NetResults Tracker Help

Central to a tracking process are the states that define the process. Each state encompasses its own rules regarding what action must be taken, by what individual, what data is involved, and where the request should go next within the process. The states and the behavior and rules associated with them are collectively called a workflow. A workflow is associated with a Form within a Project. Multiple workflows can be created. Each form can only use one workflow within a Project, but multiple forms can use the same workflow within a Project as in the Example below:

Project 1

Project 2

Workflows are created in the Workflows section.



In general, a state in the process can be defined as one or more actions that must be performed in a serial fashion by a single individual or a group. In most cases, it will be a single task that must be performed by team member. For example, a developer must fix a bug or a QA engineer must test a bug fix or a Support or Help Desk engineer must resolve an issue. By identifying the tasks that must be performed to process a request, you will have a good starting point for defining a workflow.

Once the states have been identified, you must determine the order in which they occur, and whether there are points where a record could be returned to a previous state. This information defines the state transitions. Transitions are paths that move records from one state to another. In the simplest case, the states are arranged in a single linear order, where at each point in the workflow, the only option (a single transition) is to cause the request to move to the next defined state. However, in some cases you may wish to give an individual the choice to move the record to one of several possible states using multiple transitions. This is called branching. Branching from one to several possible states is useful in cases where an individual is entrusted with this decision making capability. Tracker allows you to define any number of states in a workflow and also optionally an unlimited number of transitions to and from each state.

To add, remove or edit a state in a workflow, click on the Admin icon in the Button Bar and then click on the Workflows link, then click on the States button. Detailed information on configuring workflow states can be found in the Workflow States Help section. To add, remove or edit transitions for a state, click on the Admin icon, click on the Workflows link, click on the "+" icon to the left of the state, then click on the Manage link to the right of the Transitions heading.

Transition State

When creating transitions, you need to decide what is the New State for the record. In other words, where does the record go when a particular transition is used to process it?

To help you develop transitions for each state, answer the following questions about each state (or step in your process):

Transition Assignments

A New Assignee also needs to be defined for each transition. In some cases, it may be desirable to automatically assign the record to a particular individual or to a manager who will then assign it to a particular individual.

There are many options available to choose from when determining the New Assignee for a transition:

Transition Data

Another important issue is determining what data should be entered by a user when he/she has completed a task. This information, known as Task Fields is kept in the data form and generally is either used to process a state further down the workflow or to log information about how the user completed the task.

Rather than just present the entire data form for editing to the user when marking the task complete, only the necessary information should be presented. This eliminates the need for each user to know what fields are important for each state transition. Tracker allows this via the Task operation. This operation presents the user with only the fields defined for the particular state transition and can automatically change the record state and assignee or prompt the user to choose the next state or assignee.

To define Task Fields for each state transition:

  1. Click on the Admin icon on the Button Bar
  2. Click on the Workflows link
  3. Select the desired workflow in the Workflows pulldown at the top. The page will be refreshed to show the properties of the selected workflow
  4. Click on the "+" icon to the left of Available States to expand the list of states in the selected workflow.
  5. Click on the "+" icon to the left of the state that contains the transition you wish to modify
  6. Click on the Manage link to the right of Transitions
  7. Each transition listed for the state has a Task Fields button. Click on the Task Fields button to define the set of fields to present for each transition.
Use the following questions to help you define Task Fields for each transition:

Additional Options for Transitions

Additional options include choosing which transitions are visible to user groups, whether a history comment should be set, whether to allow users to add/remove attachments and source code files and whether to allow a record to be cloned during the Task operation.

To help decide which additional options are appropriate for each transition:

More information about Transitions and Task Fields can be found in the Workflow Transitions Help section.

Note that if all users are sophisticated enough to understand the entire workflow, it may be acceptable or preferable to have all users to mark a task complete by using the Edit operation instead, as this allows full access to all fields of the data record.

The next section provides information about Email Notification.


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