Process Maps in QAD .NET UI > Using the Process Editor
  
Using the Process Editor
With the Process Editor, you can build graphical models of workflows that link to programs and browses. These processes, or process maps, are clickable image maps that have associated URLs. The URLs can point to various resources such as images, video, audio, and documents, as well as programs. Any application that can be viewed in a browser can be associated with one of the locations on a process map.
Note: The QAD .NET UI only displays Administration programs such as the Process Editor for users who have security privileges or who are members of a defined administration group.
To open the Process Editor, choose Administration|Process Editor.
 
Process Editor
The Process Editor has the following areas:
On the top, options for creating a new process, opening a process, and saving a process.
Tabbed views for developing the process map (Designer) and previewing the process map (Preview).
On the right, a grid displays the process being created or maintained.
On the left, various property editors let you modify aspects of a process. Use a different property editor for process information, process properties, nodes, connectors, styles, and the process grid.
Some editors become active only when the appropriate object is selected. For example, the Node Properties editor is available only when a node is selected.
Before you begin creating processes, you can update default properties, or use those supplied with the system. You can:
Define the appropriate size for the drawing grid.
Set up styles you want to use.
Set up any variables needed for URLs.
To begin creating a process:
1 Click in the grid to add a node with the default rectangular shape.
2 Use Node Properties to modify the node and assign other values.
3 To add a connector, select the first node by clicking. Hold down Shift and click the second node. A connector is added pointing from the first to the second node.
4 Use the Connector Properties to modify the connector and assign other values.
To delete a node or connector:
1 Click the node or connector to select it.
2 Press the Delete key on your keyboard or right-click the node and choose Delete from the context menu.
Creating a Process
Processes are built with two basic components:
Nodes are represented by various shapes and typically indicate a step within the process.
Connectors are lines with arrows that indicate the direction of execution for the steps (nodes) within the process.
To create a new process:
1 Click New at the top of the Process Editor. The grid is cleared so you can begin defining a new process.
2 Assign the process a name and optional description and owner; then click Save. Process names can contain letters, numbers, underscores, and hyphens; spaces are not allowed.
3 Add nodes and connectors as needed.
Opening a Process
You can modify an existing process by opening it in the Process Editor:
1 Click Open on the Process Editor Menu Bar.
2 To reorder processes, click a column heading to sort by that column. Click the same column heading for a reverse sort. The arrow next to the primary sort column name indicates the direction of the sort (ascending or descending).
3 Click the name of the process you want to edit. The process displays in the grid and the Open screen is closed.
4 If you leave the index open for a period of time, click Refresh to regenerate the index based on your latest changes.
Previewing a Process
Previewing a process lets you see the process the way users would see it in a browser. You can also test links to ensure they work correctly. If you are using variables defined with Process Properties, the variables are fully expanded during preview.
To preview a process:
1 Create a new process or open a process to preview.
2 Click the Preview tab in the Process Editor.
3 The process displays in the tab window. All of the URLs that are part of the process are active. You can click them to test the related actions. In addition, images not viewable in the editor display in preview mode.
Use the Language drop-down list to select a language in which to preview the map. This option allows you to edit processes in the language in which they will be saved.
The preview slide button lets you view the map at up to 200% of original size, and you can select the Auto-Resize field to ensure that the map resizes to the screen width and height when you click to preview it.
Saving a Process
Click Save at the top of the Process Editor to save your updates. the system displays a confirmation prompt.
If this is a new process, you must specify a name in Process Properties before you can save your changes.
Deleting a Process
To delete a process:
1 Click Open at the top of the Process Editor.
2 Click the check box next to the name of the process you want to delete. Click multiple check boxes to delete multiple processes. You can sort columns to facilitate selection.
3 Click Delete All Checked.
4 You are prompted to confirm the deletion. Click OK to continue.
5 The process file or files are removed from the operating system.
Associating URLs with Processes
One of the powerful features of the Process Editor is its ability to associate URLs with nodes and connectors. These URLs can point to many different types of files. You can configure them to open in a new window, or replace the content in an existing window.
You can use URLs to:
Execute audio files.
Display movies.
Open documents in portable document format (PDF).
Display images.
Open Microsoft Word documents
Open catalogs, training material, and help files.
In addition to these external resources, processes typically link to other processes and programs. For instance, you can create nested processes that together build a more complex model.
When you specify a URL, you can enter the full path relative to your computing network. However, if you do this, you may not be able to use the processes if your network setup changes. You will also have problems executing them from other systems if you want to deploy them to multiple sites.
To execute a program from a process requires knowing the application program interface (API) for calling the program.
To simplify the use of URLs and ensure that they are portable, you can use a set of variables when defining URLs. Values for these variables are defined in a file named process-config.xml. This file is located in:
TomcatInstallDir/webapps/qadui/WEB-INF/conf/process-config.xml
These values can be updated if needed using the Process Admin menu. All of the processes that use the variables are then updated automatically.
Note: In addition to variable values, process-config.xml contains default values for other process properties. These can also be modified if necessary.
Several variables are supplied with the Process Editor. These variables have a global scope since they apply to all processes. They cannot be modified in the Process Editor.
You can also create your own variables. The scope of user variables is local. They apply only to the current process. See Process Properties Menu.
Process Editor Menu Bar
The Process Editor menu bar includes the following:
New
Clears the grid so you can begin creating a new process map.
Open
Opens a window from which you can choose an existing process map. Select a map by clicking the hyperlinked name.
When you have modified a process map, and saved your changes, use the Refresh button in the Open screen to refresh the
Save
Saves the process map currently in development
Process Label Maintenance
Use this option to define the text for the label keys in all the available languages. See Process Label Maintenance.
Process Information Menu
Use Process Information to assign a name, title, and owner to a process.
Name
Assign the process a name. The process name is the physical file name on the operating system. You can use alphanumeric characters, hyphens, and underscores in the name; you cannot use spaces or the following characters:
! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) + = [ ] { } | \ : ; " ' < , > > / ? ` ~
You must assign a name before you can preview or save a process.
Title
Assign a title to the process map. You can use any characters in the title. Assigning a title to the process map is recommended.
Owner
Assign the process an owner. This is the person responsible for updating and maintaining the process. Owner is optional.
Note: Owner information is maintained within the process file. It does not indicate operating system file permissions, which are managed on the Web server.
Grid Properties Menu
Use the Grid Properties menu to customize the grid.

