What are workflows?

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AODocs workflows provide a simple way to automate your business processes such as document reviews, invoice processing, document publication, etc. 
An AODocs workflow is defined by a series of “workflow states”, and by the possible transitions between these states. For example, if you have an AODocs library for managing contracts, you could define a workflow to track the review of the contracts and their signature, as illustrated in the diagram below.

Example of the lifecycle of contracts managed by AODocs with a workflow

In our example, the document can be in one of the following workflow states:

  • Draft: the document is still work in progress
  • To be approved: the document is ready and waiting for approval
  • To be signed: the document has been approved and is waiting for final signature
  • Signed: the document is signed and effective
  • Soon to be expired: the document is signed and effective, but less than X days from its expiration date
  • Archived: the document has expired

The transitions between workflow states can be of different types:

  • Manual transitions, where a user needs to perform a workflow action to move the document to a different state: in our example, when a document is in the “Draft” state, the document creator can use the action “send for approval” to move the document into the “To be approved” state.
  • Automatic transitions, where the AODocs workflow engine automatically moves the document into a different state when certain conditions are met. In our example, when a document is in the “Signed” state and has an expiration date, AODocs will automatically move the document into the “Soon to be expired” state when the expiration date is less than X days (X being defined by the administrator) in the future Workflow states can have multiple transitions: for example when a document is in the “To be approved” state, it can transition back into the “Draft” state if the approver rejects the document, or transition into the “To be signed” state if the approver approves it.
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