Chapter 2: Creating a Simple App

Let‘s learn the basics of making Workflow Apps by creating a simple App in which an applicant applies to the Management Department for something and staff in the Management Department confirm it. This is a simpler App than the Work Request flow App of Chapter 1.

Please log in to Questetra BPM Suite using your own account, click on Username to open the pulldown menu and select App Settings. You can see the App List in the App settings page. You should create a new App, so please click on New App under the title.

As the New App page is opened, let’s enter a descriptive name into App Name. You can leave Priority at 0. Please click on the [Add new app] button. The modeler of the Workflow App will start up.

An App consists of three factors.

Workflow diagram

It shows how the Process progresses.

Data item

It shows the handled data.

Processing personnel

It shows the person who must deal with the task.

Let’s set the three factors step-by-step. First, we will make the Workflow diagram.

Making a Workflow Diagram

We make a Workflow diagram like this. You should place the Start/End Event and each Task from the various palettes at the top of the screen.

Swimlane

Human Task

Start Event

End Event

Please place them like the following diagram by clicking on the menu to select the icon, and clicking on the Swimlane to place it.

Next, you should name each object. Name the upper Swimlane “Applicant”, the one beneath “Management Department”, the Task at the top “Apply”, and the one on the bottom “Confirmation”. You can open the settings window by clicking each object’s settings symbol when it is selected.

select mode

Settings symbol in the case of Swimlanes

After changing the name, click on Apply and Close to close the window. In the case of Human Tasks, a slightly different window will open, but you can change the name in the same way.

You will see the diagram like this. Next, you should draw the flow (arrow), so select “Flow” from the palette.

If you put the cursor on the frame of the object it will highlight orange. Click it, then drag to the next icon and release.

You can draw flows like this. When you draw a flow please pay attention to the direction of the arrow.

The Workflow diagram is completed!

If you put an unnecessary Object…

If you misplaced an Object or drew a Flow to the wrong place, delete the Object/Flow and replace it.

Select the object you want to delete in the selection mode, click the displayed trash can symbol, and delete it according to the instructions.

Setting the Data Items

Next, you should set the Data Items. Please change to the Data Item tab of the modeler. On this tab, you can configure the types of Data Items to be handled in the App, and the form of the Task Operating screen.

Title is always set automatically. For this example, you should add Numeric and Date(Y/M/D) type Data Items. To add Data Items, select Numeric and Date(Y/M/D) respectively. 

In this state, an error occurs because the field name is missing. Enter the field name in the settings window.

The field name of numeric0 is “q_numeric0” and date1 is “q_date1”.

By doing this, it is now possible to handle one Numeric type data and one Date type data in a Process in addition to the original Title (String type data).

If you accidentally added the wrong type of Data Item, just delete it. When you move the mouse cursor over the Data Item there is a trash can symbol on the right side which is the delete button. Delete unwanted data items.

Let’s set whether each data item can be edited/displayed for each Task on the Task Operating screen.


ApplyConfirmation
TitleEditableDisplay only
Numeric0EditableDisplay only
Date1EditableDisplay only

You should set the Data editing permissions like this table. Data Items which have been set as “Display only” are displayed on the Task Operating form but cannot be modified. Since the Management Department needs only to confirm the application content, it is not necessary for them to edit the Data Items.

You can set the Data editing permission of each Task in the Human Task settings window. Let’s go back to the Workflow Diagram tab where the Workflow diagram is.

Data editing permission can be set with the “Bulk Update Data Editing Permission” function, but that method is omitted this time.

Please open the settings windows of the Human Tasks “Apply” and “Confirmation” and edit the radio buttons in Editing permission appropriately. For example, in “Apply” you should set them like the screenshot above. Once this is done, the Data Item settings will be complete!

Operator Settings

Finally, make the Operator settings on each Swimlane, such as

・who is the Operator in charge

・the department to which the Operator belongs

・who is the Operator’s superior

Please open the Swimlane settings window and under the Operator section click the Edit button. In the current state, the account which you are using in order to create this App will have been set as the Operator in both the Applicant and Management Department Swimlane. With that setting, it will end up that you will apply and confirm it by yourself, so let’s change the Operator of the Management Department Swimlane.

In this situation, you are set as the Operator of the Management Department Swimlane. Please select the User who handles the Tasks in this Swimlane and click on the [Edit] button in the settings window…

and click the pencil symbol to the right of the User.

Now you should set “Canarias” as the Operator of the Management Department Swimlane. Please select Canarias by clicking the “User” radio button and enter “Canarias”. It will be displayed in the pull-down list. Click it and then click the OK button.

This completes all the settings. Please close the modeler by selecting Exit editing from the dropdown button on the top right corner. The figure below shows the workflow diagram tab, but you can also finish editing on the Data Item tab.

You will return to the App’s detail page where the message “To make this app usable, you have to release version 1.” is displayed. As it stands, the App you created is in a draft state, so you have to release it in order to be able to actually use it. Please click on “Release developing Version 1“. You will be asked for a version memo, but you can leave this blank. Now, Version 1 of the App you created has been released and is ready to use! Let’s try it now.

Let’s try to use your App by clicking [Workflow] at the top of the page and then [Start] in the left menu. You can start your Process with the [Start and Operate First Step] button.

