[eBook] 4 ways you can use frevvo in your school TODAY

4 ways to use frevvo in schools eBookIt’s 2015 !!

Are you still printing, scanning and e-mailing paper for approvals and signatures? Looking to Go Green in 2015 but not sure where to start

frevvo can help your school implement common-sense paperless solutions so teachers, parents & staff can focus on students rather than paperwork. Download this new guide about 4 ways you can use frevvo in your school today.

Get started implementing simple, game-changing solutions today. Contact us to learn more or sign up for a free 30-day trial.

Dynamic database forms – easy!

It’s a very common business need. Enter a client id and you want client details to automatically fill in from the DB. Select an order and you want to view/edit order line item details. The problem is, it’s not easy to do even for programmers. There are all the details of connecting to the database, managing shared DB connections, error handling, transforming data back and forth between SQL and HTML forms, security/authentication and so on.

Not so with frevvo. It’s amazingly simple with our built-in Database Connector. You can find many details and try it out yourself by following our Database Connector Tutorial.
1. Write your SQL query in the DB Connector

SELECT p.productName as product, o.quantityOrdered as quantity, o.priceEach as price, p.productDescription as description, p.MSRP FROM OrderDetails o, Products p WHERE o.productCode=p.productCode and o.orderNumber={onum} ORDER by o.orderLineNumber

The {onum} is a variable representing the order number. It will get a list of line items for a particular order.

Database Query

2. Add it as a data source to your form or workflow
Generate an XSD for your query (using a sample order) simply by visiting the URL for your query in the DB connector. Save the XML and upload it to frevvo as a data source.

XML Schema

3. Generate the form with the click of a button
Drag/drop to customize as desired.Click the + icon for the data source and frevvo will generate controls. Since this query can return multiple line items, frevvo will generate a repeating section. We’ve changed it to a Table (grid) again just by modifying a property.

Generate FormCustomize

4. Link the form to the SQL query in the DB Connector
Open the Doc URI Wizard and set the URL for the data source to point to your query. In this case, we’re getting the order number variable from a separate drop down in the form.

Link to the SQL Query

That’s it. Try the form. When you select an order, the underlying Table automatically updates with the list of line items for that order. frevvo will automatically add and remove rows as necessary. No programming needed to create a form as sophisticated as this.

Order Line Items

Interested? To learn more Sign up and check out the Database Connector Tutorial. Or contact us for more information.

frevvo 6 – Workflow Escalations (part 3)

Workflow stuck?

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This is the 3rd and final article describing the workflow escalations feature introduced in frevvo 6. In the previous articles (part 1 and part 2), we learned how to set a deadline for a step and employ notifications and reminders to help keep the process running smoothly. This article introduces another type of action to take when a deadline is reached: reassignment.

Automatic Reassignment

To illustrate reassignment we’ll refer to the expense report process from the previous articles on escalations. In this process an employee submits an expense report (step 1), the employee’s manager approves it (step 2) and the accounting department fulfills it (step 3). The accounting department has a mandate to process an expense report within 1 week after manager approval.

When the manager approves the expense report, a task will show up on the task list for all users in the accounting department. Once a user starts working on a task, it is now “claimed” which means it will appear only on that user’s task list. The expense report will disappear from the rest of the accounting department’s task list which prevents multiple users from attempting to work on the same task at the same time. However, what happens if Joe from accounting starts working on a task but can’t complete it for some reason? The workflow is now stuck in Joe’s queue.

Prior to frevvo 6, the only option was to have an administrator find the task, unlock it and reassign it back to the accounting role. Notifications and reminders raise awareness that our process is in jeopardy of missing a deadline but still requires a manual process for resolution when sitting in one person’s list.

Reassignment was introduced specifically to address these scenarios automatically and efficiently. With reassignment we can ensure nothing gets stuck by assigning anything that hasn’t been completed in a certain amount of time back to the accounting department.  Since accounting doesn’t want to miss their 7 day commitment, we’ll trigger reassignment on day 6.

Once again in the frevvo flow designer, select the accounting step and click Setup Escalations:

esc-designer1

Now on the Setup Escalations page we’ll start by specifying the timeframe (complete within 6 days):

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 11.32.47 AM

The actions we configure will trigger 6 days after the manager completes the previous step.  Next we need to select the assignee type which determines how to do the assignment.  There are three options: user, role and potential owners.  If user or role is selected, the flow designer must specify a comma delimited list of users or roles.  If the user or role needs to vary based on data in the workflow, a template string can be used instead of an explicit user or role. This means a business rule can be used to dynamically determine the assignment.

The 3rd option is Potential Owners which will refers to the users and/or roles that area already configured for the step.  In our case the step was assigned to the Accounting role so we’d pick potential owners. It is better to select potential owners in this case rather than specify accounting again.  This way if the configuration of roles and users that can perform a step changes, the escalation won’t need to be modified and will automatically pick up that change.  Our final reassignment configuration looks like:

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 11.42.13 AM

Any tasks locked by a user after 6 days will automatically be reassigned to the accounting role where someone else can complete the process.

Conclusion

Workflows in frevvo can now be configured with multiple deadlines for any step. A deadline can be configured to trigger based on when a task must be started or completed and each deadline can be configured to trigger notifications, reminders and/or automatic reassignment. Escalations is a powerful new feature that can greatly enhance any business process backed by a frevvo workflow. To learn more please check out the user documentation that describes these features in depth.

frevvo 6 – Workflow Escalations (part 2)

This article is the second in a series about the workflow escalations feature included with version 6 of the frevvo platform.

Reminders

In Workflow Escalations (part 1), we explored using notifications as a way to raise awareness about workflows that have been stuck on a step for too long.  To recap the use case we had an expense report filled out by an employee in step 1, approved by the employee’s manager in step 2 and finally sent to accounting for processing in step 3.  The accounting department is obligated to complete their step within 7 days.  In the previous article notifications were used to email relevant parties when the deadline was missed.  That’s a vast improvement but wouldn’t it be better if we could warn the accounting department before the 7 days has passed?  Creating escalation reminders can accomplish this.

Here’s a snapshot of our workflow as seen in the frevvo designer:

esc-designer1

Clicking on Setup Escalations will bring us the escalation configuration page for the accounting step:

escalations-reminder

We can see the previous configuration from the first article that sets up notifications but we’ve also configured reminders. This reminder will send a notification to all the potential owners (i.e. the accounting department) 1 day before the deadline.  The subject and message used in the email is auto generated when you enable reminders but can be changed to display whatever text you want.  Once again note the use of frevvo template (e.g. {flow.name}) in the subject and message so that each message is custom for each flow instance.

If we feel the accounting department needs even more reminding we could send 3 reminders in 8 hour intervals on the day before the deadline:

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 10.23.51 AM

You can set up reminder frequencies in days, hours and minutes and configure as many as you want using the limit reminder options.  Since you can set up multiple multiple deadlines for a step, you can be extension create multiple reminder configurations.  Frevvo reminders are highly configurable and can handle simple and complex business requirements with ease.

This has been an example of triggering reminders for workflow steps using the new escalations feature.  In the final article we will discuss auto reassignment. To learn more about the escalations feature, please check out our user documentation.