Adding conditional processing to a workflow

You can add conditional processing to a workflow by specifying rules for the connectors between steps. For example, a rule might specify jobs with fewer than 20 pages. The connector with that rule sends jobs to steps that request a cut sheet printer. Another connector sends all other jobs to steps that request a continuous forms printer.

We recommend that you plan your conditional processing before you specify rules. Outline the conditions that apply to each processing path. When a step sends jobs to different steps based on conditions, make sure that the conditional processing rules cover all jobs that the step receives.

When a step uses conditional processing to send different jobs to different steps, the connectors should have mutually exclusive rules. If you send all jobs that do not meet the conditions for the other connectors through a connector with a rule that has no conditions, make sure that connector has the highest value for its Order of execution property of all the connectors exiting the step.

To add conditional processing to a workflow:
  1. Click the Workflow tab.
  2. Click the Workflow tab in the Workflow Objects portlet.
  3. Click the name of the workflow with connectors that need conditional processing rules.
  4. Disable the workflow.
  5. Optional: Disable the workflow by clicking the switch to the left of the workflow name.
    If you do not disable the workflow while you edit it, jobs that use this workflow continue to move through steps. When you save, the workflow is momentarily disabled then enabled again. Jobs that are processing in the workflow could move into error.
  6. Select a connector and click Properties (Properties icon).
  7. Right-click the connector and select Properties.
  8. Give the connector a conditional processing rule:
    • To define a new rule, type a Rule name.
      We recommend giving the rule a very short name that describes the processing. You see the name next to the connector on the Workflow Editor portlet.
    • To use an existing rule, select it on the Rules list.

      • To use an existing rule as a template for a new rule, select it. Change the name of the rule, its conditions, or both.
      • You can have multiple rules with the same name. Rules with the same name can have different conditions, and rules with different names can have the same conditions. If you assign a rule to multiple connectors and then change the conditions for the rule assigned to one connector, the conditions for the rule assigned to the other connectors do not change.
  9. Give the connector a conditional processing rule:
    • To define a new rule, type a Rule name.
      We recommend giving the rule a very short name that describes the processing. You see the name next to the connector on the workflow editor
    • To use an existing rule, select it on the Rule template to use list.

      • To use an existing rule as a template for a new rule, select it. Change the name of the rule, its conditions, or both.
      • You can have multiple rules with the same name. Rules with the same name can have different conditions, and rules with different names can have the same conditions. If you assign a rule to multiple connectors and then change the conditions for the rule assigned to one connector, the conditions for the rule assigned to the other connectors do not change.
  10. If the rule has multiple conditions, specify whether All, Any, or a combination of the conditions apply to the connector.
  11. Specify the first condition using the Property field, the Comparison field, and the Value field.
    Property values are case-sensitive.

    • The Comparison value != (not equal to) does not process jobs that have no value for the specified property. To process these jobs, select the Comparison value Not set.
    For example, you want to send jobs with fewer than 20 pages to steps that request a cut sheet printer. Select the Total pages property, the < (less than) comparison, and type 20 for the value. You see a description of the rule in the Summary area: Job.TotalPages < 20.
  12. Specify the first condition using the Property field, the Comparison field, and the Value field.
    Property values are case-sensitive.

    • The Comparison value is not (!=) does not process jobs that have no value for the specified property. To process these jobs, select the Comparison value Not set.
    For example, you want to send jobs with fewer than 20 pages to steps that request a cut sheet printer. Select the Total pages property, the less than (<) comparison, and type 20 for the value. You see a description of the rule in the Summary area: Job.TotalPages < 20.
  13. To specify another condition, click Add (Add icon) and use the Property, Comparison, and Value fields.
    To delete a condition, click Delete (Delete condition icon).
  14. To specify another condition, click Add (Image) and use the Property, Comparison, and Value fields.
    To delete a condition, click Delete (Image).
  15. When you finish specifying conditions, click OK.
  16. Repeat the procedure described above to give rules to other connectors that send jobs from the same step.
    If one of the connectors does not need a rule because it processes all jobs that do not meet the conditions specified by the other connectors, we recommend that you define a rule with a name but no conditions. Use the name to describe the processing, for example: else. Make sure this connector has the highest value for its Order of execution property of all the connectors exiting the step, so the conditions on all the other connectors are evaluated before this one. The order of execution is displayed on the label on the connector before the value of the Rule name.
  17. Go to another step with connectors to multiple steps, and repeat the procedure described above.
  18. When you finish, click Save workflow (Save workflow icon).

    • If a rule is not assigned to a connector, Ricoh ProcessDirector deletes the rule when you close the workflow.
  19. When you finish, select Save workflow from the More menu to the left of the workflow name.

