Step 3: Add workflow transitions

A workflow is a sequence of steps describing the life cycle of a document.

Workflows can automate your business processes such as reviewing documents, approving invoices and publishing company policies on an intranet.

In AODocs, each workflow step is called a workflow state.

Library administrators can configure workflow transitions, i.e. the set of rules that transition a document from one workflow state to another.

This article explains how to add workflow transitions:

Types and structure of workflow transitions
          Types of workflow transition
          Structure of workflow transitions
Configure manual transitions
          Define the workflow validators
          Configure user actions for your workflows
          Set up manual transitions in the library configuration
Configure automatic transitions
          Format of automatic transitions and examples

Type and structure of workflow transitions

Types of workflow transition

A workflow transition moves a document from a source workflow state to a target workflow state. Learn more: Types of workflow state.

The type of workflow transition depends on the type of source and target workflow states.

  • Basic transition: This transition moves a document from a standard state to another standard state or from a draft state to another draft state. No version control operation happens during this type of transition.
  • New versioning transition: This transition moves a document from a standard state to another standard state. During the transition, AODocs creates a new version of the document.
  • Check-out transition: This transition links a standard state to a draft state. During the transition, AODocs checks out the document. This means the document has two versions:
    • A draft version that is transitioned to the target draft state of the transition. The draft version can then transition to other draft states if you configure basic transitions.
    • A main version that stays in the source standard state until the draft version of the document goes through a check-in transition.

Learn more: What is check-out / check-in?

  • Check-in transition: This transition links a draft state to a standard state. During the transition, AODocs checks in the document.
    This means the draft version of the document initially in the source draft state becomes the current version and is transitioned to the target standard state. The main version of the document (in the standard state at the time of check-out) becomes a previous version.
  • Discard checkout: This transition discards the draft version of the document. The main version of the document becomes the current version.

Note: If you don’t need to implement version control in your workflow, use standard states and basic transitions.

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Structure of workflow transitions

Regardless of its type, a workflow transition is always composed of:

  • a target state — this is the new workflow state of the document if the transition occurs
  • a condition for the transition to occur — this can be a manual action or an automatic trigger, such as a time period or a specific document property value

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Tips: You can set automatic transitions:
– to trigger a reminder notification after a certain number of days
– to trigger a reminder notification before a Due Date (Date property)
– to tag a document as expired after the Expiration Date (Date property)
– to sort documents in different workflow states, according to the value of a property
– to send an error message when a property has no value defined
– to refine/adapt/activate a validation workflow subpath depending on a property (such as department or amount of money)


Configure manual transitions

Before setting up manual transitions in the library administration, you must define the workflow validators and configure user actions for your workflows.

Define the workflow validators

Workflow validators are users who have the right to perform workflow actions: they can transition a document from one workflow state to another one and leave a workflow transition comment.

Manual transitions require one or more workflow validators to transition the document by manually pressing a workflow button.

A workflow validator can be a:

Important recommendations:
– When configuring a workflow transition, you can define the validators individually in the workflow configuration section or with a pre-defined role. 
– We recommend using roles as validators of manual transitions. This is useful to set workflow validators, workflow notifications and workflow permissions.  
– Make sure you have created roles before configuring your workflow.

Configure user actions for your workflows

Before setting up manual workflow transitions in the library configuration, define the wording of the actions available to validators. The names of user actions are used on the workflow buttons that workflow validators see in their interface (AODocs or Google Drive).

Workflow validators can perform workflow actions via the workflow buttons in the AODocs user interface.

image03.png

They can also perform workflow actions from Google Drive in Team Folders and Secured Folders.

image04.png

1. Open the library administration interface and select Workflows.

2. Select the User actions tab.

Note: There are several default user actions available, such as Approve, Reject and Escalate.

image05.png

3. Press the Add button.

4. In the Add a user action pop-up:

  • enter the User action and the Completed user action
  • you can hide this action from the list of pending workflow tasks – you may want to hide actions such as Escalate which are seldom used, so users can focus instead on documents that require their attention
  • you can select the Mandatory comment checkbox to force validators to enter a comment when they perform a workflow action
  • you can enter help text for the workflow validator, which appears in the Leave a comment field in the Perform workflow action pop-up

5. Press Create.

image06.png

Notes:
User actions are available to workflow validators in the user interface.
Completed user actions are displayed in the comment section of the document page and in the workflow configuration. 

6. Select the Edit button to change a:

  • User action name
  • Completed user action name
  • Hide from workflow tasks checkbox
  • Mandatory comment checkbox
  • Comment text

Set up manual transitions in the library configuration

1. Under Workflows in the library administration interface, open the workflow you want to configure.

2. In the source workflow state, choose the type of transition you want to create:

  • + New transition
  • + New versioning transition
  • + New check-out
  • + New check-in
  • + New discard checkout

The type of transition depends on the type of source and target workflow states.

