Nodes are the back-bone of the workflow, giving structure and direction to the entire flow. They represent stages the workflow goes through. As mentioned previously, a record can only be on one workflow at a time, but it can be on as many active nodes as needed. For instance, you might split your workflow into a Task node telling the paralegals to contact them to get their Fee Arrangement signed, another Task node telling the Billing Manager to get their initial retainer, and a Wait node preparing to create several documents 30 days before the court date.
There are 5 types of nodes: Start, Wait, Task, Condition, and End. You will also see Merge as a type, but it is not yet fully supported and should not be used.
- Start: Every workflow must begin with a Start node. This is the only time that this type of node is used.
- Wait: The most common node style, the Wait node is great for keeping the Workflow active while waiting for user actions or conditions to be met.
- Condition: Like a Wait node, but meant to direct or split the workflow as opposed to waiting for actions to be taken. For example, you might have a condition node with one action that happens if the matter is a Divorce, another that occurs if the matter is an Adoption, and another that occurs if the matter is an Estate Plan. Alternatively, you can use a condition node as a “splitter” which will let the workflow branch off in multiple directions at the same time.
- Task: Task nodes create and assign tasks (Activities) and wait for users to complete them. Whenever an action is taken (automatic or user) and they leave this node, the task will be marked as complete. Task nodes are the only ones that can (and must) have users/groups assigned to it. This will control what users will see the task on their to-do list and what users will see the actions to take.
- End: The End node ends the workflow and detaches the record from the workflow. These can be used to end the current workflow and automatically start another. End nodes are more common in Triggers where an action is completed and the Trigger ends. In Workflows, it is generally best practice to leave the record on a Wait node as user actions can be created to loop through the flow again. Once a record hits an end node it must be reattached to the workflow, unless the End node points to another workflow.
To add a node to a workflow, click the New Node button at the top. Here you will setup a couple of things:
- Type: Choose one of the 5 types of nodes to add.
- Name: The name of the node. This will be show up in the Workflow history as which node is/was active.
- Description (optional): A detailed description of what the node is. Can also be used to add notes about the history of changes made over time.
- Is Multi-Result: Normally if a node has multiple automatic actions, after it executes one it does not execute the others. If you mark the node as Multi-Result, this will allow it to take multiple actions. If you only want one action to be executed (such as do this if it is a Contingent matter and something else if it is not) leave this unchecked. If you want to split a workflow or take multiple actions, check this option.
- Next Workflow Id: Only applies to End Nodes. Put in the ID of another workflow and this workflow will automatically start when this workflow ends.