Your first step with Questetra BPM Suite / Chpt 1: Using the Pre-installed App as a Workflow User
Hello, wonderful to meet you, Questetra users! My name is Chiaki Muraki, I’m a member of the product development department. Through this tutorial, you are going to learn how to create simple requests, such as for travel request approval. This article is for absolute beginners of Questetra BPM Suite to learn step-by-step, starting with some basics.
About Questetra BPM Suite
Questetra BPM Suite is a multi-functional workflow system using a cloud computing system. Users can access it with a web browser. The rules of work are defined as a “Workflow application”, and created applications run on the platform. Through a “Workflow application”, users are able to interchange data and it is capable of working with external systems to send and receive data.
Once you created a “Travel request” application, for example, employees will be able to make their request for business travel via a web browser. Thereafter, the data concerning the request will be automatically delivered to an approver in accordance with a business rule which has been defined in the application, such as “The approver varies depending on the amount of expected travel expense”. You can achieve automation of business rules in that way. Regarding the “Travel request” application, we are going to show you how to create this in a later tutorial, so you will see how powerful Questetra BPM Suite is.
Concerning Questetra BPM Suite, there are two major concepts that are “Apps” and “Processes (Instances)”. Regarding the “App”, it is the Workflow application itself, and it realizes the business rules of an organization. Whereas “Process” or “Process instance” is every single issue which is handled through the App, such as a case of decision making, a project issue, or handling of an inquiry.
In Questetra BPM Suite users are categorized into two types, “App creators” and “App users”. That means, “App creators” create Apps considering the business rules, while “App users” utilize these Apps to perform their business activities. This tutorial is oriented to “App creators”.
Now, let’s experience for yoursel a procedure of creating an App in the following chapter.
Try Designing Business Process
Let’s make a simple App in order to learn basic manipulation of Queatetra BPM Suite. The tutorial is largely divided into the following four chapters.
- Chapter 1:
- Using Pre-installed App
- Chapter 2:
- Creating Simple App
- Chapter 3:
- Creating Travel Request App
- Chapter 4:
- Branching by Condition
You must set up an environment before going Chapter 1. First, you should open Questetra BPM Suite.
Setting Up an Environment for Tutorial
We will set up organizations to be the same as the figure below. In this tutorial, you utilize Workflow Apps in a small organization where consists of five people including you. You are the President and other four people belong to a Sales/Management department. For the five people in the figure, you have to prepare five different email addresses. Within the App, an individual is identified by each email address.
Questetra BPM Suite expresses a company as User･Organization･Role. User means individuals, for example, you and Sumatra in the above chart. Organization means department, for example the Whole Company, “10 Management Department” and “20 Sales Department”. Organization data concludes parent-child relationships. For example, it shows that management section is the sub-organization of the Whole Company. You can check organizations to which the individual belongs if you see the user data.
In this tutorial, we will use the pre-installed Organization when you registered your Questetra BPM Suite. The User should be registered other than “you”. Next, let’s register, “Sumatera” “Canarias” “Galapagos” “Oahu”.
Now, let’s register Users such as Sumatera, Canarias and so on. Questetra BPM Suite is capable of importing User, Organization, and Role by CSV input. We prepared a template of CSV data, so please use it and register Users. After you log in Questetra BPM Suite, your username is indicated at the upper right hand. Please click on it to open the pulldown menu, and choose “System Settings”. The “User List” page will be shown, then click on the [Import User] button to open the page where you can input CSV data.
You can import users by pasting the CSV data into the text box. Since it is using firstname.lastname@example.org in the example, please modify the part before “+” according to your Gmail address.
Please confirm that CSV data matches New Users list. The temporary passwords are needed when you log in each account, so please take notes of them. After that, you can finish with [Update].
Like this, you could register all users. If you prepare CSV data, you can register all employees in the same way.
Setting of Your Account
At the initial setting, your account belongs to all organizations. You can modify this by “User Setting”, so you should click “System Setting” and open the “User List” in the same way, then click [Detail] icon of your account.
Organizations to which you belong are listed in “Affiliation”. Please check except for “00 Whole Company” and [Delete] from the list. After that, you belong to the only top-end organization now.
Now, all users are showed as the same icon. You may change “your” icon in order to be distinguished from others. You can change it with “Account Settings”. You can also change your username here. Please replace it with a suitable picture. If you don’t have any pictures, you can use this icon. He is Questetra’s mascot character “Ques-Kun”.
You have finished all the steps of the setting up the environment. Let’s use the Workflow App!
Chapter 1: Using Pre-installed App
As “Task request flow App” has been pre-installed already, so let’s use this to see how Questetra BPM Suite works. Since you will use two accounts in this step, so you should prepare two browsers in which Adobe Flash Player is enabled if you can. (e.g. Firefox and Chrome.)
