Workflow: The Ultimate Springboard for Intelligent Automation
Hi there, my name is daniel dom and i'm a product manager, within mendix. Today in this 20 minute session i will tell you all about mendix, workflow. This is an exciting, new capability. On the mendix platform. And that enables, developers, of all skill levels. To solve, everyday. Business process, challenges. Both large and small. Let me start with a question. Have you ever been, to a place, where everyone else, spoke a different language one, you didn't know. Even ordering a beer or a pizza, becomes quite a challenge. I once found myself. On a bus, late at night, in the city of prague. Not knowing if it was the right one. Unable, to communicate, with the bus driver. I just didn't speak his language. I didn't even have the money to pay for the ride. Somehow, i ended up where i needed to be, but that adventure, could have ended up in so many different ways, we're all part of an adventure. An adventure. To improve, the world, to change the way, we live, and work. Businesses. Everywhere, need to digitize. Their processes. Not just. To gain, operational, efficiency. But also to serve the customer, well in new, untried. Ways. The last few months have shown that inflexible. Manual processes, can really. Impact, the way, we serve, our customer. Especially, in these times of unexpected, change. Digitizing. Processes, sounds, easy but has been tried many, times before and it remains, hard to crack the problem. A big reason for that is that, people speak different languages. I business people, on the one hand they speak in terms of customers. Orders, tasks. Processes. Experiences. I t people, on the other hand they speak in terms of data. Logic. Ui. Security. Scalability. And this is not necessarily. A bad thing. We need everyone, in the organization, to do whatever, it takes. In their domain. To serve the customer, well, but it needs to be done, together. The mendix community, for years, has been able to bridge this gap, benefiting, from a set of shared. Visual. Languages. Today i'm really happy to announce, in addition to that set of languages. One specifically, geared, to build, process. Solutions, digitizing. Processes. And also to drive intelligent. Automation. Of the business. It's mendix, workflow. What if. Business departments. Could benefit. From building. And running and owning departmental. Processes. Themselves. And what if they could participate. In the development. Of larger scale, and more complex. Process, solutions. And one of it departments. To use the power the flexibility. The speed. Of the platform. To build process solutions. Simplifying. Those solutions, considerably. And also, become. A relevant, flexible, partner, to the business. And if you are a professional, developer. One of you could model a process, in minutes, not days. Benefiting, from a set of state machines, state transitions. Long-lived, processes. And what if the business could understand, what you were doing from day one. Imagine, the amount of rework, that that could save. This is what managed workflow, is all about. What is it you ask. Well, mendix, workflow. Is, as i said a new, additional. Language, and visual language, of the mendix platform. Based on bpmn, 2.0. Standard. And it fully integrates, with the existing, languages. On the platform. It also comes with an enhanced, runtime, that is able to interpret. Long-lived. Processes. It's available in many studio, for citizen developers. And also a manic studio pro for professional. Developers. Also it. Leverages, optionally. Manage datahub, for easy access, to your enterprise, data data that's already, in, the enterprise. And lastly, it comes, with, a a whole set, of end user experiences. Like an inbox, like a dashboard. And like management, consoles. To really speed up the process, but that are fully, customizable. At the same time. Enough talking, i think it's time to see it in action. And to do so i'm going to introduce, you to sarah. Sarah is a team lead, in the marketing department, of a fast growing company. And she is a little bit frustrated. By. The times each month when new employees, start. And they come in only to find that half of what they need is taken care of there is a laptop there's no phone there is a there is a phone laptop with no desk. Um. All that, is frustrating, her a lot especially, because it means a lot of ad hoc activities. In the facilities. And marketing. Departments. Sarah knows how a simple. App can bring a huge, improvement, she's tech savvy, and decides. To give it a go. To do so, she's going to build, an employee. Onboarding. App. Let's start the adventure. To build a wrap sarah uses one of the available workflow, templates, that come with the product.
