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, and 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 by 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 have 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 this 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, this is the Workflow application itself, and it realizes the business rules of an organization. Whereas a “Process” or “Process instance” is each individual issue which is handled through the App, such as a case of decision making, a project issue, or the 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 yourself 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 Questetra BPM Suite. The tutorial is largely divided into the following four chapters.
Using Pre-installed Apps
Creating a Simple App
Creating a Travel Request App
Branching by Condition
You must set up an environment before going to Chapter 1. First, you should open Questetra BPM Suite.
Setting Up an Environment for the Tutorial
Do you have the workflow-platform of Questetra BPM Suite? If you don’t, please apply for Trial mode which is free for 60 days.
To prepare five different email addresses, you can use Gmail aliases. The mail alias is the function that makes “another name” of your mail address. So, you can use several mail addresses for only one mail account. Please see here about Gmail aliases. If you do not have a Gmail account, please check how to use email aliases in the email service you use, otherwise get a Gmail address.
We will set up some Organizations to be the same as the figure below. In this tutorial, you will utilize Workflow Apps in a small organization which consists of five people including you. You are the President, and the 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 Sumatera 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 the management section is a sub-organization of the Whole Company. You can check organizations to which the individual belongs if you see the User data.
We won’t use Role in this tutorial, so I’ll leave this out for now.
In this tutorial, we will use the pre-installed Organization when you registered your Questetra BPM Suite. Users other than yourself should be registered, so next let’s register accounts for Sumatera, Canarias, Galapagos and Oahu.
Now, let’s register new Users such as Sumatera, Canarias and so on. Questetra BPM Suite is capable of importing Users, Organizations, and Roles by CSV input. We prepared a template of CSV data, so please use this to register the new Users. After you log in to Questetra BPM Suite, your username is indicated on 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.
Sumatera,questetra+Sumatera@gmail.com,,!10 Management Department
Canarias,questetra+Canarias@gmail.com,,10 Management Department
Galapagos,questetra+Galapagos@gmail.com,,!20 Sales Department
Oahu,questetra+Oahu@gmail.com,,20 Sales Department
Please confirm that the CSV data matches the New Users list. The temporary passwords are needed when you log in to each account, so please take a note of them. After that, you can finish by clicking [Update].
You could register all Users like this. If you prepare CSV data, you can register all employees in the same way.
If you add “!” before the User’s Organization within the CSV data the User will be registered as the leader of that Organization.
Setting Up Your Account
At the initial settings, your account belongs to all Organizations. You can modify this in the User Settings by clicking System Settings and open the User List in the same way, then click the [Detail] icon of your account.
Organizations to which you belong are listed in the Affiliation section. Please check all of them except for “00 Whole Company” and [Delete] from the list. After that, you will belong to only the top Organization.
The top Organization is named “00”(company name that you entered during registration). In this tutorial it is named “00 Whole company”.
Now, all users are shown as the same icon, but you may change your icon in order to be distinguished from others. You can change it with Account Settings where you can also change your username. 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 will see the above warning in User List when you finish setting up your environment. Please ignore it because we will not use these Organizations in this tutorial.
You have finished all the steps to set up the environment. Let’s use the Workflow App!
Chapter 1: Using the Pre-installed App
As the App “Work Request flow” has been pre-installed, let’s use this to see how Questetra BPM Suite works. Since you will use two accounts in this step you should prepare two browsers if you can (e.g. Firefox and Chrome).
Please log into Questetra BPM Suite using your own account, which you used for free registration, among the several User accounts that you have imported earlier. Your username is indicated at the upper right hand, so please click on it to open the pulldown menu and select “App Settings”.
The Work Request flow is already indicated in the App List. Let’s go to its detail page by clicking the [Detail] button which is to 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 the following 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 will handle. In the Workflow diagram of the Work Request flow, for example, the Tasks of the Requester are on the upper Swimlane and that of the Requestee is on the lower one.|
Let’s try to 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 the [Detail] button of the Work Request flow in the list and click on it. By doing this the Step “1. Input Request”, which is the first Step in the Workflow diagram, will open. Although you will see some items that you can edit, such as “Title”, for now you only need to enter the “Requestee” as it is a required item. 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 in “Requestee”, click on [Finish “1. Input Request”] at the bottom of the page. Then it moves to a screen showing the 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 specified in the Requestee in the settings of the “Work Request flow” App. Now, let’s log in to the account of Canarias using another browser.
If you have only one browser, you can log in to the next account after logging out the present account.
When you open [My Tasks] by clicking on the button on the left menu you will 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 the [Detail] button.
When you look at the Workflow diagram displayed at the bottom of the detail page, you will see that icons of Users and a small orange 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 for their account, so that it becomes obvious who has handled which Task. The small orange circle is referred to as a “Token”, which indicates the Step in the Process to which it has currently progressed. When the token reaches the End Event, the Process ends, that is, a series of Tasks are completed. The red arrows indicate the path that the token came through.
Now you have confirmed the progress of the Process, so let’s go back to the [My Tasks] list and click on the [Operate] button to open the operation screen of the Task “2. Work on request”. Although there is a field where you can enter the “Completion Notification”, you don’t need to do anything since this is just a practice. So, go down to the bottom of the page and you will see the buttons [Reconfirmation] and [Completed]. 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 your own account to action the Requester’s Task.
Like before, you will see the Task “1x. Response to Reconfirmation” in the [My Tasks] list. Click on the [Detail] button then look at 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 and click on the [Operate Task] button to open the Task Operation screen then go down and click the [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 their list. Start handling it by clicking on the [Operate] button. The procedure is almost the same as before, except you select the [Completed] button instead of sending it 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 your own account.
Do you find the Task “3. Confirmation of Completion” has been added to your [My Tasks] list? If so, handle it in the same way as before. There are the choices [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 advance a Process enough now, 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 try confirmation, for example, with your account. Click on [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! The token changes color to gray which indicates completion. 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, you can 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 you’ll create a Workflow App by yourself.
Next is “Chpt.2: Creating Simple App”.