Associate an app with a business process to automatically fill in the data. For example, the Contracts app can be connected to the "Approval" business process. The workflow for this document includes all stages for the document approval, determines the approvers and deadlines as well as defines the steps for the users to take if the contract is not approved.
You can configure business processes in the ELMA365 business process designer. The screenshot below demonstrates the basic arrangement of the designer window:
The modeling field is located in the center, on the right side there is a panel with the workflow activities.
Create a new process
Add a business process for the Contracts app we created earlier.
Click the gear icon next to the app's name and select the Business processes item in the menu. A page with associated business processes will open.
To add a new business process, click the + Process button.
Fill out the fields in the pop-up window:
- Name. Enter the name which will be displayed on the business processes page of the app.
- Type. Select a process with the BPMN elements.
After the fields are filled out, click the Create button. The process designer page opens. Here you can set up a business process, the route of the contract's approval.
Set up a diagram
As an example, let's create the following process: the initiator sends a contract for an approval; it is being reviewed by the Head of the Sales Department and a Legal Officer. If necessary, the contract is then send for revision. After the contract is approved by both participants, it is registered by the accountant. After this, the process ends.
Every employee who has any role in the process is represented on the diagram with a swimlane. In the given approval process there are three of them: Initiator, Approvers, and Accountant. As we have several approvers, the Head of the Sales Department and a Legal Officer, unite them into one user group for convenience. To do this, go to Administration > Groups and click the +Group button.
Name it "Contracts. Approvers" and save the settings. We are going to need this group for the swimlanes configuration later.
Initiator's swimlane is added to the diagram by default. As any employee can initiate a process, this swimlane does not have a specific executor. Such swimlanes are called dynamic.
Add the swimlanes for the approvers. Here you should use a static swimlane since the executors are known beforehand. In the Select group field select an already existing approvers group.
Add the third swimlane for the accountant who is going to register the approved contract. Make it static as well.
Now, you have to place the activities into the swimlanes and connect them. Adding an activity to the diagram is simple. Just drag it from the right side panel and drop in the intended swimlane. Then, connect the activities using connectors to set the route of the process.
You are going to need the following activities: Task, Notification, Approval, and End approval. Also, any process always has a Start event and an End event activity.
Any diagram of any process begins with a Start Event. When an employee adds a new contract into the system and clicks the Approve button, the Start Event window appears. In this window you can leave a comment, specify the dates of the approval, etc. To configure this window, double-click on the Start Event on the diagram. A settings window opens. Go to the Form tab. The variables of the process are listed in the left side column called Context. It includes the Contract variable where the document is stored. Determine and add the forms that the user has to fill out when sending a contract for approval.
If the context does not have enough variables, create them. Click the +Add button, select the type and name the new variable. For example, select the Date/Time type for the "Approve until" field.
Place the Approval activity in the approvers swimlane. Double-click on it to configure:
In the General tab, in the drop-down menu, select the document you're sending for the approval. In this example it is a Contract.
Select the Approval type. Suppose we want all approvers to work with the contract at the same time. After every one of them makes a decision, the contract continues the route. To do this, select the Parallel approval type.
If needed, set a deadline for the task on the Deadline tab.
Open the Connectors tab and check the Reject box as a default connector. Now, the process follows this route if the conditions of the Approve connector are not met. For example, one of the approvers comes to a negative decision. Note that the name of the connector is the same as the name of the following activity by default. You can change the names on the Connectors tab.
Now, configure the Approve connector. Here you need to determine the conditions for the contract to be considered as approved. The process involves several approvers, some of them may approve the contract and some of them may not. Double-click on the connector on the modeling field, go to the Conditions tab and set the approval percentage to 100. This means that the contract is considered approved only when all approvers make a positive decision. After that, the process moves on.
After the approvers make a decision, the initiator has to be notified whether the contract has been approved or not. To do this, add two notification activities to the diagram. Connect one of them with the Approve connector, and the other with the Reject connector.
In the settings of every notification enter a name and a message text. Also, select the recipient on the Recipients tab.
To do this, click Add and select the Initiator context variable.
End approval is used with the Approval activity in the route. It allows you to see the final decision on the document right away without having to wait for the process to be completed. Place it near the contract approval notification. Open the settings, select the Contract variable as an approval object and then select the Approved decision.
Now, when the contract reaches this stage of the workflow, the decision appears on the contract page and the approved document continues the route.
"Make changes" and "Register the contract" tasks
Apart from the approval task itself, the route can include additional tasks.
If the approvers have rejected the contract, it needs to be returned to the initiator to make changes. To do this, add the Make changes to the contract task to the initiator's swimlane. This allows the initiator to make changes and be able to send the document for approval again. Make this option available by adding a connector between the Make changes and the Approval tasks.
The approved contract goes to the accountant for registration. Add the task to the diagram, name it and set a deadline. Remember to add the Contract variable to the task form.
Now, the accountant can access the document page and register it straight from the task.
Finally, add the End event at the end of the route:
- After the Register the contract task when the contract has finished the route.
- After the Make changes task, in case it is impossible to make necessary changes.
The finished route should be saved, checked, and published using the top menu buttons. After this, the process will be available for the users.
Associate the route with the document type
When the route is configured and published, you need to associate it with the Contracts app. Add a Process launch button to the contract form.
Go to the Contracts app and open any contract item. In the bottom left corner of the form, click on the gear icon near the Edit button. Click the + icon. In the pop-up menu, select Add the process start button. Configure the button:
- Name the button "Send for approval" and choose the color.
- Select whether to always show the button, or only if editing/deleting is allowed.
- Select the Approval process created in the previous steps.
Now the contract form contains the Send for approval button. When an employee clicks on it, the process starts. The system sends the contract to the approvers and assigns the corresponding tasks. Then, the contract goes to the registration. You can find the fields for the registration on the side panel of the document. The accountant has to add an office, a folder and enter the registration number for the contract.
Note that the registration is only available for the apps of the Document type. To register the documents in the system, set up Document categorization scheme and turn on the registration. Read more in the Document categorization scheme and Registration settings article.
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