to run an agent in an automatic activity or need to react to Domino
Workflow events, you need LotusScript.
In this chapter we will discuss:
•
How to create agents for automated activities
•
Classes for encapsulating Domino Workflow documents
•
What to do with repeatedly failing automated activities
•
How to create your own event handlers
Automated activities
Domino Workflow provides an opportunity to run a server-based task as
part of a process using automated activities. There are three types of
automated activities:
•
Send mail
•
Run a server-based program in an Operating System shell
•
Run a LotusScript agent
The automated activity that runs an automation agent will be discussed in
this section. See Chapter 4 for details about the send mail activity, and
Chapter 7 to learn about server-based programs.
Automation agents
Automation agents can do a variety of tasks, for example:
•
Collect data from other documents into the main document of the
binder
•
Create additional documents in the binder
•
Wait until a certain condition becomes true
253
How to create an automation agent
To make it easier for you to develop automated activity agents, and because
agents need to be built according to a specific structure, Domino Workflow
provides an automation agent template.
The agent ‘OS Automation template’ contains one function:
Function CustomSubroutine (binder As OSDocumentCollection,
cover As notesdocument, main As notesdocument) As Integer
This function is all you need. It has three parameters, defined in the
following table.
Name
Type
binder
OSDocumentCollection A collection of all the NotesDocuments that are
in this binder (including the Cover and Main
document). It has the same methods as the
NotesDocumentCollection.
Description
cover
NotesDocument
NotesDocument object containing the cover
document.
main
NotesDocument
NotesDocument object containing the main
document.
To create an agent for an automated activity you should do the following:
1. Make a copy of the ‘OS Automation Template’ agent.
2. Open the copy and give it the correct name. The new agent name must
not start with “OS” or “DWF.”
3. Go to the CustomSubRoutine function and add your LotusScript code
to it.
Note The result of the CustomSubRoutine must be a True or False
value in the variable CustomSubRoutine.
4. Save and close the agent.
Now you are ready to use the agent in the Domino Workflow Architect.
Adding the agent to the activity
When using automated activities which run LotusScript agents you need
two main things: an automation agent based on a template provided by
Domino Workflow, and an automated activity in your process relating to
this automation agent.
In the dialog box of the properties of the pertinent activity, use the
following steps to add the agent:
1. Select LotusScript agent as type.
2. Select your agent from the list (see the following figure).
254 Using Domino Workflow
What happens when an agent is run
The Domino Workflow background agent will trigger your agent if there is
a binder in an automated activity with your agent name. Your agent itself
will (in the Initialize subroutine) determine which binders it actually will
have to process. For each binder in turn the CustomSubRoutine of your
agent is called. The return value of this routine determines if the binder has
been processed successfully or not.
Return value of
CustomSubRoutine
Action taken
False
The binder is not changed. Its status remains “Automation,”
so at the next run of the Domino Workflow background agent,
it will run your agent again on this binder.
True
The status of the binder is set to “Ready to route.” The
Domino Workflow background agent will route it to the next
activity.
Redbook Binder classes
If you want to refer to the Domino Workflow internal fields in your agents
you will need to know which field contains what information. An objectoriented approach to interact with the Domino Workflow documents makes
it possible to hide almost all Domino Workflow fields from your own code.
This makes your code less dependent on the internal structure of the
Domino Workflow documents.
Chapter 12: Domino Workflow and LotusScript 255
Note These classes use the Domino Workflow Developer’s Toolkit to
process all the documents of the binder (Cover, Main, and additional).
Important The classes that we introduce in this book are not part of
Domino Workflow and are only an example of how to encapsulate the data
from the Domino Workflow fields. These classes do not necessarily reflect
the object model underlying the future design of Domino Workflow. To
distinguish our classes from the product code, we decided to use the prefix
Redbook.
The library “Redbook Binder” contains two classes which can be
instantiated by you.
•
RedbookBinder
•
RedbookBinderDocument
There are more classes in the library, but those will be used only by the
RedbookBinder class itself. The description of these private classes is
included in the description of the RedbookBinder class.
Binder
The RedbookBinder class encapsulates a Domino Workflow binder. With
this class you have access to various properties of a binder. Properties
which provide information about the section of the binder are put into
groups like activity, job, process, or automation. The Domino Workflow
Developer’s Toolkit functions are used to find the documents of a binder.
See Chapter 7 for more information about the toolkit.
Binder document
The RedbookBinderDocument class encapsulates the documents of a
Domino Workflow binder. The class provides access to the common
properties of a binder document like the identifier, when was the last
Domino Workflow-related edit, and what is the status of the document. See
Appendix C for details.
Extending the classes
The goal of these classes is to shield your code as much from the internal
structure of Domino Workflow documents as possible. You can extend
these classes if you need access to additional Domino Workflow fields. The
subclasses RedbookActivity, RedbookJob, RedbookAutomation and
RedbookProcess can be used to add, respectively, Activity-, Job-,
Automation-, and Process-related information. You could also use the
Redbook binder classes as base classes to encapsulate your own main
document fields.
256 Using Domino Workflow
Redbook automation agent class
Each time you create a new automation agent you will have to start with a
copy of the ‘OS Automation Template’ agent. If you don’t want to copy the
whole template each time, you will have to put the code of the initialize
subroutine in a shared place. One of the options is to create an automation
agent class and use that as a base class for your own agents.
For this Redbook we have provided the RedbookAutomationAgent class,
which uses the RedbookBinder class to do the search for the binder and its
documents.
Redbook automation agent
The RedbookAutomationAgent class provides an easy way for you to create
automated activity agents.
How to use
The RedbookAutomationAgent class can be used to create your own
automation agents. To help you we have created an ‘Redbook Automation
Template’ agent. This agent contains a class with only one method:
Class MyAgent As RedbookAutomationAgent
Function CustomSubroutine As Integer
End Function
End Class
You just have to add your code to the CustomSubRoutine function, in the
same way as you would have done it using the ‘OS Automation template.’
You have already available:
Name
Type
Binder
RedbookBinder Object containing the current binder. It will give
Description
you access to most binder attributes and
documents.
Agent
NotesAgent
Object containing the current agent.
Session
NotesSession
Object containing the current session.
You can define any additional functions or use additional libraries.
Note Make sure that you have CustomSubRoutine return True or False.
Caution The automation agents are run indirectly — that means they run
within another agent (the Domino Workflow background agent in this
case). For agents which are run indirectly, the case of the library name used
in the ’Use’ statement has to match with the name of the LotusScript library,
otherwise the library won’t load.
Chapter 12: Domino Workflow and LotusScript 257
Examples of automation agents
Wait until next month
Function CustomSubroutine As Integer
Dim First As Variant
’ get the date from the main document
First = Binder.Main.Note.FirstOfTheMonth(0)
If first < Now Then
’the date has arrived
CustomSubRoutine = True
Else
’deactivate the job till this date
Binder.Automation.Wait.Till = First
CustomSubRoutine = False
End If
End Function
Send the job owners a memo if a business rules check fails
Function CustomSubroutine As Integer
Dim doc As NotesDocument
Dim Body As NotesRichTextItem
Dim MyDoc As New MyDocClass(Binder.Main.Note)
Dim BusinessRules As Integer
’the businessrulescheck returns true if the
’document complied to the business rules
BusinessRules = MyDoc.BusinessRulesCheck
If Not BusinessRules Then
’create the memo for the job owner
Set doc = New
NotesDocument(Binder.ParentDatabase)
doc.SendTo = Binder.Job.Owner
Doc.Subject = “business rules check failed”
Set Body = doc.CreateRichTextItem(“Body”)
258 Using Domino Workflow
Body.AppendText(“Business rules check failed
for ’” & Binder.Job.Name & “’ (main doc ”)
Call Body.AppendDocLink(Binder.Main.Note,
“Main document”)
Body.AppendText(“)”)
call Doc.send(False)
End If
End Function
Unsuccessful automation agents
If the subroutine of an agent returns False, the agent will run again the next
time automated activities are run by the Domino Workflow background
agent. This can be more than once during one run of the Domino Workflow
background agent because you can specify in the application setup how
many times it should route activities. This means that unsuccessful agents
will run as often as specified in the application setup document at each run
of the Domino Workflow background agent.
See the option “Repeat counter of background routing” in the following
figure.
Chapter 12: Domino Workflow and LotusScript 259
This can become a problem if you have automated activities which fail
repeatedly. An example is an automated activity which halts a job until
a certain date. These jobs will be handled by the Domino Workflow
background agent each time it runs.
This can mean that the Domino Workflow background agent has to run
for a long time. Suppose it takes 1 second for each waiting activity (as
mentioned previously) to determine that its date has not been reached yet.
If you have 300 of these jobs active with the application setup as above, the
Domino Workflow background agent will need 300 * 3 * 1 seconds just for
the waiting jobs. This is already 15 minutes.
Job deactivation
One of the solutions to these failing jobs it to run them at a lower priority.
Domino Workflow, however, doesn’t differentiate the agent execution
according to the job priority. Therefore, you may want to hide some failing
jobs from the Domino Workflow background agent. This can be done by
setting the status of the binder to a value which is not recognized by the
Domino Workflow background agent. The RedbookBinder class has the
Deactivate method, which will prefix the status value with an asterisk (*).
The binder can be restored with the RedbookBinder.Activate method.
The Run method of RedbookAutomationAgent class has two parameters:
•
Increment
•
Maximum
When an agent fails, a date is set on which it should be run again. For the
first time an agent fails this would be 1 hour from that moment. Every time
it fails again the interval is increased by a certain percentage, as specified
with the Increment parameter. However, the interval will never be larger
than the Maximum parameter. For example, if an agent is run with an
increment equal to 50 and a maximum equal to 24 and the agents fails
repeatedly, the intervals it waits will be:
1, 2, 2, 3, 5, 8, 11,17 and 24 hours.
