The anatomy the process editor
The image below shows the main features of the Flowset process editor.
The process editor consists of 5 main areas
- Toolbar - various controls will be available on the toolbar depending on what you are doing to the process definition
- Stencil - the collection of process shapes that can be dragged onto a process diagram.
- Navigator - a thumbnail control that allows you to quickly pan around a canvas which is larger than the visible area in the middle.
- Back - when you have finished viewing or editing a process diagram, click the back link to return to the list of available workflows.
- Canvas - the main drawing area into which shapes are dropped to construct your process definition.
The toolbar may contain various controls depending on what you are doing with the process definition.
In the image above, the first 3 buttons allow you to switch between the published, test and draft versions of the process definition (the buttons only appear if such a version exists, for example the test version only appears when you are going through a testing cycle prior to publishing). You can only edit the draft (published and test are read only) and most of the other toolbar controls will only be available when editing the draft. Next comes undo and redo buttons which become enabled when changes have been made to the process design that can be undone or redone. Next is a drop down to control the level of zoom applied to the canvas. There are then two button to auto layout the process diagram left to right or top to bottom. Finally there are buttons to validate the process diagram, view any errors that the validation may have found and a save button. The save button changes to the orange colour when there are changes that need saving.
The stencil contains the set of shapes that can be used in a process definition. Drag and drop shapes from the stencil onto the canvas to add them to your process definition. The available shapes are
Start - Every process must have at least one start. This is where a workflow begins. Link the start shape to the first activity (or activities) to be performed in the workflow.
Stop - Every process must have at least one stop. This is where the workflow ends.
Activity - Activities define what it is that an agent is expected to do at that point in the workflow. A workflow will typically be a series on linked activities from the start to the stop. Activities have a number of properties which govern their behaviour.
Split Activity - A split activity is like an activity, but is implemented on a separate ticket in Zendesk. It acts like a parallel set of work that needs to be done, but is not implemented in the same ticket as the main workflow. Split activities can be decomposed into their own workflows, but will typically feed back into the parent workflow at some point.
Join Gateway - A join gateway represents a point in a workflow where it splits into potentially several parallel tickets (see Split Activity above). It is also used to represent where split activities join back into the main workflow.
The navigator shows a small thumbnail of the overall diagram. The main part of the screen shows only part of the overall canvas. The navigator allows you to quickly pan around the entire canvas by clicking and dragging the navigator viewport (brown rectangle). As you drag the view port around, the contents of the canvas area moves to reflect this.
The back link is used to get back to the list of available workflow definitions. Click this link when you have finished viewing or editing a process definition.
The canvas is the area onto which you drop shapes to form your process definition. The canvas is typically much larger than the portion you can see. Click and drag on the canvas background to pan the visible viewport to see more of the diagram. Alternatively, use the navigator in the bottom right hand corner.
Interacting with shapes on the diagram
If you click on a shape (any shape) on a process diagram, it will highlight the shape and present a halo on which 3 operations are available.
Select 'Delete' to delete the shape (and any links connecting to it) from the diagram.
Select 'Copy' to create a copy of the shape on the diagram. The copied shape will have all the same properties as the shape it was copied from.
To create a link from this shape to another, click and hold the 'Link' and then drag the mouse to the shape you wish to connect to. As you drag the mouse, those shapes that you are allowed to link to will be highlighted with an orange border. Release the mouse when it is over the target shape. A link will be create.
To move shapes on the diagram, click and hold the mouse and then drag the shape to where you want it. Release the mouse to drop the shape.
To edit a link, firstly click the mouse on the link to select it.
To delete the link, click on the red cross (1). The position of the red cross may vary depending on the size and shape of the link. To move an existing link vertex (2), click and drag on the vertex circle and release the mouse at the new required position. To move an orthogonal (vertical or horizontal) section (3), click and drag the lozenge and release when in the desired position. To create a new vertex, click and drag at any position on the link where there is no existing vertex or section selector.
Every shape and link on a process diagram has properties which you can configure. To edit the properties of a shape or link, double click on the shape or link. A property editor will be displayed on the right hand side of the screen.
Some properties can be edited directly into the property editor (e.g. name), some more complex properties will pop up a modal to edit the property (e.g. Conditions). To close the property editor, click on the diagram outside of the property editor.