Skip navigation
All Places > Getting Started > Blog > Authors rickbakker

Getting Started

6 Posts authored by: rickbakker
rickbakker

April 2017 release review

Posted by rickbakker May 13, 2017

This post is a review of the April 2017 releases of all Nintex products. What is included in this post is my personal observation/opinion. I decided to write a review not in the same month anymore so I can name all new features, the release notes are up-to-date and I perhaps even have some time to play with them

 

This month, there were besides the new functionalities mentioned in this blog post, also several minor improvements, bugfixes and some security improvements. Although I do not describe the improvements, some are pretty nice too. Good work Nintex!

 

The biggest feature changes were imo in ‘Nintex Workflow Cloud’ and ‘Nintex Workflow for Office 365’.

 

 

*** Nintex Workflow Cloud ***

Changes

  1. Some new connector events and connector actions.
  2. New action: Log to instance details.
  3. Availability of Nintex Hawkeye workflow analytics.
  4. Workflows can be configured to ingest files as part of “External start” start events.

 

Some new connector events and connector actions.

What is to say. Keep and going!

 

New action: Log to instance details.

This is a great new action, mainly for troubleshooting purposes. For on-premise, using this action for production workflow is not recommended as a bad-practice. I wonder if this also applies to NWC. At the moment, I assume not.

 

 

Availability of Nintex Hawkeye workflow analytics.

This was of course a must have for NWC. It is great to see that Nintex is offering this key feature in all “their” platforms now. Now we have to wait for Document Generation

 

Workflows can be configured to ingest files as part of “External start” start events.

I had no time to play with this feature yet, but I can imagine it to be big. Being able to work also with unstructured data (files) opens up several new process automation possibilities. People then do not need to have access to the data stores to be able to get access to it.

 

Because Nintex released this feature, I just cannot imagine that several other connectors are improved too in the future so files can be placed read from and placed into them.

 

Part of this feature is a new option to set a default storage location. This can be found under ‘Settings’. Below, 2 related screenshots are shown.

 

 

 

*** Nintex Hawkeye ***

Changes

Nothing seems to have changed here.

 

 

*** Nintex Mobile Apps ***

Changes

Nothing seems to have changed here.

 

 

*** Nintex App Studio ***

Changes

Nothing seems to have changed here.

 

 

*** Nintex Forms ***

Office 365

The following important information is given: This release includes changes to behaviours of some controls. The changes may require adjustments to custom JavaScript. No additional information is given.

 

I do not like this at all. How can we know which controls have changed? Nintex should really improve this. In real life we cannot always test everything after a new update is installed. This also applies to the important information given for Nintex Forms 2016, Nintex Forms 2013 and Nintex Forms 2010.

 

Changes

  1. A new button action: Save and Continue
  2. A new button option: Button redirect

 

A new button action: Save and Continue

In March 2017, this features was added to Nintex Forms on-premise. Good to see that Office 365 was updated soon after. A blog post about this topic has already been added by Nintex: Lucky You, there's New Form Features!

 

A new button option: Button redirect

In March 2017, this features was added to Nintex Forms on-premise. Good to see that Office 365 was updated soon after. A blog post about this topic has already been added by Nintex: Lucky You, there's New Form Features!

 

 

*** Nintex Workflow ***

Office 365

Changes

  1. Document Generation - New Features (Action Upgrade)
  2. Disable Action
  3. Support for Dynamic CRM 2016

 

Document Generation - New Features (Action Upgrade)

The new Document Generation functionality is just really awesome and a good blog post has already been made by Nintex (Click here). I expect that Document Generation will be one of the primary reasons why businesses will invest in Nintex, so having this awesome functionality in Office 365 is just very good to hear.

 

Disable Action

This is not a new action, but the possibility to disable/enable an action for existing actions. For me, this is a great addition. I use it a lot on-premise during the development of workflows and in rare occasions also when fixing an errored workflow. There was a kind of workaround (using the ‘Run If’ action) but yeah, that was more work.

 

Support for Dynamic CRM 2016

This addition is very customer specific of course. Businesses having Dynamic CRM 2016, Office 365 and Nintex will be able to benefit from it. Beware, this connector is not for free.

 

 

Release notes

Product

Link

Nintex Workflow Cloud

Click here

Nintex Hawkeye

Click here

Nintex Mobile Apps

Click here

Nintex App Studio

Click here

Nintex Forms for Office 365

Click here

Nintex Forms 2016

Click here

Nintex Forms 2013

Click here

Nintex Forms 2010

Click here

Nintex Workflow for Office 365

Click here

Nintex Workflow 2016

Click here

Nintex Workflow 2013

Click here

Nintex Workflow 2010

Click here

I was wondering if I could turn the document generation functionality into document conversion (Word > PDF), and guess what, it can be done!

