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Workflow editor

Workflow editor

The Workflow Editor is an interface for creating and modifying workflows by arranging and connecting activities to drive processes.

You can manage multiple workflows in the same screen, create custom workflow activities, and use existing activities as data sources. Users with the workflow_creator role can create workflows. Users with the workflow_admin role can create, modify, delete, and publish workflows.

To open the Workflow Editor, navigate to Workflow > Workflow Editor. For information about using the editor, see Create a workflow

Workflow editing

The Workflow Editor is a user interface for defining workflows.

During workflow editing or while an unpublished workflow is running, only the person who checked out the workflow can view the changes.

After a workflow is published, it is available to other users. The workflow moves through the process as defined in the Workflow Editor. The entire workflow is represented in one screen. For example, this is the Standard Change workflow:

Figure 1. Standard change

Workflow palette

The default workflow palette contains workflow activities and existing workflows you can use as subflows. The basic workflow palette contains these tabs:
  • Workflows: Displays existing workflows and provides controls for creating new ones.
  • Core: Displays baseline workflow activities available to all systems and Orchestration activities (when Orchestration is activated).

Workflows tab

The Workflows tab lists existing workflows that you can edit or use as subflows in other workflows. Double-click a workflow to open it in the canvas. To add a workflow as a subflow, drag it to another workflow in the canvas. Click the + icon to create a new workflow.

Figure 2. Workflows tab in the palette

Core tab

The Core tab contains the standard activities available by default to all workflows and any activities purchased with Orchestration, organized by category. Click the arrow icons to expand or collapse the activity lists under each category. To add an activity to a workflow, drag it to the canvas. For more information, see Add an activity to a workflow.

Figure 3. Core tab in the palette

Workflow canvas

The tabs on the workflow canvas allow a workflow designer to move between open workflows and access other resources.

The editor opens with the Welcome tab, which displays related help links and videos for basic workflows and Orchestration (when Orchestration is activated). From this tab, you can open articles in the ServiceNow Knowledge Base, user community conversations, live feed postings, and user documentation.

The drawing canvas is where you add activities and configure transitions for checked out workflows. Add an activity by dragging it from the palette to the workflow in the canvas. For more information, see Create a workflow.

Note: If your organization blocks users from viewing YouTube videos, you can remove the video channel from either the workflow or Orchestration welcome pages using the procedure in Remove a blocked video channel.
Figure 4. Workflow welcome tab

Remove a blocked video channel

If your organization blocks users from downloading the videos on the Workflow and Orchestration welcome pages, you can remove the videos.

About this task

The instructional videos on the workflow and Orchestration welcome pages are hosted on YouTube. Some organizations block viewing videos from this site. You can follow this procedure to remove the videos from either welcome page.

Procedure

  1. Navigate to System UI > UI Pages.
  2. Open the workflow_editor_welcome record.
  3. From the HTML field, remove the lines shown here for one or both of the welcome pages and update the record.
    • Basic workflow
      <div id = "workflowchannel" class="widget-cotent">
                  <h3 class="widget-header"> ${gs.getMessage('Channel')}</h3>       
      <div class="widget-link">
                      <a target="_new" href="http://wiki.servicenow.com/index.php?title=CSHelp:Deleting_YouTube_Channel">Trouble viewing Channel?</a>
               </div>
                <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed?list=PLCOmiTb5WX3o_ksSvcNhKlAfh4yZOZlYz" width="525" height="380" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe> 
      </div>
    • Orchestration
      <div id="orcheschannel" class="widget-cotent">
                  <h3 class="widget-header"> ${gs.getMessage('Channel')}</h3>
         <div class="widget-link">
                      <a target="_new" href="http://wiki.servicenow.com/index.php?title=CSHelp:Deleting_YouTube_Channel">Trouble viewing Channel?</a>
                  </div>
                  <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed?list=PLCOmiTb5WX3o6xHIFhZC0FRue4Uwlz0Xm" width="525" height="380" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe>
       </div>
    Removing a blocked video channel

Workflow interface

You interact with the workflow editor through several different elements of the window: the canvas, the canvas tabs, the title bar, the palette, and the palette tabs.

  • Canvas tabs: Contains tabs for accessing workflows being edited or created.
  • Title bar: Displays the workflow name and status. Provides a menu and controls for configuring, testing, and validating workflows.
  • Canvas: Provides the working surface for creating new workflows or editing existing ones.
  • Palette tabs: Contains tabs for accessing activities being edited or created.
  • Palette: Contains all available workflow activities and existing workflows you can use as subflows. Drag activities and subflows to the canvas to create new workflows or edit existing ones.
Figure 5. Workflow user interface

Workflow editor title bar

When a workflow is opened in the canvas, the title bar displays the workflow title and the workflow status in italics. Possible states are Checked out by <name> and Published.

Figure 6. Workflow editor title bar
Controls on the right side of the title bar manage the workflow.
  • Workflow PropertiesWorkflow properties icon: Opens the current workflow's properties form.
  • StartRun the workflow icon: Runs the workflow. This control is only available for workflows running on the Global table that are accessible from all application scopes. To test workflows that are on other tables, insert a record into that table that meets the condition of the workflow.
  • ValidateValidate the workflow icon: Tests the workflow prior to publication. Validation detects potential problems that can prevent the workflow from publishing or cause the workflow to fail. For more information, see Workflow Validation.
  • HelpHelp icon: Opens documentation to help you create the workflow.

Workflow menu

Click the menu icon in the title bar for additional options to configure the workflow.

Figure 7. Accessing the workflow menu
These menu options are available:
Table 1. Workflow menu options
Option Description
New Workflow Creates a new workflow.
Open Existing Opens another existing workflow.
Copy Creates a duplicate of the workflow. Give the copy a different name.
Publish Makes the personal workflow version public, overwriting the current published workflow version. This option is only available for checked out workflows.
Checkout Creates a personal version of the workflow for you, which you can edit. This option is only available for published workflows.
Delete Deletes the workflow. You cannot delete workflows that have contexts associated with them.
Set Inactive Inactivates the workflow so that it cannot be used.
Expand Transitions Redraws the transitions so that they do not overlap when they leave the activity condition.
Start Workflow Starts a test run of the current workflow.
Validate Workflow Runs validation tests on your workflow prior to publication. Use this validation to detect potential problems that can prevent the workflow from publishing or cause the workflow to fail. For more information, see Work on workflows.
Collapse Transitions Redraws the transitions so they overlap when they leave the activity condition.
Show Contexts Displays all the contexts for the current workflow. You can use this option to troubleshoot a workflow.
Properties Opens the Workflow Properties form, which defines the workflow's attributes.
Edit Inputs Opens the Workflow Inputs list of variables that the workflow can accept when used as a subflow. For more information, see Pass a variable from a workflow to a subflow.
Edit Stages Opens the Workflow Stages list. For more information, see Workflow stages. For tables with a column of Type = Workflow.