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Nintex Product Blog

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Based on community feedback, we have added three new features in Nintex Hawkeye to improve your experience and make it easier to gain insights into your Nintex Workflows.

 

The first thing you will notice is the exciting new design of your Nintex Hawkeye portal, specifically the Featured Lens tiles that include the ability to apply different images, making it easier to distinguish among lenses. For example, you can apply the Calculator image to an Expense Claim process lens.

 

Second, we’ve substantially improved an administrator’s ability to manage their Nintex Hawkeye data sources. The new Data Source Card design now shows status and quality information regarding the data source, including:

  • When data was last received
  • How much data has been ingested
  • Which lenses are using this data source
  • The status of the connection to the data source.

In addition, you can now set a unique title and location for each data source to make it simpler to identify data sources. This information will ensure you always have confidence in the current status of data within Hawkeye and can quickly troubleshoot any issues as they arise.

 

Lastly, we've added a much-requested feature: the ability to Expand Dashboards so that they use all available browser views. Combining this with using your browser in full-screen mode, it’s now much easier to examine and drill into the details of data visualizations.

 

 

We’re always keen to hear your feedback and welcome your thoughts on Nintex Hawkeye!

By Sam Sysum, Nintex Drawloop Product Manager

 

At Nintex, we strive to continuously make our products easier and more valuable to use. Our Summer '17 release of Nintex Drawloop on the Salesforce AppExchange delivers a powerful suite of new enterprise features that enable your marketing, sales, legal, finance and service teams to drive document-based processes forward.

 

New Delivery Option: Send to Nintex Workflow Cloud    

Businesses are looking to digital process automation to increase efficiency, innovation, and competitiveness. A key requirement is to connect processes that span multiple platforms, both internal and external.

 

Take the “quote-to-cash” process. Many enterprise customers find solutions on the AppExchange to fill gaps between applications, but they still struggle to connect with external platforms and/or outside parties. They face challenges with things like managing escalations and approvals on pricing; automating the steps before and after a contract is executed; and ensuring that processes work seamlessly across multiple applications, platforms, and cloud services.

 

Nintex Drawloop automates many of these steps with powerful document-generation capabilities. Meanwhile, Nintex Workflow Cloud lets users create cross-platform and cross-platform workflows using just clicks, not code. Now, in our Summer '17 Drawloop release, we provide a powerful new delivery option -- “Send to Nintex Workflow Cloud” -- that lets users take advantage of both solutions, quickly and easily. Please refer to this Nintex Help article to learn how to use this new capability.

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Document Package Management in Lightning        

Many Salesforce customers are starting to migrate their users from Classic to Lightning, and new customers are getting Salesforce with Lightning enabled by default. Given these trends, we are excited to announce that the document package management pages in Salesforce Classic will now be available in Lightning. This will enable Salesforce administrators to manage all their document packages within the Lightning experience without having to switch back and forth between Classic and Lightning.

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Lightning Component support for Community Builder    

More and more Salesforce customers are utilizing Salesforce Communities for internal, customer-, or partner-facing portals. Until now, deploying Nintex Drawloop within these portals has required custom code. No more! With this latest release, the Nintex Drawloop Lightning Component now works in Community Builder, enabling all users in your various communities to easily get the document generation tools they need.

 

In addition, the latest release also includes:

  • Enhancements to the Component Library: removal of Word elements and the ability to search for components; for details, see this blog post.
  • Updated integration with eSignLive to handle eSignLive accounts with large numbers of Sender accounts and non-active Sender accounts.
  • Ability to download the latest version of Chatter feed files, instead of a specific version.

 

So what are you waiting for? Get the latest release of Nintex Drawloop today from the Salesforce AppExchange!

by Nintex Sr. Product Manager Dan Barker

 

It's impossible to separate process and data. Most processes are actually micro process that make up much larger overarching process streams.  That's a result of different group’s different teams and different people that are typically required to support the core functions of the business. This is why silos exist and it can be difficult to manage business wide process collectively. The silos create gaps that are typically bridged by a ton of manual effort involving, email, RFP’s, RFQ’s, spreadsheets, contracts, and forms across different systems.  It’s nothing short of exhausting for both people in the field and managers overseeing the various processes.

 

In an effort to improve efficiently the interaction between these different groups is constantly being tweaked and evaluated but rarely is that exercise done holistically. It’s typically too difficult and for most managers it’s “Not their responsibility” to fix other team’s process problems even though they often effect upstream and downstream stakeholders.  Using sales and marketing as an example, the CRM being used acts as a focal point too many front office processes.  CRM is a major component of many organizations and is responsible for managing a company’s relationships and interactions with current and potential customers.  As a result there is a myriad of business processes that move in and out of a CRM system. Most companies do their best to orchestrate the different groups and processes that make up and support the sales and marketing functions within an organization.  One of those processes is contract lifecycle management.  All businesses have to deal with contracts and as a result is often referred to as the language of business.  Unfortunately managing contracts and all of the auxiliary documents needed to support them between all the stakeholders is highly difficult to do. 

