Generate workflow activity

The Generate activity immediately creates task or approval records from any task or approval activities placed after the Generate activity in the workflow path.

Note: This activity is only available when the workflow runs on a table that extends Task.

By default, the workflow does not create any tasks or approvals until it reaches them in the workflow.

The Generate activity follows all transitions through the workflow to each activity. For each activity:
  • If it is a task activity, creates the task and sets:
    • The State to Pending
    • The Expected Start Date
    • The Due Date
  • If it is an approval activity, creates the approvals and sets:
    • The approval State to Not Requested
    • The Expected Start Date
    • The Due Date

Expected start dates and due dates are calculated based on the Expected Duration of all of the tasks and approvals between the Generate activity and the activity being updated. In the case of a branched path (between a Branch and Join activity), the longer duration will be used for any post-branch activities.

The Generate activity can be used more than once, and any tasks or approvals will be refreshed with updated information. This is useful in situations where the list of approvers or other important information is still editable while the workflow is in process and it may be necessary to update or correct the generated approvals or tasks.

To exclude a set of activities from the Generate activity, select the Skip during generate check box on any condition and its transitions will not be followed during the generate process. By default, the following conditions have the Skip during generate check box selected:
  • Rejected (for any of the approval activities)
  • No condition of If activity
  • Continue condition of Turnstile activity
  • Incomplete condition of Join activity

Input variables

Input variables determine the initial behavior of the activity.

Table 1. Generate activity input variables
Field Description
Generate approvals If selected, approvals are created when running the Generate activity. If cleared, the approvals are used to compute their estimated duration, but no approvals are created.
Generate tasks If selected, tasks are created when running the Generate activity. If cleared, the tasks are used to compute their estimated duration, but no tasks are created.

States

The activity state tells the workflow engine what to do with the activity.
Table 2. Generate activity states
State Description
Executing The activity is executing.
Finished The activity finished running. See the result value for the outcome of the activity.
Cancelled This activity, or the workflow that contains this activity, was canceled.

Example

Figure 1. Generate workflow
Sample workflow that uses the Generate activity
In this example, the following approvals are generated:
  • Approval-2
  • Approval-3

Approval-4 is skipped since the Rejected condition of Approval-3 has Skip during generate selected.

Here is an example of using the Generate activity that describes the expected start and due dates:
Figure 2. Generate workflow start and due date
In this example, if the Generate activity is run on Jan 1, 2016, the following expected start dates and due dates would be set for the generated tasks.
Task Expected Start Date Reason Due Date
Task 1 (1 day) Jan. 1, 2016 Jan. 2, 2016
Task 2 (1 day) Jan. 2, 2016 Task 1 is 1 day Jan. 3, 2016
Task 3 (2 days) Jan. 1, 2016 Jan. 3, 2016
Task 4 (1 day) Jan. 3, 2016 Task 3 is 2 days Jan. 4, 2016
Task 5 (1 day) Jan. 4, 2016 Task 4 ends the latest before the Join Jan. 5, 2016

Notice that Task 5 starts on Jan. 4, 2016 since the longest path (based on due dates) to the Join is Task 3/Task 4.