How to create a screen flow
A screen flow is a process flow rule that presents a user, such as a customer service representative (CSR), with a sequence of forms to complete. Often each form has only a few questions to be answered. The user completes the questions, submits the form, then receives another simple form with additional questions. Depending on the configuration settings, presented questions may rely on previous answers and the user may be able to go back to previous questions to review and possibly change their answers. Screen flow harnesses allow you to configure the forms to appear in a variety of presentations.
To create a screen flow, you create a flow that calls the screen flow rule. A screen flow cannot be a starter flow. The screen flow typically contains multiple assignment shapes that present information to the user, along with other shapes. The scenario below explains how a screen flow is called from a regular process flow.
Screen Flow Shapes
Screen flows have a limited set of allowable shapes. There are differences in functionality of some shapes when used in a screen flow instead of a process flow. For example, the Split For Each shape has only the Iterate processing mode. See How to use Split For Each shapes in screen flows and Developer Help for more information.
Property panels for the allowable shapes in a screen flow contain an Entry Point checkbox. You must check this box on at least one shape in a screen flow. When this box is checked, the shape is an entry point to the process, meaning that processing can resume or begin at this point in the flow. This checkbox also causes other fields to appear in the property panel, including the Only Going Back checkbox that prevents users from jumping ahead without completing previous forms or steps. Once the step is completed, the user can return to this point from the steps that follow.
Screen Flow Harnesses
You can present forms using one of three harnesses. Following are examples of each harness presentation.
The TabbedScreenFlow harness presents the forms using tabs. At runtime, as the user completes the questions and clicks Submit under Select Rule then Select Filters, for example, Set Fields becomes active with a new set of questions. A checkmark appears on tabs the user has completed.
The TreeNavigation harness presents the forms in a tree or list format, depending on the configuration. Active form names appear in bold, and a checkmark appears by steps the user has completed.
The PerformScreenFlow harness presents the forms in a breadcrumbs format. Completed form names display in a blue rectangle. Active form names display in a larger font and with a pale-colored rectangle.
A hypothetical scenario helps explain how to create a screen flow in the Process Modeler.
A company takes orders from customers over the phone. It is important that customers of this company have a solid credit rating before the business relationship is established. The CSR first determines if the caller is a current customer. If so, the customer information is confirmed, the order is entered, reviewed, and submitted. If the caller is not a current customer, a subprocess using a screen flow guides the CSR through creating a new customer account. The flow provides the CSR with small sets of questions organized using a tabbed screen flow. The questions relate to contact, payment, shipping, information and finally credit rating. The CSR can switch between the tabs to navigate among the questions as needed.
Once the information is gathered, a determination is made as to whether a credit relationship can be established. If not, the customer cannot be added and a follow-up rejection letter is sent. If the customer is credit worthy, they are added as a customer and processing returns to the main flow so the order can be taken, reviewed and fulfilled.
To accomplish this business processing, create a main process flow, OrderEntry, that creates the work items, determines if the caller is a new customer, and if so, creates a subprocess, CreateNewCustomer, that uses a screen flow process to guide the CSR through creating or rejecting the new customer, then returns processing to the main flow. The flows look similar to the following diagram:
Add the Subprocess shape to a main flow
- Create the OrderEntry flow as shown above.
- For the Subprocess shape, complete the rule form.
- Use the name CreateNewCustomer.
- In the Filter Flow Rule By field, select Screen Flow. This selection causes only screen flow rules to appear when you use the SmartPrompt in the Flow Rule field.
- Because the Flow Rule does not exist yet, enter the name of the flow you will create, CreateNewCustomer. You can either continue creating that flow now by clicking the Open Rule icon, or follow the steps in the next section to create the screen flow.
- Check the Subprocess has Entry Points box. This is required for both TabbedScreenFlow and TreeNavigation harnesses.
- Save the flow.
Create the screen flow
- Complete the fields on the Flow:New form. In this example, enter CreateNewCustomer in the Flow Name field to match your entry in the Subprocess property panel.
- In the Name field of the Template section of the form, use the SmartPrompt to select the ScreenFlow template.
- Click Create.
- The starting flow diagram appears as follows:
- Double-click the Start shape to view the property panel. In the Harness field, the PerformScreenFlow harness is specified by default. Use the SmartPrompt to select an alternative screen flow presentation, TabbedScreenFlow. You could also choose TreeNavigation. The presentation to the CSR depends upon which harness you select in the Start shape.
- Add shapes so that the flow is similar to the Subprocess screen flow in the diagram below. The CreateNewCustomer flow includes four assignment shapes that present information in tabs to the CSR. The name of the shape appears on the tab at runtime in the application.
- Mark each of the Assignment shapes as an entry point in the flow. In a screen flow, at least one shape must be marked as an Entry Point. Typically, many shapes are marked. An entry point is a place in the flow that a user can move to either by clicking one of the tabs or by clicking << Back, which appears automatically at runtime in any assignment designated as as entry point.
Each task in the flow also presents at runtime with a Next button. When the user clicks the button, input is validated and processing advances to the next assignment. For the last assignment in a TabbedScreenFlow or TabbedScreenFlow, Next >> changes to Submit. For information on adding a Cancel button, see the Help documentation, Editing in Process Modeler - Creating and Editing Screen Flows.
Only one connector starts at each shape, and since that path is always followed, no additional information is needed on the connectors.
The presentation of the CreateNewCustomer flow with each harness is shown below.