Author: Prajakta Deshmukh

Workflow Automation Any_____

I spend a lot of time with our customers. Most of them easily grasp the benefits of process automation. But many of them still have questions that generally fall into the “Will it work with my _____”?

Automating manual processes helps reduce paperwork and increase efficiency for a 50 or 5000-person company, for those who prefer Cloud or On-Premise, independent of where the organization operates, and the systems you have. Let’s look at how:

Workflow AnyTime

time-sheet.pngYour customers, partners and users want to interact with your organization on their own timelines. Often, they’re distributed all over the world.

If you can only process Sales Orders, Purchase Requisitions and routine approvals during business hours in your timezone, you’re probably losing business and wasting people’s time.

Automated workflows with frevvo are instantly available 24×7 – there’s no need to wait till you’re in the office at your desk, approvals can be processed from any time zone worldwide and your business can flow faster.

Workflow AnyWhere

travel-auth.pngToday’s organizations are distributed worldwide. Your workflows need to be the same. Imagine a student trying to get approval from his/her Faculty Advisor for a time-critical paper or conference travel request. The Professor might be attending a conference, or giving a lecture at the Shanghai campus.

With frevvo the Professor can simply approve the request and sign it wherever in the world he/she is. The student doesn’t have to waste time chasing down the signature.

And, you won’t even have to worry about absent-minded Professors – frevvo’s software can automatically remind them if they don’t get around to signing in a timely manner

Workflow on Any Device

mobile-workflow-128.pngMobile is everywhere. I’m sure there’s no need to expand upon that. Students, workers, patients, customers all work with your organization on a bewildering array of mobile devices.

Your forms and workflows simply must work on mobile. They must be responsive, they must look and feel natural and they must be fast enough for slower mobile networks. It’s not trivial to do and the shortage of mobile developers exacerbates the problem.

Luckily, there’s frevvo. Simply design your forms and workflows once using your desktop browser and let frevvo worry about the details. They’ll just work automatically on all devices from tiny smartphone screens to large, hi-res tablets. Of course, you can customize as desired and it isn’t even that hard to do.

Workflow on Any Platform

cloud-128.pngDoes your business like the Cloud or do you prefer On-Premise systems where you can control security, access to data etc.?

Do you prefer Linux, Windows or some other flavor of server? Authenticate using Active Directory, Google, or some other LDAP server? Do users prefer Chrome or Firefox or Internet Explorer? What about customers?

With frevvo you don’t have to sweat these details. If you prefer Cloud, we have you covered. frevvo Cloud runs on AWS with all the latest security patches and updates and backups and policies. It’s reliable and trustworthy and works for many customers.

Not for you? We also offer the same software On-Premise. Install it behind your firewall on the server platform of your choice. Authenticate and authorize using your preferred system. Use your preferred browser. You simply don’t need to think about these issues anymore.

Workflow for Any One

customer-focus-128.pngWho needs to use your forms and workflows? Employees? Clients? Partners? Patients? Students? The answer is everyone.

Of course, the way they use the systems, the items they have access to, the responsibilities they each have are all different and your process automation system needs to support these different modes.

Again, frevvo’s got you covered. You can route your forms and workflows to specific users, groups of users (roles) or anonymously outside your organization. These can all be determined dynamically at runtime (a common business requirement). You can control who can edit forms and flows, who can view or edit submissions, who can administer flows and a host of other items within frevvo. It’s really workflow for everyone.

Workflow with Any Data

servers-128.pngWhich systems store your business data? If you’re like most of our customers it’s often easier to ask “What don’t we have?” Data is stored in a massive variety of systems: multiple SQL databases, HR systems, Accounting systems, online Google spreadsheets, SharePoint, Google Drive, box.com, any number of document management systems and on and on and on.

Your forms and workflows are simply going to be more useful if they can interact with your data wherever it is. They’ll need to read data from these systems and probably create/update data and documents in those systems as well.

Guess what? frevvo’s pretty good at that too. Our connectors provide seamless access to business systems, databases, applications, and cloud services you use every day. In many cases, it’s through point and click wizards that are easy to use and eliminate mistakes. It’s easy to connect your workflows to the world and make life even easier for your users.

Workflow in Any Language

workflow-automation-128.png

What language do your users speak? Today, even small organizations are distributed all over the world. Certainly, your constituents (customers for a business, the local community for a K-12 school, parents & students worldwide for the typical University) increasingly come from diverse backgrounds and speak multiple languages.