Note If you don’t need to deactivate jobs, just specify 0 as the maximum.
Job activation
The disabled jobs have to be activated again when it is their time. This is
done through a separate agent ‘Redbook Activate Waiting Jobs,’ which
will activate jobs that have waited long enough. It will use the view
‘(Deactivated Automation Jobs)’ which is sorted on activation time to
determine which jobs should be activated.
260 Using Domino Workflow
Events
The Domino Workflow Developer’s Toolkit provides a number of functions
to access the Domino Workflow document hooks for numerous events that
are generated by the Domino Workflow code (background agent, time
management agent, and the client). You can write code which is run when
the event occurs. For this purpose the library “OS Application Events” is
included. All events are available in the form of subroutines that are called
by the Domino Workflow code at the right moment.
Due to the fact that the library is already used by this Domino Workflow
code, precaution should be taken when modifying the code of the “OS
Application Events” library.
Changes to the event library
Some changes to the event library are permitted, while some others are not
allowed.
Not allowed
The following modifications are not allowed:
•
Modifying existing elements from the declaration section
•
Removing any existing functions
•
Changing the parameter lists of the existing functions
Allowed
The following modifications are allowed:
•
Adding new functions
•
Using additional libraries
•
Adding elements to the declaration section
The Redbook Binder library can be used since it doesn’t conflict with the
existing libraries and it doesn’t load the ‘OS Backend 32Bit’ library
explicitly, otherwise a circular reference would have existed.
Refer to the Domino Workflow Developer’s Toolkit documentation for a
complete list of all possible events.
Note If you don’t want to use events with all activities or processes, you
can use custom attributes to select jobs or activities you want to work with.
Chapter 12: Domino Workflow and LotusScript 261
Caution Don’t declare Notes user-interface objects like NotesUIWorkspace
in your code if they have to be used in the back end (like the ‘OS
Application Events’ library). If you declare a NotesUIWorkspace in a
scheduled agent or in one the libraries it uses, the agent won’t run. Some of
the events have a NotesUIWorkspace parameter which is declared as a
variant. You can use that in the front end.
Examples of event handling
Event: notification of an unclaimed, overdue activity
In this example we are going to make the job owner the activity owner of an
overdue, unclaimed activity.
Sub QueryInboxOverDueMail(Continue As Integer, CoverDocument
As NotesDocument)
Dim Binder As New RedbookBinder(CoverDocument)
Dim ErrorCode As Integer
Dim ErrorMsg As String
Dim success As Integer
success = Binder.Activity.Claim(Binder.Job.Owner(0),
ErrorCode)
If Not success Then
Print Str$(ErrorCode)
Exit Sub
End If
success = Binder.Activity.Reassign(Binder.Job.Owner(0),
False, True, True, Binder.Activity.Name & “ (Escalated)”,
Binder.Activity.Description, ErrorMsg, ErrorCode)
If Not success Then
Print Str$(Errorcode) + “:” +ErrorMsg
End If
Continue = False
End Sub
Event: notification after claiming an activity
In this example, we send a memo to inform the job owners that an activity
has been claimed:
Sub PostClaim(BinderDocument As NotesDocument, Workspace As
Variant)
Dim Binder As New RedbookBinder(BinderDocument)
262 Using Domino Workflow
Dim doc As NotesDocument
Set doc = New NotesDocument(Binder.ParentDatabase)
doc.sendto = Binder.Job.Owner
doc.Subject = Binder.Job.Name + “ claimed by ” +
Binder.Activity.Owner
Call doc.send(False)
End Sub
Event: In-box notification
Change the in-box notification memo so that it includes the database title in
the subject, the activity description (if available), and the job name.
Sub QueryInboxMailNotification(Continue As Integer, ParentDB
As NotesDatabase, CoverDoc As NotesDocument, MainDoc As
NotesDocument, Subject As String, Body As Variant)
Dim Binder As New RedbookBinder(coverdoc)
Messagebox “inbox mail not.”
Call Body.AppendText(“The job ’” & Binder.Job.Name & “’
has arrived in your inbox.”)
Call Body.addNewline(1)
Call Body.AppendText(“You have to complete the activity:
”)
If Binder.Activity.Description = “” Then
Call Body.AppendText(Binder.Activity.Name)
Else
Call Body.AppendText(Binder.Activity.Description)
End If
Call Body.addNewline(1)
Subject = “A new activity has arrived in ” &
Binder.ParentDatabase.Title
Continue = False
End Sub
Chapter 12: Domino Workflow and LotusScript 263
Summary
In this chapter we covered automated activities and event handlers. We
showed how you could create agents to be run as automated activities. We
have seen that it is possible to create classes which wrap around both the
Domino Workflow binder documents and the Domino Workflow
Developer’s Toolkit functions. These classes can be used in both automation
agents and event-handling routines. The class for creating automated
activity LotusScript agents gives the ability to deactivate in case of a failure.
In this way repeatedly failing jobs won’t clog the system.
264 Using Domino Workflow
Appendix A
Parent-child processing
In Chapter 7 we discussed the concept of parent-child processing but did
not give any details on how to make it work. Because this concept will be
used in many processes, this appendix is included to provide some tips on
how to successfully implement it, as well as some LotusScript code used in
the two required agents.
Parent-child processing is not a term that you will find in the
documentation of Domino Workflow. It is a concept allowing 1:n
relationships among processes with a variable n (unlike standard Domino
Workflow that requires the knowledge of maximum n in order to model a
process). It also allows you to synchronize various processes and allows for
communication among various jobs. It is an extension of standard concepts
used within Domino Workflow. The standard concepts used for the
implementation of parent-child processing are also described in this
appendix.
Scenario
Imagine a workflow that is aimed at creation of a certain document, for
instance a White Paper. The parent process will guide the user through the
process, but at a certain time there should be a review of the document. This
review can be done by one or more persons, depending on the content of
the paper, its importance, and available resources. The number of reviewers
usually varies from one to five, but in some cases can be as high as 20 or
even more. Therefore, we have to construct a 1:n relation and we need
parent-child processing in order to do this.
Concepts and features used
The parent-child concept is a combination of a number of concepts that you
can find discussed in this book:
1. Automated activities and agents
To “spawn” the child processes you need an automated activity in the
parent job that initiates all the required child jobs. In this automated
activity an agent will run to create documents for each child job.
265
To “post back” all the information gathered in the child job, you also
need an automated activity, this time in the child job. In this automated
activity an agent will run to pass new information to the parent job and
adjust the status of the parent job.
2. Form-based initiation
The documents created by the “spawn” agent will initiate the child
processes (using the background agent for the form-based initiation).
Your agent just needs to create the required number of documents
including the five fields from the “Form based initiation template” and
give those fields the right value.
3. Binder internals
Some understanding of the binder internals (items the engine stores
and dynamically updates in the binder documents) is also required in
order to understand the implementation of this scenario. You should
also know how the engine keeps a binder together.
Parent-child processing uses all those features of Domino Workflow to
extend the standard product with a new feature. It shows how you can
satisfy your custom requirements by combining existing features with your
own expertise into a single concept.
Steps to make it work
All the following steps are related to your Domino Workflow application
database and Domino Workflow Architect. Two agents have to be created
in the application database. Both new agents have to be based on the “(OS
Automation Template)” that is a part of basic Domino Workflow (included
in the product). Custom code that should be placed in these agents is
provided in this section.
Follow these steps to make it work:
1. Create a “(Parent Spawn)” agent which will spawn the child processes.
2. Create a “(Child Post Back)” agent which posts back the information
gathered in the child process.
3. Create the following control fields on the main form:
• ExpectedResponses (Computed number, that contains the number of
reviewers, or more specifically, the exact number of elements in the
“reviewers” field).
• ReturnedResponses (This field is filled by the “(Child Post Back)”
agent).
• Field including parent information in order to allow communication.
266 Using Domino Workflow
Note These fields do not necessarily need to be on the form; they can
also be dynamically added through the back end by the agent. If you
use the sample code below, your form does not really need the fields.
4. Create a multivalue field on the main form where the user must select
some reviewers. Based on this multivalue field the child processes will
be started and the document will be reviewed in the child process. Also
create a response field where the results can be stored.
5. Enable your application for form-based initiation.
To enable your application for form-based initiation you should adjust
the setup document and enable the option “Enable advanced initiation”
in the “Initiation settings” section.
6. Create a process similar to the following example. In the automated
activities you have to select the specified agents created in step one and
two.
Note Of course you can extend these processes according to your needs.
We oversimplified them in order to concentrate on the parent-child concept.
Parent process:
Start
Create
document
Spawn the
reviews
Adjust the
document
End
Child process:
Start
Review the
document
Post back
results
End
Sample code for Parent Spawn agent
To “spawn” the child processes you need an automated activity which runs
an automated agent. This agent should be based upon the “(OS Automation
Template)”. Add the following LotusScript code in the CustomSubroutine
part of the Automation template:
Function CustomSubroutine (binder As notesdocumentCollection,
cover As notesdocument, main As notesdocument) As Integer
’This function is called for each Binder, that has to be
processed by the agent
’Return ’True’ to save the binder and route it to the
succeeding activities: CustomSubroutine = True
’Return ’False’ in case you want the binder to be processed by
this agent again: CustomSubroutine = False
Appendix A: Parent-child processing 267
’The variable ’binder’ contains a NotesDocumentCollection of
all Binder Documents (including Cover and Main document)
’The variable ’cover’ contains a NotesDocument, referencing to
the Cover Document
’The variable ’main’ contains a NotesDocument, referencing to
the Main Document (after a join has occurred, the binder may
contain several Main documents !)
