Task Flows

In my Set It & Forget It posting, I made reference to FDM Task Flows.  And then I thought to myself, what about those that don’t know what an FDM Task Flow is?  So in this  post we’ll explore FDM Task Flows – which are not to be confused with HFM Task Flows.

Let’s start with what a Task Flow is.  Simply put, task flows allow an FDM end-user to execute an FDM script without requiring access to the script editor.  Task Flows are hyperlinks that when clicked will execute the script to which they are associated.

The next question might be, why would I need that, can’t I just give the user access to run the script?  By giving access to the script editor, you would grant read and write access to all of the scripts in the application.  There is not an ability to secure individual scripts nor is there the ability to give read/execute only.  Second, and just as importantly, users may be unfamiliar with the script syntax and could unknowingly modify a script.  Third, task flows are directed.  In contrast with direct access to the script, a user would need to select the Script Editor, navigate to the folder where the script is stored, click on the script and then click Run.

Task Flows by contrast allow a user to select Task Flows from the Tools menu and then click the hyperlink to execute the process.  Both approaches will achieve the same results but clearly Task Flows are much more user friendly.






Interested?  Great, let’s get started.  Creating a task flow consists of 2 primary tasks:

  1. Create a Custom (Web) Script: Task Flows will only execute web script. Event, Custom (General) & Import scripts can not be executed from a task flow.
  2. Create the Task Flow in the Menu Maker: Menu maker is used to associate the Custom (Web) script to the hyperlink that will display in the Task Flows menu.

In menu maker – access from the Tools menu – there are 4 fields:

  • Menu Caption: The text that will display as the hyperlink in the Task Flows menu.  Do not use special characters like ampersands (&) or percent symbols (%)
  • Associated Script: The Custom (web) script that should be executed when the hyperlink is clicked
  • Sequence: Sort order when there are more than 1 Task Flows
  • Active: Check/Uncheck to add/remove the hyperlink from Task Flow screen

It’s just that easy!

And now onto the questions that I often hear when educating about Task Flows.

Question Answer
Can I secure task flows? True to my consulting form, the answer is, it depends.The Task Flow menu item can be secured to provide/prevent access to the menu item (i.e., remove Task Flows from the Tools menu)

Once a user has access the Task Flows menu, he/she can see and (theoretically) execute any of the Task Flows.

Code can be added to a script that prevents execution.    This code can be based off the security level of the user or even the user id.

Can I have FDM prompt a user for input? Out of the box, No.  But if you’ve followed this blog for any amount of time, you’ll know that I often will say with a little creative thinking, FDM can be extended.  This is no exception and many of my implementations include some flavor of this.
How does the user know when the Task Flow is complete? This is a very simple one.  FDM can display a completion message once a script finishes executing.

And there you have it, FDM Task Flows.  In this example, my task flow publishes the Process Monitor report for the current point of view.  The result of the Task Flow is below. I encourage you to consider how you can streamline your day-to-day usage and empower end users through robust scripting and FDM Task Flows.


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