For example, everyone’s probably familiar with school permission forms. In many U.S. communities, these forms need to be available in English and Spanish. In larger ones, there could be many more languages in the mix. For example, Los Angeles provides its material in 8 languages.

Luckily, frevvo takes care of that for you. Our forms and workflows can be easily configured for any language worldwide. Even Right-to-Left languages like Hebrew or Arabic. Those pesky Permission or Emergency Contact forms: parents can fill them out in any language and frevvo can still generate a PDF for you or save the data for you in English (or the language of your choice).

So, you see, it doesn’t matter if you’re just a few dozen people or 10,000. It doesn’t matter where you work, when you work, what language you speak or systems you use. You too can automate your workflows and reap the benefits. It’s truly workflow any_____.

frevvo is point-and-click workflow software that connects your people, data and systems. We have already helped over 750 customers transform inefficient processes into fully automated workflows. Check out our complete platform or contact us for more information.

 

 

 

[Video] Install and Modify a PO Template

purchase-order-videoPurchase Order Approval is a very routine day-to-day workflows. Many customers choose Live Forms to digitize this workflows.

Starting with one of our pre-built templates, you can easily customize it to create your own fully electronic, mobile-capable and business-ready PO in very little time. You won’t need expensive and hard-to-find skills like iOS/Android app development or HTML5/CSS3 expertise to create a beautiful, electronic app that just works on all devices.

At frevvo, we just digitized a completely customized Purchase Order approval workflow for a University customer in 45 man-hours.

Watch this short (7 min) video to quickly see how. We’ll show how to:

  • Install a pre-built PO workflow template with a single click.
  • Modify it to meet business requirements (we’ll add a Finance step).
  • Run it in frevvo’s Cloud.

Hundreds of customers are already benefiting. Why not give it a whirl? Sign up for a free trial and see for yourself. It takes 30 seconds, and you can install a template and try it out instantly.

Tracking with Google Analytics

frevvo-analytics

Google Analytics is a freemium web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. It’s the most widely used web analytics service on the Internet. If you’re using Google Analytics, you can integrate frevvo forms and workflow traffic into Analytics.

The simplest way to track form or workflow usage is to add your Google Analytics Tracking Id in the form’s Tracking Id property. Now every time someone uses this form or workflow, frevvo will transmit a Pageview to Google Analytics. You’ll be able to see this as a standard web page view in all Analytics reports.

If you wish, you can enable fine-grained tracking. For example, you want to track events like specific value changes on the form, form submission etc. You can use Custom JavaScript to call Google Analytics during these events.

Here is a sample script to call Google Analytics when user submits the form:

var CustomEventHandlers = {
setup: function(el) {
if (CustomView.hasClass(el, ‘s-submit’)) {
FEvent.observe(el, ‘click’, this.submitClicked.bindAsObserver(this, el));
}
},
submitClicked: function(evt, el) {
_gaq.push([‘_trackEvent’, ‘Purchase Order form submitted, ‘clicked’]);
}
}

You can observe a wide variety of events on any control in your form and track them individually at any level you desire. Please see the documentation for details on custom event handlers.

[Workflow Template] Travel Authorization and Reimbursement

travel-authorization
8.5m video. Create your own fully functional travel authorization & reimbursement workflow

Travel Authorization and Reimbursement is a common workflow that’s used by employees to request authorization for expenses prior to travel and t
hen to reconcile actual expenses before submitting for payment. If actual expenses exceed estimated expenses, the workflow will obtain additional approval. Finally, the workflow routes to the Finance Department for payment.

We’ve created this short (8.5m) video to help you install, configure and try out this template. We know that it’s one of our most frequently downloaded workflow templates.

Click on the image to view the video and see how you can start with a pre-built template and have a fully-functional travel authorization workflow in less than 15 minutes. You can also view the documentation for this template.

frevvo 7.1: Submissions Search

We’re always working on improving frevvo based on customer feedback. We have ambitious longer-term plans but we’re tackling some of the most common requests ASAP.

frevvo V7.1 (which will be available later this year) includes one such item: the ability to search for submissions based on form data. There’s also a new Submissions View and Excel export. Let’s take a look using a Contact Form.

searchable-fields
Searchable Fields wizard

First, you have to define your Searchable fields using a wizard. Simply add/remove Searchable fields as desired. Once defined, frevvo can also go back and re-index your existing submissions so you can search them using the same fields. In our Contact Form, we’ve chosen First Name, Last Name and Email Address.

Then, go to the Submissions View for the form. By default, you’ll see the Submissions for the past month with no other filters applied. Searchable Fields appear in the table if they fit.

