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Setting up workflows
Workflows are integral to working with a PIM, where passing data between various users and other systems is at the heart of its operation. Workflows help regulate and control the transfer of data and ascertain the state of progress of enriching products with data.
It is now possible to define multiple workflows, each associated with a language previously selected under Settings -> Language Inheritance. Only one workflow per language is possible, however, a workflow can be assigned to many languages.
To create a workflow, navigate to the Workflows segment on the Side Menu, then click on the New Workflow button displayed on the top right corner of the new page. This will bring up a new window asking you to specify a system name for the new workflow (which must be unique) and to set a default status products created within this new workflow will assume after they are made. This can be chosen from all statuses currently present in the system.
Create workflow popup
When you set the new workflow’s system name and the default status for new products, you can either simply save the workflow and move on to another task or click Save & Edit to be moved to the edition view. This view will display a basic grid with statuses at the tops of the columns. In order to complete the new workflow, you will also need to define transitions between statuses. We will discuss creating and editing transitions and statuses in more detail further on in this text.
Newly created workflow
Overview of a workflow with statuses and transitions set up.
It is now possible to change the order in the statuses displayed on the above view by simply dragging them around and dropping them in the desired positions.
The first element required for a workflow are statuses delimiting steps along the path from a bare product to a finished product entry. Here is how to create and edit them: While on the workflow page, click the "New Status" button in the top right corner.
This will bring up a new popup window. From here you can define a system name (which must be unique), and the color for this status (which can be chosen from a palette displayed when this selector is clicked, and which must not already be in use by another status).
New status popup
You can then either click “Create” to save your entry, or “Create & Edit” to save the entry and move to the edition view for this new status.
Status edition page
Color palette available for statuses
Once you have statuses set up, you need to define their place in your workflow and the conditions needed to move from one status to the next. The way to go about that is to set up transitions.
To set up a new transition, hover over the column representing the status you wish to be the starting point for the transition, click on the green plus icon that will then be displayed and move the cursor to the desired endpoint status. Before you click to complete the transition, a dotted green line will be displayed if this transition is possible. Click to confirm the transition.
Before you click to confirm the transition endpoint, a green dotted line will be displayed indicating if this transition is possible. If a transition you are attempting to create already exists, the line will be there, but it will end with an arrow, not the green plus icon indicating a possible connection.
Once you have created a transition, you can edit it by hovering the cursor over the line denoting the transition. This will display two icons – a green pen icon, which, if clicked, will move you to the transition editing view, and a white “X” on a red background, which is used for deleting transitions.
Hovering over lines indicating transitions will display icons allowing for the edition and deletion of the transitions.
Transition editing view.
When you click on the transition edition button, you will be taken to a new view, which will show you where the transition starts and ends, as well as allow you to define which user roles will be notified when a product makes this transition.
There is also a tab that allows you to select conditions that need to be met before a product can make the transition. These conditions come from a predefined list.
If you add more than one condition, they will be connected with the AND logical operator, which means all conditions present must be met for a product to make the transition. No other operators are currently possible.
Once you have set up all the statuses and transitions between them to your needs and satisfaction, your workflow is complete, but before it becomes usable, it needs to be connected to a language. That can be done from System -> Settings -> Language.
With your workflow set up and connected to a language you now have more control over your data enrichment process and can be sure no errors creep into your published product cards.
A major new feature added with the most recent release of Ergonode, connected with workflows, is the Kanban View of the product catalog. We will discuss it in a separate chapter.