April 1st, 2013 • Features
One of the features available in the initial version of KiSSFLOW was the ability to create dropdown lists. Process owners were able to create a list and use it in the form so that users could select a value from the list, instead of entering the value in the free-form text input. In December, the master data feature was implemented that allowed process owners to extend the dropdown lists by adding additional attributes and retrieve this information in the form based on the value selected in the dropdown. With last month’s release, process owners can lookup data from other workflows similar to how they can lookup data from masters. Here’s a quick look at dropdown lists, masters and the newly implemented data lookup.
A dropdown list can be used when a list of options has to be displayed to the users for selection, instead of asking the user to enter a value in a textbox. For example, the expenses must be categorized into transportation, lodging, food and communications expenses. If the expense category field were a text box, the values entered by the user for the expense category field may not be consistent, which makes it difficult to put the validation checks in and the reporting even harder.
You can also create a criteria-based dropdown by mapping the values in the two dropdown lists. For example, the list of states can be displayed based on the country selected by the user or the list of department areas can be displayed based on the business unit selected by the user. You can learn more about dropdown lists here.
The Masters feature allows you to extend the dropdown lists to add additional attributes that can be retrieved in the form. For example, a customer dropdown list can be extended to add additional attributes such as vendor address, vendor contact, phone email, payment terms etc. The vendor details can then be looked up in the form based on the vendor selected by the user. You can learn more about masters here.
Lookup features allows you to lookup data from other workflows. For example, you can create a workflow to onboard a new client and then look up the client information in the workflow for creating an opportunity, project etc. or you can look up approved travel plans in travel claim workflow so that the claims are submitted for approved travel plans only. This also allows you to create workflows for master data. For example, if you have a vendor on-boarding process, then you can implement the workflow to on-board a vendor. The vendor details can be looked up in the form similar to how vendor details can be looked up if it were a master. Here’s a quick look at how you can look up other workflow data.
Let’s take the example of a travel reimbursement workflow, that helps to streamline the expense claim process for improved efficiency and reduced costs. You would want to look up approved travel requests in travel reimbursement workflow so that the claims are submitted for approved travel plans only. To look up approved travel requests, add a field in the form and select ‘Lookup’ field format. The list of all the workflows including all the tables in the workflow will be displayed. Select the travel request workflow and save it.
By default, the subject for all the completed workflow requests will be listed in the dropdown will be displayed. If required, you can click on ‘more’ to select the field that must be displayed in the dropdown and any criteria for filtering the requests. For example, the requestor must be able to submit travel reimbursements for the approved travel requests submitted by him.
Once you have created the lookup, you can retrieve any other details from that workflow request using a simple formula (as shown in the screenshot below). This is similar to how data in the masters can be retrieved based on the value selected in the dropdown. It must be noted that the details in the table cannot be fetched directly. The example below explains how the data can be retrieved from the table.
Now let’s take a slightly sophisticated workflow example where you want to look up the table data in another workflow. A quote includes customer details and items/services proposed to the customer, and the same details must be entered while creating the invoice. Hence, you can look up an approved quote to create the invoice instead of creating an invoice from scratch. You can look up quote summaries similar to how the travel requests were looked up in travel reimbursement workflow.
In addition, quote details such as items/services for the quotation selected must be provided for selection. You can create a lookup field for the quote details, the table in the quotation workflow that includes the item/service details. This lookup will list all the items in the quote details table across all the quotation workflow requests. To filter the items for the selected quotation request, you will have to fetch the reference for this request and add it in the filter criteria for quote details lookup.