Workflow Stages Part 1 of 5

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    ehuezo
    Keymaster

    Hello PerfectForms Users,
    Over the next few weeks we will be discussing workflow stages. The topics covered will start at an entry level and progress to more advanced configurations. I can promise there will be something for all users.

    Workflow stages will save you time and frustration. All the following become much easier while leveraging this utility:

    – Notifications
    – Showing and hiding objects
    – Allowing or disallowing objects to be used
    – Requiring different fields to be filled out

    If you decide to buckle in for the ride I will not only give you information on how to use them, I will provide the when, where, and why.

    To kick things off we are going to start with a quick definition; “What the heck are workflow stages?”
    Workflow Stages are points in your business process where portions of work are completed by different individuals or where requirements change.

    For example:
    If Bob submits his W4 to Karen, in PerfectForms this would create 2 workflow stages.
    STAGE 1: Somebody fills out a W4 – “Bob”
    STAGE 2: HR receives a W4 for filing – “Karen”

    Stages should be utilized if any of the following occur:
    -When an entire process cannot be completed by one individual
    -A person needs to be notified
    -Approval is needed
    -There is a need to restrict what can be seen, edited or opened by a user
    -Acknowledgement that something has been seen or completed is needed
    -A reminder should be set after a period of time
    -You would like to save your work for later

    You can use stages by clicking the W in the upper left hand corner of the form designer, once you have clicked the W you will notice a whole new canvas. Don’t worry that you cannot see your form at the moment, you can return to your form at any time by clicking the L next to the W. On your new blank canvas you can drag Stages located in the left pane onto the canvas for each point in your process. Each of these stages will highlight around the edges when hovered over with the mouse. If you click a yellow circle that appears when the stage is hovered over, hold, and drag your mouse an arrow will appear. Use this arrow to direct your initial stage to the next stage, the direction the arrow flows is the direction your process flows.

    *TIP
    Up, down, right, left doesn’t matter, what does matter is that there is a start and a finish preceding, and following the arrows.

    This arrow is called a Join Path and will be discussed further in following posts. You will notice there will be 3 types of stages once you start linking them with your join paths. The types are default, active, and closed. You can only have 1 default stage as this is where the form will start; however you will be able to create as many active and closed stages as needed for your process. A closed stage is a stage in which your process ends, such as something as approved, something was denied, a request has been fully processed.

    This is a very high level overview of our Workflow engine that will allow us to have a foundation to build our future knowledge on.

    Thank you for your time today, if you have any further questions please feel free to post below.
    Happy Form Building!
    -Eric

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