About Process Folders
- Updated on 12 May 2020
- 4 minutes to read
Process Folders are part of a built-in data storage and management scheme in Decisions, they can be used as an internal tool for storing and managing persistent flow data in the platform itself. Process Folders are related to Flow Execution data because they save data for a given instance (or state) of a Flow being run.
Process tracking with Process Folders gives detailed insight on different stages that the process has reached. This example will show a simple process where when the Flow is executed, a popup appears. On the back-end; the Flow is configured to show the popup, setup a Process Folder for the actual process of showing the popup, then creating a state in the process called Popup Shown.
The Show Popup step needs the Subject and Message inputs defined as Constants. The Setup Process Folder step can be added from the Steps Catalog in the Flow Designer. A Set State Step has only one input to be configured called state, typically the state input uses a mapping type of Constant and the value it is given is equal to the state in the process that it reflects.
The Setup Process Folder step has properties that must be defined to configure the Process Folder properly. Select the step and review the screenshot below along with the descriptions of these settings to follow.
|Source||This dropdown list offers different places that the Parent Folder can be sourced from, whether it is specified as shown in the example, or pulled from Flow Inputs or a Child Process.|
|Parent Folder||This section is defined when the Specify Source option is selected. Use the Pick button to select the appropriate folder to store all of the other Process Folders that are created. It is best practice to create a separate folder for these so that Process Folders do not crowd up the other Designer Elements that are managed.|
|Make Unique||This dropdown list offers different ways to add a unique identification scheme to the Process Folder. There are options to use numeric, appended numeric, and date/time based identifiers.|
|Save Flow Data||This checkbox can be selected to ensure that Flow Data is created in the new Process Folder that is created. When checked, the Process History and Collaboration section inside of the Process Folder itself offers a Sequential breakdown of the process or a breakdown by State as seen by default.|
|Flow Prefix||This value inserts a prefix before the numeric ID is generated.|
|Flow Prefix Length||This value determines the length of the numeric ID that is generated after the prefix.|
|Include Flow Run Id in Name/Flow Output||This checkbox can be selected for the Name of the Process Folder and for the Flow Output as well, but the function is the same. When the box is checked, the Prefix/ID that was defined will appear next to the Folder Name in the Parent Folder/Flow Output Data. It is recommended that this remains enabled, to avoid confusion when reviewing Processes.|
|Use Extension Data||This checkbox is enabled if a Flow Execution Data Structure is being used in this project to record and define various pieces of data. To learn more about the Flow Execution Extension Data Type, please visit our Creating a Flow Execution Extension Structure article.|
|Auto Complete If State Not Set||This checkbox is enabled so that if the process reaches a State that is not yet defined, that State in the process will auto-complete.|
The Folder Name and Description are required Inputs for the Setup Process Folder Step. For this example, set both of these to use a mapping type of Constant, then enter a custom value in the text box that appears for each.
The Folder Name will appear after the configured Prefix/ID and the Description will appear in the properties for the Process Folder, or when a Process Folder is selected as a line item in the Parent Folder.
Right-click the name of the Flow as it appears in the Designer Folder and select Run Flow from the Action Menu. The Show Popup Step is reached thus displaying the popup in the top-right corner. When that happens, the Flow creates a Process Folder that is listed as shown in the screenshot below. The Prefix/ID, Name, and Description for each Process Folder all appear as expected. Each time the Flow is executed and the popup is shown, a new Process Folder is created specifically for the instance of that process.
Clicking into one of the Process Folders explores the Process View. In the Process View, useful information is shown about assignments, documents, the configured Process States, and more in association with this particular Process. The Set State Step that was used to define the Popup Shown State in the process can be seen under Process History and Collaboration, indicating that this point was reached and passed in the process.