Creating a workflow

You can create a workflow by copying a workflow and adding steps to processing phases in the order that you want Ricoh ProcessDirector to do them. You can also add other workflows to processing phases. Delete any steps that you do not need. You set default values for some job properties as part of the workflow.

Ricoh ProcessDirector provides several sample workflows. You can modify these workflows or, to create a workflow that is similar to an existing workflow, you can copy the existing workflow and edit it.

We recommend that you plan your workflow before you create it. Outline the processing steps that your jobs pass through, and make sure that the step templates required to create those steps exist. If any of the step templates that you need do not exist, create them before you create the workflow.

  • We strongly recommend that all workflows begin with a SetJobPropsFromTextFile step and end with a RemoveJobs step.
  • If files for data streams that a workflow does not support can enter the workflow, we recommend these best practices:
    • Add a DetectInputDataStream step after the SetJobPropsFromTextFile step.
    • After the DetectInputDataStream step, add a branch with 1 step: FailWithMessage. Set the value of the Failure message property to Unexpected datastream encountered. On the connector from the DetectInputDataStream step to the next step in the workflow, set a conditional processing rule that defines the input data streams. For example, specify that the Input data stream property equals PDF.
To create a workflow:
  1. Click the Workflow tab.
  2. In the Workflow Objects portlet, click the Workflows tab.
  3. In the left pane click Workflows.
  4. Select a workflow that you want to use as a model and click Copy workflow (Copy workflow icon).

    • If you want to start with a workflow that has two steps, SetJobPropsFromTextFile and RemoveJobs, with a connector between them, click Add Workflow (Add workflow icon).
  5. Select a workflow that you want to use as a model and click Copy.

    • If you want to start with a workflow that has two steps, SetJobPropsFromTextFile and RemoveJobs, with a connector between them, click Add.
  6. Name the copy of the workflow, fill in or edit other values that you need, and click Ok.
    You see the steps in the workflow in the Workflow Editor portlet, and the workflow properties in the Properties portlet.
  7. Name the copy of the workflow, fill in or edit other values that you need, and click Continue.
    You see the workflow's steps in the workflow editor.
  8. Review the steps in each phase of the workflow.
    The default processing phases in the base product are Receive, Prepare, Print, and Complete. Some features add other phases such as Assemble or Insert.

    • The default phase names can be changed to match the functions that you perform in that phase.
  9. Delete any steps that you do not need:
    1. Click the step.
    2. Click Delete (Delete icon).
  10. Delete any steps that you do not need. Right-click the step and select Delete.
  11. Add each new step:
    1. In the Workflow Objects portlet, click the Step Templates tab.
    2. Click a step template and drag it into the Workflow Editor portlet. Place the step where you want it.

      • If you place the new step over a connector, the connector connects to the step, and a new connector connects the step to the next step.
    3. Type a name for the new step or use the current name. Click OK.
      You can use the same name for more than one step.

      • When you add a step with the same name as a step in the same processing phase, Ricoh ProcessDirector assigns the new step a Step identifier property value. The value has a number at the end of the step name, for example, AssignJobValues2. Each time you add another step with the same name in the same phase, Ricoh ProcessDirector increments the number by one, for example, AssignJobValues3. You see the Step identifier property value in the step and job properties notebooks, messages, and system logs.
  12. Add each new step:
    1. In the workflow editor, click Step Templates in the top right corner of the window.
    2. Click a step template and drag it into the workflow editor. Place the step where you want it.

      • If you place the new step over a connector, you must delete the connector, and reconnect the two steps that were previously joined by the connector to the new step.
      • You can use the same name for more than one step. When you add a step with the same name as an existing step in the same processing phase, Ricoh ProcessDirector assigns the new step a Step identifier property value. The value has a number at the end of the step name, for example, AssignJobValues2. Each time you add another step with the same name in the same phase, Ricoh ProcessDirector increments the number by one, for example, AssignJobValues3. You see the Step identifier property value in the step and job properties notebooks, messages, and system logs.
  13. Optional: To copy an existing workflow into the workflow that you are modifying, do these steps:
    1. In the Workflow Objects portlet, click the Workflows tab.
    2. Click a workflow and drag it into the Workflow Editor portlet. Place the workflow where you want it.

      • You can only drop a workflow into an open area in the workflow editor. After you drop the workflow, it expands to show all its steps. Any changes you make to the workflow that you dropped are not made to the workflow you dropped it into.
  14. Connect the steps:
    1. Hover over the step that sends jobs to the new step and click its connector head (Connector head icon).
    2. Hover over the edge of the step that sends jobs to the new step. Click and hold a highlighted section (Image) to make the connector appear.
    3. Connect the sending step to the new step by dragging the connector arrow onto the edge of the new step.
    4. Hover over the new step and click its connector head (Connector head icon).
    5. Drag the arrow onto the step that receives jobs from the new step.