 

Throughout the process files are constantly being sent around via email and eventually moved in and out of a CRM.  If you're going to automate this type of process (or any other like it) you need a mechanism to effectively and easily move files in and out of the CRM system. It's not just about contracts either there are many ancillary documents that are used to support the contract management process. Many of these documents need to be kept in a source of record. In many cases the CRM is the source of record and houses all the relevant customer account and contract related information which includes these documents. Nintex Workflow Cloud makes automating many of these processes at the micro and macro level possible.  Not only can you automate a process that moves between groups but you can also move files that are needed to support that process.  Having the ability to automate the movement of files in and out of Salesforce for example provides enormous value and helps standardize a normally volatile and inconsistent process.  Not only is it possible it’s incredibly easy as well.  Let’s take a quick look at how it works.

 

Nintex Workflow Cloud provides a number of actions that can be performed in Salesforce.

 

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For this example we will focus on the “Get file from a record” and “Attach file to a record” actions specifically.

 

Get file from a record

Let’s start with the “Get file from a record” action.  This action is split up into two sections.  One for the source and the other for output.  The number of fields to be configured depends on the number of files you need to get.  Here are the basic configuration needs for this action.    

 

  1. A SFDC connection
  2. The Number of files to get
  3. A output variable to store the file or collection

 

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The connection is simply a connection to a SFDC Org.  The number of files can either be a single file or a collection of files.  If you want to grab a single file all you need to do is provide a File ID.  If you want to grab more than one file, you need to supply the object name and the record ID you want to pull the records from.  As an example the object could be “Opportunity” and the record ID might be “00641000006xlgx”.  The files essentially become variables that can then be used in other workflow actions.  For example you may want to simply email a file to someone or send a file out for approval.  There are many potential use cases here.

Get a single file configurationGet more than one file configuration
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Attach file to a record

This action is split up into two sections.  One for the source of the file and the other for the destination inside Salesforce.  Here are the basic configuration needs for this action.   

 

  1. A path to a file within Box, Dropbox, OneDrive, or Google Drive
  2. A file variable that already has a reference to a file

 

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The number of fields to be configured depends on which source you select.  If the source is coming from an EFSS path all you need to do is select an EFSS provider (Box, Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive), a connection, and a path to the file.  If the source is a file variable all you need to do is pick which file variable you want to use.  Easy!  You can see the different configurations below.

 

Path SourceFile Variable Source
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The results in the ability to easily pull or store a file inside of Salesforce as a part of a workflow.  That means we can utilize the file in various ways and do powerful things utilizing the Nintex Platform like redlining, getting approvals, getting an e-signature, and then push all process specific files back into any Salesforce object that supports attachments.  After files have been added to Salesforce they can be easily pulled within other workflows that need to reference or even augment/change those documents creating more consistency in both the process and the source of record.

 

Find out how Nintex Workflow Cloud can work for you. Get a trial!

Certain processes often form the backbone of any business, they are critical to success, and when something doesn’t work, everything falls over. This is particularly the case for processes that engage customers directly e.g. customer incident/support case management.

Let’s look at how Nintex Hawkeye can help track the health of your customers and keep you proactive in responding to their needs.

Here is a Customer Support workflow. In this case, the company sells fleets of agricultural machinery (tractors, etc…). Once the process is automated with Nintex Workflow, we can collect data using Nintex Hawkeye from different parts of the workflow that will answer the questions we want to know like:

-    What are the customer incident response times, and how many infringe SLAs?

-    How many incidents get escalated from low to med/high, per customer?

-    What is the overall health and engagement like for each customer?

workflow

 

 

Essentially, we are creating a dashboard that can be regularly used by support team managers and sales teams to monitor customer satisfaction levels and understand opportunities for improvement. The tale of losing a customer because you did too little too late, is probably all too familiar.

Obviously, there is some upfront effort that goes into defining the specific questions your business wants to answer, and identify the data you need to do that. However, once you are there, the visualization piece is quite straightforward.

 

Now armed with the dashboard, let’s look at how to we can use it. Assume I’m the VP of Support and I use this dashboard weekly to share valuable information with Execs, Sales, and Support. The first thing I do is click through the customer accounts and identify any irregularities – here I see Express Logistics have an unusually high number of High escalations.

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To confirm that I dive a bit deeper in the “Escalations" tab, and I see that indeed Express Logistics has the largest number of escalations by account. I also see that this is reducing month on month, but as VP of support, I need to make sure that trend continues.

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I use the next tab to evaluate on going sentiment for each account and include this in a report for sales and execs (sentiment score is recorded when the incident is raised). For my sales teams, they look to me to provide this weekly as they plan customer meetings. As you can imagine, the last thing they want to do is walk into an unhappy customer unprepared.

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Finally, it’s vital for my role to check the Performance tab daily and know when we could be on the hook for an SLA infringement. Infringements can sometimes incur fiscal penalties, and my exec team holds me accountable to this impact on the business. You see below; we have set an expectation with customers that High priorities are handled within in 1 hour of the incident, and we need to live up to that.

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This is obviously just one example of the Process Intelligence Lens in action. Comment below with your most critical business process that you have automated. Does the business have questions you wish you had the insight to answer? What are they?

For the August release the Nintex Workflow Cloud team is super excited to be announcing our initial set of actions for providing integration with Azure Active Directory, not only that but we’ve also developed it using the Microsoft Graph! And if that’s not exciting enough for you then this surely will, all the actions have been built on top of the recently released Xtensions framework which should give you an idea of the power of Xtensions on how it can be leveraged to develop your own custom actions in Workflow Cloud.

