What is workflow?
Workflow is a series of operations or activities that are linked with each other and performed in a particular order to meet the business process requirement. If certain steps are performed sequentially and repeatedly then it can be called a workflow.
In any industry, there can be multiple processes that are interdependent and followed sequentially to take approval or to make a decision. For example, new employee onboarding, account opening in a bank or loan approval, new prototype development, design approval process, etc.
Please see the below sample workflow process to hire a candidate for better understanding.
Note: Refer to this workflow process just for understanding purposes.
In this workflow process at each step responsible user performs the required actions. Different documents get generated at each stage of the process. The human resource department takes approval from higher management at these stages with the help of these documents.
Multiple communication happens with different stakeholders and accordingly decision is made. All these actions should be handled and performed in a predefined and sequential manner to get desired output. This is called the workflow process. For any candidate, the same process is followed.
What is a Teamcenter Workflow Designer application?
Teamcenter Workflow designer is one of the most important Teamcenter applications that every organization needs. You can develop the custom workflow process using different tasks available in the workflow designer application. You can utilize existing tasks to design particular activities at the different stages of the workflow process.
Following is the list of activities you can perform using workflow designer:
- Develop a custom workflow template
- Define the sequence of the tasks.
- Assign responsible users or groups to a particular task.
- Define automatic actions that need to be performed on each task.
- Add validations at different stages of the workflow process.
- Perform automatic actions or trigger external actions at the required step.
- Define required access to stakeholders of the workflow process.
What are the different tasks available in the Teamcenter Workflow Designer module?
Siemens has provided the list of the different inbuilt tasks in the workflow designer. These tasks are very useful while designing the workflow process. Each task has its own significance.
If the user is required to perform a certain action on the target objects such as attaching an object, updating property values, etc then you can use Do Task. Do Task completes when the user selects a complete option.
If approval is needed on the performed changes then use the Review task. The review task contains two default sub-tasks i.e. select signoff team and perform signoffs. At select signoff, the user can select the reviewers from the organization who will review the job. At perform-signoff, reviewers will review the job and take their decision.
As the name suggests, you can use this task when the decision is required based on the condition. Condition task branches workflow into multiple directions.
The user cannot perform any action on Or task. It is used to combine different paths of the workflow process. You cannot point multiple tasks to a single task without the use of Or task.
Please refer to the below image for a better understanding.
Validate task divides workflow into multiple branches i.e. success path and failure paths. If there is an error that occurs at a particular task then you can route the path of workflow based on the error code.
Acknowledge tasks can be used to assign acknowledgment responsibility to certain users or managers. This task has two sub-tasks i.e. select-signoff-team and perform-signoff. While performing the action users gets two options to select i.e. Acknowledged and Not Acknowledged.
What did you learn in this article?
We hope this article was informative and you got a clear idea about the different elements, functionalities, and important concepts involved while designing the custom workflow template using the Teamcenter Workflow Designer application.
Frequently ask questions:
Question 1: Is it required to purchase a separate license to use the Teamcenter workflow designer application?
Answer: No, it’s not required to purchase a separate license to use the workflow designer application. It comes by default with a basic Teamcenter application.
Question 2: Who can access the workflow designer application?
Answer: Only users having administrative access can use the workflow designer module to create a new template or modify an existing template. Normal user has only read access to this application.
Question 3: How to create a custom handler?
Answer: You can create a custom handler using ITK customization based on business process requirements.
Question 4: How to reject a job to a previous task?
Answer: You can use the EPM-demote-on-reject handler to move a job to the required task after the user rejects it.
Question 5: Can we modify the template if it’s already assigned to any object?
Answer: Yes you can modify the template if it’s already assigned to any object. But changes will not be reflected on the workflow template instances already assigned to an object.
Question 6: How to restrict users from modifying target objects?
Answer: You can apply named ACL on workflow tasks and define access rights for the responsible users. Provide only read access to the responsible user.
Question 7: Can we reuse the existing template to create a new one?
Answer: Yes. While creating a new template you have an option to select an existing workflow template from the drop-down list.
Question 8: Can we delete the workflow process that is assigned to any object?
Answer: Yes. If you have the required rights then you can delete the assigned workflow process. Generally, the user who has initiated the workflow process and users having administrative rights can delete the workflow process that is assigned to an object.
Question 9: How can we check the responsible user of a task and workflow stage?
Answer: You can select the ItemRevision and send it to the workflow viewer application. From there you can see the current state of an object in the workflow process and responsible user. Completed tasks are shown in green color.