In This case she's using the employee, onboarding, template which is fully extendable. And she gives it a name. And hits, create, app. This lends us into, many studio where we see four different steps inside of this template. One is a welcome message that gets sent to the employee. Then the manager needs to specify, devices, it needs to configure devices, and facilities, needs to prepare the workplace. We'll now just configure, the welcome message, by giving it a subject. And body text. And, then we will look into the details of the specified, advisor, starts which is a task. Provided, to the manager. And user then so that user actually sees a page which is this particular, page it has several default elements. Like an sne, part a timeline, part and comments and attachments, that comes out of the box, but also a part where we can interact with the data the user can do that. In this case we want the manager to also specify, a laptop model so we're just adding that to the page showing how, flexible, it is to just interact with these pages, as we are used to. We're selecting, laptop, here which we don't have so we're creating a new attribute. We see the full integration, of workflow, with the other. Languages. On the menus platform. And, we select the laptop model, and here we go. Now this should be enough when we. See how the complete, button is configured, we can jump back, to the workflow, and the workflow then knows of course to jump to the next step which is rt. Then we're going to take a look at the the main model quickly well this is a central amply onboarding, object that holds all the information, on the particular work for instance, like the name of the employee but also the phone and laptop model chosen. Then particularly, how do we trigger this workflow, this is done using a page, filled by hr with a name and email and then a simple button that says, on board assembly. Enough talking let's just see this in action, so we're now into the running app. And we're logging on as an hr user who is going to onboard. Well sarah logs on as an hr user. And basically, decides, hey let me just, test this by adding myself. So i'm just adding a full name here. Email address. And. We're picking a first working day today and we're starting the process, this, has now triggered. The workflow. And to check that we actually, go and switch to a different user. The manager, for example who was the first one to of course specified, tasks. Specified devices. This is an inbox, that comes with the product as well again, fully extendable. And you can click this and assign it to the manager. And the manager then selects, you know which, devices, the employee particularly, needs. You can see all the pages oh here we can also see the email coming in that we configured. Let's just dismiss that for now. And. We could add attachments, and notes but we'll do that later. We click complete, which should have triggered the next task, which is of course for the it user, to start configuring. Those devices. Here we go the task is there, we can pick it up by assigning, it to ourselves. As an it user we see the data that we need, we don't need to add any data just need to configure the devices, we could add data in terms of attaching a phone contract. Or, placing a comment that hey, this phone was ordered but i configured, a different one. And this is visible, for all, people that interact with the workflow. As part of this process. I can simply, hit complete. And then i'm back into the inbox. Facilities. Department, that user is next of course preparing the workplace. This gets, sarah thinking because in today's world working from the office is no longer a given, actually the majority, worked from home. Therefore let's adjust the process, to see, what happens if people work from home, particularly, we need a manager to specify, hey does this person. Primarily, work from the office. Yes or no. And this is a. Task that we drop into the. Workflow, we say the manager needs to do that. And, then of course there's two options one is yes, this particular, person works from the office but the other one is no.
This Particular, person works from home. And therefore, work from office to follow the original process of preparing, a desk, setting everything ready, but work from home should follow a different path. Now let's just, quickly create a page that comes with this. Specify, location, task that the manager should see. We can actually just create a new page and we can we see two different templates. That we could use for this. Let's just use the extended template that has all the default elements in it as well. And here we go we land into the page we can just, adjust, this. When, as and when we we think is needed. But we already see that, the full name is there but also the two outcomes, are pre-configured. Like working from office and working from home. Jumping back to the process, i'm now ready to fill the work from home, outcome. And. That of course when people work from home and we should actually ship the devices, to them. So let's create a task for the facilities, department. To ship the devices, there. So here we go we choose facilities, for this particular, task. And. We. Actually. Show a page to a facility, to, show them. Where they need to ship it to, as you do that every single day you just saw me, configure, that. And now we ship the devices, we again choose, choose a page, template for that. And we can start working on this page preparing, it so that facilities, knows what to do. Yeah we know the name, the first day is useful because of course it needs to be shipped before that, so now we need to. Find the address or show the address. To the facilities, department so that i can ship the devices. To do so oh i don't have the address. So let me just find it in datahub. And, when i type address i see two hits, one is customer, the other one is employee. And this has been made available, through data hub so that i can use it without any friction, in my app. So just selecting, address. Has, consumed. This, data service and this is visible in the domain model here we see a purple. Entity, showing it's an external, entity holding a lot of information, that i can now use as if it's my own. Let's just think how we can use that first of all let's make first day read only, but then also full name of course could now also be. A reference. To the actual employee, name in the system. That's already available. So if i search for name i can see many other. Names, in the landscape, that i could drag in and just consume and start to use but the one i already have. Is full name from the employee, service, so i'm selecting, that. And here we go, this has finalized, this particular, page so i can jump back, to the workflow. Now before, before previewing. I also of course need to adjust the starting page this no longer is a free text input, but it can now, be a selection. From the actual, employee. That, we are. Going to onboard. Here. And. This means, i can also select the email address. From. The data that's already available, rather than typing it in. So. Let's take a look how that looks, in, the real app we see. The onboarding process we already have finished, but now we're adding a new one with the new, logic. And this time we can actually. Select, ourselves, so sarah. It shows the email address. And we have a first working day we just start the process, now. Again we go through the steps of all the different users i've skipped ahead a little bit, and, we now jump to the manager. User. And that actually needs to specify, the devices, of course. Well signing in to myself. I now have these, two buttons where from office and work from home, i select work from home in this particular case. This, of course following our logic should have created. A, ship devices, task for the facility, users here it is, i can open it up and here i see the address. That is, available, from the source system i didn't have it before i just dragged it in and it works. I can just complete the task ship the devices. And that's it. A quick recap, of what we have seen so far. We saw how a citizen developer. Is able, to digitize. A simple, process, using, mendix, workflow, in minutes. We saw how easy it is to use templates. And then adjust them and run them straight away in minutes. We also saw how, an end user can use the inbox, and other, experiences. That is readily available, yet are fully customizable. And lastly we saw how the feature doesn't just live in isolation. But actually, optionally, uses, mendix data hub, to find, and use the data that's already available. In the enterprise. The result, is a digitized. Process, that the business, department. Runs and owns. Two questions though. How do we move from digitizing. A process. To actually. Optimizing, it.