 

What is the Microsoft Graph?

 

As mentioned, we developed the Azure AD actions using the Microsoft Graph which for all the non-techies out there (and maybe some techies) is Microsoft’s single endpoint (API) that provide access to a range of Microsoft Cloud services including Azure AD, Office 365, Planner, SharePoint, OneDrive to name just a few. One of its purposes is to simplify access to all of these cloud services.

 

How can I use the Graph in Workflow Cloud?

 

For anyone who wants to build custom actions that integrate with the Graph the good news is that the Xtension framework now supports a new security option for ‘Microsoft Graph’. Under the covers this is exactly how we developed the AD actions so if you’re feeling adventurous to start building your own actions the building blocks are in place, we’d love to see what you come up with (see Xtensions SDK for more information).

 

 

Admin Consent

One of the important things to understand when you start working with the Microsoft Graph is that many of the operations require what’s called ‘Admin Consent’. It simply means that before a Connection can be created in Workflow Cloud to an Azure AD instance an AD admin needs to provide consent for the Workflow Cloud to access the AD instance (we only require read permissions), this is just part of the normal Microsoft auth flow dialog. However if a non-admin account is used to create a connection they will see the consent dialog below.

 

 

Important to note that Admin Consent is a once-off process and only required by someone who is not an AD admin.

 

Enough about that, let’s have a look at the actions in detail.

 

Our first release of Azure AD integration is primarily focused on retrieving and querying user based information, we understand you need more than that which is why Create/Update//Disable user will be coming in the not to distance future..

 

As you begin to look at the actions you will notice the primary key to identify a user is an email address which in AD language maps the User Principal Name (UPN), this key can obviously come from anywhere as long as it maps to the UPN in Azure AD.

 

Get user details action

 

This action allows you to retrieve profile information of an individual user including properties such as First name, Last name, Department, Job title to name a few. Here's a configuration with four properties added plus showing how you would add additional AD properties using the 'Add fields' multi field selector.

 

 

 

Get manager details action

 

This action allows you to retrieve the same fields as Get user details however this time it’s for retrieving details about someone’s manager, all you need to supply is the email address on an employee (person's who's manager you want to get) and it will return all their manager details.

 

The Get manager action becomes extremely powerful when building workflows that involve some kind of task approval. Many of the workflows we build today usually involve some kind of manager approval however in Workflow Cloud (unlike SharePoint) we don’t really have an easy way of finding out who this is, now it’s as simple as using this action and supplying the users email address.

 

Another way Get manager can enhance the power of your workflow is by using it in conjunction with the recently released Task escalation feature. The Express approval action just got a major enhancement to include the ability to escalate a task based on a specified time frame.

 

For example, let’s say you have an Express Approval task assigned to your manager (using Get Manager of course) and s/he doesn’t action the task for say 1 week, you can configure the task to be escalated to your manager’s manager by using the Get Manager action and passing in the manager's name.  So simple but extremely powerful, really helps to ensure your workflows continue their flow and don’t get bogged down due to inactivity of participants.

 

Below shows the updated Express Approval action with escalation configured to the manager of the task assignee.

 

 

Query user action

 

Just like the SharePoint ‘Query a list’ action the Query user action can be used in a similar vein where it allows you to return a list of unique email addresses based on a set of conditions.

 

The example below demonstrates how you could configure the action to return all users who belong to the 'Product Management' Department using a condition, to make it as simple as possible we also provide full introspection for the ‘When’ clause in the condition so it loads all the fields directly from Azure AD.

 

 

Something to note however when using the query action, the output is a Collection of unique email addresses so in order to get the details of each person simply use the ‘Loop for each’ action in combination with the ‘Get user details’ action to cycle through each email is the Collection.

 

  

So that covers the first round of Azure actions but don’t worry as the next set is not too far away!

 

I’d love to hear any feedback on both these actions or any specific scenarios that you are looking to implement against Azure AD, comment below or feel free to email me directly @ rick.demarco@nintex.com

 

Enjoy...

We are super excited to announce generally availability of the new forms designer experience for Nintex Forms for Office 365. As shared when initially announced and demonstrated at Nintex InspireX in February 2017 (please see blog post), the new Responsive Forms Designer expands on existing forms capabilities by providing some key enhancements alongside the Classic Forms experience you already know and love. .

As a result, with the new Responsive Forms Designer, you now have more choices.

And who doesn’t want that?

 

The new Responsive Forms Designer works alongside the existing Classic Forms Designer. When a new form is created, the user will be presented with an option to choose the type of form they wish to create to best suit their needs.

 

matt designer

 

The new Responsive Forms Designer provides a modern look and feel and simplified drag and drop functionality - once you drag your first control to the forms designer canvas, you will see that controls dynamically resize, reshape, and no longer overlap (they will occupy their own space). This will significantly reduce the amount of time required to design, test, and update a form.

 

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The Responsive Forms Designer also reduces design time since you now only need to design your form once and it will optimize for any device form factor and screen size without the need for leveraging device layouts.

 

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(Desktop)

 

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(Tablet)

 

phone view

(Phone)

 

In addition to this powerful new designer, we’ve also introduced a number of new capabilities to improve the design experience for forms designers. We’ve updated the rules engine in both the Classic and Responsive Forms Designers to make working with multiple rules simpler and easier.

