Workflow: 1 – Stages

Overview

Workflow is just another name for an approval or review process that a record might have to go through. A workflow stage is a step in the review/approval process where a record will wait for a user to take an action, such as approve, reject, assign to a colleague.

For example, a contract that might need to be reviewed and approved by Legal and Finance, before being sent to the division VP for final approval. In this example, the workflow stages might be:

  • Draft
  • Legal Review
  • Finance Review
  • VP Final Review
  • Approved
  • Rejected

This workflow could be drawn in a diagram, such as this where each blue box is a workflow stage and the arrows show how you can move between them:

Creating Workflows

Workflow creation is split across two tabs in the Form Editor, the Workflows tab and the Security tab. The Workflows tab is used to define the workflow stages and the actions available at each stage, and the Security tab is used to control who can see and edit which fields in each workflow stage.

On the workflow tab the following can be done:

  • Create workflow stages, the steps in the review and approval process.
  • Create workflow actions buttons, the workflow activities a user can initiate by clicking on a button, such as Approve.
Default Workflows tab

Workflow Stages are created and managed from the Workflow tab on the forms design. To access the Workflow Stages of a form:

Edit App > Builder > Forms (1) > Click Edit on the desired form’s tile (2) >
Once the Form Editor opens > Click on the Workflow tab (3)

Stage Tools

Workflow Stage Tools

The Stage tools allows you to add, remove and edit stages. The Stage tools can be found on the left side of the Workflows tab. Initially there are two starter stages, Draft and Completed. These stages can have their settings edited and their names changed. The Completed stage can be deleted, but the Draft stage can’t be moved or deleted.

Item Description
Click + Add Stage (A) to add a new stage to the end of the current form’s workflow. Once it has been created it can be moved to a different place in the order, if required.
Create Stage Dialog
Item Description
Stage Name Enter the name of the new stage.
Status Enter the status label records should have while they are at this stage. This is usually the same as the Stage Name.
Stage Color Click on the color sample square to use the color picker widget to select the desired color, or enter the color as a Hex code.
Click to close the dialog and cancel the new stage creation.
Click to close the dialog, create the new stage, and be taken back to the Workflows tab.

Editing Stages

To edit a stage, click on the desired stage in the list on the left, then click on the Edit Stage pencil icon (B) at the top right. 

Edit Stage
Item Description
Stage Name Enter the name of the new stage.
Status Enter the status label records should have while they are at this stage.
Stage Color Use the color picker widget to select the desired color, or enter the color as a Hex code.
Click to close the dialog and cancel the new stage creation.
Click to close the dialog, and update the stage with the new values.

Delete a Stage

To delete a stage, click on the desired stage in the list on the left, then click on the Remove Stage trash can icon (C) at the top right.

 

Demonstration Video

The following video outlines creating workflow stages and action buttons:

 

Next Steps

Below are links to articles that cover the other main areas of creating a workflow:
Workflow Action Buttons
Workflow Security
Email Templates
Below are the links to the episodes of Building an Expense Reports App tutorial series that include descriptions of setting up a workflow:
Part 5 – Expense Reports App – Workflow
Part 6 – Expense Reports App – Security
Updated on August 6, 2019

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