Actions

Updated in 8.7

Actions are workflow steps initiated by the user working with already created objects. Actions are capable of modifying the objects’ state, performing calculations and field updates, and sending e-mail notifications.

Alloy Navigator Express is shipped with a predefined set of system Actions for handling objects of any class. Actions allow the user to perform various tasks — workflow actions such as changing an object’s status to further the object’s lifecycle or general tasks such as adding notes.

IMPORTANT: Actions are ready to use with the default settings, but you can hide certain Actions from the product’s interface. However, their behavior cannot be changed.

The Effect of Workflow Actions

Each Action has a certain effect on the object and possibly on other objects in the system. Actions names explain their effect; for example, the “Assign to...” Action for Tickets lets the user to change the Ticket’s assignee.

The following aspects define the effect of an Action:

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, the “Assign to” Action 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.

The Availability of Workflow Actions

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

The following aspects control the availability of an Action:

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

Not just any Action can be applied to an object at any given time. For example, in a reasonably well defined Ticket management workflow, a Ticket must be assigned to a technician before it can be worked on. Since object's lifecycle phases are indicated by statuses, you define the availability of an Action by specifying object’s statuses.

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 Ticket management workflow so that only the manager can assign and reassign Tickets.

Action Bar

Workflow Actions are available for technicians on the Module menu bar in the Actions sub-menu. This menuis contextual, meaning Alloy Navigator Express adjusts its content for the current selection in the grid or for the current object. The Action menuis also available in the context pop-up menu on data grids of the Desktop App.

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

NOTE: You can configure Alloy Navigator Express to hide unavailable Actions. For details, see Controlling the Action Bar Options.

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

When technicians complete an 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.

The Action Bar has different sections. The top sections accommodate workflow Actions and Integrations, when the Miscellaneous section is reserved for various additional context-specific commands.

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.