 

For responsive forms, we’re introducing a new Set Field Value function. This removes the friction of having to support this commonly used feature with custom JavaScript – making it easier to implement, and more importantly, support in production.


Set Field Value assigns a value based to a field on the value of the reference string (so, if choice selected equals ‘X’, the value set in a single text line text box will be ‘Y’). So, if a user selects ‘Seattle’ from a list of choices, the form will automatically return the ‘State’ as ‘WA’. This allows the designer to simplify the required fields of data increasing the accuracy of the entries and reducing the entry time. This can also be combined with a ‘read only’ rule that will ensure a control will have a set value.

 

matt sfv

 

If you require fixed-width forms with advanced customization such as precise placement of controls or advanced customizations using JavaScript & CSS, the Classic Designer Experience can help meet your design requirements.

 

We encourage you to experience these significant enhancements for yourself.

 

For existing Nintex for Office 365 customers, this new experience is progressively rolling out now.

 

For existing SharePoint 2013 and 2016 customers, your upgrade will be generally available in the upcoming weeks. However, to experience these new design features you will require you to update your environments.

 

As always, please don’t hesitate to ask your Nintex Partner or Account Manager any questions. We are happy to provide additional information including providing a demo of these exciting new features. We look forward to hearing your feedback and sharing in our excitement.

By Nintex Technical Evangelist Terry Simpson

 

 

A recent update to Nintex App Studio expands the app from surfacing forms and opens up an entire new world of CONTENT.  App owners can now add all kinds of content inside the app very quickly.  As a former partner, I can see an unlimited number of applications inside all kinds of organizations.  This is one feature I could have used in my toolkit.

 

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Imagine you lead a sales organization and you have several forms that the sales folks in the field use on the app today via a phone or tablet.  You can now give them PowerPoint presentations with sales updates, pricing, templates or even play some motivational music by Calloway (I Wanna Be Rich). 

 

Here is how you do it:

 

 

First just log into app studio and build an app.  In this screen shot I have already configured my app.  (doesn’t take long at all)

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First, open the interface that will allow you to change most of the configurations in your app.

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Click on the “Content” section to see all of the menu items inside your app.  Note that all of the menu items can be accessed offline.

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Click on the plus sign to add a new menu item.  Take note that you can pick your own icon, name and type of content.  In this post we are just adding content, but you can also add the ability to include a QR code reader inside the app.

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Now that you have uploaded your new content you can also reorder the menu items to fit your preference.  Also take note of the preview on the right hand side of the page.  You can see a preview of how your menu will look on a phone.

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All you have to do now is hit the “Save & Deploy” button and App Studio will build your app.  Depending on your preferred method of deployment it will be available to install on your device.

 

Want to try this yourself.  Yes you can………try the trial for FREE!!  Get a trial license of app studio and build your own app.  Deploy it to your device and give it a try.

By Nintex Manager, Technical Evangelism, Vadim Tabakman

 

It’s a new dawn… it’s a new day… it’s a new feature in Nintex App Studio.

 

App Studio allows you to fill in a form, wait a few minutes, and voila, you have custom branded form apps for your business. You can then deploy it to your users’ mobile devices and make them even more productive than they already are. Not too shabby ha?

 

Now consider this. You don’t just get the ability to build one app.  You can build multiple.  Why…you ask?  Well as your user build more and more forms, the one app can get quite busy.  So you start to think… what can I do to make this easier for my users?  I don’t want them to look at the app, go hunting for a specific form and lose interest because it’s just too overwhelming.  So you start to break it up and build departmental form apps.  Maybe one for HR and one for Finance.  That will make it easier right?

 

What if Joe Smith, the guy who has been building out these apps is out on leave?  You need to give someone else the power.  No, not He-Man.  Although, he did keep telling us that “I Have The Power!!!”.  With the latest update to App Studio, you can give other users the rights to build apps.

 

When you log into App Studio, on the top right, click on Settings:

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This is a new look and feel to the settings part of App Studio. You’ll be presented with this new view where you’ll find a “User management” option on the left. 

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When you do that, you’ll get a list of current users who have the right to build apps in App Studio. There will also be an Add New button on the right.

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That lets you add new users.  You’ll also notice the little trash can on the right of Terry’s name.  That lets you delete that user.  Notice that I can’t delete myself.  That’s a good thing, because you don’t want rip holes in the space-time continuum.

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Fill in the form and click Add.  The user will then get an email, inviting them to join App Studio and set their password.  The email should look something like this:

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There’s a little bit of fine print there under the “Set Your Password” button.  Take notice, because if you don’t click on that link to set your password, it will no longer work after 30 days.  That’s fine for me, because I usually make a habit of only responding to emails when they hit 29 days.

 

On a final note.  This functionality not only gives multiple people access to App Studio to build apps for themselves.  This also gives them access to your company's App Studio environment which will enable collaboration between users. For example, if Joe Smith goes on leave in the middle of building an app, Mary Jones can login and take over and continue the work.

 

Alrighty.  Go forth and start empowering your users to build apps so that your work force can be productive, everywhere and all the time (even if they are offline!!!!).

by Nintex Drawloop Product Manager Sam Sysum

 

(If you are not familiar with the Component Library, we highly recommend this related blog post.) 