Grid Properties
Rows
The number of rows in the grid. A warning displays if your change would cause nodes or connectors to be deleted.
Columns
The number of columns in the grid. A warning displays if your change would cause nodes or connectors to be deleted.
Note: You can specify from 1 to 12 rows and columns in the grid. The default is 6. If you specify a larger number, you may need to reduce the size of the cells in the grid or reduce the zoom percentage so that you can see the entire process definition as you work with it.
Note: If you are displaying header rows, you can also add and remove columns and rows directly within the grid. When your cursor hovers over the header row, a plus (+) and minus (-) sign appear. Click the plus to add a row or column; click the minus to remove it.
Show Gridlines
Specify whether to show the lines of the grid.
Height
The height in pixels of each grid cell.
Width
The width in pixels of each grid cell.
Padding
The distance in pixels from the edge of a cell to the node in a cell. The padding defines the space around a node within a cell.
Zoom
The scaled view of the grid expressed as a percentage.
Background Color
The background color of the grid. Use the color selector adjacent to the field to click on a color.
Show Headers
Specify whether to show the row (1, 2, 3, ...) and column (A, B, C, ...) headers. These are the rows with numbers and letters that can be used to identify grid blocks.
Style Properties Menu
Use Style Properties to modify attributes of system-defined styles. Associate styles with nodes in Node Properties and with connectors in Connector Properties. Style attributes are immediately visible when applied to a node or connector in the grid.

