9 Replies Latest reply: Jan 12, 2011 11:40 AM by gwsmith RSS

    how Automatic Action Instances work

    Apprentice

      I'm trying to figure out how Automatic Action Instances work.  In the Process Designer, I go to Business Objects, Incident, and Action.  Here is a list of actions.  But all they really seem to be is titles.  We have one called "Start Clock".  If I open it up, it has a title, no decription, and Allow Association with Window is set to False.  How can that possible stop the clock on the SLA from running?  It's nothing but a title.  I was expecting to see some setting here that sets a value for a field in a database, but it's nothing but a title.  In the flow chart, the "Start Clock" action is followed by a status (which must be what really stops the clock).  So is that all an Automatic Action Instance is - a green box in the flow chart, a kind of placeholder with nothing but a title?

        • 1. Re: how Automatic Action Instances work
          dmshimself ITSMMVPGroup

          An automatic action is broadly the same as a regular action except the person designing the process has to fill in the contents of the window.  Now Start clock is windowless actions so it doesn't pop a window and don't need any data.  You can just add and use it in the process.  If you create a new action with a window or in the process add an automatic action like add note which has a window, then it will be added into the process and you will be expected to fill in the contents of the window as part of designing the process.

           

          I realise that is aall a bit lightweight, but fi you grab a copy of the process designer manual fof the CD, then there should be some fuller explainations in there.

          • 2. Re: how Automatic Action Instances work
            Apprentice

            I've looked at the Designer Guide PDF, but I'm still lost.

            An automatic action is broadly the same as a regular action except the person designing the process has to fill in the contents of the window.  Now Start clock is windowless actions so it doesn't pop a window and don't need any data.

            This is what I don't get.  If an action has a window, then I can see it changing values in the database, but if it's a windowless automatic action, then how can it actually do anything?  The action itself has nothing but a title, a description, and an "Allow Association with Window" field.  There has to be something else, somewhere, that's associated with that Stop Clock action that actually stops the clock.  Is there a window for a windowless action?

            • 3. Re: how Automatic Action Instances work
              lianne.redding Apprentice

              Hi,

               

              Stop and Start Clock actions are special system actions and have in-built functionality behind them to automatically make the necessary database updates to result in the clock stopping and starting

               

              Thanks,

              Lianne.

              • 4. Re: how Automatic Action Instances work
                Apprentice

                Is it possible to create a windowless automatic action that can change database values?  I see no way to do it.

                • 5. Re: how Automatic Action Instances work
                  lianne.redding Apprentice

                  what kind of database attributes are you hoping to update?   Is it values on the incident or is it to create/update a collection entry (e.g. note)

                  • 6. Re: how Automatic Action Instances work
                    Apprentice

                    I added a field in Incident so I can track the End User separately from the Raise User (a principal may call about a teacher and I have to know who has the problem and who to call back).  If the caller is the end user, I don't want to fill in both boxes.  I added a condition in the process based on End User being Null, and I wanted a windowless automatic action that would copy the Raise User value into the End User value.

                     

                    It looks like I can do some manipulation of database values in the  Object Designer, on saving the incident, which would be more appropriate.  It doesn't look like it will be easy figuring out the syntax for the  calculation formula, though.  And with my luck, this won't let me set values either.

                     

                    So do I understand this correctly?  If I create a windowless automatic action, it's nothing but a placeholder.

                    • 7. Re: how Automatic Action Instances work
                      lianne.redding Apprentice

                      You can use copy settings.

                       

                      If you have 2 fields 'raise user' and 'end user', then set the 'end user' field to copy to 'raise user' field when the 'raise user' is empty.

                       

                      This is done in window manager.  Select the 'end user' field on your window and go to properties.  Set the 'Copy On' setting to 'UpdateWhenEmpty' and set the 'Copy To' setting to 'raise user'.

                       

                      The calculations in object designer that you were looking at use a language called boo and you have to write the code yourself.  I think the issue you would hit here is that the value that you're writing to in the calculation will become a read only attribute on the window so it's not suitable for you as you sometimes need to populate the field manually if the raise user and end user are different (correct me if I'm wrong someone!)

                       

                      WIndowless actions are used to move a process on to a new status when nothing needs to be done e.g. we have a windowless 'Investigate' action from our Open status to move the incident to a status on 'Under Investigation' - we don't want to capture anything but we want an entry in the audit trail to indicate when the incident started being investigated (which is automatically written when the windowless action is taken).

                       

                      Another reason for using a windowless action in process is to force something to happen automatically without the user needing to fill in any info.  e.g. in a process you could have a windowless action called 'Assign to Network Support' followed immediatley by an automatic assignment where the assignment window is populated to assign to Network Support.  On the incident when selecting this 'Assign to Network Support' you don't need to fill in any info but the result is that a new assignmnet is made to Network Support team.

                       

                      Hope this helps

                      • 8. Re: how Automatic Action Instances work
                        Stu McNeill Employee

                        Hi Grant,

                         

                        You can also use an action to set/change values on the incident itself.  Create the action in Process Designer and set "allow window association?" to True.  When you add this as an automatic action to the process you'll see your incident window and you can then use a runtime value to set your user.  You should create a cut down incident window with just Title (you have to have this on) and your user dropdown, and temporarily make it the default window - this will then be the window that comes up when adding the action in Process Designer.

                         

                        For more information take a look at this document: How to automatically set or update values on an incident.

                        • 9. Re: how Automatic Action Instances work
                          Apprentice

                          This is done in window manager.  Select the 'end user' field on your window and go to properties.  Set the 'Copy On' setting to 'UpdateWhenEmpty' and set the 'Copy To' setting to 'raise user'.

                           

                          I actually tried this, but it doesn't work.  I must have done something wrong.  I'll play with it some more.

                           

                          Thanks for all the other info.  I think I'm beginning to understand now.