Enhancing Alfresco Share with HPI 2.1 – Document Workflow

TSG will be conducting a Webinar with Alfresco on February 11th (Recording Posted) on how to enhance or extend Alfresco Share with High Performance Interface (HPI) 2.1.  This post is the fourth in a series of posts on how HPI 2.1 can work with Share and will focus on Document Workflow. 

Alfresco Share – Adhoc Routing and Workflow Template Approach

One of the big advantages of Alfresco (and Alfresco Share) is access to Activiti, an extremely robust BPM/Workflow engine that is included with Alfresco.  In comparison to other proprietary workflow tools, Activiti is an open source initiative with considerable involvement from Alfresco that provides for enterprise level workflow/BPM capabilities based on the BPMN 2 standard.  Enterprise level BPM features include robust process modeling, timers, and other high-end functions.  Additionally, Activiti is extremely customizable, allowing developers to write custom listeners that can plug in to any point in the workflow template.

Alfresco ships with standard workflow templates available in Share.  These include:

  • Group Review And Approve – Group review and approval of content using Activiti workflow engine
  • New Task – Assign a new task to yourself or a colleague
  • Pooled Review And Approve – Pooled review and approval of content using Activiti workflow engine
  • Review And Approve – Review and approval of content using Activiti workflow engine
  • Send Document(s) For Review – Request document approval from one or more colleagues

In looking at a document, a user can initiate a workflow, select a template and populate the activity assignees within the template.

2014-02-05 12_50_30-Alfresco » Start Workflow

Templates are created with the Activiti tool:

Screenshot-Activiti - MyProcess.activiti (BPMNdiagram) - Eclipse SDK

“My Tasks” dashlet in Share:

2014-02-05 12_53_55-Alfresco » User Dashboard

Workflows can be completed  (or rejected depending on template) from the list of “My Tasks” as follows:

2014-02-05 12_54_13-Alfresco » Edit Task

HPI 2.1 – Adhoc Workflow/Alerts

HPI provides basic workflow or Alert capabilities to alert a single users or group to a document or a folder.  To alert a user, the user chooses the “Send Notification action”:

2014-02-05 12_58_50-HPI

The alert will appear within HPI to allow the user to view the content and complete the task:

2014-02-05 12_59_11-HPI

HPI 2.1 and Active Wizard – Dynamic Workflow and Approval Routing

HPI 2.1 combined with our Active Wizard product was built to provides simplified access to Activiti for common business processes.   As mentioned in a previous post, Active Wizard provides the ability to start workflow from a Dynamic Form that creates a workflow process based on form data.  Rather than forcing administrators to create a template based on every workflow iteration, Active Wizard workflows are driven by business rules and one very flexible Activiti template.  For many of our document processing clients, typical forms can include change requests where a workflow is being initiated for the review and approval of a document or group of documents that need to be changed.

Within HPI 2.1, a user can:

launch an Active Wizard form from the folder and fill out the data,

2014-02-05 13_04_21-release1.tsgrp.com_hpi_Stage_wizard_0901b66980036858+current%7C0901b66980036858+

attach documents,

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and review the completed form.

2014-02-05 13_07_38-release1.tsgrp.com_hpi_Stage_wizard_0901b66980036858+current%7C0901b66980036858+

2014-02-05 13_08_11-release1.tsgrp.com_hpi_Stage_wizard_0901b66980036858+current%7C0901b66980036858+

Once the form is complete, the workflow will execute based on the business rules configured for the form data.  In the example above, the ‘Initial IQA’ role is configured to only appear in the workflow process if the user does not answer ‘Low’ to the Priority of Change question.  If business rules change in the future, that setting is configurable by a business admin user, rather than an IT change of a workflow template.

HPI 2.1 provides a simplified approval interface for approving the forms:

HPI Actions Pending Approval

HPI Complete Approval Task

Other key features of workflow approval included in HPI 2.1 include:

  • PDF Annotations – Via our OpenAnnotate product.
  • Multi-Document Routing and Approval
  • Side by side viewing of approval form and documents to approve for contextual reference on what is being approved
  • Reject with Comments
  • Electronic Signatures – Signature Page as well as Audit Entry on Form and Documents –  with 21 CFR Part 11 Compliance
  • PDF Signature Page
  • Promotion of form and documents in the correct manner for compliance needs.  All documents are major versioned upon approval and all minor versions are deleted.


HPI and Active Wizard workflow processing give Alfresco clients an option for automating workflow to drive from business scenarios.  This approach reduces user decisions and errors commonly found with an ad-hoc or static workflow template approach.  Business users benefit from a simplified interface with dynamic form and workflow capabilities.

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