In addition to building process models, the Appian process modeler can also be used to monitor the execution of process instances, test your process models, and edit active process instances. This page will walk through the different ways you can interact with process instances from the modeler.
Each process flow is composed of flow objects. A flow object is any object that can be added to the sequence flow of a process model in the Process Modeler, including flow connectors, activities, gateways, and so on.
When viewing process models with exception flows, all exception flows appear in red before they have been executed. Upon execution, the flow color changes to purple as shown below:
When a node is skipped due to an exception flow, it appears shaded with diagonal lines. This is shown in the Team Information node above.
While viewing a process instance in Monitor mode, you can monitor and administer active flow objects.
To access Monitor mode for a process instance:
If you want to make updates to the process instance's process model as a result of what you've found in Monitor mode, follow the instructions in the Navigation in the Process Modeler section to open the model while viewing the process.
In Monitor mode, the Process Modeler displays a different set of toolbar options.
To pause a process instance, select Modify > Pause from the toolbar.
When an instance is paused, the following occurs:
To resume a process instance, select Modify > Resume from the toolbar.
It's possible to change the value of process variables in a process instance. The approach differs based on the type of the variable.
To change process variables of system data types:
text string 1, text string 2.
To change process variables of custom data types, you need to add a script task to your process model that stores the new value into the variable:
To change an encrypted text value, you can use a technique similar to modifying values of custom data types:
A designer has the following options for flow objects when monitoring a process instance.
To pause a flow object, right-click an active node (indicated by a green border) and select Pause. The border of the paused node will become red.
When a node within a process instance is paused, the instance is still active. There can be more than one active flow in a instance. When a flow reaches a node that is paused, and there is only one active flow in the instance, the entire process instance is paused. The node must be resumed for the instance to continue.
To start a new instance of a node, right-click the object and select Start.
Follow the same steps to resume an activity that was canceled by exception.
To view activated instances of a node, right-click the activity in Monitor mode to see an indicator of how many instances there are.
Select Instances to display the Spawned Nodes dialog box, which lists details about each activated instance.
The following actions are available for a selected object instance, depending on its status:
After making changes, click Close to exit the dialog.
To view and complete a form, right click a flow object and select View Form to display the form. Users with the right to do so can complete the form.
While viewing a process instance in Edit mode, you can make structural and configuration changes to the sequence flow in an active instance.
To access Edit mode for a process instance:
In Edit mode, the Process Modeler displays a different set of toolbar options.
When you open a running process for editing, it pauses the process.
If there are multiple process instances at different steps, the following rules apply:
Two users cannot make changes to the same process instance at the same time; however, multiple users can edit different running instances of the same process model.
Once you have made the desired changes, they can be applied to the process instance or saved to the process model. Both options are available under the File menu:
Once a process instance is modified, it is validated. Any validation errors are displayed on the Modeler interface. Validation errors must be resolved before changes can be applied to the instance or process model successfully.
To iteratively develop and test your process models, you can debug a process instance directly within the process modeler.
Running a process in debug mode starts the process and performs the configured actions in the same manner as if it were started by a user. Any emails or alerts that you configure will be sent to the specified users. The process instance is opened in monitor mode.
To avoid any problems when debugging your process model, make sure to Save & Publish it before selecting Start Process for Debugging.
If your process model uses a start form, it will launch the latest published version of your process model, but use the start form from its latest draft.
If your process model doesn't have a start form, process modeler will launch the latest draft when you Start Process for Debugging.
While viewing a process instance in the modeler, you can view error messages for any problems that have occurred in the process to assist in debugging.
There are two ways to view the errors that have occurred in a process while in the modeler:
Viewing the properties dialog of a node will display the error message of any node that encountered an error. If the node was executed multiple times, you can drill down to the error message of an individual instance by right-clicking on the node, selecting the Instances option, and then finding the appropriate instance in the Spawned Nodes dialog.
The Process Details dialog includes a tab called Errors. This view will show any unresolved errors that have occurred in the process. You can also select the View resolved errors option to see a history of every error that has occurred in the process instance.
Once a process is started, Process Details are available to users with appropriate privileges when monitoring or editing the process instance.
The Process Details dialog serves as an administrative tool for process owners and other actors, who can use it to perform actions that affect the flow of a process. The actions that can be performed through this interface vary according to the security settings a user has for the corresponding process.
The Process History tab allows you to view executed actions associated with the process, as well as the changes made by the process.
For changes to process variables that hold multiple values (or multiple items in a custom data type), only the first 100 items are retained in process history.
The Variables tab allows you to view and update process variables in the active process instance.
Each process variable is listed, along with its data type, multiplicity, and current value. To edit a process variable, click the Edit link for the process variable.
Note: If this link does not appear, you do not have sufficient user rights to edit the variable.
After clicking the link, the Edit Process Variable dialog box is displayed. You can directly update the process variable value from here. Changes are immediately reflected in the process instance.
You cannot directly edit process variables that are complex data types or Encrypted Text.
In order to modify the value of a complex data type in a running process, you need to add a script task to your process model that stores the new value into the variable. To do this, use the Edit Process feature.
It is not possible to change an encrypted text value to another encrypted text value from the Process Details dialog. Instead, you can use a similar technique as the one described above for modifying values of complex data types. To do this, use the Edit Process feature to add a User Input task with a SAIL form that displays the encrypted text value and saves the updated value back into the process variable.
The Process Nodes tab lists each node in a process. If an activity is executed multiple times, then multiple entries are listed for that activity.
By default, this list does not include nodes associated with any sub-processes. You can view the subprocess nodes by selecting the Show nodes from sub-process checkbox. These nodes can be distinguished by the Process ID and Process Name columns. All nodes from a subprocess will have different IDs and names than nodes that reside in the parent process.
Note: When this checkbox is selected, nodes from nested sub-processes are also displayed. Up to 10 levels of nested nodes are displayed.
Each of the nodes is listed in a table that displays the following columns:
Each node listed on this tab has additional actions available to Managers, Editors, and Administrators of the process. Selecting the checkbox associated with a node displays the actions that are available to the user.
The following options are only available to Process Administrators, System Administrators, and the Administrator account:
The Current Tasks tab displays all active tasks for the process. To view or complete a task that you have permissions to, click the task name. Depending on permissions, you can also reassign or cancel a task from this tab by selecting the checkbox next to it.
The Errors tab displays all active errors for the given process. Each of the errors is listed in a table that displays the following columns:
By default, this list does not include resolved errors and errors associated with any sub-processes. You can view the resolved errors by selecting the Show resolved errors checkbox.
See also: Process Errors
The Sub-Processes tab displays all sub-processes that have been triggered by the given process are displayed. Clicking on a sub-process will open the sub-process in Monitor mode.
See also: Sub-Process
The Quick Tasks tab displays all of the quick tasks that have been activated by the current process. The grid lists the task name, the date and time at which the task was enabled, and the users who have the right to view and complete the quick task.
By default, the tasks displayed within the grid are sorted by Task Name in descending order. You can sort the table by any of the column headers.
To view or complete a quick task, click the task name. After submission of a quick task, a new task instance is automatically generated and listed on the tab.
See also: Creating a Quick Task
When viewing a process instance in the Process Modeler, you can easily navigate to the process instance's parent instance and its process model or switch between the different modes.
To navigate to the process instance's parent process:
To navigate to the process instance's process model:
To switch between Monitor mode and Edit mode:
Once you have completed monitoring or editing a process instance, you can exit the Process Modeler by clicking x on the top-right corner of the tab.