Actions

Updated in 8.7

Actions consist of Interactive Actions and Service Actions.

Interactive Actions

Interactive Actions are workflow steps initiated by the user. Actions are capable of applying templates, obtaining user input through pop-up forms or wizard pages, performing various operations, and sending e-mail notifications.

There are two types of interactive Actions:

  • Create Actions — These Actions are used to define how new objects are created and initialized. Every object must have at least one Create Action. If needed, you can have multiple Create Actions that would employ a different initialization logic based on the specific scenario.

  • Step Actions — These Actions are used on existing objects for the purpose of performing steps of a business process. These steps may be used to further an object's lifecycle or to perform general actions such as adding notes.

The Aspects of Interactive Actions

The workflow management mechanism allows you to control which Actions are available at different phases of an object’s lifecycle. This ability not only maintains the consistency of your workflow, it also simplifies technicians’ daily tasks by providing them only with the options they need at any given time.

The following aspects control the effect and the availability of an Interactive Action on the object and possibly on other objects in the system:

What inputs are required to perform the step

Practically every Action requires input data, in one form or the other. Input data may come in the form of property values predefined in an object template, or entered by the user through a dialog box or a wizard. For example, when selecting the “Assign to...” Action, the system can ask you who to assign the Ticket to and require a note with some additional comments to pass along to the assignee.

How the step affects the object and other participants of the business process

As objects progress through their lifecycle, their properties change, and these changes may also affect other objects and people involved. Some changes can be as simple as updating the status, others may involve additional fields. For example, Ticket assignment normally affects the Status and the Assignee fields. More complex Actions may also involve creating new objects or triggering workflow steps on related objects, sending e-mail notifications to various participants of the business process, or running external commands.

When in the lifecycle of an object the step can be applied

Not just any Interactive Action can be applied to an object at any given time. For example, in a reasonably well defined Incident management workflow, a Ticket must be assigned to a technician before it can be worked on.

Who can perform the step

Usually, people involved in a business process have different roles that define what they can or can’t do with an object. For example, you may want to design your Incident management workflow so that only the manager can assign and reassign Tickets.

Action Bar

Once Actions have been configured, they are available for technicians. They appear on the Module menu bar in two sub-menus:

  • New — this sub-menu contains commands for Create Actions

  • Actions — this sub-menu lists all available Step Actions

Both New and Actions menus are contextual, meaning Alloy Navigator adjusts their contents for the current selection in the grid or for the current object. Both New and Actions menus are also available in the context pop-up menu on data grids of the Desktop App.

In the object details window, Step Actions are also available on the Action Bar. The Action Bar shows all Tasks that are available to the current technician at a given time. Note that several Tasks are unavailable for the current lifecycle stage of the object and therefore appear dimmed.

NOTE: You can configure Alloy Navigator to hide unavailable Tasks. For instructions, see Controlling the Action Bar Options.

In the Web App, technicians can also access Interactive Step Actions by clicking the Actions menu icon in the leftmost column of the grid.

When technicians complete a Step Action leading to a change in the object’s state or object’s lifecycle stage, the Action Bar updates its contents to provide actions that are available for that new state.

Note the different sections of the Action Bar. These sections are for Step Actions and can be customized to your liking. In our example Step Actions are separated using the following sections General, Communication, Relationships, and Integrations.

NOTE: The Action Bar is available in the Desktop App, Web App, and the Mobile App, although in the Mobile App it is implemented as a pull-down menu.