Please log in to Questetra BPM Suite using your own account, which you used for free registration, among several user accounts that you have imported earlier. Username is indicated at the upper right hand, so please click on it to open the pulldown menu and select “App Settings”.
“Work Request flow” is already indicated in App List. Let’s go to the detail page of it by clicking [Detail] button which is at the left of the title.
You can see this Workflow diagram. Let’s check the basics of the Workflow diagram. There are some icons and they have coming meanings.
|Start Event||Starting point of a Process|
|End Event||Ending point of a Process|
|Task||A Step where a person must handle the job. (A Task that is automatically performed by the system is shown in a different icon.)|
|Swimlane||A grouping of Tasks that the same person to handle. In the Workflow diagram of “Work Request flow”, for example, the Tasks of Requester are on the upper Swimlane and that of Requestee is on the lower one.|
Let’s try experience how Tasks are being processed in accordance with this Workflow diagram.
First, click on [Workflow] at the top left, and then click [Start] on the left menu to open the list. Please find a [Start and Operate First Step] button next to [Detail] button on “Work Request flow” in the list and click on it. By doing this, a Step of “1. Input Request”, which is the first Step in the Workflow diagram, will open. Although you see some items that you can edit such as “Title”, you only enter to the “Requestee” that is a required item, for now. We are going to make the request to “Canarias” this time. To enter “Canarias”, you can find her in the list that appears by clicking on or is narrowed down by typing some characters.
After making your selection at “Requestee”, click on [Finish “1. Input Request”] at the bottom of the page. Then it moves to a screen showing a message “You finished the task successfully” so the first Task on the Workflow diagram is finished. The person in charge of operating the next Task, “2. Work on request”, has been designed to be the one who is designated in the “Requestee” as the setting of the “Work Request flow” App. Now, let’s log in to the account of “Canarias” using another browser.
When you open [My Tasks] by clicking on the button on the left menu, you see a Task, which is the next Step of the first Task you finished earlier, on the list. Likewise, when you Started the flow, you can confirm the details of the Task by clicking on [Detail] button.
When you look into the Workflow diagram displayed at the bottom of the detail page, you see that icons of Users and a small green circle have been added, and some parts of the arrows have turned to red. The icons of Users indicate who has handled the Task. This is the reason why a User should set a photo to the account of own, so that who has handled which Task to become obvious. The small green circle is referred to as “Token”, which indicates up to which Step in the entire Process it is progressed currently. When the token reaches the End Event, the Process ends, that is, a series of Tasks are completed. The red arrows indicate the path where the token came through.
Now, you confirmed the progress of the Process, so let’s go ahead. Please go back to the list of [My Tasks] click on the [Operate] button to open the operation screen of the Task of “2. Work on request”. Although there is a field where you can enter “Completion Notification”, you do nothing since this is just a practice. So, go down to the bottom of the page, then you see buttons which are [Reconfirmation] and [Compeleted]. Click on the [Reconfirmation] button, this time. According to the Workflow diagram, the token is supposed to go back to the Requester. Now, let’s go back to the account of your own, who is the Requester.
Likewise before, you see a Task of “1x. Response to Reconfirmation” in the list of [MY Tasks]. Click on the [Detail] button then look into the Workflow diagram, so you will understand that it is designed so that the token goes back unless the Requestee [Completed] the task. Let’s go ahead. Click on the [Operate Task] button to open the Task Operation screen then go down and click [Finish 1x. Response to Reconfirmation] button. Again, the token returns to the Requestee.
Going back to the account of “Canarias”, the Requestee, there is the Task again on the list. Start handling it by clicking on the [Operate] button. The procedure is almost the same as before, except you select [Completed] button to click, not to send back this time. In accordance with the diagram, the token is supposed to advance to the Task of the Requester, “3. Confirmation of Completion”. Switch back to the account of your own.
Do you find the Task of “3. Confirmation of Completion” has been added to the list of [My Tasks] of your own account? If so, handle it in the same way as before. As there are your choices of [Re-request] and [Completed] and if you select [Re-request], now you know how the token will advance. Yes, it will be returned back to the Task “2. Work on request” of the Requestee. Since I suppose that you have learned how to proceed a Process enough now, so select [Completed] this time. As the token has gone to the End Event, the Process has been finished.
There are several ways to confirm whether a Process has been actually completed or not. Let’s make confirmation, for example, with the account of “you”. Click on the [Started Processes] on the left menu to open the list. You see the Process you have completed. Click on the [Detail] button and then see the contents of it.
The Token on the Workflow diagram has arrived at the End Event properly! Thus, you can confirm that the Process has been completed. As the detailed records such as the operator of each Task and the time of operating are indicated in the “Operation History”, so you refer to them if you want to check in detail.
Now, that’s all for “TUTORIAL/Chapter 1: Using Pre-installed App”! In the next tutorial, let’s create a Workflow App by yourself.
Next is “Chpt.2: Creating Simple App”.