Dim newdoc As NotesDocument
Dim rtitem As Notesrichtextitem
main.ExpectedResponses = 0
main.ReturnedResponses=0
Forall v In main.Reviewers
main.ExpectedResponses=main.ExpectedResponses(0)+1
Set newdoc = main.parentdatabase.createdocument
’ create all items you need on child job main doc
newdoc.form=“Child Form”
newdoc.CustomerName = main.CustomerName(0)
newdoc.CustomerID=main.CustomerID(0)
newdoc.Reviewer = v
’fields below must be filled in order to start new job
newdoc.NewProcessNameOS=“(Child Process)”
newdoc.NewJobNameOS=main.InstanceOS(0) & “ - ” & v
newdoc.NewJobPriorityOS=“High”
newdoc.MailStatusOS=“2”
newdoc.InitiateOS=“yes”
’next field provides handle back from child job to parent
binder
newdoc.ParentFolderID=main.FolderIDOS(0)
’next field provides handles to all parallel binders in parent
job
newdoc.ParentInstanceID=main.InstanceIDOS(0)
268 Using Domino Workflow
’add some doclinks to child job main document
Set rtitem = New NotesRichTextItem( newdoc, “Body”
)
Call rtitem.AppendText( “Cover: ” )
Call rtitem.AddTab( 2 )
Call rtitem.AppendDocLink( cover, “Cover”)
Call rtitem.AddNewLine( 1 )
Call rtitem.AppendText( “Main: ” )
Call rtitem.AddTab( 2 )
Call rtitem.AppendDocLink( main, “Main” )
Call newdoc.Save(False,True)
End Forall
CustomSubroutine=True
End Function
In the initialize section you must change the status the binder will get after
the automated activity is finished. If you do this the parent binder will be
“frozen” (won’t be further routed without creating errors) because the
backgrounder does not recognize this status. Therefore, change the row in
the initialize script as follows:
doc.FolderStatusOS = “Ready to route”
Change to:
doc.FolderStatusOS = “Waiting for review responses”
This is important. Otherwise, your parent job will route to the next activity
immediately. The code in the child agent will switch this value back to
“Ready to route” if the expected number of responses is equal to the
returned number of responses.
Appendix A: Parent-child processing 269
Sample code for Child Post Back Response
After the child job is finished the result of the child job should be added to
the parent binder. Therefore, an automated activity is introduced in your
process that runs an agent. The agent should be based on the “(OS
Automation Template).” Place the following LotusScript code in the
CustomSubroutine part of the agent:
Function CustomSubroutine (binder As notesdocumentCollection,
cover As notesdocument, main As notesdocument) As Integer
’This function is called for each Binder that has to be
processed by the agent
’Return ’True’ to save the binder and route it to the
succeeding activities: CustomSubroutine = True
’Return ’False’ in case you want the binder to be processed by
this agent again: CustomSubroutine = False
’The variable ’binder’ contains a NotesDocumentCollection of
all Binder Documents (including Cover and Main document)
’The variable ’cover’ contains a NotesDocument, referencing to
the Cover Document
’The variable ’main’ contains a NotesDocument, referencing to
the Main Document (after a join has occurred, the binder may
contain several Main documents !)
Dim parentmain As NotesDocument
Dim parentcover As NotesDocument
Dim parentdoc As NotesDocument
Dim parentbinder As NotesDocumentCollection
Dim SearchParent As String
Dim rt1, rt2 As Variant
Dim dat2 As NotesDateTime
Dim x As Integer
Dim item As NotesItem
Dim errorcode As Integer
Dim success As Integer
270 Using Domino Workflow
’ Find the parentbinder documents
Set dat2 = New NotesDateTime(“01/01/1900”)
SearchParent = | FolderIDOS = “| &
main.ParentFolderID(0) & |” |
parentbinder of the document
’returns the
Set parentbinder =
main.ParentDatabase.Search(SearchParent, dat2, 0)
If parentBinder.count <> 0 Then
For x = 1 To parentbinder.count
Set parentdoc =
parentbinder.GetNthDocument(x)
If parentdoc.CoverDocOS(0) = “yes” Then Set
parentcover = parentdoc
If parentdoc.MainDocOS(0) = “yes” Then Set
parentmain = parentdoc
Next x
Set item = parentmain.GetFirstItem (“ReviewResult”)
Call item.AppendToTextList(main.Reviewer(0) & “: ”
& main.Decision(0))
’Add the child job comments to the parent maindoc
Set rt1 = parentmain.GetFirstItem(“Comments”)
Set rt2 = main.GetFirstItem(“Comments”)
If ( rt1.Type = RICHTEXT And rt2.Type = RICHTEXT )
Then
Call rt1.AddNewLine(1)
Call rt1.AppendText(main.Reviewer(0) & “: ” &
main.Decision(0))
Call rt1.AddNewLine(1)
Call rt1.Appendrtitem(rt2)
End If
Appendix A: Parent-child processing 271
’increase number of returned responses on parentmain and check
whether this is last child job
’if I am the last then switch FolderStatusOS in parent binder
parentmain.ReturnedResponses =
parentmain.ReturnedResponses(0) +1
If parentmain.ExpectedResponses(0) =
parentmain.ReturnedResponses(0) Then
For x = 1 To parentbinder.count
Set parentdoc =
parentbinder.GetNthDocument(x)
If Not (parentdoc Is Nothing) Then
parentdoc.FolderStatusOS = “Ready to route”
parentdoc.UserEditOS = “yes”
Call parentdoc.Save(False, True)
End If
Next x
End If
’always save the parent main document to save the response
Call parentmain.Save( False, True )
Call parentcover.Save( False, True )
CustomSubroutine = True
Else
’no Binder document was found
Print “Unexpected error, no parentbinder found:
please check ”
End If
End Function
272 Using Domino Workflow
There are many situations where the parent-child concept can be used. It
can also be customized to fit into specific situations. The most important
thing when using this concept is to make certain that the status of the parent
binder will always be correct. For example, scenarios where the parent
binder also continues in the process can be risky!
It can easily happen that a parent binder waits for responses that will never
come. It’s also possible to let the parent binder be further routed, without
waiting for the child processes, but the logic of such an approach has to be
controlled by you and can lead to unexpected system behavior.
Extensions to Domino Workflow, such as parent-child processing, allow us
to realize how complex the implementation of the whole workflow frame
has to be in order to provide system stability and performance in various
scenarios. Because of this complexity, they should never be used without
serious consideration of all the consequences.
Appendix A: Parent-child processing 273
Appendix B
Advanced Web use of Domino Workflow
In Chapter 5 we discussed the basic Web features Domino Workflow offers
as a standard user interface within the product. We also had a quick look at
the advanced use of Domino Workflow on the Web. In this appendix we
further describe how to use Domino Workflow on a Web client and how
you are able to fit it in your intranet environment.
We first look at the questions you should ask yourself before starting to create
the Web interface. After that we describe the programming you need to do to
make this all work.
Before going through this appendix, it is useful for the reader to first
download the example databases from the IBM Redbook Web site and
walk through the design of the application database. It will make reading
this chapter a lot easier. See the appendix “Additional Web material” for
instruction on how to get the examples.
Before starting to build your Web user interface
There are some questions you should ask yourself before you start
programming your Web user interface for your Domino Workflow
application. The main three questions are listed below:
•
Who is your target audience?
First you have to ask yourself how you want to design your application
and think of what kind of audience will use your application. You can
choose to make your application only accessible for Web clients or for
both Web and Notes clients. You should also think about the type of
functionality that may only be used by Web clients.
•
What look and feel do you want for your application?
You should ask yourself if your application should fit in your company
intranet environment. If it has to fit in your intranet environment, you
should adapt the interface to the standards of your organization. If you do
not need to standardize the interface for your intranet environment, you
should define and document your own standards within the application.
275
•
How will you create your views?
The “Desktop” views in your database are personal views, and
personal views will not work on the Web. Therefore you should think
of an alternative.
In the example we use throughout this appendix we have chosen to fit the
application in the Lotus intranet environment. The application will only be
used by Web clients. It would not be very difficult to make this application
also available for Notes clients; however, to reduce the complexity in the
sample we will focus only on Web clients.
The views are embedded in a frameset. The application is built for a
Domino R5 Server and level 4 or higher browser. In the next section we
describe how to program the solution.
Programming the Web solution
All changes for the Web user interface are made in the application database.
Many changes are very simple ones; however, some changes are more
complicated. In the following list we describe the changes made to the
application database. The simple ones will be explained first, and the more
complicated ones will be discussed later in this section. (The sample
database, which can be downloaded from the Redbooks Web site, includes
the changes identified here):
1. The organization look is chosen. This example will describe the “The
Lotus intranet look” as shown in the following figure.
276 Using Domino Workflow
2. The background pictures are imported as resource images in the design
and used in the various forms.
a. (OS BackgroundHead): the image for forms for the TopFrame.
b. (OS BackgroundMain): the image for forms for the Mainframe.
c. (OS BackgroundLeft): the image for forms for the LeftFrame.
3. The intranet navigation is created for the TopFrame.
The intranet navigator is the form: (OS DWF Intranet Navigator). This
form stores the links to other sites within your Intranet environment.
Note In the sample databases these links are not functional because most
readers will not have access to the Lotus intranet environment. You can
place your own intranet navigator here and make the links functional.
4. A navigation form is created for the LeftFrame: (OS DWF Workflow
Navigator).