Note: You can add multiple transitions from and to a state. However, from a given state there can be only one transition with all members of selected.

3. Choose the target state from the Transition to drop-down list.

4. Fill in the condition for the transition to occur: for a manual action, the condition is composed of a user action and the validators of the workflow action.

5. When choosing the validator, select a role, a specific user or a Google Group. We recommend that you use roles because they're easier to manage.
Learn more: Create and configure custom roles

6. Define whether the document needs to be approved by:

  • Any single member of the validators — the validator who performs the workflow action will transition the document into the target state
  • All members of the validators — the document will transition only when all the validators have performed the workflow action. 
    Learn more: Perform workflow actions

7. To delete a transition, press Delete at the end of a transition line.

8. Press Save or Save and Close.

image07.png 


Configure automatic transitions

AODocs can automatically transition a document to a different state when certain conditions are met.

In the source workflow state, choose the type of transition you want to create:

  • + New transition
  • + New versioning transition
  • + New check-out
  • + New check-in
  • + New discard checkout

The type of transition depends on the type of source and target workflow states.

2. Choose the target state from the Transition to drop-down list.

3. Fill in the condition for the transition to occur.

For an automatic transition, you can choose a condition based on:

  • date, time, or duration:
    • from specified date/time
    • before/after a specific date (document property)
    • from a specific date (document property)
    • after a certain duration
  • the value of a document property

Note: You can choose the document properties from all the custom properties and some system properties, such as Creation date, Document Creator and Last Update.

4. Specify the condition rule depending on the condition chosen.
Learn more: Format of automatic transitions and examples

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5. Organize your transitions in the right order by drag-and-drop.
When entering a workflow state, AODocs checks each transition from top to bottom.The first transition that can be triggered is executed. If two transitions based on document’s properties are valid, the first one in the list of transitions is executed first.

Tip: If you're using automatic transitions based on a category property hierarchically organized with sublevels, organize the workflow transitions with the lowest sublevel values first. 

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6. If you need to delete a transition, press Delete at the end of the transition.

7. Press Save or Save and Close.


Format of automatic transitions and examples

Here are all the condition rules you can apply for a condition based on date, time and duration.

Format

Comment

Example

from specified date/time

MM/DD/YY  HH:mm

You can select the date from a calendar

At the end of the year, all active contracts are transferred into the Archived workflow state.

before/after a specific date (document property)

xxx minutes before/after date property
xxx hours before/after date property
xxx 
days before/after date property
xxx months before/after date property

 

Select the date property from a drop-down list containing all the date type system and custom properties.

NoteYou can’t set an automatic transition with a value of less than 5 minutes.

Contracts go to the "Soon to be expired" state 30 days before the "Expiration Date" to trigger a reminder notification.

from a specific date (document property)

Date property

Select the date property from a drop-down list containing all the date type system and custom properties.

Contracts automatically go to the "Archived" state when the "Expiration Date" is reached.

after a certain duration

xxx minutes
xxx hours
xxx days

xxx months

Note: You can’t set an automatic transition with a value of less than 5 minutes.

A reminder can be sent every week if the contract has not yet been approved.


Here are all the condition rules you can apply for a condition based on document properties:

Property type

Condition Choice Condition Value

Example

String

Empty
- If the property "Context" contains the word "important", the head of department has to sign the contract.
Not empty
-
Contains
Sub-string
Equal to
String
Not equal to String

Text

Empty

-  

Not empty

-

Contains

Sub-string
Equal to
String
Not equal to String

Integer

Greater than or equal to

Integer

If the "Amount" of the contract is more than 2000$, the contract has to be approved by the Financial department.

Less than or equal to

Integer

Strictly greater than
Integer
Strictly less than
Integer
Empty
-
Not empty
-
Equal to
Integer
Not equal to Integer
Decimal

Greater than or equal to

Decimal         

Less than or equal to

Decimal
Strictly greater than
Decimal
Strictly less than
Decimal
Empty
-
Not empty
-
Equal to Decimal
Not equal to Decimal
URL

Empty

- If the "Website of the customer" is empty, the contract goes back to the "Draft" state.
Not empty
-
Equal to
URL
Not equal to URL
Boolean

true

  If a revision of the contract is needed, the contract goes back to the "Draft" state to be revised.

false

 
Person

Empty

- If the "Approvers" property is empty, the contract is signed directly by the Head of the Department.
Not empty -
Equal to email address
Not equal to
email address
Is included in group or role
Category

Empty

- If the "Type of contract" is a "Time & Material", the contract has to be approved by a specialist.
Not empty -
Equal to Value of category
Not equal to Value of category
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