The workflow engine of K2 is by far its most powerful and distinguishing feature compared to other similar tools and platforms in the market. The user friendly interface, rich out of the box (OOB) tools, built in functions all contribute to a quick build and amend capability, making K2 workflow stand out both functionally and technically.
The workflow designer canvas is composed of different workflow web parts that can be easily dragged and dropped into the canvas area where they can be connected together to achieve hyper automation.
The main webparts available include:
Tasks: Process actioners are defined using tasks. Mandatory properties of tasks that need to be defined for a successful deploy of the workflow include:
There are other properties which may be defined if needed such as:
Decisions: Decisions are the diamond shaped web parts and are considered the routing gates of a workflow. When connecting the task to a decision web part, the decision web part would automatically pick up the different action options associated to a task and create the different routes the workflow would move. Decisions may also be used on their own if they are not task related.
Email Messages: The Email Message is a web part that constitutes of a recipient, title, body, attachment composer. There is a common confusion between Email messages which are an independent webpart and the Email Alert which are associated to tasks. The difference is simple. The Email Alerts are messages to the task recipient for informing him/her of a task pending their action. The workflow would not move unless an action is taken. The Email Messages are web parts just to inform the recipient of something. They are not tasks meaning the workflow will continue moving after the email message is sent not requiring any sort of action from the recipient.
Splits: Similar to decisions, splits are the web parts that are used to define the different routes a workflow would take based on custom rules. In a split, a developer may choose for the split to take all routes at the same time which is the main different with a decision web part where a developer would need to choose a specific route. Splits are more efficient to use if the routing is based on rules not on tasks.
Merges: Merges are used to merge to distinct routes into 1 route again. They significantly reduce redundancy of web parts for common purposes
Timers: Timers are used to hold the workflow from moving until a specific date or a period of time defined in Days, Hours or Minutes
End Block: The red square looking web part is used as the closure block of the workflow instance.
In addition to all the above web parts, there are other web parts in the left canvas menu of the K2 workflow designer module such as "Loops" "Smart Objects" and others.
Loops: This web part is used to go through full lists of data sources. A loop can be used to look for a specific value in a data set.
Smart Objects: Values from a smart object or to be written to a smart object can be done by using the Smart Object web part in the workflow.
The context browser menu of the right side of the workflow canvas can be used to:
K2 workflow builder is extremely rich in capability and the above outline the most common used elements only. To come will be a series of videos that puts the knowledge outlined in the series of articles to the test via practical implementation. The series will be based on real life day to day scenarios, starting with how to build a simple workflow, and more complex workflows as we go.
I hope that the read was worth your time and was fruitful to introduce you to K2. If you think it was, i appreciate if you may tag, like and comment.
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