The (OS DWF Workflow Navigator) is the default navigator for the
LeftFrame. In this form, functions are used to create a new job. These
functions will be discussed later.
5. All views are adjusted: The cover document is not shown in the views.
In the views the selection formula is changed and the cover document will
no longer be selected in the view. This is done by adding the following
line to the view selection formula:
@UpperCase(CoverDocOS) != “YES”
6. Private views are changed.
Private views are changed to shared views because private views are
not available on the Web. These views are embedded in a form called
“(OS DWF Views)” where the option: “Show single category” is used,
based on the value “@UserName”. This solution will be discussed later
in this chapter.
Appendix B: Advanced Web use of Domino Workflow 277
7. A frameset is created for use on the Web.
The frameset consists of three frames and is called the “(OS DWFMaster).”
The TopFrame is the intranet navigator (form: “(OS DWF Intranet
Navigator)”), the LeftFrame default is the workflow navigator (form: “(OS
DWF Workflow Navigator)”) and the MainFrame is the default view form
(form: “(OS DWF ViewDTInbox)”).
8. In the general tab of the database properties the option “Web Access:
Use JavaScript for generating pages“ has to be enabled.
9. The options for Web launching must be set in the launch tab of the
database properties.
278 Using Domino Workflow
10. In the database properties the Launch options for the Web are changed.
In this application we want the frameset ”(OS DWFMaster)” to open
when the application is opened, as shown in the following figure.
11. API and event design elements from the Domino Workflow 2.0
Developer’s Toolkit are copied into the database so the events and the
API can be used. For more information about these design elements, refer
to the documentation in the Domino Workflow 2.0 Developer’s Toolkit.
Views in the application
This application uses a view navigator that allows users to switch views by
using a drop-down list in the upper left corner of the document (displayed
in the main frame) as shown in the next figure. All views have been created
using forms with embedded views.
Appendix B: Advanced Web use of Domino Workflow 279
In order to centralize all functionality, the subform “(OS DWF Views)” is
being used. This subform needs two parameters that have to be set in the
form that includes the subform:
1. DWFSelectedView
This Field has to contain an identifier for the view name that is
displayed by the subform. The identifier has to match an entry in the
Selection formula of the embedded view in the subform. This formula
finally determines the mapping to the View name.
2. DWFViewCategory
This Field has to contain the Category name that is to be displayed by
the subform. Pass “*” if you want to display all categories of the view,
pass the category name to display only values underneath this category.
The properties of the embedded view in the subform determine whether
the view is displayed using HTML or the View applet. The general
appearance can be changed by simply changing the properties of the
embedded view on the subform.
If you want to display some views using the view applet and others using
HTML you can choose the “Use View’s display properties” option and the
view properties accordingly.
The first statement in the subform is:
“<Meta http-equiv=’Expires’ content=’0’>”
It tells the Web browser to reload this page whenever the form is loaded. If a
user navigates through Web pages using the back and forward browser
options, this statement ensures that the view display is up to date. However,
if you prefer a manual update of views via a refresh button, you can easily
add such a button to the subform and remove the expired tag.
280 Using Domino Workflow
The view selection is based on JavaScript code, that is executed whenever
the ComboBox field “DWFViewSelection” is changed (onChange event). To
simplify the code, the script assumes that all “view form” names follow the
syntax:
“DWFView”+ [Viewname] with the viewname being coded as the
keyword value.
As another convention, all Desktop views (views that only display
information that is relevant to the user) start with “DT”.
Note For programming convenience, viewnames should not contain any
spaces. Categories within the combobox can be added by assigning their
alias the value “noaction” — these keyword values are disregarded by the
onChange procedure.
For each view a form has been created. This form only contains the two
parameter fields (they are computed for display). For the Desktop views the
value of the field DWFViewCategory is computed using the “@Username”
formula. The background image of these forms determines the background
images that are displayed in the user interface. In the demo, all “view form”
background image properties are set to BackgroundMain.
The figure below shows the “(OS DWF Views)” subform.
Appendix B: Advanced Web use of Domino Workflow 281
The “Desktop” views
There are two types of views: “All Jobs” views and “Desktop” views:
•
“All Jobs by …” views are standard Notes shared views.
•
“Desktop” views only display workflow binders that are related to the
user that is logged in to the system. In the original Domino Workflow
template, these views have been realized using private views for the
Notes client (the default Web user interface uses lookups as a
workaround, as private views are not available for Web clients). Since
Domino R5 there is a new way to overcome private view limitations in
general: a view can be embedded into another design element and
programmed in a way that only entries under a definable category are
displayed. This allows us to define shared views with the username as
the first category entry. Then only those entries that appear under the
usernames category are displayed.
Note Please keep in mind that these views become very large,
depending on your workflow and the number of users involved.
However, this approach eliminates the storage of private views on
either the server or the Notes client — and makes otherwise private
views available for Web clients.
There are several patterns that can be used to design Web views in the
context of Domino Workflow: views can be displayed as HTML, or they can
be displayed using the view applet. This can be set in your Embedded view
properties.
HTML rendering provides a more Web-oriented style, whereas the view
applet offers more functionality and a look and feel that is closer to the
Notes Client.
Keep in mind, the approach to the cover document that is used in this
database affects view design. In the original Domino Workflow template,
users can see all binder documents including the cover document. The
sequence in the view is cover document first, then main document and then
all other documents. However, in this demo, the cover document is not
presented as an explicit document, but its information is shown in the Left
frame as a context to other binder documents. This implies two different
view patterns that may seem to be contradictory. Either views can be
constructed to only show cover documents, or views can be constructed
that show all binder documents but not the cover document.
When hiding the binder documents, the user sees workflow activities in the
views. To find out which documents are associated, the user has to open a
workflow activity. The list of binder documents will then be displayed in
the activity context frame. Therefore, the views have to be manipulated to
open the main document instead of the cover document when clicked. As
282 Using Domino Workflow
the UniversalID of the main document is stored in the cover document, this
can easily be achieved by inserting a new Column that displays a link to the
main document:
[<A Href=\“OSAllByFom/”+MainDocIDOS+“?Open\”target=
_self>Open</A>]
This pattern cannot be used with the View Applet, as the applet always
launches the original document.
When hiding the cover document, users see workflow binders in their
views and can access a specific binder document directly. This approach is
more binder centered than activity centered. In this case there is no need to
offer links to other binder documents in the context frame as users can
navigate to these document via views.
Change the standard views
No matter which pattern you prefer, the standard views have to be
changed. Here are a few hints on how to modify the standard views:
1. Convert a private view to a shared view in which only those documents
are displayed that appear under the usernames category.
• Copy the Design of a private view into a shared view.
• Change the selection formula: remove the restriction to only show
documents that are related to @username.
• Insert a new Column at the beginning of the view.
A new category has to be inserted categorizing all documents in
which a given user fulfills a specific function that is relevant for the
view. Example: In the Workspace view all workflow binders are
displayed in which a user is the activity owner. Therefore a column
has to be inserted that lists all entries of the field ActivityOwnerOS.
The column sorting options “sort ascending,” “categorized” and
“show multiple entries as separate entries” have to be selected.
2. Hide the cover document or show only the cover document.
Depending on the display pattern that you want to use, you either need
to include only cover documents or remove them from the list. Cover
documents can be identified with the following selection formula:
@UpperCase(CoverDocOS) = “YES”.
3. Modify Column formulas.
Since a workflow binder may contain several documents, some
information items that are valid for all binder documents, such as an
Activity due date, are displayed only once per workflow binder. In the
standard views, they are usually either displayed for the cover document
or the main document.
Appendix B: Advanced Web use of Domino Workflow 283
Depending on whether you display the cover document or only the
binder documents, you have to change the corresponding references:
If you are using the Activity pattern, change all references to
MainDocOS = “yes” to CoverDocOS = “yes”.
If you are displaying binder documents, change all references to
CoverDocOS=“yes” to MainDocOS= “yes”.
Some of the column values may need further attention because they
display information that either is only available in binder documents
(such as subject or document reservation) or information that only is
available in the cover Document (such as ErrorTextOS).
4. Deciding on Categories.
Depending on whether you want to use the View Applet or render views
as HTML, you may or may not want to reduce the number of categories.
This is a matter of personal preference or company standards.
Note Please keep in mind that view indexes require a significant
amount of hard disk space. Delete all visible views that are not needed
for your applications, especially the Desktop views which can become
pretty large depending on your workflow and the number of users that
are involved. Using the Activity pattern for view design will take less
hard disk space then showing all binder documents.
How to add or remove views
To add a new view follow these steps:
1. Create a new view.
2. Open the “(OS DWF Views)” subform.
3. Add your view to the keyword list of the DWFSelectedView combobox
field. Define a new keyword for the view; the keyword should not
contain any spaces. If the view is a Desktop view, use “DT” as the first
two letters of the keyword name, as shown in the following figure.
284 Using Domino Workflow
4. Add the mapping from the keyword to the real view name into the
Selection Formula of the embedded view.
5. Copy one of the “(OS DWF View …)” forms and rename it. Start the
form name with “OS” to prevent the form from being displayed in the
Domino Workflow Architect. You also have to add an alias name for
the form. This alias name has to have the syntax “DWFView” + [view
keyword name].
6. Change the Value formula of the field DWFViewSelection to the
keyword that you have chosen for this view.
To remove views from the selection list simple do the following:
1. Remove the corresponding keyword entries from the field
DWFSelectView in the subform (OS DWF Views).
The Workflow Navigator
The Workflow Navigator is displayed in the left frame. It makes up the
workflow home navigator. The form used for this frame is “(OS DWF
Workflow Navigator).” Its layout and content can easily be changed.