Are you being asked for input in the Data Items “Title”, “Numeric0” and “Date1”? These three data items are set as editable in the Apply Task, so you can edit them on this page. Data editing permission settings manage on which Task’s handling screen you can input data. Also, as you have added Date1 as Date type data, you can input the date by selecting from the calendar or with one click using the “Now” button. Data handling is much easier with the correct data type, so please input a suitable title, and value for Numeric0 and Date1, then click on Finish “Apply”.

Now, you should remember the Workflow diagram and the Operator that you set before. When the Apply Task is over, the Token moves on to the Confirmation Task in the Management Department Swimlane. The Management Department Swimlane Operator is Canarias, so log in to Canarias’ account and operate the Confirmation Task.

If you forget the Management Department’s Operator open the App detail page and look at the Workflow diagram. Like the modeler, you can open the settings window of each part by clicking on the settings symbol.

Switching the account and checking My Tasks, you will find the Task has arrived. The Task was assigned to the Operator according to your settings and when you open the Task Operating screen there are no items that you can edit. That’s because the Data editing permission setting for all items is set to “Display only” in the Confirmation Task. As all you have to do is click on a button let’s operate it. You see, the App you created works properly. In this way, the Workflow diagram shows the flow of operations, the Data item shows items displayed on the Task Operating page and the Operator controls who the Task reaches.

What if there are Multiple Operators?

So what if we have more than one Operator? Let’s do a little remodeling of the App you created. Please go back to the account that created the App and open the detail page in App Settings.

Since Version 1 has already been released, you will edit Version 2 this time. Please click on the edit button and open the modeler. You will add one Operator to the Management Department Swimlane. Let’s set the Organization “10 Management Department”, to which the Users Sumatera and Canarias belong, as the Operator. In the Management Department Swimlane of the Workflow Diagram tab, open the settings window and select and edit Canarias, who is already set as the Operator.

Select the Organization radio button and click ▼ on the right; the top-level organization “00 Whole Company” is displayed. Click > on the right, select “10 Management Department” one level below the top-level organization, and click OK. You can leave [Leaders or staff members who belong to this organization] as it is.

The Organization “10 Management Department” is set as the Operator of the Management Department Swimlane. Save this and close the modeler. In order to check the operation, you must release the App. Please click the Release developing Version 2 button in the App detail page.

Let’s run it once it has been released. You should operate the first Task by clicking [Workflow] on the upper left > [Start] in the left menu > [Start and Operate First Step] button .

After doing so, confirm the status by logging in as the two people belonging to the Organization “10 management department”, i.e. Sumatera and Canarias respectively.

You will see the Task is not in My Tasks but in the “Offered” list. In the other account this is also the case. In the Current Step section of the Task detail the Candidates are displayed. “Offered” means a state of waiting for one of the Candidates to accept the Task. If someone selects Accept or Accept and Operate, the Task moves to his/her My Tasks list and is removed from the Offered list of the other Candidates, so it means that Tasks are allocated on a first come, first served basis. Please operate the Task using either account and then check the Started Processes list of the account that started this Process.

Certainly, this Process has finished. Like this, you can set multiple Operators in one Swimlane.

Operator Settings of the Applicant Swimlane

Next, let’s check the modeler to confirm the Operator settings of the Applicant Swimlane. Open the detail page of the Travel Request App by going to App Settings and start the modeler using the Edit button. Then, you need to open the Applicant Swimlane’s settings window in the Workflow Diagram tab.

Currently, you are the only User set as the Operator in this version.

Actually, the meaning of the Operator is slightly different in the Swimlane with the Start Event than in the Swimlanes without it. In the Swimlane without the Start Event the Operator is the User who can deal with the Tasks that occur in that Swimlane. However, in the Swimlane with the Start Event it determines who can start the App’s Process.

In other words, in this state it is only you who can start the Process and make a business trip application. However, if you use an Organization in the Operator settings, as mentioned earlier, you can designate all employees as the Operator of the Applicant Swimlane. By doing so, all employees will be able to start the Process and they will be able to submit business trip applications.

Please click on Edit under Operator and select Organization “00 Whole Company” and “Leaders or staff members who belong to this”. With this setting it seems that anyone in the company can be the Operator of the Applicant Swimlane.

However, if you click Show Candidates, only your account will be displayed. The setting of “00 Whole Company” and “Leaders or staff members who belong to this” enumerates only employees who directly belong to the Organization “00 Whole Company”.

As you can see from the organization chart, you directly belong to the organization “00 Whole Company”. Other employees are supposed to belong to sub-organizations of “00 Whole Company”. In order for them to be Candidates too, please add the Organization “00 Whole Company” “Leaders or staff members who belong only sub-organizations of this” to the Operator. All employees can apply for business trips now.

If you use “Leaders or staff members who belong only sub-organizations of XX”, you can’t include employees who belong to XX. By combining these two elements, all employees will be included.

Once this has been set up let’s save the App and release it. Can you start the Process from any account? If you can, the setting is successful.

This concludes the contents of Chapter 2. You have created a simple App in which the management department confirms the application for a business trip that an employee requests. But for actual work use it is still not enough.

There is still room for making the App cater for various cases, such as;

・Is the Management department always responsible for the confirmation, regardless of who made the business trip request?

・There might be cases where you want to reject the request.

・Maybe you have to talk to the president depending on the case…

In Chapter 3, we deal with such somewhat advanced content. Both Workflow diagrams, Data Items, and Operators have setting methods that have not yet been introduced. Let’s learn while making an App that is better for practical use in the next step.

Next is “Chpt.3: Creating a Travel Request App”.

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