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Workflow: 3 – Action Buttons (Advanced)

Workflow action buttons are the way a reviewer can tell an app what they would like to do to the record they are reviewing.

This Workflow Actions Advanced article build upon the basics covered in the article Workflow: 2 – Action Buttons (Basics).

Defining Actions for Action Buttons

You will now see your new action button on the right side of the screen. To configure the button to take the desired action(s), click on it to show the drop-down configuration menu.

Defining Button Actions

Button Visibility

There are several ways to control when workflow action buttons are visible to a user and when they are hidden. You can control if a button is visible to specific roles at each workflow stage on the Security tab of the Form Designer (Link to Security Tab (workflow security) article). The options here affect all users no matter what their role.

Hiding Option Description
Hide on Create The action button will not display when the user first creates and enters data into the record. It will not display until he record is saved and reopened.
Hide on Edit The action button will not display when the record is in Edit mode.
Hide on View The action button will not display when the record is in View mode.
Hide in Actions Panel The action button will not display in the Actions Panel within a view.

Action Options

There are two types of actions: Default Actions and Conditional Actions.

Default Actions

These actions will run when the action button is clicked, unless there is a conditional action that matches the current situation, in which case that action will run. There can be multiple default actions, such as moving the record to the next workflow stage and sending a notification email. There must be at least one default action defined for every workflow action button.

Conditional Actions

These actions have a logical test associated with them, such as “Department field contains Sales” or “Total Value field is greater than 10,000”. If this test is true, the the associated conditional action(s) will run instead of the default action. There can be multiple conditional actions, and each can have more than one condition that must be meet. Conditional actions are optional.

There are 10 types of actions:

Action Type Description
Change Stage Move the record to a new workflow stage and set the workflow status accordingly, e.g. Draft to Manager’s Approval or VP Approval to Rejected.

 

Note: Once Change Stage has been selected once, it will no longer appear in the Type selector for that set of actions. This is because you can only change status to one other value, so there is no purpose for having multiple Change Stage actions.

Send Email Allows you to select or create an email template so that an email message is sent to interested parties when the workflow action button is pressed.
Generate PDF Allows you to select or create a PDF template so that a PDF document is generated and downloaded to the users download folder, when the workflow action button is pressed.
Redirect Allows you to select what should be seen by the user after the action button is pressed, e.g. go back to the prior view or open a specific form.
Assign User to Role Allows you to set the value of a dynamic role, e.g. setting the Approving Manager role to have the value of the Manager field on the current record. Dynamic roles allow you to assign specific people to have a role specifically for this record, so Approving Manager could have a different name value for different records. (Traditional managed roles always have the same value for any record, as they are defined at the application design level.)
App Notification Allows you to select or create an app notification template so that an in-app notification message is sent to interested parties when the workflow action button is pressed. (This creates an ‘App Notification’ type of action that can then be seen in the list of Actions.)
Create Record Allows you to create a new record, in the current app or any other GW Apps app, based on information from the current record and additional entered values. (This creates an ‘Create Record’ type of action that can then be seen in the list of Actions.)
Update Record Allows you to update an existing record, in the current app or any other GW Apps app, based on information from the current record and additional entered values. (This creates an ‘Update Record’ type of action that can then be seen in the list of Actions.)
Data Source Sync Allows you to select or create an email template so that an email message is sent to interested parties when the workflow action button is pressed. (This creates an ‘Data Source Sync’ type of action that can then be seen in the list of Actions.)
Webhook Allows you to select or create an email template so that an email message is sent to interested parties when the workflow action button is pressed. (This creates an ‘Webhook’ type of action that can then be seen in the list of Actions.)

Change Stage Settings

Item Description
Next Stage If you select ‘Change Stage’ as the type you will see the ‘Next Stage’ field. Select the desired stage records should move to when this button is clicked.

Send Email Settings

Item Description
Create New Click on this button to create a new email template. This will be the only option available if there are no email templates in the application. A dialog box will display so you can enter the name, and optional description, for the new email template. Then the email Template editor will display with the new template loaded so you can complete designing the new email template. Once you close the email Template editor, you will see its name displayed in the Email Template field (see just below). (For more details on creating email templates, please see the article Workflow: Email Templates – Editor)
Select Existing Click on this button to select an existing email template from the available list. (Email Template field below.)
Email Template Displays once “Select Existing” has been selected, replacing the Create New and Select Existing options: Select the dynamic role you wish to to assign a value to.

Generate PDF Settings

Item Description
Create New Click on this button to create a new PDF template. This will be the only option available if there are no PDF templates in the application. A dialog box will display so you can enter the name, and optional description, for the new PDF template. Then the PDF Template editor will display with the new template loaded so you can complete designing the new PDF template. Once you close the PDF Template editor, you will see its name displayed in the PDF Template field (see just below). (For more details on creating PDF templates, please see the article PDF Templates)
Select Existing Click on this button to select an existing PDF template from the available list. (PDF Template field below.)
PDF Template Displays once “Select Existing” has been selected, replacing the Create New and Select Existing options: Select the dynamic role you wish to to assign a value to.