      • If a step uses conditional processing, Ricoh ProcessDirector uses the values specified in the Order of execution property of each connector to determine which connector to try first. If a step sends jobs to three different steps, Ricoh ProcessDirector first attempts to send each job through the connector with an Order of execution value of 1. If a job does not meet the conditions for that connector, Ricoh ProcessDirector attempts to send the job through the connector with an Order of execution value of 2. If a job does not meet those conditions either, Ricoh ProcessDirector attempts to send the job through the next connector in the execution order. If a connector processes all jobs that do not meet the conditions specified by the other connectors, make sure that connector has the highest Order of execution value.
    6. Drag the connector onto the step that receives jobs from the new step. Wait until a section of the step is highlighted, and release the mouse button.

      • You can attach the connector to the top, bottom, or either side of the step.

      • If a step uses conditional processing, Ricoh ProcessDirector uses the values specified in the Order of execution property of each connector to determine which connector to try first. If a step sends jobs to three different steps, Ricoh ProcessDirector first attempts to send each job through the connector with an Order of execution value of 1. If a job does not meet the conditions for that connector, Ricoh ProcessDirector attempts to send the job through the connector with an Order of execution value of 2. If a job does not meet those conditions either, Ricoh ProcessDirector attempts to send the job through the next connector in the execution order. If a connector processes all jobs that do not meet the conditions specified by the other connectors, make sure that connector has the highest Order of execution value.
  15. Optional: To change the order of the steps:
    1. Drag a step to a new position.
      The connectors reposition themselves as the step moves.
    2. Delete each connector that you do not want. Select the connector and click Delete (Delete icon).
    3. Delete each connector that you do not want. Right-click the connector and select Delete.
    4. Make a new connection by hovering over the sending step and clicking its connector head (Connector head icon). Connect the sending step by dragging the arrow onto the receiving step.
    5. Make a new connection by hovering over the edge of the sending step. Click and hold a highlighted section (Image) to make the connector appear, and drag the connector onto the receiving step. Wait until a section of the step is highlighted, and release the mouse button.
  16. Optional: To replace a step, drag a new step on top of it, and release the mouse button. Ricoh ProcessDirector asks if you want to replace the highlighted step. Click Yes.
  17. Specify property values for each step:
    1. Select the step and click Properties (Properties icon) on the Workflow Editor portlet.
      As an alternative, right-click the step and click Properties.
    2. On each tab in the properties notebook, fill in or edit values for any required properties.
      An asterisk, *, indicates that a property is required.
    3. Fill in or edit values for any optional properties that you plan to use.
    4. When you are finished, click OK.

      • Ricoh ProcessDirector remembers the values that you enter for each step but does not save them until you save the workflow.
  18. Specify property values for each step:
    1. Right-click the step and select Properties.
    2. On each tab in the properties notebook, fill in or edit values for any required properties.
      An asterisk, *, indicates that a property is required.
    3. Fill in or edit values for any optional properties that you plan to use.
    4. When you are finished, click OK.

      • Ricoh ProcessDirector remembers the values that you enter for each step but does not save them until you save the workflow.
  19. If a step sends jobs to multiple steps, select each connector from the sending step to a receiving step, and click Properties (Properties icon) on the Workflow Editor portlet. Specify a conditional processing rule for the connector, and click OK.
  20. If a step sends jobs to multiple steps, right-click each connector from the sending step to a receiving step, and select Properties. Specify a conditional processing rule for the connector, and click OK.
  21. When you are ready to save the workflow, review it for completeness.
    Only one step must start the workflow. That step does not receive jobs from other steps. All other steps must have connections through which they receive jobs.
  22. Save the workflow by selecting Save workflow from the More menu to the left of the workflow name.
  23. When you are ready to use the workflow, enable it by selecting Enable workflow from the More menu to the left of the workflow name.
    Ricoh ProcessDirector validates the workflow when you enable it. If any steps are not connected properly, Ricoh ProcessDirector issues a message.

    • You cannot enable a workflow if:
      • Any step is not connected to other steps.
      • More than one step has no connector coming to it.
      Alert (Alert icon) icons show steps that do not meet the requirements.
    • To enable a workflow before you finish it, make sure that all steps except the step that starts the workflow receive jobs from other steps. If necessary, add connectors before you enable the workflow. Remove them the next time you work on the workflow.
  24. Save the workflow.
    Option Description
    Save workflow (Save workflow icon) Saves the workflow, but does not enable it. Use this option if you do not want to use the workflow immediately or if you want to continue editing it.
    Save and enable (Save and enable workflow icon) Saves the workflow and enables it. Use this option if you are finished editing the workflow and want to use the workflow immediately or if you want to test it.
    Ricoh ProcessDirector validates the workflow during the save. If any steps are not connected properly, Ricoh ProcessDirector issues a message.

    • You cannot save a workflow if:
      • Any step is not connected to other steps.
      • More than one step has no connector coming to it.
      Alert (Alert icon) icons show steps that do not meet the requirements.
    • To save a workflow before you finish it, make sure that all steps except the step that starts the workflow receive jobs from other steps. If necessary, add connectors before you save. Remove them the next time you work on the workflow.
 
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