Once you’ve documented your process, you can begin to mature it. The act of documenting a process is important and might already have given you some idea of where efficiency might be lacking. Maturing it and utilising the deeper tools that Atlas Play provides is the next step in mapping your process completely so it can be run.
Let’s look at how you can add some complexity to the process you’re mapping.
Defining your tasks
To do this, select the task you want to define and click on the ‘Spanner’ icon that appears in the tools to the right. Tasks can be defined as a User Task, Manual Task, Service Task, Call Activity, or Sub Process.
A User Task allows you to request data from a user or show data to a user. If you look in your ‘Properties Panel’ you will see the default set of information loaded when you choose to define a task as a User Task. You will have a placeholder Field which will simply be a text display field. Click Add Field and we can take a look at the options you have.
A Text Display Field allows you to add in a message displayed in text form or used to display information already available in the process
A Hyperlink Display Field allows you to add in a hyperlink with corresponding text
A Text Input Field will add a field which allows the user running the task to write in text
A Number Input Field allows users to input a number
A Date Picker Field allows users to input a date and time, the date can be adjusted using a calendar view
A Select Option Field allows you to offer options from which a user can select
A Select Option Field (Remote) offers similar functionality but instead links to a remote source to obtain the list for selection such as external data or an API
A File Upload Field allows the user to upload a file to the process when this field is run on a task
A File Upload Field (Remote) again offers similar functionality but allows the upload of a file from to a remote demonstration using a 3rd party API call
NB: You can add multiple fields and sections to a single task in the process you are mapping. By adding sections to your task, you can make the content and data collected or shown easier to digest and more mobile friendly.
A Manual Task do not display to the user running the process, but can be used for documentation when mapping the process
A Service Task is the key component in integrating your business processes into your existing infrastructure. You can use a service task to integrate with shop floor equipment, IT systems and existing software. We will have a series of articles to cover each possibility as they are too complex to cover in brief. If you need assistance on using a Service Task now, be sure to click the Intercom icon in the bottom left of your screen and get in touch
A Call Activity is designed to call another mapped process from within Atlas Play. Here you can begin linking together business processes and networking your businesses in new and exciting ways. Different departments and people can start to work together seamlessly through Atlas Play
NB: When adding a call activity is used, the parent process waits for the child process to complete before progressing.
A Sub Process allows you to create a process that runs within the process you are mapping. You can in turn make the completion of this process a requirement for allowing the main process to continue
We'll cover gateways briefly here, but for a more detailed look, head over to our article 'How Gateways and Expressions work'.
To add a Gateway, select the element you'd like to split from or merge after and select the diamond icon. Alternatively, you can drag and drop one from your Tool Box to a point where your mapped process diverges or merges.
For example, if you have a User Task which asks the user to select one of two or more options, then drop a gateway at the point where your Sequence Connection diverts. You’ll have to choose which type of gateway you need at this point.
An Exclusive Gateway means that the process will only continue in a single direction depending on conditions. If you’ve set this up after a User Task which includes a Select Option Field, you can choose which option the user selects as the logic behind which path will be taken and which element will be next in sequence, for example the next User Task
An Inclusive Gateway will allow one or more paths to be followed after the gateway, depending on conditions. This can be used if a variable number of actions need to occur depending on conditions as the Process continues
A Parallel Gateway allows for multiple different paths to be followed after the gateway in parallel. This gateway doesn't use conditions as each path following the gateway is valid
NB: You can use gateways to create backwards loops. This is a powerful technique and we explain it more in our article 'Mapping a Backwards Loop'
Ensuring Exclusive Gateways Work
To ensure your Exclusive Gateway sends your users in the right direction, select the dotted line which now connects to each respective task. In the Properties Panel you will see an input field marked Expression. Here you should copy and paste the following phrase: select_option == 'CHOICE'
Where we’ve written select_option you need to enter the Key from your option field in the previous task.
Where we’ve written the word CHOICE, you need to enter the exact wording you used for your Option Key in the previous task which relates to this chosen path.
NB: Bear in mind, these field is case sensitive.
By clicking the Add Text Annotation tool when an element is selected you can create a note within Atlas Play that any other users who might be editing this mapped process can see. These notes won’t show up when the process is being run, but are there for future reference when mapping to remind yourself of future additions, or just notes to help document the process
Create an End Event. This is where this particular process ends. Remember that by mapping a process in Atlas Play you open up the possibility of linking it into another process using a Call Event or Sub Process. This might be a self contained process you’ve mapped or it might be part of a larger process. Either way, to run the process to completion, an End Event is needed.