The Other tab listed on the properties dialog box of each activity and smart service allows you to configure multiple instances (running more than one copy of the same node) set deadlines for node completion, and manage node execution options.
In your Process Model, you can run the same task multiple times (one at a time – or all at once).
See also: Multiple Node Instances
Select Run one instance for each item in [pulldown list] to select a multiple-value process variable that indicates the number of copies of the task to be spawned. This option is only available if a multiple-value pv exists in the process model.
Select Run one instance for each assignee if you want the task to be duplicated for each user who receives it.
Select Run this many [Expression field] to type an expression that calculates the number of copies of the task that are spawned. You can also click the Expression Editor button to build an expression for this field.
If you spawn copies of a task where each task stores information in the same process variable, it is possible for subsequent instances of a task to overwrite the values saved by prior nodes. See Protecting Process Variable Values in Parallel Flows for additional details on how to avoid this potential issue.
When a process activity or smart service activity is set to spawn multiple times, the following marker (|||) appears on the activity on the designer canvas.
Multiple activity instances can be executed sequentially or in parallel. Re-execution of an activity creates a new instance, even if the previous instance is not finished processing.
You can distribute the spawned instances of a node evenly across all assignees by selecting the one-to-one assignment of task instances-to-assignees option. This option is only available, if the Show Advanced Options checkbox is selected on the Assignment tab.
When a user selects the option to run multiple activity instances at the same time, they are executed in parallel as depicted in the following figure.
Activity B is set to spawn two instances in parallel when activated.
When a user selects the option to run multiple activity instances one at a time, they are executed in series (as depicted in the following diagram).
Activity B is set to spawn two instances in sequence when activated.
When a node is set to spawn multiple instances, process designers can distribute the tasks evenly across all assignees by selecting the There should be one-to-one assignment of task instances to assignees option. This option is only made available if the Show Advanced Options check box is selected on the Assignment tab. This distributes the available task assignments to each user in the selected group, if this option is not selected then a single user in the assignee pool can complete all the generated tasks.
When multiple instances of an activity are spawned, each instance is assigned a unique instance index. The instance index is a task property that can be viewed on the Data tab of the Expression Editor under Task Properties. The instance index property enables the user to store a single value parameter at a particular index within a multiple value array.
For example, consider a User Input Task where a user is expected to input a number. Let us assume that three instances of this task are spawned, and in each instance the number is configured to be stored in a number array. In this case, the number entered in the task with instance index 1 is stored in the array at index 1. Similarly, the number entered in the task with instance index 2 is stored in the array at index 2.
The array can hold as many values as the number of instances of the task (up to 1000). If no value is entered in a certain instance, a null value is passed to the array to be stored at the corresponding index. The value passed from an instance of an activity to an array can be either a node input or output. Data of any type can be passed to an array of the same type.
You can set deadlines on each activity in a process model. This information is mainly used in reporting. For example, in a task report, a new data element can be added that lists the deadline of a task.
When a deadline is set within a node that is configured to run multiple instances, the deadline is applied to each instance of the node.
A deadline can be relative to when a task was issued, or it can be set to a specific date.
You can configure various runtime and data-retention options for a node, in the Execution Options group box.
You can set the activity to refresh any calculations or variables displayed in the task form whenever it is opened.
You can forward users to a web page upon task completion by typing a URL in the Confirmation URL field.
/page/0) can only be used when submitting tasks within the Application Designer environment.
Select the When this node is completed: delete previously completed/canceled instances checkbox.
It is possible to create process applications that consume too much memory. Release system memory used by completed activities whenever possible. Also, run memory-intensive nodes in a subprocess that gets deleted immediately (or soon after) completion.
When this option is selected, the node inputs and node outputs are saved for future reference (such as auditing an exact copy of the form that was submitted). If this option is not selected, the node inputs and node outputs are deleted upon node completion.
You must select this option to enable a Previous button on an Activity-Chained form. When this checkbox is selected, the
Keep a record of the form as submitted for future reference option is selected automatically and cannot be cleared.
If a node is reactivated (such as in a looping process flow) additional copies of the task only start if there are no other active copies of the task.
If this option is selected, relaunching a task causes all prior instances of the selected task to be removed from the system.