Starting new jobs
The functionality to start a new Workflow is inherited from the subform
(OS DWF New Job) that has been included.
This subform offers several features:
1. JavaScript functionality to start a new Workflow Job.
The subform makes the function DWFNewJob(ProcessName, JobName,
JobPriority, AdditionalParameters, Target) available.
This function initiates a new workflow and displays the main document
of the first activity in the Target frame. Process Name, Job Name and
Job Priority can be passed using the corresponding parameters. The
AdditionalParameters variable may contain an array of strings. This
array is then passed to the newly created job and made available within
the field “DWFURLPARAMETER” in the cover document. If Target
frame is “”, the default Target frame is being used.
The JavaScript function runs the DWFNewJob Agent using a URL to the
agent. All parameters are passed via this URL. To handle spaces and
special characters (such as double-byte characters) the URL string is
encoded. The DWFNewJobAgent reads the URL parameters, decodes
them, and extracts all the properties passed in to the agent. It then calls
DWFNewJob function, which is available through the Domino Workflow
Developer’s Toolkit API. Once the new job is initiated, a newly created
Appendix B: Advanced Web use of Domino Workflow 285
Event function QueryWebInitPrompt is called. You can use this event to
modify the system behavior after a new job has been created, for
example, to launch another document, or launch the new job in a new
browser instance.
You can use this JavaScript function from any part of your own
JavaScript or HTML code. You can, for example, create a button or a link
that initiates a predefined process and associates a computed Jobname.
2. Optionally, fields that contain a list of startable processes and the
default priorities can be generated.
If you want to create a user interface that displays all startable processes
and presents a list of default priorities, you have to create a computed
(for display) field with the name “DWFGetAvailableProcesses” and the
value “yes.” If this field value is set you can read the list of available
processes from the field DWFAvailableProcesses, the list of priorities
from the field DWFJobPriorities, and the default job priority from the
field “DWFDefaultPriority.”
3. JavaScript functionality to open a designated view.
The JavaScript function DWFWorklistOpen(View, Target) opens the
view whose keyword name has been passed to the function in the
Target frame. Specify View = “” to launch the default view.
Binder documents / Domino Workflow Information Subform
All binder documents are displayed in the bottom frame. Instead of the
standard Web subform that is shipped with Domino Workflow, this
application uses two modified versions, each implementing a different style.
1. One style features action buttons similar to those in the Notes client, as
shown in the following figure.
The Notes style subform is named “(OS Domino Workflow WEB)”; it
replaces the standard subform for the Web client.
2. The other style displays actions in an alternative format, as shown in
the next figure.
286 Using Domino Workflow
The Web style subform is named “(OS Domino Workflow WEB inactive).”
To switch between these designs, you can either change the subform formula
on your form or change the subform names. Both subforms contain another
subform: “(OS DWF Web functionality)”. This subform carries all the
functionality shared between both styles. In a real-life scenario this subform
should be resolved into the one used for display (for performance reasons).
Besides being a matter of personal taste, both styles have advantages and
disadvantages.
•
Displaying actions defined on form level.
The Notes styles are based on the Notes action bar feature. Actions
inserted by the subform will automatically mix with actions owned by
the form itself. Using the Web style, action buttons defined in the form
will be displayed independently of the workflow action list.
•
Using dynamic text for action titles
The text of Notes action buttons can only be defined at the time the form
is designed. However, the Web style display allows you to change the
text of actions according to the context. This allows you, for example, to
display exclusive routing relations instead of the complete action (see
Hide Complete Option).
There are a couple of additional features available which are not used on
the standard subform shipped with the product:
•
All information items that are required for a workflow activity are
displayed in each binder document.
The Domino Workflow Architect allows you to define decisions, task lists,
and exclusive and multiple routing relations. All of these features have in
common, that users have to make a choice among different options before
they can complete an activity. In the standard user interface, these options
are displayed in the cover document, or are accessible from binder
documents via actions. In this demo all these choices are automatically
displayed in the binder documents. Before an Activity can be completed,
all choices are checked using JavaScript. If users try to complete an activity
Appendix B: Advanced Web use of Domino Workflow 287
while any of the required choices have not been made, an error message is
displayed right away and the completion is aborted.
•
A JavaScript interface to all the functionality that is useful within a
binder document.
All functionality that is useful within a binder document context, such as
Claim, Complete, or Return Reassignment is provided via JavaScript
functions. This allows you to design a binder document user interface that
is completely detached from the original design shipped with the product.
This table lists all functions that are available in the application:
Name
Parameter
Description
DWFDocumentReload(Editmode)
Editmode = True:
The document is reloaded
in editmode.
Editmode = False:
The document is reloaded
in reader mode.
This function reloads the
current document without
saving the document or doing
any validation check. It may be
used to load a document in edit
mode even though it was
opened in reader mode or vice
versa.
DWFUtilGetUniqueString()
No parameter.
Returns a unique string. This
utility function may be used to
create a string that is appended
to the URL to make sure that
they are reloaded.
Browsers may cache URLs, so
when a URL is executed the
second time, the result of the
first query may be returned. By
appending a unique string to
each URL, the browser is
forced to reload the URL.
DWFUtilGetFormFieldValue(Element)
Element: Reference to a
radio button or checkbox
input control.
Returns the values of all
checked or selected elements as
a string, divided by colons.
DWFActivityShowInfo()
No parameter.
Opens the Coverdocument in a
new browser window. If you
are not using another frame to
display information about a
workflow activity, this option
allows users to gather
information about their
workflow context.
continued
288 Using Domino Workflow
Name
Parameter
Description
DWFDocumentSave(action)
Action = “complete”
Saves the document and
completes the activity.
Action = “return”
Saves the document and
returns a reassignment.
Action = “SaveAndReload”
Saves the document and
reloads it.
Action = “save”
Saves the document
Action = “”
Saves the document.
Saves the currently opened
document. Depending on the
specified action, the activity
may also be completed or
returned.
DWFActivityClaim(Documentid, Target)
Claims a binder and opens the
Documentid:
document whose ID was
Documentid of the
passed in the target frame.
document from a binder
that needs to be claimed
and opened in the target
frame.
Target:
Reference to the frame in
which the claimed binder is
opened.
DWFNewJob(Processname, Jobname,
This function is described in
JobProirity, AdditionalParameters, Target) the text above.
See “Workflow Home”
Other functionality
Adding your own code for activity validations
Sometimes it is useful to execute your own JavaScript evaluations before an
Activity is completed. Even though validations can easily be added to
Notes forms, it may often be useful to only execute them when a user clicks
the Activity Completed button, and not every time a document is saved.
You can add your own validation code by using this procedure:
1. Create a field: “DWFCustomJavaScriptEvents” on the form on which
the “Activity Complete” action will take place.
2. Add “complete” as one of its list values.
Note If this field is set in the form that includes the “OS Domino
workflow Information” or “OS Domino Workflow WEB” subform,
before the include statement, each attempt to complete an Activity will
Appendix B: Advanced Web use of Domino Workflow 289
call a JavaScript function DWFOnActivityCompletion(). This function
has to be defined on the Form level. If it returns a non empty string, an
error will be prompted based on this string.
Adding custom Actions (Web style subform only)
You may want to add your own actions to the actionlist for a given activity.
You can do so by including a field DWFCustomActions in your form design
before including the subform. The text of this field (single value), will
automatically be added to the action list. This allows you to add HTML
code that generates custom actions such as a Cancel or Help option.
If you need to use the server URL, include “<DWFBaseRef>” as a place holder.
If you want to use the same icon for this action that is used for the other
action, include “<DWFActionIcon>” as a place holder.
Sample Value for the field DWFCustomActions:
“<BR>” +“<a href =\’JavaScript:YourFunctionCall(\”a
parameter\“)\’ ID=\’DWFB\’ >” + “<DWFActionIcon>”+ “Action
Text” + “</a>”
Summary
In this appendix we looked at ways of customizing your application for Web
use with advanced Domino technology, JavaScript and the Domino Workflow
Developer’s Toolkit. There are many things to customize when you want your
application to be available for Web clients. Many of these are simple; however,
some can be more challenging. This chapter arms the reader with the
appropriate knowledge to not only create a working Web interface, but to
design a powerful application.
290 Using Domino Workflow
Appendix C
LotusScript sample classes
To make it easier for you use LotusScript in your Domino Workflow
application, the following design elements are provided in the Redbook
LotusScript Classes database that is available for download from the IBM
Redbooks Web site. See the appendix “Additional Web material” for
instructions on how to get this database, which is in the file 5963ch12.zip.
Design element type
Design element name
LotusScript library
Redbook Binder
LotusScript library
Redbook Automation Agent
View
(Deactivated Automation Jobs)
Agent
Redbook Automation Template
Agent
Redbook Activate Waiting Jobs
Copy these design elements to your Domino Workflow application
database, along with the libraries of the Domino Workflow Developer’s
Toolkit. See the documentation of the toolkit for a list of libraries.
To be able to use the RedbookBinder and RedbookBinderDocument classes
in the OS Application Events library of the Domino Workflow toolkit, you
should include a
Use “Redbook Binder”
statement in the options section of the OS Application Events library.
291
Redbook binder library
This library contains two classes:
•
RedbookBinder
•
RedbookBinderDocument
RedbookBinder Class
Activity.id As String (read only)
Refers to the ActivityIDOS field on the cover document.
Activity.Owner As String (read only)
Refers to the ActivityOwnerOS field on the cover document.
Activity.Name As String (read only)
Refers to the ActivityOS field on the cover document.