Benefits

Since we released the Component Library, we have made quite a few improvements to it to make your life easier. Today you will learn about:

  • Searching for components
  • Additional options for your filters
  • Deleting empty paragraphs or list items

Use Case

Crestan Global has been enjoying great success with their document packages using the Component Library. Crestan Global has created over 200 components to be used in various Component Groups. Now their needs have changed and would like to make a few adjustments. Let’s review their requirements below:

  • When creating new Component Groups, Crestan needs a faster way to find select components out of over 225 components.
  • The document needs to contain the correct Field Tags when the documents are to be sent to an eSignature delivery option.
  • If a document is to be downloaded, instead of an eSignature Field Tag, it needs a space for recipients to sign.
  • Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) should only be sent when an opportunity is in the “Proposal/Price Quote” stage. NDAs have been incorporated into other templates, so if the opportunity stage is not “Proposal/Price Quote” there should not be any remaining empty paragraphs where the NDA would have been inserted.

Configuration

Search for Component

When creating a new component group, the components listed in the left viewer are sorted numerically 0 > 9, then alphabetically A > Z . Crestan Global has technical specs for their X204A, X255A, and X425C models that do not appear in the first view as there can only be 200 components loaded at a time.

 

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Crestan Global’s Salesforce admin can now enter a query to search through all components that begin with that term to find the component she needs. For instance, if she searches for “X,” she can view the components for the desired models that she wants to add to the component group.

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Additional options for your filters

Crestan Global’s Salesforce admin can now utilize the following options in their component or component group filters:

  • Attachment IDs or Names
  • Delivery Option IDs, Names, or Type
  • Optional Documents included or excluded

Crestan Global wants to include two components with signer fields when sending a document to their eSignature provider, and a different set of components when the document will be downloaded.

Crestan Global’s admin can create a new component group with her desired signature components.

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Then she can edit the components with a filter that matches the name of the delivery option, such as “eSignature” when the document is sent to the provider.

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She then just needs to create filters for her download components that will match the “Download” delivery option to include those components instead.

Deleting empty paragraphs or list items

Crestan Global’s admin found that when she added the component group field tags to her document templates, and the component was not being added into the final documents, empty lines/paragraphs were left in the document.

Here is an example of Crestan Global’s template:

 

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Here is an example of final document without the component group:

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Crestan Global’s admin can update the filters for her component groups to select the “Delete Container if empty” option. “Container” is just a fancy name for Word elements where the component group tag might be found, such as in a paragraph, or a list item in a Bulleted or Numbered list.

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With this option selected, if the component group is not to be added into the final document, we will delete the paragraph or list item from the document. Now Crestan Global’s document will contain the following:

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Outcome

With the updated options for searching, deleting empty Word elements, and additional filter options, Crestan Global (and YOU!) can further leverage the Component Library. These updates are aimed at removing the extra work that can come when trying to use multiple documents, document packages, or delivery options.

By Nintex Senior Product Manager Dan Barker

 

One of the core building blocks of workflow solutions is the task. When we look to automate a process, some of the steps (or tasks) in that process can be completely automated, eliminating the need for a manual touch point. In some cases, however, the solution is simply orchestrating various tasks among the people that make up a process. This is why tasks play such a vital role within workflow solutions. In Nintex Workflow Cloud we have a powerful mechanism for creating tasks called Express Approval.

 

Express Approval gives the workflow designer a way to assign a task to a user via email. The email can go to anyone inside or outside the organization, so people can participate in an automated solution using email. This is a simple yet powerful feature because it allows the participant to work inside email and eliminates the need for another system or interface to use.  

 

It can also be configured to capture one or many outcomes as a result of the task. By default we supply both “Approve” and “Reject” as outcomes, but a designer can supply other types as well, as many as are needed.  One example could be to solicit a review of a document or contract from a legal resource or team.

 

The Nintex Workflow Cloud platform is smart enough to capture the response to this email along with any associated files, and execute subsequent logic based on the reply. It’s incredibly powerful, especially when used within the context of other Nintex features like a state machine or parallel branching logic.

 

When configuring the task expiration section of the Express Approval, the designer can designate how long to wait until the task expires. Afterward, the designer can choose between two options for what to do at expiry.

 

One of the improvements we’ve made to the Express Approval is the ability to configure a task expiry timeframe. This allows the designer to do two things: escalate or auto-complete.

 

1. Escalate the task

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2. Auto-complete the task with a default outcome

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Let’s look at these options a bit more closely. When escalating a task, the original assignee and the escalated assignee are copied on the task email. This is also indicated within the task dashboard status column as “Active-Escalated.”  

 

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Here is an example of the email generated by Nintex Workflow Cloud when a task is escalated.

 

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When auto-completing a task, the workflow engine will automatically set the task to complete and assign the default outcome. The designer must assign at least one default outcome. An administrator can see all tasks in the tasks dashboard. When a task has been auto-completed, the task record status will be set to “Expired” pre the screenshot below. You will notice the reject outcome has been applied and we indicate that this is the default outcome.

 

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This all adds up to a powerful way to both assign tasks and escalate tasks across an organization. One of the greatest values of the Nintex Workflow Cloud platform is that it’s agnostic. This means you can incorporate participants within a workflow regardless of the platform or SaaS.