Expand the Submissions Filter Section. You can filter and search for submissions by a wide variety of criteria. There’s Date Range and Submission State but you can choose other criteria including the Searchable fields. You can also create a logic expression as shown in the image. We’re searching for Submissions this year where the email address contains frevvo.com and the first name begins with either M or P as the shown in the logic expression field.

filter
Filter/Search for submissions

If the columns don’t fit on the screen (for example, on a mobile device), you can click + for any row to view them. As usual, you can double click any submission to view details (XML document, PDF, attachments, signatures etc.) and delete unwanted submissions.

submssions
Expand/Collapse individual submissions to view details

Similar functionality is available in the Task List as well – we’ll describe it in a separate article. And, in a future release, we plan to unify these user interfaces so you can handle tasks, submissions and reports from the same place in the UI.

frevvo + Google Apps: Part 7. Single Sign On using your Google Apps credentials

As of October 2015, Google Apps can now act as a SAML Identity Provider. Since frevvo also supports SAML, you can easily sign in to your frevvo Cloud tenant or On-premise system using your Google Apps credentials. The complete walk-through below shows you how to setup Google as the Identity Provider and frevvo as the Service Provider to configure SSO. This walk-through is for Cloud. On-Premise is similar but has an additional step to generate a certificate.

Google as the Identity Provider

Follow the steps below. Screens are shown in the images below.

  1. Login to your Google domain as an admin, go to the admin portal and click through to Apps > SAML Apps. If you have any existing SAML apps, you’ll see them here. Click the big PLUS (+) sign at bottom right to add a new one. A wizard will appear.
  2. In Step 1, click the “Setup My Own Custom App” link at the bottom of the screen.
  3. In Step 2, choose Option 2 and Download the IDP metadata file.
  4. In Step 3, you can provide a name for your application, a description and a logo.
  5. In Step 4, you must enter the Service Provider (frevvo) details. For ACS URL, type https://app.frevvo.com:443/frevvo/web/saml/SSO/alias/{tenant}. For Entity Id, type https://app.frevvo.com:443/frevvo/web/alias/{tenant}. In both cases, replace {tenant} with your cloud tenant. For example, https://app.frevvo.com:443/frevvo/web/saml/SSO/alias/ashish-saml.com. Leave the built-in Name Id attribute configuration alone.
  6. In Step 5, you need to add a new Attribute Mapping:
    User Id | Basic Information | Primary Email and click Finish.
  7. You should see the Setup Complete screen show up. Click OK.
  8. Your new SAML App will be displayed. Click the three dots at right and turn ON SSO. You can choose to turn it ON for everyone in your domain or for specific sub-domains.

Create users in Google

At this point, you’ll need to create your users in Google or move existing users into the appropriate sub-organization if you are limiting access to your SAML app in Google. You won’t have to create new users or move existing users if you enabled the SAML app for everyone in your Google domain.

However, you’ll need a user in your Google domain to serve as the tenant administrator. Either, create a new one or choose an existing one (there’s nothing to do as long as you choose someone).

Create users in frevvo

You need to ensure that the user you chose/created as the tenant admin exists in frevvo. Once we switch over to SAML, all authentication will use Google Apps credentials and you won’t be able to login using your current tenant admin or other users. We’ll use CSV upload. The file syntax looks like this:

userId,tenant,password,firstName,lastName,email,enabled,reportsTo,roles,transaction
{user}@{domain},{tenant},123,{first},{last},{email},true,,frevvo.Designer|frevvo.TenantAdmin,

The fields are your Google login (e.g. prajakta.deshmukh@frevvo.com), your frevvo tenant id (e.g. ashish-saml.com), any password (it is not used), the first name, last name and email address. In the roles field, use the roles indicated above.

  1. Login as the current tenant admin user.
  2. Click on Manage Users.
  3. Click on Download CSV users file.
  4. Edit the file to setup at least one Google User (the one you chose/created as the tenant admin).
  5. Click on CSV Upload (the Excel looking icon) and upload the file to create this user.

frevvo as the Service Provider

Now, we need to setup frevvo. Follow the steps below (also shown in the image below):

