Сonnectors define the order of activities and events in the process. Connectors' names improve the flow chart readability and correspond to the names of the transition buttons on task forms.
For example, the task Fill in leave request has two outgoing connectors: Send for Approval and End Process.
On the task form the transition buttons have the same names as the connectors:
To connect two elements, select one of them, and then hold down the left mouse button and draw a connecting line.
Connectors going out of a task or an event
To open the connector settings, click on its shape in the process diagram. You can rename the connector, choose the color of the transition button, set up data validation or add a button click confirmation.
- Name – We recommend giving a short and clear name since it will be displayed on the transition button on the task form.
Description – In this field, enter the text of the tooltip.
Transition Button tab
- Transition button color – You might want to choose a green color for positive actions that change, send, or add information, and red color for negative actions such as canceling, deleting, blocking, etc. The default color of the button is white.
Validate task form data – If you select this option, ELMA365 will check if the required form fields are filled in when a user clicks on the transition button.
Confirmation – This option allows you to configure confirmation for sensitive or irreversible actions in the process. You can choose from the following options:
- Confirmation Dialog Box – select the dialog box size and enter the confirmation text. When somebody clicks on the transition button, a pop-up window will appear, allowing him or her to cancel the action or to confirm it. By default, the pop-up size is medium, but you can change it to small or big.
- Form – This option allows you to set up a more sophisticated confirmation form. For example, to ask a user to leave a comment before canceling a particular operation. To add new fields to the form, click the Configure form button.
In the tab that opens, on the left, you will see a list of the process context variables. Select a variable from the list or add a new one.
When somebody clicks the transition button, the confirmation dialog box will appear with the configured form:
Connectors going out of a gateway/ multiple instance task
In addition to the standard general settings, you can configure conditions for the connectors that go out of a gateway or a multiple instance task. The process will go down one path or another depending on the evaluation of the connector conditions.
Logical Operator– this is a logical operation that is used to evaluate several conditions. If a condition on the connector evaluates to True, then the process will continue down this connector:
- AND - the result is True if both conditions are met;
- OR - the result is True if at least one condition is fulfilled;
- AND NOT - the result is True if at least one condition is not fulfilled;
- OR NOT - the result is True if both conditions are not met.
Please note that the conditions are checked in the order they are listed in the connector settings.
Operand 1, 2 - in this field you specify a process context variable or a specific value.
Operation - here a comparison operator is specified to check a condition.
In multiple instance tasks, conditions are checked each time one of the executors completes the task.
If the conditions were not specified for the connectors that go out of a gateway or multiple instance tasks, you will see a warning at the bottom of the page when checking the process.
Example 1. Configuring the connector going out of a gateway
Let's consider the Leave request process.
It consists of the following steps:
- The initiator fills out a request form. It is required to indicate the type of vacation.
- The responsible manager considers the request. In case of a negative decision, the process ends, and in the case of a positive decision, the initiator will receive the task to Print the request form.
- After the request is printed, the initiator gives it to the HR specialist.
- Then the process can go down one of the two branches: if it is a leave of absence - the process will end, if it is a paid leave - the accountant will have to calculate the amount of vacation pay, and then give the money to the initiator 3 days before the leave starts.
The gateway Anual paid leave/Leave of absence controls the flow and splits it into 2 alternative paths. To select one path or another, the system evaluates conditions set on the connectors. When the HR specialist completes the Receive request form task, ELMA365 will check the condition and perform one of the alternative actions: it will either complete the process or assign the task to the accountant.
Since only one condition must be met (request type = leave of absence), we do not use a Logical operator. The Leave of absence connector will have the following settings:
In the gateway settings, you need to specify the default connector. In our example, this is Leave of absence. If the condition is not met, the process will continue down the default connector.
Example 2. Configuring the connector going out of a multiple instance task
Let's have a look at the Agreement approval process.
It consists of the following stages:
- The Initiator draws up an agreement, selects approvers and sends them the document for review.
- Once the approvers have gone through the agreement they select one of the following options: decline, make amendments, approve.
- If the document is declined the process will end.
- If the document needs to be refined, the initiator will be assigned with the task to make amendments. After that, the agreement will be sent to the approvers for reconsideration.
- If the agreement is approved, the initiator arranges the meeting with the client and both parties sign the document.
For the multiple instance task "Approve agreement" we chose the option executed sequentially. When modeling a process, we should cover the situation when someone approves the agreement, someone asks for amendments, and someone rejects it. How should the system behave in this case? The behavior will be determined by the connectors settings.
For a start, let's set up the Decline connector. Suppose that one of the approvers, for example, a lawyer, believes that the agreement cannot be signed and chooses the option Decline. In this case, the other performers do not need to go through the document and spend time on this task.
The system will check the conditions each time one of the executors completes the task. If we specify a percentage of transitions > 0, then as soon as someone clicks Decline, the system cancels the task for all other approvers and the process ends.
In the connectors settings, this logic will be reflected as follows:
The logic of the Make amendments connector is represented in a similar manner. If at least one of the approvers considers that the agreement should be refined, then the initiator will be assigned with the task to make changes.
Finally, consider the Approve connector. In the settings of the Approve agreement task, we specify that this is the default connector. This means that if no one chooses the options Decline or Make amendments, then the process must go down the Approve connector.
There is no need to specify any condition for the conncetor's settings window.