    • If a rule is not assigned to a connector, Ricoh ProcessDirector deletes the rule when you close the workflow.
  20. Enable the workflow and test it to make sure that the conditional processing works in the way you expect. Submit jobs that are sent through all the paths.

Examples

Conditional processing by total pages in a job

You want to process jobs with fewer than 20 pages differently from jobs with 20 pages or more. Jobs with fewer than 20 pages could be printed simplex on a cut sheet printer with ring binding. Jobs with 20 pages or more could be printed duplex on a continuous forms printer with perfect binding. This example describes conditional processing in the sample PDFProduction workflow.

Use conditional processing with connectors to two steps, AssignJobValues and AssignJobValues2:

  • Create the connector to the AssignJobValues step. In the Connector Property, change the Order of execution value to 1. Then give the connector a rule with one condition: Total pages < 20. Name the rule: < 20pg.
  • Create the connector to the AssignJobValues2 step. In the Connector Property, change the Order of execution value to 2. Then give the connector a rule with no conditions. Name the rule: else.

When you send jobs through the PDFProduction workflow, Ricoh ProcessDirector first checks to see if the job has fewer than 20 pages. If it does, Ricoh ProcessDirector sends the job through the < 20pg connector to the AssignJobValues step. If the job has 20 or more pages, Ricoh ProcessDirector sends the job through the else connector to the AssignJobValues2 step.

  • If you create the connector with the else rule and the Order of execution value for the connector is 1, Ricoh ProcessDirector sends all jobs through that connector. No jobs are sent through the connector with the < 20pg rule.

In the sample PDFProduction workflow, the AssignJobValues step sets the Custom 1 job property to Small job. The AssignJobValues2 step sets the Custom 1 job property to Large job.

To print jobs with fewer than 20 pages simplex on a cut sheet printer with ring binding, use the AssignJobValues step to set the Binding property value to Ring, the Duplex property value to No, and the Requested printer property value to the name of a cut sheet printer. To print jobs with 20 pages or more duplex on a continuous forms printer with perfect binding, use the AssignJobValues2 step to set the Binding property value to Perfect, the Duplex property value to Yes, and the Requested printer property value to the name of a continuous forms printer.

Conditional processing by customer name

You want to process jobs for customer A in one way and jobs for customers B and C in another way. You also want Ricoh ProcessDirector to issue an error message when a job for customer D enters the workflow by mistake. The FailWithMessage step issues an error message.

Use conditional processing with connectors to three steps:

  • Give the connector to the step for customer A a rule with one condition: Customer name = A. Name the rule A.
  • Give the connector to the step for customers B and C a rule with two conditions:
    • Customer name = B
    • Customer name = C
    Specify that Any of the conditions apply. Name the rule B or C.
  • Create the connector to the FailWithMessage step and set its Order of execution value to 3. Give the connector a rule with no conditions. Name the rule: else.

Example of workflow steps with conditional processing by customer

Conditional processing by customer name and duplexed printing

You want to process duplex jobs for customer A and B on a high quality printer and duplex jobs for customers C and D on a standard quality printer. Jobs that do not require duplex printing are all printed on the same printer.

Use conditional processing with connectors to three steps:

  • On the first connector, define these conditions:
    1. Customer name = A
    2. Customer name = B
    3. Duplex = Yes
    Do one of these:
    • In the legacy user interface: Choose Custom for Apply any or all of the following conditions, and in the text box, type: (1 OR 2) AND 3. Name the rule (A or B) and duplex and set the Order of execution value to 1.
    • In the updated user interface: Select Custom, and in the text box, type: (1 OR 2) AND 3. Name the rule (A or B) and duplex, and set the Order of execution value to 1.

    This connector sends the job to an AssignJobValues step that sets the Requested printer property to a high quality duplex printer.

  • On the second connector, define these conditions:
    1. Customer name = C
    2. Customer name = D
    3. Duplex = Yes
    Do one of these:
    • In the legacy user interface: Choose Custom for Apply any or all of the following conditions, and in the text box, type: (1 OR 2) AND 3. Name the rule (C or D) and duplex and set the Order of execution value to 2.
    • In the updated user interface: Select Custom, and in the text box, type: (1 OR 2) AND 3. Name the rule (C or D) and duplex, and set the Order of execution value to 2.

    This connector sends the job to an AssignJobValues step that sets the Requested printer property to a standard quality duplex printer.

  • On the third connector, define this condition: Duplex = No
    Name the rule Simplex and set the Order of execution value to 3.

    This connector sends the job to an AssignJobValues step that sets the Requested printer property to the printer used for simplex jobs.

 
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