 

The most important ingredient is what I call 'dynamic templates'. This is possible because the templates used by the Nintex document generation action, only need to be available at build and run time (of the document generation action). Nothing is stopping you to change the template in the mean time

 

The solution presented in this blog post consists of three parts:

 

1. Initialization.

2. Making sure that the previous document in the library is converted before proceeding.

3. Converting the document.

 

I created two libraries: INPUT and OUTPUT. To the input library, I added the workflow presented above and a status column. I used the output library in the document generation action.

 

Now throw in some Word documents and wait until the output library is filled with related pdf files.

 

I have one tip: Add a file before publishing the workflow, and set its status on 'Converted'.

 

The workflow (SharePoint 2016) is added as attachment for your reference.

 

What I have presented in this blog post is not meant as a ready to use production solution, but as an idea how you can get more out of document generation.

 

Happy Nintexing!

Rick

 

document generation

Hi all,

 

Document generation is not for free, so putting some restrictions on this Nintex workflow action seems logical.

 

Without proper configuration, everyone who is allowed to create Nintex workflows can add the Nintex workflow action 'Document Generation' leading potentially to unwanted document generation consumption.

 

For on-premise, there is an option to allow who can use a specific Nintex workflow action. Below, the steps voor Nintex Workflow 2016 in Central Administration are given.

  1. Go to 'Nintex Administration'.
  2. Click on 'Action Settings' (Group 'Workflow environment').
  3. Select the action 'Document Generation' and click in the ribbon on 'Edit permissions'.
  4. De-select 'Make this action available to all users' and add the people who are allowed to use this action.
  5. Click on the button [OK]

 

Besides configuring who is allowed to use the workflow action 'Document Generation', making it a part of your Governance plan is a wise thing to do. Nintex Workflow Cloud and Office 365 do not have the option to set permissions on Nintex workflow actions, so for that it is actually your only option.

 

The consumption of document generation is also determined by how a workflow is designed. Make sure a document is only generated when really needed.

 

As last option, you can restrict who can start a workflow containing the document generation action.

 

I really love the document generation functionality of Nintex, but as in really life: too much love can kill you

 

Cheers,

Rick

 

document generation, central administration

Hi all,

 

Ever wondered how many document generations are already consumed and what your limit is?

 

There are 2 options:

  1. This information is written in the Workflow History when using the document generation action.
  2. Create a workflow, put the document generation action on the canvas, open it and voilà (see screenshot below).

 

 

Cheers,

Rick

 

document generation

With Nintex App Studio you can create your own branded Nintex app. What perhaps not everyone knows, is that you can filter the forms and tasks that are shown in it. This functionality is already present for some time but the way to do this has changed over time.

 

This blog post has the goal to show you how to filter forms and tasks in your custom branded Nintex App at this moment.

 

I created the following objects for the purpose of this blog post:

  1. A workflow in Nintex Workflow Cloud. This workflow contained an 'Express approval' action.
  2. Two lists in Office 365. The lists have their own Nintex form and both have a Nintex workflow connected to it containing a flexi task.
  3. Four lists in SharePoint 2016. The lists have their own Nintex form and 2 lists have a Nintex workflow connected to it containing a flexi task.
  4. Two lists in SharePoint 2013. The lists have their own Nintex form and both have a Nintex workflow connected to it containing a flexi task.

I also added an item to all lists and started the related workflow where possible. I did a manual start of the NWC workflow.

 

To be able to filter the forms and tasks, you first have to export:

  • the required forms for the forms you want to have in your custom branded Nintex App.
  • the required workflows for the tasks you want to have in your custom branded Nintex App.

 

Then login to the Nintex App Studio, create a new app or edit an existing one.

 

The magic happens in the content tab:

 

 

When clicking on it, the following is shown:

 

As you can see, at 'Tasks' and 'Forms' there is the option: Add filter.

 

Boom. There it is  The place to upload the exported forms and workflows. As a reminder:

  • Tasks > Workflows
  • Forms > Forms

 

At tasks you must select 'I want to [Show only tasks from listed workflows]' and then upload the workflows. At Forms you must select 'I want to [Show only list forms]' and then upload the forms..

 

In the screenshot below, you can see that I uploaded 3 workflows and 4 forms.

 

 

Click on 'Save & Build' and your custom branded Nintex app is on its way

 

What I also want to share:

As I mentioned before, I added objects in 4 different environments (NWC, Office 365, SP2016 and SP2013). When I installed the app on my phone (Android), I first had to create a profile. Then, I had the option to add the connections (one per environment) which I configured in the Nintex App Studio. Unfortunately, my app kept crashing when adding the NWC connection so I had to skip that one. I also did not see the Office 365 form and task (hoping the later did work ) but the SharePoint 2013/2016 stuff worked perfectly. In the following days I will investigate my NWC and Office 365 issue and keep you informed.