Activity.Description As String (read only)
Refers to the ActivityDescriptionOS field on the cover document.
Activity.Claim(OnBehalfOf As String, ErrorCode As Integer) As Integer
Note This function maps directly to the Domino Workflow Developer’s
Toolkit DWFActivityClaim. Refer to the Domino Workflow Developer’s
Toolkit for the description of the parameters.
Activity.Complete(ImmediateRouting As Integer, FailureList As
Variant, ErrorMsg As String, ErrorCode As Integer) As Integer
Note This function maps directly to the Domino Workflow Developer’s
Toolkit DWFActivityComplete. Refer to the Domino Workflow Developer’s
Toolkit for the description of the parameters.
Activity.Reassign(ParticipantList As Variant, NotifyByMail As Integer,
ReturnReassignment As Integer, DoNotAllowFurtherReassignment As
Integer, NewActivityName As String, NewActivityDescription As
String, ErrorMsg As String, ErrorCode As Integer) As Integer
Note This function maps directly to the Domino Workflow Developer’s
Toolkit DWFActivityReassign. Refer to the Domino Workflow Developer’s
Toolkit for the description of the parameters.
Job.id As String (read only)
Refers to the InstanceIdOS field on the cover document.
Job.Owner As Variant (read only)
Refers to the JobOwnerOS field on the cover document.
292 Using Domino Workflow
Job.Name As String (read only)
Refers to the InstanceOS field on the cover document.
Job.Initiator As String (read only)
Refers to the InitiatorOS field on the cover document.
Automation.Wait.Remove
Removes the AutomationWaitTill and AutomationWaitInterval fields from
the cover (used by the RedbookAutomationAgent class after a successful
run of an agent).
Automation.Wait.Till As Variant
The reactivation date for failed automated activities. Refers to the
AutomationWaitTill field on the cover document. Defaults to Now minus 1
hour if not available.
Automation.Wait.Interval As Double
The current wait interval for a failed automation activity. Refers to the
AutomationWaitInterval field on the cover document. Defaults to 1 if not
available.
Automation.Wait.Failed(increment As Integer, maximum As Integer)
Set the new activation date and interval. Increase the last interval with
“increment” percent up to “maximum” hours.
Automation.Remove
Remove the AutomationTypeOS and AutomationNameOs fields from the
cover document, after a successful run of an automation agent.
Automation.Name As String (read only)
The name of the agent that processes this binder. Refers to the
AutomationNameOS field on the cover document.
Automation.Type As String (read only)
Contains “Agent” in case of automation activity with LotusScript agents.
Refers to the AutomationTypeOS field on the cover document.
Automation.Activate
If the binder status begins with an asterisk (*) it is removed. Used to
reactivate waiting automation jobs. Used by the “Redbook Activate Waiting
Jobs” agent.
Automation.Deactivate
If the Binder status does not begin with an asterisk (*) it is prefixed to the
status. Used by the “RedbookAutomationAgent” class.
Appendix C: LotusScript sample classes 293
Process.id As String (read only)
Refers to the ProcessIDOS field. on the cover document.
Process.Name As String (read only)
Refers the ProcessOS field on the cover document.
Documents.List As Variant (list)
Produces a List variable containing all the NotesDocuments of this binder
including the cover and main document.
Documents.Add(Doc As NotesDocument, ErrorCode As Integer) As
Integer
Note This function maps directly to the Domino Workflow Developer’s
Toolkit DWFBinderAddDocument. Refer to the Domino Workflow
Developer’s Toolkit for the description of the parameters.
Documents.Remove(doc As Notesdocument, DeleteAllDWFFields As
Integer, ErrorCode As Integer) As Integer
Note This function maps directly to the Domino Workflow Developer’s
Toolkit DWFBinderRemoveDocument. Refer to the Domino Workflow
Developer’s Toolkit for the description of the parameters.
Main As RedbookBinderDocument (read only)
The main document of the binder. In case there is more then one, the first
one is returned.
Cover As RedbookBinderDocument (read only)
The cover document of the binder.
Save(Byval force As Integer)
Save all the documents of the binder.
ParentDatabase As NotesDatabase (read only)
The database where this binder comes from. Refers to the cover document.
Status As String
The status of the binder. Refers when reading to the FolderStatusOS field on
the cover and will write to the FolderStatusOS field on all documents of the
binder.
Id As String (read only)
Refers to the FolderIdOS field on the cover document. Binders can have
the same Binder.Job.Id and different Binder.Id if binders are split due to
parallel routing.
294 Using Domino Workflow
Reroute(DestinationActivityId As String, ErrorMsg As String,
ErrorCode As Integer) As Integer
Note This function maps directly to the Domino Workflow Developer’s
Toolkit DWFBinderReroute. Refer to the Domino Workflow Developer’s
Toolkit for the description of the parameters.
new(BinderKey As Variant)
Binderkey can be any NotesDocument from a binder or the ID of the binder
(FolderIdOS).
RedbookBinderDocument Class
Note As NotesDocument (read only)
The Notesdocument from which this object reads its data.
RemoveOSItem(OSItemName As String)
Removes specified item after appending the string “OS”.
LastUserEdit As Variant
Refers to the UserEditOS field of the document. It should be set by an
automated activity for all documents it changes.
Status As String (read only)
Refers to the DocStatusOS field of the document.
Id As String (read only)
Refers to the SourceIdOS field of the document.
isCover As Integer (read only)
Is true if this is the cover document of the binder.
isMain As Integer (read only)
Is true if the this a main document of the binder. Before a join of parallel
routes, it can have more then one main document.
new(note As Variant)
The parameter Note should be a NotesDocument object and part of a
Domino Workflow binder.
Appendix C: LotusScript sample classes 295
Redbook automation agent library
This library contains one class which you can use as the base class for your
own automated activity agents (see also the Redbook automation template
agent later in this section).
RedbookAutomationAgent
session As NotesSession
An instance of NotesSession.
Agent As NotesAgent
An instance of NotesAgent referring to the current agent.
BinderCol As NotesDocumentCollection
An instance of NotesDocumentCollection containing all the Cover
documents this agent has to process.
Binder As RedbookBinder
An instance of RedbookBinder containing a reference to the currently
processed binder.
CustomSubroutine() As Integer
The routine which has to be overridden by the sub class. If not overridden,
an error will occur. This routine is called by Run.
Run(increment As Integer, Interval As Integer)
Called by the initialize routine. Increment is the percentage with which the
wait interval increases each time the agent fails. The interval won’t become
larger than the specified maximum. If a maximum of 0 is specified the agent
will not be deactivated if it fails
Deactivated automation jobs view
This is a hidden view that selects all cover documents of jobs which have
been deactivated through prefixing an asterisk (*) to the binder status. All
documents are sorted on the AutomationWaitTil date field, the oldest date
on top. The Redbook Activate Waiting Jobs agent will use this view to
activate jobs whose AutomationWaitTil date has passed.
296 Using Domino Workflow
Redbook automation template agent
This agent is an example of how to use the RedbookAutomationAgent class
to create your own automated activity agents. Create a copy and add your
own code to the CustomSubroutine function of the class.
Redbook activate waiting jobs agent
Jobs whose automated activity agents return “false” in the custom sub
routine can be deactivated depending on the parameters of the agent. When
that happens the Domino Workflow background agent is not able to see
them anymore, and consequently won’t spend any time on them. This agent
is used to activate waiting jobs, to give the Domino Workflow background
agent a chance to process them again.
Appendix C: LotusScript sample classes 297
Special notices
This publication is intended to help you create customized solutions with
Lotus Domino Workflow 2.0.
The information in this publication is not intended as the specification of any
programming interfaces that are provided by Lotus Domino. See the
publications section of the announcement for Lotus Domino and related
products for more information about what publications are considered to be
product documentation.
References in this publication to IBM products, programs, or services do not
imply that IBM intends to make these available in all countries in which IBM
operates. Any reference to an IBM product, program, or service is not
intended to state or imply that only IBM products, programs, or services
may be used. Any functionally equivalent program that does not infringe on
any IBM intellectual property rights may be used instead of the IBM
product, program or service.
Information in this book was developed in conjunction with use of the
equipment specified, and is limited in application to those specific hardware
and software products and levels.
IBM may have patents or pending patent applications covering subject
matter in this document. The furnishing of this document does not give you
any license to these patents. You can send license inquiries, in writing, to the
IBM Director of Licensing, IBM Corporation, North Castle Drive, Armonk,
NY 10504-1785 USA.
Licensees of this program who wish to have information about it for the
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IBM Corporation, Dept. 600A, Mail Drop 1329, Somers, NY 10589 USA.
Such information may be available subject to appropriate terms and
conditions, including, in some cases, payment of a fee.
The information contained in this document has not been submitted to any
formal IBM test and is distributed AS IS. The information about non-IBM
(“vendor”) products in this manual has been supplied by the vendors, and
IBM assumes no responsibility for its accuracy or completeness. The use of
this information or the implementation of any of these techniques is a
customer responsibility and depends on the customer’s ability to evaluate
299
and integrate them into the customer’s operational environment. While each
item may have been reviewed by IBM for accuracy in a specific situation,
there is no guarantee that the same or similar results will be obtained
elsewhere. Customers attempting to adapt these techniques to their own
environments do so at their own risk.