  1. Generate the SP metadata file from frevvo. Visit the URL: https://app.frevvo.com:443/frevvo/web/saml/metadata/alias/{tenant} in your browser. Replace {tenant} with your cloud tenant. Right click to View Page Source and save as an XML file.
  2. Login to your Cloud account as tenant admin and click the Edit Tenant button.
  3. In the Security Manager section, click the Change button, choose SAML in the drop down that appears and click Ok. NOTE: Free Trial accounts do not show the Change button. If the Change button is not visible in your tenant, please contact customer support.
  4. The SAML configuration section will appear. In the Service Provider section, we must paste the SP metadata file we generated in Step 1 above. Unfortunately, the file contains an XML prolog (highlighted in the image below) which must be removed. Paste the contents of this SP metadata file without the prolog into the Service Provider text area of the configuration form.
  5. In the Identity Provider section, paste the IDP metadata file we generated and saved in the Google setup above. Once again, the file contains an XML prolog. Paste the contents of this IDP metadata file without the prolog into the Identity Provider text area of the configuration form.
  6. Check Authentication Only. This means SAML will authenticate the user but not retrieve any of the attributes. Users are not automatically discovered upon first login. Therefore, you must create users & roles using CSV upload.
    • If you do not wish to select the Authentication Only option, you’ll need to map other attributes in Google first before you can assign them in Frevvo. First Name, Last Name, and Email should be pretty straight forward since these attributes are surfaced by the Google SAML IdP app. The other attributes may be more difficult.
  7. With the Authentication Only option, attribute mapping only includes one attribute, the User Id. Since we mapped the email address to the User Id attribute in Google while setting up the SAML app, we can simply map the frevvo attribute to User Id in the configuration form.
  8. Submit the form and we’re done.

How to use your new SAML tenant

  1. Logout of all your Google accounts to test.
  2. Go to the tenant URL: https://app.frevvo.com:443/frevvo/web/tn/{tenant}/login. Replace {tenant} with your tenant id.
  3. You will be redirected to the Google login page.
  4. Login to Google as the Google user you chose/created as the tenant admin.
  5. You will be redirected to frevvo to the Manage Tenant screen.

The user id displayed in frevvo at the top will look like {user}@{domain}@{tenant} which is a bit confusing but is purely cosmetic.

Load other users in frevvo

Before your other Google users can login to frevvo using their Google Apps credentials, they must first be created in frevvo. You can download users from Google Apps as a CSV file (uncheck the create a Google Sheet option), modify it  to follow frevvo’s syntax as above and upload it. You can also login as the tenant admin Google user and create users and roles using the UI.

Once the user exists in frevvo, he/she can login using Google credentials and the system will behave as expected according to the roles assigned to the user.

frevvo + Google Apps: Part 6. Leave Approval Workflow

In previous articles in this series, we saw how you can save (write) submissions to a Google Sheet, use the Google Distance Matrix API to automatically calculate mileage and reimbursement amounts, create dynamic pick lists from a Google Sheet(read), update a Google Sheet and save your documents to Google Drive.

Today, we’ll put it all together and create a Leave Approval workflow. It has several steps.

1. Employee Requests Leave

employee-request
Leave Request form

First, the employee logs in to the system (either directly to frevvo or integrated with Active Directory or other LDAP or SAML) and requests leave by filling out a form. This form reads Annual and Sick days from this Google Sheet for the currently logged in employee, shows them in the pick list labels and sets up the pick list options so that the employee can only select a valid # of days. The employee then signs the request digitally. This locks the section from being further edited. Finally, the employee sends the request to his/her manager for approval.

2. Manager Approval

manager-approval
Manager Approval (Smartphone)

The workflow then routes the request to that employee’s manager for approval. Since frevvo knows who the employee is, it can route to the specific person that needs to approve. The manager will get a notification email with a link to the leave request. He/she can then access the leave approval via the built-in task list and approve the request. If there are questions/concerns, the manager can reject it back to the employee for more information.

3. HR Department Processing

Finally, the workflow routes to the HR department for processing. Once HR has completed processing, the HR manager can click Finish and the workflow completes.

4. Update Google Sheets & Save to Google Drive

Once the workflow completes, the Google Sheet is automatically updated to reflect the changes in available days. The system will automatically subtract the number of approved days from the number that were originally available so that the data in the Sheet is always up-to-date.

google-drive
PDF uploaded to Google Drive

The PDF Leave Approval document is also uploaded to Google Drive. The workflow is configured so that frevvo’s Google Connector will create a subfolder with the employee’s first and last names and the leave start date and upload the PDF of the approval to that subfolder so that it’s very easy to find at a later date.

5. Notify the Employee

Finally, the employee who originally requested the leave is also notified via email that the leave was approved and the PDF document is attached to the email. This way, the employee can save the documents for his/her records.

Does your organization use Google Apps? Are you interested in digitizing your day-to-day approval workflows and forms integrated with Google Apps? Visit our website to view examples, watch videos, sign up for a free 30-day trial or contact us for more information.