 

A key goal of the Express Approval is to insure that tasks are automated, organized, and ultimately completed. Utilizing the recently released task expiry and escalation features are another step Nintex is taking to make sure those goals are met.

By Nintex Product Marketing Manager Lachlan Ainley

 

Last week we looked at how to create a basic Process Intelligence Lens with Nintex Hawkeye. If you missed it, check it out here. Let’s take it to the next level, and the best thing is anyone can do it.

 

What we are going to show is how to get the data you need and feed it into a place where you can do something with it. And we will do it so the data is always current with the click of a button.

 

We know there are three options when you create a new Lens - one of which is creating an “OData Connection”. In fact, you can return to any Lens you have previously created and select this option (available below the dashboard).

 

When you click the “OData Connection” option, the screen below will appear with a list of OData links. This list provides different data sets related to the Lens as per the OData type label.

 

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Take the top link “Domain details” as a catch all for the data sets (i.e. all of those data sets listed, together). Hit “copy URL to clipboard” and you’re ready to unleash!

 

This OData URL is your key to plugging the data surfaced in Hawkeye into any analytics tool you use… it could be Excel, it could be Power BI… it doesn’t matter – what does matter is how easy it is - no queries, no cubes, no manual extraction.

 

Note Nintex Hawkeye uses the latest OData connection (V4), so the analytics tool you want, needs to accept this version.

 

OData link into Excel

 

Open Excel, and in the top menu ribbon select “Data”, then go to “New Query” and you will see from the drop down “From Odata Feed,” hit this one.

 

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A box will appear like the one below. Paste the Odata URL link. There is a catch, you will need to remove the “/$metadata” at the end of the link for it to work. Once you remove it, hit “OK.”

 

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Next, enter your Nintex Hawkeye credentials, to verify use of this data. Click on “Basic” and use your Nintex Hawkeye User Name and Password. Be sure to use the drop down menu in the last field and match the OData URL exactly to the link copied from Nintex Hawkeye.

 

 image4

 

All of those data sets from the Nintex Hawkeye now pop up. Select the data sets you want and hit “Load.” Note the more data sets you select, the longer time it will take to load.

 

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Voilà - Your Nintex data is now feeding into the spreadsheet and you can really put your excel skills to use. What’s even better - the OData feed can be refreshed in Excel whenever you need to.

 

OData Link into Power BI Desktop

 

Open, Power BI desktop, if you don’t have it, you can download it here for free. When you get to the initial welcome screen (below) – select “Get Data”.

 

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Then select where you want to get the data from. Scroll the list of options and hit “OData Feed.”

 

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Again, paste the OData URL in the box that appears and select “Basic” to enter your credentials (be sure to remove “/$metada” from the link) and hit “OK”.

 

 image9

 

Choose the data sets you want to use in Power BI and “Load” it up.

 

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Once the data is loaded it is live, and you will see the data sets to the right side of the screen (below). Now simply use Power BI’s easy drag and drop functionality to create powerful visualizations that are sure to impress your boss!

 

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To learn more around the basics of Power BI check out these “Getting Started” resources from Microsoft.

If you haven't yet, try it for yourself now.

Are you new to Nintex Hawkeye and looking for quick insight out of the box? Created your first Usage Lens dashboard and now want to do more? Well, you’re in luck!

 

In this post, I’ll cover how you can take the next step and spin up a basic Process Intelligence Lens (dashboard) quickly to get foundational runtime insight for a particular process: how many times it has run, did it complete or was there a fault, how long does it take on average, who is involved, and more. You get all of this from a pre-built dashboard embedded in Nintex Hawkeye.

 

*Note: If you haven’t already, activate Nintex Hawkeye (or sign up for a trial at hawkeyecloud.com) and connect your Nintex data sources. If you need help with initial setup, check out this blog.

 

Here are the steps:

First, in your Nintex Hawkeye Tenant, select “Lenses” in the top menu and then “Create Lens.” When the icons below pop up, click on “Process Intelligence”:

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Secondly, search for the workflows you want to add to this Lens. For this example, we’ll gather insight on “Leave Approval by Manager” across our SharePoint 2013 and 2016 environments, so simply use the keyword “leave” to search for the relevant processes. You’ll see two instances of “Leave Approval by Manager”; click the “Add” icon next to the workflow, then click “Done.”

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Finally, you’ll need to choose how you want to visualize or consume the data of this workflow (numbered in the screenshot below). You have three main options:

  1. Create a standard Process Intelligence Lens with the pre-built dashboard in Nintex Hawkeye
  2. Use a Power BI Online connection to push the Nintex data to Power BI.
  3. Use the OData connection to surface the data in another analytic tool (such as Microsoft Excel)

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For this example we want the first option (utilizing the pre built dashboard); when we click that, Hawkeye automatically creates the process intelligence dashboard for Leave Approval by Manager

 

 

Now let’s look at the insight we gain from the out-of-the-box dashboard:

The first tab provides an overview of runtime Process Metrics: 

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  • The leave approval process has run 415 times, resulted in 396 tasks, and has faulted 15 times (hover mouse over bar graph)
  • 66 leave approvals currently running, handy if there is system maintenance, so workflows are not interrupted or lost.
  • Peak times when leave approvals are requested throughout the year (helps with staff planning and scheduling)
  • Who made the most requests (helps with planning)
  • How long it took. See how it took 2 days this year vs almost 5 last year? That insight helps monitor process productivity, making sure the number of days doesn’t creep up again.