Redirect Settings

Item Description
Redirect To Select between the following options:

 

  • to viewing record  (Keeps you looking at the record, but puts it into View mode)
  • to editing record  (Keeps you looking at the record, but puts it into Edit mode)
  • to another form
  • to a page
  • to a view
  • to previous page  (Usually takes you back to the view from which the record was opened or created)
  • to dashboard  (Takes you to the applications dashboard)
Options Select the desired Form, Page or View name from the supplied list.

Assign User to Role Settings

Item Description
Create Role Click on this button to create a new dynamic role. This will be the only option available if there are no dynamic roles defined in the application. A dialog will display so you can enter the name, and optional description, for the new dynamic role. Once the dynamic role has been created you will see it displayed in the Dynamic Roles field (see just below).
Select Existing Click on this button to select an existing dynamic role from the available list. (Dynamic Roles field below.)
Dynamic Roles Displays once “Select Existing” has been selected, replacing the Create Role and Select Existing options: Select the dynamic role you wish to to assign a value to.
Fields Select the name of the field to get the user name value(s) from. Only User and Multiple Users fields display in the list. If the list is blank, then you do not have any User or Multiple Users fields on this form yet.

App Notification Settings

Item Description
Create New Click on this button to create a new app notification action. This will be the only option available if there are no app notification actions in the application. A dialog box will display so you can define the notification. Once you close the dialog box, you will see the app notification’s name displayed in the App Notification field (see just below).
Select Existing Click on this button to select an existing email template from the available list. (App Notification field below.)
App Notification Displays once “Select Existing” has been selected, replacing the Create New and Select Existing options: Select the app notification you wish to send.

Create Record Settings

Item Description
Create New Click on this button to create a new create record action. This will be the only option available if there are no create record actions in the application. A dialog box will display so you can define the create record action. Once you close the dialog box, you will see the create record action’s name displayed in the Create Record field (see just below). (For more details on creating create record actions, please see the article Actions)
Select Existing Click on this button to select an existing create record action from the available list. (Create Record field below.)
Create Record Displays once “Select Existing” has been selected, replacing the Create New and Select Existing options: Select the create record action you wish to trigger.

Update Record Settings

Item Description
Create New Click on this button to create a new update record action. This will be the only option available if there are no update record actions in the application. A dialog box will display so you can define the update record action. Once you close the dialog box, you will see the update record action’s name displayed in the Update Record field (see just below). (For more details on creating update record actions, please see the article Actions)
Select Existing Click on this button to select an existing update record action from the available list. (Update Record field below.)
Update Record Displays once “Select Existing” has been selected, replacing the Create New and Select Existing options: Select the update record action you wish to trigger.

Data Source Sync Settings

Item Description
Create New Click on this button to create a new data source sync action. This will be the only option available if there are no data source sync actions in the application. A dialog box will display so you can define the data source sync action. Once you close the dialog box, you will see the data source sync action’s name displayed in the Data Source Sync field (see just below). (For more details on creating data source sync actions, please see the article Actions)
Select Existing Click on this button to select an existing data source sync action from the available list. (Data Source Sync field below.)
Data Source Sync Displays once “Select Existing” has been selected, replacing the Create New and Select Existing options: Select the data source sync action you wish to trigger.

Webhook Settings

Item Description
Create New Click on this button to create a new webhook action. This will be the only option available if there are no webhook actions in the application. A dialog box will display so you can define the webhook action. Once you close the dialog box, you will see the webhook action’s name displayed in the Webhook field (see just below). (For more details on creating webhook actions, please see the article Actions)
Select Existing Click on this button to select an existing update record action from the available list. (Webhook field below.)
Webhook Displays once “Select Existing” has been selected, replacing the Create New and Select Existing options: Select the webhook action you wish to trigger.

Conditional Actions

Defining Conditional Actions

If no conditional actions are defined, then the default actions will run. If you have defined conditional actions, there is an option that defines which sets of actions run:

Item Description
Run the actions for the first condition that matches, otherwise run the default actions Only one set of actions will run: Either the default actions (if no conditional action criteria match) or the actions of the first condition where the ‘Execute Conditional Action If’ criteria match the current record.
Run the actions for all conditions that match, including the default actions

More than one set of actions might run: The default actions will always run, plus the actions of all of the conditions where the ‘Execute Conditional Action If’ criteria match the current record.

Note: If multiple sets of actions do run, only the first occurrence of a Change Stage or Redirect action will be run. The first occurrence will be the first conditional action that matches, or the default if no conditional actions are run.

