Introducing v8.0: Part 2. Redesigned Flow Step Properties

In Part 1, we described improvements to the Flow Designer to make it easier to understand routing for a workflow.

Flow Steps have lots of settings

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V7 properties (partial)

Another area that we’ve improved significantly in V8 based on customer feedback is the property settings for a flow step. The V7 and earlier properties panel (figure at left) had simply become too large and complex as we’ve added more and more features to frevvo workflows and customers were finding it a bit confusing and hard to use.

We’ve reorganized the properties and moved them into a new modal dialog accessed by clicking the desired flow step and then clicking the properties edit icon (the cog icon). Properties have been reorganized and the names changed to be more intuitive in some cases, but the requirements are generally unchanged for all properties.

Flow Step Properties Wizard

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The properties are organized on tabs (screenshot above) and nothing is saved to the editing flow instance until the dialog is submitted. Many properties also have explanatory text so it’s easier to understand what each property means.

If you Submit your changes with any invalid property setting, the dialog will not close and an error message will display. The wizard will automatically take you to the first Tab with an error. Tabs with errors and invalid properties will also display in red so there’s an immediate visual indication.

The wizard also guides the designer to prevent errors. A great example is Step Assignment (screenshot below). It was always possible to assign steps to a user, a role or an email address (no login required). If it’s assigned to a specific user, it does not make sense to also enter a role since it will always go that user. The wizard will grey out the irrelevant fields to prevent errors. The user and role fields also auto-complete with a list of valid users and roles.

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The Flow Step Properties Wizard has many more features and we’ll describe some of them in detail in subsequent articles. Suffice it to say that frevvo designers will find it much much easier to configure steps in their workflows using V8 compared to prior versions.

We’re excited about this release and think you’ll like the changes. Stay tuned for future articles and upcoming webinars on V8.0 – it will be released to frevvo Cloud this Fall. Exact date TBD and we’ll announce it here when firmed up.

 

Introducing V8.0: Part 1. Flow Design Canvas

We’ve been hard at work on some big updates to the workflow designer and we’re excited to share some of what’s coming soon. The main goal of v8.0 is Phase 1 of simplifying flow design and improvements are based on extensive feedback from customers and our own Client Services team. We’ve also added a few oft-requested features that we’ll describe below and in future articles.

The improvements fall into multiple areas:

  • A redesigned Flow Design Canvas that makes the flow routing clearer.
  • Much easier configuration of flow step properties via a new Flow Step Properties Wizard.
  • At-a-glance view of properties for any flow step via a new Flow Step Navigator.
  • Vastly simplified routing – you can route to users, roles or an email address in a single unified Assignments UI that checks for and prevents errors.
  • Get a read-only view of any task that you completed while the workflow is waiting for downstream approval.
  • On-demand refresh of searchable fields for a particular form or workflow without requiring admin privileges.

We’ll preview these changes in this and future articles.

Flow Designer Canvas

flow-designer.pngThe canvas is redesigned to be more intuitive and familiar and to display the flow routing more clearly.

It now represents the flow in a flow chart like format with process flow clearly marked with arrows. The arrows are drawn automatically as the step is dropped on the canvas as shown in the figure.

As a designer adds a precondition to a step, the system automatically draws a precondition as a decision box (yellow diamond). The precondition is part of the step that immediately follows it. For example, it is not separately selectable. The designer can specify a user-friendly description of the precondition which is displayed in the decision box.

As before, when a step is selected, the relevant action icons become visible e.g. create a linked step, edit the form associated with a form step etc.

Linked steps display a double box indicating clearly that the step is a copy of a prior step in the flow.

When dragging and dropping either new steps from the palette or existing canvas steps as part of a move operation, the UI will provide clear feedback regarding the drop target. When hovering over a step, the cursor will be modified as usual with the up or down green arrow indicating if the drop will be either above or below. In addition to this, the step that is the drop target will show a flashing green “bulls eye” to indicate the exact place where the step is to be placed. This is intended to head off any confusion about exactly where the designer is dropping and to make it clear that they cannot drop between a step and its precondition diamond.

Stay tuned for future articles and upcoming webinars on V8.0 – it will be released to frevvo Cloud this Fall. Exact date TBD and we’ll announce it here when firmed up.

 

How to automate processes to achieve Digital Transformation

 

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Digital transformation is a huge opportunity – perhaps the greatest of the next three years. Automating your day-to-day business processes should be the first step in your journey. If you haven’t yet invested in a workflow automation platform, consider making it a top priority.

Check out the full article by our CEO with 5 tips on how you can achieve digital transformation over at business.com.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

[2m video] frevvo in Higher Education

Higher Education administrative costs have grown dramatically and faculty spend too much of their time (more than 30% in many cases) on non-academic activities.

Using frevvo, our University customers have automated day-to-day administrative workflows from expense reports to travel authorizations to purchase requisitions. They’re able to track and manage them better and dramatically reduce wasteful manual work and costs. They love the visual, low-code designers, dynamic behavior, and built-in mobile but also love the speed and ROI of digital transformation.

Watch this 2m explainer video to see how they’re using frevvo’s drag-and-drop software to easily digitize forms and workflows and free up faculty time to focus on students.

Want to get started with digital transformation in your own University? Visit our website to learn more and sign up for a free trial and contact us today.

[2m Video] frevvo in K-12 schools

Many K-12 schools (public and private) use frevvo to automate routine day-to-day workflows from travel authorization to permission slips to absence records. They love capabilities like the visual, low-code designers, dynamic behavior, and built-in mobile but also love the speed and ROI of digital transformation.

Watch this short 2m explainer video to see how they’re getting rid of paper- and email-based processes, converting them to digital and freeing up teachers and staff to focus on students instead of chasing signatures.

Want to get started with digital transformation in your own school? Visit our website to learn more and sign up for a free trial and contact us today.