 

 

 

The second dashboard tab is Process Participation, which focuses on employee engagement. A couple of things stand out.

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The workflow has only been published twice since 2014 – a sign that it may be due for improvement.

  • The process has 14 participants, but there are 20 people in the team. This may signal that six of my staff are disengaged from the process, or have not submitted a leave request for the past few years.
  • Outcomes of the leave requests, as well as employee engagement with the process over time, can also be tracked.

 

 

 

The final tab looks at the process’s Return on Investment (ROI). This tells us how Nintex Workflow had business impact through processes automation.

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ROI is calculated in three areas:

  • IT productivity: Did it save time, so IT can work on higher-value tasks?
  • End user productivity: Did it save time for the end user, who can do other things?
  • Development cost savings: Did Nintex Workflow save money through reduced custom development costs?

These calculations are based on an ROI framework developed by Forrester Research. To read more about the framework, follow the link in the dashboard. 

 

 

That’s it! In five minutes you’re an insight hero! And you can take the same approach to all of your top processes. Imagine what your executive team will think of those insights!

 

And this just scratches the surface of what we can do with the Process intelligence Lens in Nintex Hawkeye.  We're queuing up blogs that demonstrate the deeper value of instrumenting your automated processes with Beacons (which are signals that emit data from a particular point in a workflow) and of connecting to Power BI desktop to create custom dashboards.

 

 

We're also going to show you an in-depth example of how best to use a Process Intelligence Lens (using Beacons) to surface data with more business context. As you'd probably guess, different businesses have different goals, so this approach takes more consideration around the questions your unique business wants to address.  See more about Beacons in Dan Stoll's blog here.

 

Or, learn more on the Hawkeye Training page of the Nintex Hawkeye space in the community! 

While you may not have been glued to coverage of the recent pro golf tourney (or like me*, simply looking for some sunshine to book a tee team at the local links), you may have some processes that you have automated with Nintex Workflow for Office 365 and found out that there was no good way to schedule them. Well, as it turns out, your friendly neighborhood Nintex team felt that you should in fact be able to easily repeat these processes based on a specific time or frequency, automatically.

 

*Full disclosure: There is worse golfer than me out there but I haven't meet him or her yet!  

 

Now, without further ado, I am pleased to account the availability of Scheduled workflows!

 

 

Scheduled workflows allow workflow designers to configure workflows** to execute at a future date once or with a specific frequency. This functionality is incredibly helpful if you are modeling out processes that may require a number of items to be iterated through such as; compliance audits (customer facing financial services activities tend to have high regulatory compliance requirements to avoid things like civil and criminal penalties), frequent equipment and safety checks (such as those in the manufacturing, food services, construction, and engineering), or my favorite, to determine if content is stale and needed in the portal or if we can now push it to a proper long term repository.

 

**Please note that only site level Nintex workflows can be scheduled. Also, please be aware that like the Action Set and App Step actions, and Nintex Hawkeye (for scheduled workflows to function), the Nintex Workflow app will need to be granted elevated (app permissions) privileges in the site you would like to use this functionality on. Please see the instructions for enabling app permissions here:

   

  1. Go to Site Settings.
  2. In the Site Actions section, select Manage site features.
  3. Locate the feature called Workflows can use app permissions, as shown in the figure below, and then click Activate:
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If you have not yet had occasion to create a site workflow, simply navigate to a site in your SharePoint Online portal and then click on Site Contents. From there, you will be able to click on the Nintex Workflow app, open the designer and build a workflow or define a schedule.

 

1. Click on the Cog / Gear icon and then click on Site contents:

 

2. Scroll down to the Nintex Workflow for Office 365 app and click on it:

 

 

3. As you can see, I have several site workflows:

4. To configure a schedule against a workflow, just click on the ellipses (...) next to the workflow that you would like to run on a scheduled basis and then click on Schedule:

5. Click on Add Schedule and select when you would like the workflow to run:

6. Now you can configure when you would like the workflow schedule to begin, which time zone the scheduled workflow should be started in, how often it should reoccur and the like:

7. Optionally, you can add up to 4 more (for a total of 5) schedules to the workflow by clicking on Add schedule, which will add another schedule box:

8. When you are finished configuring your schedules, just click on the Save button:

 

That's it!  You've just scheduled your workflow to execute automatically, exactly when you want it to. Keep in mind you can disable these schedules and schedule data will be retained for 90 days after the final execution so you can quickly reference your prior work. I hope this feature helps you overcome more business challenges and I hope that you will share your successes with me in the comments below!

 

If you would like to review the product help entry for Scheduled workflows, please follow the link below:

http://help.nintex.com/en-US/o365/#o365/O365WorkFlow/CreatingWorkflows/Scheduleworkflows.htm

Recently, we at Nintex were privileged to be invited to the Dropbox Connect event in Sydney. There were a good number of customer presentations on how Dropbox Business was used in the enterprise and why customers partnered with and invested in the Dropbox platform.

 

In addition to attending, we also had the opportunity to collaborate with Dropbox in a roundtable session – “Better Together with Dropbox Business”. We were presented with a few questions at the session:

 

How does Nintex augment and extend Dropbox Business?

