The [Time Start Event] is a Start Event that you can configure to automatically trigger a Process at a set time of your choice. This is useful for repetitive tasks that must be done at regular intervals, such as completing daily work reports.

Timer Start Event

Apart from the Step name and notes there are two configuration items in the properties screen; Start Date and Time, and Count of Starting Processes.

Start Date and Time

You can specify the date and time that Processes will be triggered. The frequency of repetition can be any of the following:

  • Daily: repeats every day at the time of your choice.
  • Weekly: repeats on the selected day(s) at the time of your choice, and multiple days can be selected. 
  • Monthly: repeats on the selected day of the month at the time of your choice. You can specify a day in the last week of the month, or any other date of your choice.
  • Yearly: repeats on the selected date at the time of your choice.

You can set up to 24 different timers on one event.

Count of Starting Processes

You can choose the number of Processes that will start at the time specified above by using either of the following options:

  • Fixed Number: starts a number of Processes matching the selected number (from 1 to 100). 
  • Count of Operators (Auto Allocate): starts a Process for each Operator in the Swimlane. E.g. The Operator is the Organization “Customer Services” and this Organization has five members, so five Processes will be started at the specified time (one for each Operator).

Note: when using the option “Count of Operators (Auto Allocate)”, Processes will be automatically assigned to each Operator, and Tasks will appear in the My Tasks list of their respective User provided that the Human Task is located in the Swimlane where they are specified as an Operator. For any Human Tasks located in other Swimlanes the normal rules of allocation will apply.

Now let’s create a simple App to demonstrate the [Timer Start Event].

In the above App we have set the [Timer Start Event] to trigger Processes at 3pm on the 6th of every month, as shown below.

Click the pencil symbol to edit the time and frequency of the timer.

The option “Count of Operators (Auto Allocate)” has been selected, so at the start time Processes will be started for each Operator specified in the Sales Team Swimlane. As shown below the Organization “Sales Department” has been selected and each member of this Organization will receive a Task in their respective My Tasks lists when the Process is triggered.

You should also configure the initial setting of the Title Data Item so that this will be populated automatically when a Process is started. For example, in this case you can input “Expenses claim” followed by the Process ID (represented by the reference “#{processInstanceId}”).

When using the Fixed Number option in the “Count of Starting Processes” setting, the specified number of Processes will be started and will all appear in the Offered list of the Operators. Because of this it is recommended that if you use Fixed Number it should be set to 1, other than a case where more than one volunteers work on one instance. In the event the Swimlane has only one Operator, the Tasks will all automatically appear in the My Tasks list of that User.

Related pages:
Limitation on the Number of Running Processes
M217: Setting a Time and Date to Auto-Start a Process

Questetra also has a similar event [Start: Google Calendar: Event Started] which will trigger a Process when an event on Google Calendar starts. These differ from [Timer Start Events] because they require a connection to an external calendar to trigger Processes, and will only start one Process for each calendar event that occurs.

The [Timer Start Event] does require configuration within the App Modeler to determine the time and date it will trigger, whereas [Google Calendar: Event Started] can be made to trigger at any time depending on when events in the linked calendar start, without further configuration in the modeler.

Related page:
Start Processes from Appointments in Google Calendar

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