Any pointers in this publication to external Web sites are provided for
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Any performance data contained in this document was determined in a
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The following terms are trademarks of the International Business Machines
Corporation in the United States and/or other countries:
AIX
AS/400
DB2
IBM®
MQSeries
OS/2
OS/Warp
The following are trademarks of Lotus Development Corporation in the
United States and/or other countries:
Domino Workflow
Domino.Doc
LotusScript®
Lotus SmartSuite®
Notes Mail®
NotesPump
NotesSQL
300 Using Domino Workflow
Lotus®
Lotus Domino
Lotus Notes®
RealTime Notes
SmartIcons®
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Special notices 301
Additional Web material
Additional Web material is referenced in this book and can be found on the
IBM Redbooks Web site. The material is:
File name
Description
5963-ch4.zip
Four databases with the Domino Workflow setup for the scenarios
in Chapter 4 “Defining your first process.” The Zip file includes a
read.me file that explains how to set up the databases for being
viewed in the Domino Workflow Architect.
5963-ch6.zip
Four databases with the Domino Workflow setup for the scenario
where Domino Workflow functions have been added to an
existing application. If you simply want to see which design
elements have been added to the exisitng application, take a look
at the database named dlibapp.nsf.
The Zip file includes the template for the original application.
Note You must be using Notes R5.0 or higher to work with these
databases.
5963ch12.zip
Database with script libraries and other design elements that
shows an example of encapsulating Domino Workflow properties
using an object-oriented approach.
5963appb.zip
Four databases with the Domino Workflow setup for an example
of how to write advanced Web user interfaces. The demo
highlights different patterns for modifying the Domino Workflow
user interface to match specific requirements. It also contains
building blocks that can be reused and further customized to suit
special needs. Part of this demo is described in Appendix B.
Note You must be using Notes R5.0 or higher to work with these
databases.
How to get the Web material
To get the Web material point your Web browser to:
ftp://www.redbooks.ibm.com/redbooks/SG245963
Alternatively, you can go to the redbooks Web site at:
http://www.redbooks.ibm.com
Select Additional Materials and open the file that corresponds with the
redbook form number.
303
Related publications
The publications listed in this section are considered particularly suitable for
a more detailed discussion of the topics covered in this redbook.
IBM Redbooks
For information on ordering these publications see, “How To Get IBM
Redbooks.”
•
Lotus Domino 5.0: A Developers Handbook, IBM form number SG24-5331,
Lotus part number CC7EDNA
•
Performance Considerations for Domino Applications, IBM form number
SG24-5602, Lotus part number CT7V6NA
•
COM Together — with Domino, IBM form number SG24-5670, Lotus part
number CT7V7NA
•
LotusScript for Visual Basic Programmers, IBM form number SG24-4856,
Lotus part number 12498
Developing e-business Applications Using Lotus Enterprise Solution Builder
R3.0, IBM form number SG24-5405, Lotus part number CT69TNA
•
•
Building a Portal with Lotus Domino R5, IBM Redpaper REDP0019 (only
available in softcopy from the IBM Redbooks Web site)
•
Developing Web Applications Using Lotus Notes Designer for Domino 4.6,
IBM form number SG24-2183, Lotus part number 12974
Lotus Notes 4.5: A Developers Handbook, IBM form number SG24-4876,
Lotus part number AA0425
Creating Customized Solutions with Domino.Doc, IBM form number
SG24-5658, Lotus part number CC6X3NA
•
•
•
•
•
Using VisualAge for Java to Develop Domino Applications, IBM form
number SG24-5424, Lotus part number CT6ENNA
Connecting Domino to the Enterprise Using Java, IBM form number
SG24-5425, Lotus part number CT6EMNA
Lotus Domino for AS/400: Integration with Enterprise Applications, IBM
form number SG24-5345, Lotus part number CT7BMNA
305
•
Lotus Solutions for the Enterprise, Volume 1. Lotus Notes: An Enterprise
Application Platform, IBM form number SG24-4837, Lotus part number
12968
•
Lotus Solutions for the Enterprise, Volume 2. Using DB2 in a Domino
Environment, IBM form number SG24-4918, Lotus part number CT69BNA
•
Lotus Solutions for the Enterprise, Volume 3. Using the IBM CICS Gateway
for Lotus Notes, IBM form number SG24-4512
•
Lotus Solutions for the Enterprise, Volume 4. Lotus Notes and the MQSeries
Enterprise Integrator, IBM form number SG24-2217, Lotus part number
12992
•
Lotus Solutions for the Enterprise, Volume 5. NotesPump, the Enterprise Data
Mover, IBM form number SG24-5255, Lotus part number CT69DNA
•
Enterprise Integration with Domino for S/390, IBM form number SG24-5150
Other Lotus-related IBM Redbooks
The publications listed in this section may also be of interest:
•
Lotus Notes and Domino Take Center Stage: Upgrading from R4 to R5, IBM
form number SG24-5630, Lotus part number CT6FDNA
•
A Roadmap for Deploying Domino in the Organization, IBM form number
SG24-5617, Lotus part number CT6P8NA
•
The Three Steps to Super.Human.Software: Compare, Coexist, Migrate; From
Microsoft Exchange to Lotus Domino, Part One: Comparison, IBM form
number SG24-5614, Lotus part number CT7QTNA
•
The Three Steps to Super.Human.Software: Compare, Coexist, Migrate; From
Microsoft Exchange to Lotus Domino, Part Two: Coexistence and Migration,
IBM form number SG24-5615, Lotus part number CT7QWNA
•
Lotus Notes and Domino R5.0 Security Infrastructure Revealed, IBM form
number SG24-5341, Lotus part number CT6TPNA
•
The Next Generation in Messaging. Moving from Microsoft Mail to Lotus
Notes and Domino, IBM form number SG24-5152, Lotus part number
CT7SBNA
•
Eight Steps to a Successful Messaging Migration: A Planning Guide for
Migrating to Lotus Notes and Domino, IBM form number SG24-5335, Lotus
part number CT6HINA
306 Using Domino Workflow
•
•
Deploying Domino in an S/390 Environment, IBM form number SG24-2182,
Lotus part number 12957
The Next Step in Messaging: Upgrade Case Studies for Lotus cc:Mail to Lotus
Domino and Lotus Notes, IBM form number SG24-5100, Lotus part
number 12992
•
The Next Generation in Messaging. Moving from Novell GroupWise to Lotus
Notes and Domino, IBM form number SG24-5321, Lotus part number
CT7NNNA
•
High Availability and Scalability with Domino Clustering and Partitioning on
Windows NT, IBM form number SG24-5141, Lotus part number CT6XMIE
•
From Client/Server to Network Computing, A Migration to Domino, IBM
form number SG24-5087, Lotus part number CT699NA
•
Netfinity and Domino R5.0 Integration Guide, IBM form number
SG24-5313, Lotus part number CT7BKNA
•
Lotus Domino R5 for IBM RS/6000, IBM form number SG24-5138, Lotus
part number CT7BHNA
•
Lotus Domino Release 4.6 on IBM RS/6000: Installation, Customization and
Administration, IBM form number SG24-4694, Lotus part number 12969
•
High Availability and Scalability with Domino Clustering and Partitioning on
AIX, IBM form number SG24-5163, Lotus part number CT7J0NA
•
Lotus Domino for S/390 Release 4.6: Installation, Customization &
Administration, IBM form number SG24-2083
•
Lotus Domino for S/390 Performance Tuning and Capacity Planning, IBM
form number SG24-5149, Lotus part number CT6XNIE
•
Porting C Applications to Lotus Domino on S/390, IBM form number
SG24-2092, Lotus part number
•
Managing Domino/Notes with Tivoli Manager for Domino, Enterprise Edition,
Version 1.5, IBM form number SG24-2104
Related publications 307
IBM Redbooks collections on CD-ROM
Redbooks are also available on the following CD-ROMs. Click the CD-ROMs
button at http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/ for information about all the
CD-ROMs offered, updates and formats.
CD-ROM Title
Collection Kit
Number
Lotus Redbooks Collection
SK2T-8039
Tivoli Redbooks Collection
SK2T-8044
Application Development Redbooks Collection
SK2T-8037
Netfinity Hardware and Software Redbooks Collection
SK2T-8046
RS/6000 Redbooks Collection (BkMgr Format)
SK2T-8040
RS/6000 Redbooks Collection (PDF Format)
SK2T-8043
AS/400 Redbooks Collection
SK2T-2849
Transaction Processing and Data
Management Redbooks Collection
SK2T-8038
Networking and Systems Management Redbooks Collection
SK2T-6022
System/390 Redbooks Collection
SK2T-2177
IBM Enterprise Storage and Systems Management Solutions
SK3T-3694
Other resources
These publications are also relevant as further information sources:
•
The Lotus Notes & Domino 5.0 Application Development Best Practices Guide,
Lotus documentation, available online at http://www.lotus.com/bpg
•
Inside Notes: Domino Architecture Documentation, Lotus documentation,
available online first quarter 2000 at
http://notes.net/notesua.nsf/find/inside-notes
•
Lotus Knowledge Base - contains Tech Notes and Papers, available online
at http://support.lotus.com/
308 Using Domino Workflow
Web sites
These Web sites are also relevant as further information sources:
•
http://www.lotus.com/workflow
Home page for Domino Workflow - contains product information ,
white papers and a discussion forum.
•
http://www.lotus.com/developer
Lotus Developer Network - Lotus’ primary destination for the latest
developer information and resources. Contains articles about new and
current technologies along with relevant tips and techniques to help you
build dynamic collaborative e-business applications.
•
http://notes.net/
Notes.net from Iris — the developers of Notes and Domino — is a
technical Web site with discussion forums, documentation and the
Webzine Iris Today with many good articles about technical details of
Domino.
•
http://www.ibm.com/developer/
The IBM developerWorks Web site is designed for software developers,
and features links to a host of developer tools, resources, and programs.