Nintex Workflow Cloud® can help organizations connect people, applications and content through workflow and automation. This provides users a consistent and structured way when dealing with management of content and approvals within Dropbox Business. For example, an organization may want to place a review and approval cycle before a document is shared out to an external party. To ensure there is a consistent and clear visibility in the process (also auditable), we could build a workflow that starts as soon the document is uploaded into a folder – this would then

  1. Notify the internal team that a document is ready to be reviewed
  2. Assign a task to a reviewer to review the document
  3. Dependent on the outcome, the document can then be placed in a Holding folder to be reworked / recollaborated on
  4. OR if approved, it can be moved into a Ready folder
  5. Generate a share link for the document
  6. Post the share link to the Slack channel where we’re collaborating with the external party

 

In the example described above, the workflow is represented as such in Nintex Workflow Cloud®:

 

 

In addition, when this workflow runs, a record of all the activities would be captured for tracking and reporting purposes:

 

 

What common business process solutions have Nintex helped customers build in Dropbox?

The above example is a common scenario where we see organizations that span from simple document reviews and approvals to highly complex ones where the document goes through multiple review cycles, different areas of the business and routing through an e-signature application and storing the response and signed document.

Another common solution that customers have built is around their contract lifecycle management (CLM). For a CLM, the process could span multiple applications from creating an opportunity in CRM, working the opportunity, generating a contract based on multiple sources of information, routing it through an e-signature application, getting a response, storing the signed document and then finally ensuring that the initial CRM record is updated with all the information collected along the way.

 

In addition, internally at Nintex we’ve been experimenting with generating personalized new employee onboarding welcome packs. Through the power of our document generation capability we can customize a document to provide custom content such as information on office facilities, surrounding amenities, vouchers to local businesses, information on your immediate team and any upcoming office events by using the new hires information stored in our HR application.

 

How can we further extend the business process solutions built using Nintex + Dropbox even further?

We’ve talked about a few solutions thus far. If you’ve noticed, most of the scenarios are around application to application, placing people into the process to make decisions and capturing content along the way. Through the Nintex Workflow Cloud® platform, customers can also start build solutions that may interface with IoT devices, engage users using mobile applications, capture information through forms, dynamic generation of document content and through it all report and analyze on the process. The solutions are endless and through the Nintex Workflow Cloud® platform, organizations can solve their process automation challenges easily and quickly.

 

Hopefully the above helped sparked some ideas around how you could leverage Nintex Workflow Cloud® within your use of Dropbox Business (or any enterprise file sync and share that you may have that is currently supported).

 

In addition to this, I recommend reading Jason Lyman’s blogpost on “3 ways to make workflow work for you”.

Document Generation allows workflow designers to quickly add the power of dynamic document generation to their business process. With Nintex Workflow Cloud, workflow designers will be able to use cloud-based repositories such as Box, Dropbox Business, Microsoft OneDrive for Business, and Google Drive as a repository for both their templates and their finalized generated document. 

 

Let's take a look at business process built in Nintex Workflow Cloud and how it uses Document Generation to build a Partner Agreement document based on start variables collected from Salesforce. 

 

 

Within the Start event, information such as Account Name, Billing Street, and SLA are collected when an Account is updated. We will use the 'SLA' start variable to help us determine the partner template.

Depending on the 'SLA' value, a variable is set 'TemplateName' to the template that will be used. If the 'SLA' level is not 'Gold' the 'TemplateName' variable is configured: 

 

If the 'SLA' is listed as 'Gold', the 'TemplateName' variable will be configured:

 

So how do these start variables relate to the new Document Generation action within Nintex Workflow Cloud? Well, let's take a look at how we configured the action in this workflow:

 

Adding the Document Generation action to a workflow

 

 

The key settings of the Document Generation action is where did you store your document template, and where does the finalized document. When selecting the 'Generation Type' choose between keeping the original source of the document (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) or choose a PDF output. The top 'Connector' will allow you to choose the cloud-based document repository your template is located in (Dropbox Business, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive for Business, Box). Ensure you choose the right Connection (for information on creating and working with connections, please read the following: http://help.nintex.com/en-US/nwc/#NWC/ConnectionNav.htm). 

 

Since we are using the Dropbox for Business action, we will provide a Member ID. Next, look at how the Template input is configured. We are hard-coding the beginning of the path, but then use the 'TemplateName' variable to select the specific document in the Dropbox for Business directory. By being able to access variables within the Template input, file selection can be dynamic!

 

After selecting the file, we need to start using the Nintex Document Tagger to add our variables information to the template we have created.

 

 

In your template, paste the copied tags from the Nintex Document Tagger:

Tagging a template

 

After your document is tagged, and saved to the repository, it's time to select the final repository for the completed document. Select the Connector, Connection, and any other required fields. Next, select if you wish to overwrite files with the same name in the final repository.

 

Saving the path of the final document is accomplished by storing the 'Store path' output to a String Variable. If the number of document generations left in your subscription is required, store the 'Store usage meter message' output in a variable. 

 

Once the Document Generation Action is configured, the path output can be used in other actions, such as Express Approval and DocuSign. 

 

Document Generation opens up a new level of possibilities within Nintex Workflow Cloud, and I'm excited to see the solutions that are created!