Style Properties
Style ID
The predefined styles include the following:
Connector is the default style associated with a connector.
Link Node is the default style associated with a link node.
Mouse Over Node changes the style of a node when the mouse is pointing to it.
Node is the default style associated with a standard node.
Plan is the default style for plan nodes in QAD-supplied process maps.
Source is the default style for source nodes in QAD-supplied process maps.
Make is the default style for make modes in QAD-supplied process maps.
Warehouse Mgmt is the default style for warehouse management nodes in QAD-supplied process maps.
Financial & Acct Mgmt is the default style for financial and account management nodes in QAD-supplied process maps.
Human Resource Mgmt is the default style for human resource management nodes in QAD-supplied process maps.
Setup is the default style for setup nodes in QAD-supplied process maps.
Style 1, Style 2, Style 3, and Style 4 are predefined styles you can further customize.
Text Node is the default style for a text node.
Disabled lets you disable a node in a process map without deleting it.
Font
Use the pull-down menu to choose from a variety of fonts. When you select the default option, the system selects the most appropriate font for the language in which you are working.
Font Style
Use the pull-down menu to choose a normal or italic font style.
Font Size
Use the pull-down menu to choose the font size.
Font Weight
Use the pull-down menu to choose bold, bolder, lighter, or normal.
Text Color
The text color of the node. Use the color selector adjacent to the field to click on a color.
Stroke Color
The stroke color, which is the color of the node border line. Use the color selector adjacent to the field to click on a color.
Fill Color
The fill color, which is the background color inside the node. Use the color selector adjacent to the field to click on a color.
Opacity
The opacity of the fill color. Use the pull-down menu to select from .1 (nearly transparent) to 1 (opaque).
Stroke Width
The width in pixels of the border line of the node (or the connector between two nodes, if the style applies to connectors).
Adding or Modifying Styles
A system administrator can add additional styles or modify the default attributes of the system-defined styles.
Styles and their attributes are defined in the TomcatInstallDir/webapps/qadui/WEB-INF/conf/process-config.xml file. Any changes you make to this file are reflected in the Style Properties editor.
However, if you modify styles, be aware that the style attributes are embedded in the XML used to define a process. If you change a style that has already been used, existing processes are not affected.
To change the style in an existing process, you must open it and change the style attributes in the Style Properties editor.
Process Properties Menu
The Process Properties menu displays variables for use with individual processes. You can create your own local variables for use with individual processes. You can see the value of global variables, but you cannot modify them with this editor.

Process Properties
Name
The name of a variable.
Value
The value of the variable. For example, the value for the QAD_SHELL global variable is qadsh://menu/invoke?menuitem-key=, which invokes the QAD Shell URL.
Scope
The scope of the variable, which can be either global or local.
URL Parameter
This check box indicates if the variable is added automatically to every URL in the process.
New
Click this button to create a new local variable. For more information, see “Creating Process Properties Local Variable” on page 179.
Delete
Click this button to delete a local variable. You cannot delete QAD-reserved variables, which are global.
Creating a Process Properties Local Variable
Use Process Properties to create your own variables for use with individual processes. These variables have local scope. You can see the value of global variables, but you cannot modify them with this editor.
To create a local variable, follow these steps:
1 Click New. You are prompted to specify the name of the new variable.
2 Enter a name and click OK. The new variable is added to the drop-down list in the Process Properties.
3 Choose the new variable from the list. Scope automatically defaults to local and cannot be changed.
4 Enter a value for the variable.
5 Click the URL Parameter check box if you want the new variable to be added automatically to every URL in this process.
You can use the Delete button to delete a local variable. You cannot delete QAD-reserved variables (global scope).
See Process Properties Menu
Connector Properties Menu
Use Connector Properties to modify attributes of connectors.

Connector Properties
Label
A text string that specifies a label for the connector. The label uses the font attributes associated with the style. While you can specify a long label, you typically want to constrain the label to the size of its connector.
Link
A URL associated with the connector. When a user clicks on the connector, the URL is launched in a new or current window, based on the value of Target. You can use variables with URLs so that your processes are not confined to one computing environment.
Target
The target window to use when the URL specified in the Link field is activated. Choose the following from the pull-down menu:
New Window. The URL opens in a new window. The process window remains open.
Current Window. The URL replaces the contents of the current window.
Shape
The shape of the connector. Choose one of the following shapes from the pull-down menu:
Straight Line
Straight Arrow
Top Elbow Line
Top Elbow Arrow
Bottom Elbow Line
Bottom Elbow Arrow
Style
The style of the connector. The style determines the color, line width, and font attributes of the connector’s label. The available styles are defined in the Style Properties menu. For more information, see Style Properties Menu.
Node Properties Menu
Use Node Properties to modify aspects of a node.