Defining Conditional Actions

Item Description
Click on ‘Add Conditional Action’ to define a new condition and set of actions.
Conditional Action number and name The conditional actions are automatically numbered 1, 2, etc. Next to the number is a name, which defaults to “Condition x” where “x” is the current number. You can change the name, though the name does not display to the end user and has no functional effect, it can be used as a description to help identify what the conditional action is for.
Execute Conditional Action If
Item Description
Execute Conditional Action If
Add Condition Click to add a new comparison condition, such as Status is “Managers Review” or the value of the Total Amount field is greater than 10,000.
Field Select the field who’s value you want to use as the basis for the condition, i.e. “Status” or  “Total Amount” in the above examples.
Operator The available comparison operators depend on the type of field selected:

 

Text fields: blank, not blank, equals, not equals, like, not like, contains, does not contain.

Number fields: greater than, less than, less than or equal to, greater than or equal to, equals, not equals.

Date fields: before, after, equals.

Pick from list fields (Radio Button, Checkbox, Dropdown, Lookup Fields, Status): equals.

Comparison Value If blank or not blank are selected then the condition is complete. If another operator is selected, then a comparison value is required. The data type of the comparison value field matches the field selected, so it is a number field if Field was a number, and if Field was a pick from list (radio button, etc) the comparison field will be a list selector with the the same list of values.
Actions
Item Description
Actions
Add Condition Adds an Action to the end of the actions list. Details for the defining the Actions are identical to those in the Default Actions section above.

Additional Action Button Options

Additional Options

Conditional Visibility

Allows you to control when this workflow action button will display. This option is the third way to control visibility of the action button, with the other two being the Security Tab and the Button Visibility options at the top of the action button settings screen (discussed at the top of this article). This setting uses the same Conditional Visibility control used in fields, where you can hide/show based on the current values of fields on the record.

For details on setting the conditional visibility, please see the following article: Conditional Visibility

Button Appearance

Allows you to control how workflow action buttons will display. The available control are as follows:

Item Description

Text Only (Default)

[Text / Icon / Color Options]

Options are:

  • Text Only (Default) – Displays the button name text and uses the standard button color for the application.
  • Text & Color – Displays the button name text and adds a ‘Button Color’ field so a custom button color can be set.
  • Icon Only – Displays the action’s icon, no text, and uses the standard button color for the application.
  • Icon & Color – Displays the action’s icon, no text, and  adds a ‘Button Color’ field so a custom button color can be set.
  • Text, Icon & Color – Displays the action’s icon and button name text and adds a ‘Button Color’ field so a custom button color can be set.

Basic (Default)

[Button Style Options]

Options are:

  • Basic (Default) – The button appears as text until the mouse pointer hovers over it, when the button outline is displayed.
  • Flat – The button appears as a solid colored button at all times.
  • Raised – The button appears as a solid colored button at all times, and has a drop-shadow effect to make it look 3D and as if it is raised above the flat surface of the form.
  • Stroked – The button has a thin black outline and no background color until the mouse pointer hovers over it, when the button shows a faint background color.

Default

[Button Padding Options]

Options are:

  • Default – There is a good amount of padding (space) around the button text/icon.
  • Comfortable – There is a medium amount of padding (space) around the button text/icon, making the button smaller (in both width and height).
  • Compact – There is small amount of padding (space) around the button text/icon, making the button even smaller (in both width and height).

Button Color

[Displays if Required]

This field displays if the first field is set to an option that includes “Color”. Allows you to pick or enter the exact button color you require.

Confirmation Dialog

Displays an confirmation dialog that can also allow for data entry. Typically used for confirmation messages such as: “Are you sure you want to Approve this request?”.

Item Description
Dialog Title Only one set of actions will run: Either the default actions (if no conditional action criteria match) or the actions of the first condition where the ‘Execute Conditional Action If’ criteria match the current record.
Dialog Description

More than one set of actions might run: The default actions will always run, plus the actions of all of the conditions where the ‘Execute Conditional Action If’ criteria match the current record.

Note: If multiple sets of actions do run, only the first occurrence of a Change Stage or Redirect action will be run.

Dialog Shown Fields Select up to five fields from the form to display in the dial box, below the title and the description. If the user enters any values into the fields in the dialog, they will be saved to the same fields in the record.
Dialog Conditional Visibility

Allows you to control when the confirmation dialog displays. If no conditional visibility is set, the dialog will display every time the action button is clicked. The dialog conditional visibility could allow the dialog to only display if, for example, the “Total Value” fields was $10,000 or greater.

For details on setting the conditional visibility, please see the following article: Conditional Visibility

Next Steps

Below are links to articles that cover the other main areas of creating a workflow:
Workflow Stages
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 June 7, 2022

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