•
http://support.lotus.com/
Lotus Support’s Web site - Search using keywords or browse the Lotus
Knowledge Base and locate helpful and informative tech notes and
technical papers for the entire Lotus Product family. This source of
information contains the latest technical information updated hourly.
Related publications 309
How to get IBM Redbooks
This section explains how both customers and IBM employees can find out about IBM
Redbooks, redpieces, and CD-ROMs. A form for ordering books and CD-ROMs by fax or
e-mail is also provided.
• Redbooks Web Site http://www.redbooks.ibm.com
Search for, view, download or order hardcopy/CD-ROM Redbooks from the IBM Redbooks
Web site. Also read redpieces and download additional materials (code samples or diskette/
CD-ROM images) from this Redbooks site.
Redpieces are redbooks in progress; not all redpieces become redbooks and sometimes just
a few chapters will be published this way. The intent is to get the information out much
quicker than the formal publishing process allows.
• E-mail Orders
Send orders by e-mail including information from the IBM Redbooks fax order form to:
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In United States:
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Outside North America: Contact information is in the “How to Order” section at this site:
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313
Index
Symbol
1:N relations. See Parent-child
processing
A
Access Control List, 55
Activity
attributes, 154
automated, 17, 250
automated - scenarios
using, 174
create on the fly, 223
creating, 81
definition, 16
owner - change team, 219
owner - reassign, 223
owners, 20
parallel, 24
potential owners, 20
reassign, 223
working on, 35
Activity owner
multiple potential, 203
Activity properties, 82
description, 85
forms, 84
join settings, 126
owner, 83
reassign, 85
tasks, 84
timing, 85
Agents
enabling, 49
scheduling on multiple
servers, 202
Alternative organization
directory, 191
advantages, 181
changing your data sources, 197
custom integration, 198
disadvantages, 182
Domino Directory, 191
mapping files, 192
replacing design elements, 195
resource database, 193
specifying, 193
Application database, 26
administration views, 28
configuring, 43, 53, 245
customizing, 157
multiple, 39
replicas, 39
setup, 38
views, 27
Approval cycles, 110
Architect
creating a database profile, 75
creating a new process, 77
description, 19, 31
interface, 33, 151
settings, 32
storage facility, 33
Archive
database, 30, 189
scenarios, 239
setup, 237
strategies, 237
Audit Trail, 189, 235
database, 31
view, 232
Automated activity, 265
(de)activating binders, 260
adding agent, 254
body formula, 125
creating agent, 254
CustomSubroutine in
agent, 254
failing agents, 259
how agents work, 255
Notes UI objects in
agents, 262
run LotusScript agent, 253
run server program, 253
Send Mail, 121, 253
send to formula, 122
subject formula, 124
Automation agent class
run method parameters, 260
B
Backgrounder, 231
Binder, 16
attributes, 154
cover, 16
documents, 16
join, 25
main document, 16
multiple copies, 24
sructure, 16
Business object library, 33, 151
Business process
classification, 4
cooperative, 5
managing, 9
mixed forms, 6
semi-structured, 5
structured, 5
transparency, 8
visualizing, 8, 19, 36
C
Cache, 231, 248
Calendar document, 70
Change management, 9
Claim
automatic, 175
Cluster, 157
Custom attributes, 100, 149, 154
defining, 101
using in application
forms, 102
Customization
toolkit, 157
D
Department documents
alternative way to add
members, 70
creating, 65
manager of a department, 66
surrogates, 67
Design repository, 33, 152
315
Design repository database
configuring, 43
Developer's toolkit
events library, 261
Distributed processing, 201
Domino Directory, 41, 134, 196
Domino server requirements, 44
access rights, 44
unrestricted agents, 49
Domino Workflow
adding to an existing
application, 141
application, 26
Architect, 31
architecture, 15, 25
archive, 30
audit trail, 31
design repository, 33
developer's toolkit, 256, 261
engine, 25
events, 261
integration into
Domino/Notes, 13
integration with other systems, 13
main characteristics, 11, 13
organization, 29
process definition, 30
running, 219
Toolkit, 157
Viewer, 233
Domino Workflow elements, 15
activities, 16
activity owners, 16
application database, 26
Architect, 19, 31
archive, 30
audit trail, 31
binder, 16
design repository, 33
engine, 25
job, 21
job owners, 22
organization directory, 29
potential activity owners, 20
process definition, 21, 30
routing relation, 18
team, 24
Domino.Doc integration
archiving, 209, 211
automated search agents, 212
automatic search, 209
check in/check out, 209, 213
initiation, 209, 211
316 Using Domino Workflow
E
Enabling new documents, 107
Engine
application, 26
customizing, 157
elements, 25
organization, 29
Error handling
in the run-time, 22
Events, 158
initiating a job, 168
Events library
modifying, 261
NotesUIWorkspace, 262
F
Form-based initiation, 266
Forms
implementing for application, 71
Formula
body formula, 125
owner, 118
send to formula, 122
subject formula, 124
Frameset, 139
I
Initiate jobs
advanced - settings, 160
form-based, 162
mail-based, 161
manually, 159
scenario, 165
troubleshooting, 159, 162
view, 230
Initiation settings, 133
Integration, 209. See Also
Domino.Doc integration
Domino.Doc
XML, 215
J
JavaScript, 140, 281
opening designated
navigator, 286
strarting new jobs, 285
validations, 289
Job
change on the fly, 225
complete, 36
definition, 21
information, 235
initaition methods, 34, 158
initiate, 34, 158, 248
owner, 22, 249
owner - change, 250
owner - reroute, 225
participants, 20, 22, 24
view, 36, 229, 233
Job Properties, 29, 186
for accessing fields, 143
activity owner, 118
predefined, 187
Joins, 99
concept, 25
disabling, 25, 99
L
Loops
to same activity, 175
LotusScript
agent for automated
activities, 253
automation agent class, 257
binder document class, 255, 256
developer's toolkit, 256
library name, 257
LotusScript agent
use in the automated
activity, 171, 250
develop, 171
schedule, 246
M
Mapping files
adding your own OrgaTypes, 194
Mobile users, 203
Multi server
cluster, 203
different locations, 205
scheduling agents on, 202
Multiple databases, 201
replicas, 202
N
Notes client, 130
Notes UI objects
in scheduled agents, 262
Notifications
getting too early, 203
O
Organization directory, 179
advanced use, 182
alternative, 41
configuring, 43, 50
copying and pasting from
Domino Directory, 57
database, 29
disadvantages, 181
elements, 29, 249
importing from Domino
Directory, 56
job properties, 186
Out of office, 180
relations, 183
resources, 37, 188
standard relations, 183
P
Parent-child processes, 176, 265
child process, 267
parent process, 267
Performance
archiving, 205
Predefined job properties, 88
Initiator, 88
Process
activating, 90, 247
archive, 30
attributes, 155
cache, 133, 248
changes on the fly, 219
checking syntax, 90
creating from a copy, 94
definition, 21, 30, 31
design, 31, 153
hierarchy, 155, 176
history, 31
map, 19
participants, 20, 22, 24
preparing for process design, 61
reuse, 152
versions, 30
view, 233
Process definition database
configuring, 43
Process properties, 77
description, 81
forms, 80
initiators, 79
job owner, 78
timing, 80
Processes
Sub, 202
Prototyping strategies, 91
R
Reassign, 223
Relations, 29, 183
Replication
all databases available, 202
conflicts reported, 202, 207
local, 203
selective, 206
Reroute, 225
Resource database. See Alternative
organization directory
Resources, 188
application, 189
mail addresses, 189
server driven programs, 190
Role documents
alternative way to add
members, 70
creating, 70
Routing
problems, 249
strategies, 35
Routing relations, 98
by decision, 112
conditional, 105
definition, 18
Exclusive Choice, 98
problems, 249
various kinds, 19
S
Save conflicts, 251
Send mail, 170
mail inquiry, 222
Server
cluster, 203
reserved for scheduled
agents, 205
Server program
execute, 170
set parameters, 171
Setup document, 132
Subprocess
definition, 155
properties, 157
settings, 156
using, 156
T
Team
change, 219
concept, 24
protecting documents, 204
Toolkit, 157
Troubleshooting, 247
views, 230
V
Viewer, 233
Views, 229
administration, 230, 231, 232
all documents, 231
audit trail, 232
cache, 231
initiation, 230
tests, 231
troubleshooting, 230
W
Web browser, 130
Web interface
customizing, 139
Web user interface, 275
converting private views, 283
database properties, 278
embedded view, 280, 282
framesetting, 278
hiding the cover, 277, 283
new job functionality, 285
private views, 282
programming solution, 276
resource image, 277
style features, 286
view applet, 280, 282
view HTML, 280, 282
view navigator, 279
workflow navigator, 285
Web workflow
adjusting setup, 132
advanced programming, 275
advantages, 137
disadvantages, 138
enabling agents, 130
enabling workflow form, 130
process cache, 132, 133
standard Web interface, 134
Workflow
components, 2
development, 10, 31
Index 317
events, 158
life cycle, 6
in Lotus Domino/Notes, 7
reasons to use, 7
view, 229
where to use, 10
Workgroup documents
alternative way to add
members, 70
creating, 68
X
XML, 215
318 Using Domino Workflow
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319
320
xii Lotus Domino Release 5.0: A Developer’s Handbook
SG24-5963-00
Part No. CT6GNML
Using Domino Workflow
Printed in the U.S.A.
Using Domino Workflow
Søren Peter Nielsen, Carol Easthope, Pieter Gosselink, Karl Gutsze, Janno Roele
International Technical Support Organization
SG24-5963-00
www.redbooks.ibm.com
SG24-5963-00
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