Node Properties
Label
A text string that specifies a label for the node. The label uses the font attributes associated with the style. While you can specify a long label, you typically want to constrain the label to the size of its associated node. To specify line breaks, you can include the <br> tag in the text. Use the up and down arrow keys to select from the existing label definitions.
Tooltip
A text string that specifies a tool tip for the node. To specify line breaks, you can include the <br> tag in the text. You can have up to four lines. The title for the tool tip is the node label, as specified in the Label field.
Link
Enter a URL or select from the pull-down menu options, which include the following:
Choose File. Use this option to browse to and select a file, such as an MS Word document.
Menu Lookup. Use this option to select a program.
Process List Lookup. Use this option to select a process map.
Target
The target window to use when the URL is executed. Choose the following from the pull-down menu:
New Window. The URL is opened in a new window. The process window remains open.
Current Window. The URL replaces the contents of the current window. You must use this setting whenever the destination URL is a program.
Image
The full path or URL for an image to be associated with this node. This image is used instead of any shape specified in the Shape field. This image displays in the Process Editor only when you specify a literal path. If you use the QAD_DT_IMG variable, you must click Preview to expand the variable and view the graphic. The system sizes the image to fit into the cell height and width. Ensure that the image is correctly proportioned for the cell size or it may be distorted.
Icon
The full path or URL for an image of an icon to be associated with this node. The icon displays in the lower right corner of the node when viewed in the Process Viewer. To view the icon included in the node while using the Process Editor, click the Preview button.
Shape
The shape of the node. Choose the following shapes from the pull-down menu:
Rectangle. (If your grid height and width are the same, the Rectangle setting displays as a square.)
Ellipse. (If your grid height and width are the same, the Ellipse setting displays as a circle.)
Diamond
Report
Manual Operation
Manual Input
Style
Choose a style from the pull-down menu. The style determines font attributes, color, line width, and filter. Style attributes are immediately visible in the grid area. The available styles are defined in the Style Properties menu. For more information, see Style Properties Menu.
Background Color
The background color of the node. Use the color selector adjacent to the field to click on a color.
Dash Width
The length in pixels of dashed lines and the spaces between dashed lines for the node border (or the connector between two nodes, if the style applies to connectors). If set to zero (0) or left blank, the line is a solid line. You can enter two values separated by a space to specify the length in pixels of each dash and the space in pixels separating each dash. For example, 2 5 specifies that each dash has a length of two pixels and that the space between each dash is five pixels.
Add More Links
You can add up to eight URLs as links on a process map node. Enter text in the Label field for the label text of the link. Enter the URL in the Link field.

Add More Links
Cell Borders
You can specify the color, width, and dash width of the top, bottom, left, and right borders of the cell in which the node is located.

Cell Borders
Adding an Operational Metric to a Process Map
Operational metrics are visual representations of browse data, and can be imported into process maps as node images.
When you generated and save a metric, the saved metric is stored in the {QAD_HOMESERVER}configurations/<environment_name>/storage/metrics_imagesdirectory and can be imported into a process map as a .PNG file. The metric can only be used in a process map when it has been generated and saved.
To access these files, you must:
Identify their storage folder as a Process Properties variable.
Identify the name of the metric graphic file URL as a process map node link. This ensures that the metric image is linked to the original operational metric, and lets you drill down from within the process map.
Identify the name of the metric graphic file as a process map node image.
Use the following steps to import metrics as map images:
1 Set the metrics storage folder in the QAD_METRICS_IMAGE variable on the Process Properties screen.
The Metric Groups variable has the syntax
{QAD_HOMESERVER}GetMetricImage.jsp?config=<environment>&key=
where <environment> is the name of the environment to which you log in.
See Process Properties Menu for details.
2 Click Apply to apply the change, and Refresh to refresh the configuration.
3 In the Metrics folder of the Applications area, select the metric you want to import into the process map.
4 Right-click the metric name to view its properties.

Operational Metric Image Properties
The properties dialog identifies the metric URL and the metric image name.
The metric URL consists of a QAD Shell command followed by the name of the metric image, for example:
qadsh://menu/invoke?menu-key=MetricsMenu&menuitem-key=a23618a2-e86b-4360-80ee-67668e6b2baa
The identifying keys for metrics are typically long random strings; for example:
a23618a2-e86b-4360-80ee-67668e6b2baa
5 Run Process Editor, and open an existing process map or create a new one.
6 Select a Node Cell.
7 In the Node Properties, Link field, enter the metric URL. For example:
qadsh://menu/invoke?menu-key=MetricsMenu&menuitem-key=0e52091e-5820-46e8-a06c-c8b3bc91a152
8 In the Node Properties, Image field, enter the identifying key for the metric.
You must include the metric variable prefix and the .PNG file extension in the metric key.
For example, to include the Manufacturing Diagnostics metric displayed in Operational Metric Image Properties, enter the following in the Image field:
{QAD_METRICS_IMAGES} 0e52091e-5820-46e8-a06c-c8b3bc91a152.png
Click Preview to view the metric image in the map. The metric image is now displayed in the process map cell, and you can click the metric image to display the operational metric.
Row and Column Properties Menus
Use the Row Properties or Column Properties menu to specify the background color of a row or column.
To access the menu, select a row or column by clicking on the row header or column header.
Background Color. The background color of the row or column. Use the color selector adjacent to the field to click on a color. The most recently selected color takes precedence in a cell whose row and column have different colors.