Because The real value of intelligent. Automation. Is, optimization. Also. How do we as a professional, developer. Move, beyond, the simple, and straightforward, apps. Let me show you. People use many apps already, and no one is waiting to use yet another set of apps to find out if they have tasks, assigned to them and then execute them. This is why the mendix, platform optionally, comes with a central task overview, you can integrate, into any app, showing you all the tasks, that are assigned to you as a user from different apps. In this case i could jump to the specified, location. Page that belongs to the user task that lives inside, the employee onboarding, app, simply. Select. The particular, outcome for this, employee. And then i'm. Led back. To the application, completely different application, i was using, in my daily work, meaning i can focus my time. I could do the very same, by just selecting. One of the outcomes right here without even jumping. To the app, to need more information. Therefore really focusing, my time and optimizing, my time spent. Secondly. What i want to show you is that the workflow, capability, comes with a workflow dashboard. And we can open it up from the workflow admin center. And when i see this, we see a lot of data and insights. About, completed workflows, running workflows. And also the ones that were late yes or no compared to their due dates. Average handling times in task performance. I can even see that on a task level drilling down. To the amount of tasks that were late, their handling time. And their performance. Then. Also, selecting this per task, type so if i select for example configure devices, i see that there was one, late in may. Whereas when i switch, me being sarah to specify, devices. Sarah sees that hey there were a lot of late, specified, devices, starts what's happening, well she walks over to the managers. And finds out. That. Actually, they, use this task to check whether a company car is allowed or entitled to this employee, and, if there is one available, this is a lot of conversations, to have in systems to check, this can be optimized. She asks a teammate. To do that a colleague from the it department. To say hey can we merge these processes. This teammate, just picks up studio pro he has the exact same editor here. And what he needs to do is merge those processes, and therefore he's going to add a piece of logic, that formalizes. The step that managers, take in terms of checking. For a company, car. Check company card this selects a microflow, that you can use to express, any logic, as you know. And when we select this. I can already. Show you what this preconfigured, microphone, looks like but this is just an imaginative. Example. You know applying the cfo, secret source in any logic that you can think of then checking yes wasn't a car allowed, if it was, using a rest service. From the company car supplier, to assign a company car. Now of course we need to check was there a car assigned because if there wasn't we need to trigger a process, of, ordering, a new car to be added to the pool of company cars, for this particular, company.
To Do so we add a decision. And it has a condition, that says hey work from context, which is that central data object holding the workflow data. Is there a car allowed yes and if there is. Does. Uh was there a car assigned. If there wasn't. So if that's false. Then we need to do something so in a false condition we don't need to apply for a new car, so that can continue, as it is right now, in a true condition. We of course need to apply for a new car which is a different workflow, so we're adding a call. Workflow, object here. Which basically, triggers a workflow that can live anywhere, this time it's living inside my app but it can be anywhere in the landscape. I can just trigger, a workflow. To request, a new company card thereby, combining. These two pieces of logic, into one, process. And then the process just continues. As we saw earlier. Now of course kate. Can still. Interact with this model it's not a one time starting. Thing, studio, is fully capable. Of reading the model even when it's. Implemented, in studio pro we can. Check the conditions. Here, we can, go back to the microflow, task, and see hey what microflow, was used to trigger this. And this is the full collaborative, development, that stays, available, throughout. The software development lifecycle. What you've seen, is what can happen, when the world of process. Meets the power, of the platform. This is not just another feature. This is the platform, that makes the difference. What better way. To improve a process than making use, of the freedom, and the speed, of a platform. Whether it's, building, user experiences. That are consumer, grade. Weather is, extending. Logic, of the app in whatever. Thinkable, way, and those of you who know the power of microphones, know what i'm talking about when i say they are fully integrated. Really the sky is the limit, there. Also. Building your domain model visually. Extending, it through data catalog. Then deploying. Your app, in the cloud of your choice securely, and in a scalable, way. And all of this, available, to a broad spectrum. Of developers. With tools that manage the software development. Lifecycle. This is what we mean when we say we are building a frictionless. Experience. That abstracts, away, all complexity. Yet provides, full flexibility. To customize. The solution. As needed. Intelligent. Automation. Really needs, the power, of a platform. Let me summarize. We started off by saying we're all part of an adventure. An adventure, to improve the world, to change, the way we work. We also saw that to do so we need to overcome, the hurdles, of speaking different languages. And unite. To speak one, common, visual, language. To really solve their business need to really serve that customer, well, manage workflow, is the language, you need to build those process management, solutions. And to drive, intelligent. Automation. Better. Faster. Together. Thanks for watching this i really hope you enjoyed it and, enjoy the rest of your men's world. Experience. You.