 

Cheers,

Rick

 

nintex app studio

rickbakker

March 2017 release review

Posted by rickbakker Mar 18, 2017

This post is a review of the march 2017 release. What is included in this post is my personal observation/opinion.

 

*** Nintex Workflow Cloud ***

Changes

  1. Addition of ‘Conditional start’ feature.
  2. Addition of ‘Share a link’ feature.
  3. A new connector action.

 

Addition of ‘Conditional start’ feature

This is my favorite release feature. Keep on going with the good work!

 

If this feature is available depends on the connector. I have not found a list about it but it can be easily checked. The available conditional start options depend on the connector and event.

 

The Nintex connector does not have a conditional start but connectors like ‘Dropbox Business’, ‘Microsoft OneDrive for Business’ and ‘Twilio’ do.

 

Below is a screenshot of a conditional start (Microsoft OneDrive for Business):

 

 

 

Do check if your requested conditional start is indeed possible. So has the option ‘Size (bytes)’ (Microsoft OneDrive for Business) no ‘greater than’ or ‘smaller than’ option making this start event variable a bit useless for a conditional start.

 

The example that first came to my mind was adding a bunch of files in one folder and let conditional start determine on which files the workflow must be started (Using: Microsoft OneDrive for Business - New File).

 

Before conditional start I had to create a separate folder for files on which I needed to start the workflow or had to build that logic into the workflow which would increase the entries in the ‘Instances’ unnecessary, making it more difficult for me to find the right instance (action limits is no longer an issue but was it too in the beginning of NWC).

 

Conclusion

I really like this addition.

 

Addition of ‘Share a link’ feature

This feature is an action which makes it possible to send an e-mail with links to files on several data storage location, like Microsoft OneDrive for Business. Connectors which currently have this feature (action) are:

  • Box
  • Citrix ShareFile
  • Google Drive

 

Microsoft OneDrive for BusinessThere are 2 types of links: 

  1. Download
  2. View

 

Test

 

 

I tested the action for the ‘Microsoft OneDrive for Business’ connector. I used the ‘New File’ event and the value ‘NWC’ for ‘Path’. When uploading a file to this folder, the workflow started, using the above mentioned conditional start :)

 

Next, using the ‘Share file link’ action, 2 variables were filled. But that was not the only thing that happened. The file in OneDrive for Business that triggered the workflow was shared too such that the person who knows the share link can view the file.

 

I then used both variables (links) in the ‘Send an email’ action. Clicking on the links in the e-mail did exactly what it promised (viewing the document and downloading the document). Test successful.

 

Conclusion

I like this new action. It would be nice if this action was expanded so you could also configure what kind of link to make: A read link or an edit link.

 

New connector action

Nintex Workflow Cloud has again a new feature. We want more, we want more  

 

 

*** Nintex Forms ***

Changes

  1. New ‘Save and continue’ button (On-premise only)
  2. Managed Metadata control (Office 365)

 

New ‘Save and continue’ button (On-premise only)

This is a much requested feature: Saving without closing a form

 

The feature is available as an extra option called ‘Save and Continue’ in the button action dropdown:

 

 

 

When using such a button action, the button does exactly what it implies: Saving the form and leaving it open.

 

But thinking about it does not stop there! Using ‘Save and Continue’ can start a workflow because the corresponding item is added/updated. The form designer must inform the workflow designer about this situation. The easiest solution is of course to add a hidden field, give it a value when using the ‘Save’ button and use a conditional start on the workflow.

 

A blog post about this topic has already been added by Nintex: Lucky You, there's New Form Features!

 

Conclusion

This feature works as expected but ‘connected’ workflows must be evaluated if all still works as required.

 

Managed Metadata control (Office 365)

This feature was already present for on-premise. I am personally not such a great fan of using managed metadata fields in solution (mainly because of migration complexity) but for Office 365 this will mostly be less of an issue. For certain customer requests, managed metadata is the only possible option, so yeah, I think it is good this feature is added.

 

An blog post about this topic has already been added by Nintex: Introducing Managed Metadata Control for Nintex Forms for Office 365

 

Conclusion

The difference between on-premise and Cloud features became a bit less again.

 

 

*** Nintex Workflow ***

Changes

Nothing seems to have changed here, though there was initial an indication some changes were made. This can be seen when opening the version page of the release notes of Nintex Workflow 2016.

 

 

*** Release notes ***

Product

Link               

Nintex Workflow Cloud

Click here

Nintex Forms for Office 365

Click here

Nintex Forms 2016

Click here

Nintex Forms 2013

Click here

Nintex Forms 2010

Click here

Nintex Workflow for Office 365

Click here

Nintex Workflow 2016

Click here

Nintex Workflow 2013

Click here

Nintex Workflow 2010

Click here

Filter Blog

By date: By tag: