The following are responses to questions from our ArcGIS Workflow Manager – What’s New session at UC 2020.
Will the new Workflow Manager service-driven architecture require a new server to be stood up and federated with enterprise or can this be put on an existing server in the site?
The new Workflow Manager service-driven architecture does require Enterprise for ArcGIS (ArcGIS Server, Portal for ArcGIS, ArcGIS Data Store) where Server is federated with Portal. It can be deployed into an existing server site or separately, however we recommend having it on separate box.
Is there a Workflow functionality planned for ArcGIS Pro? If so, what is the timeline?
Yes, a new Workflow Manager extension that connects to the service-driven deployment is available on our Early Adopter Site for ArcGIS Pro 2.6.
The target release date for the Pro extension is currently 2.7.
Will there be an AGOL deployment of Workflow Manager planned for the road ahead?
There are plans for an AGOL deployment of the new service-driven architecture. The team is working very closely with the AGOL team, but cannot provide a timeline for availability at this time.
Will existing ArcGIS Workflow Manager Classic licenses apply to the new services-based Workflow Manager?
If you have an existing license of the Workflow Manager Classic for Server, it can be converted into an appropriate number of User Type extension licenses using the same matching formula as the Utility Network. You can reach out to your account manager for more information.
Does every single type of user need to have a "workflow" license in order to use the Workflow Manager?
Yes, every user that uses it will need a Workflow Manager User type Extension license. This is the same model to how Parcel Fabric and Utility Network are licensed
Are there any white papers on Workflow Manager? Also are permissions controlled by portal?
Yes, install doc and web help for the new service driven architecture in Workflow Manager is now available.
Workflow Manager respects the portal privileges that govern publishing, editing and read-only access. Additionally, it has its own system of application level privileges that govern specific access to features or UI elements based on the groups the user is a member of.
When does the new service-driven architecture release?
The new Workflow Manager service-driven architecture has been officially released at 10.8.1.
If we have the Geodatabase version of Workflow Manager; will there be a migration tool or path to the new service-driven version?
At present, there are no conversion tools to assist converting from one system to the other as the new service-driven architecture has started off with new use cases and hasn’t completed parity with the geodatabase version at this time. Even when parity has been achieved no geodatabase implementation will be able to be converted 100% to the new service-driven version without some updates. The extent of those updates depends on the implementation: what features it uses, how much custom code etc.
Is there a mechanism to authenticate web based editors?
Yes, we use portal authentication to authenticate users logging in to the web application and servies.
Can the services-driven Workflow create a version and open it before creating the Area of Interest if doing this on the web like was shown in the demo.
Yes, all the steps shown in the demo are configurable and available out of the box. This makes it easier for them to be reshuffled and configured depending on your needs.
Can we run the services solution at the same time as the classic solution or do we have to move every workflow forward?
Yes, you can have both classic as well as the new deployment running at the same time. The new service-driven architecture prioritizes the following two main use cases – Submission and approval and Web-based Editing. If you are using classic for primarily desktop editing you can keep it in production and start with a new service-driven implementation to cover one of those web use cases while you wait for the Pro extension and further parity with your existing implementation.
Can you still create custom steps in the workflow administrator?
Yes, however we encourage users to use Python to make them. Using Python you can create custom functionality which can be used in steps.
Are Data Reviewer batch jobs available in the service-based architecture?
The service-based deployment supports service-based data structures where many checks are performed in real-time and not as a batch job. There will be new steps in the workflow to run attribute rules and data reviewer checks on the feature services as part of the workflow though.
Can you still set status and percentage complete on a step?
Status is available at 10.8.1 in the new service driven architecture of Workflow Manager.
The status is now set on a path along with the assignment in the new service-driven architecture.
This allows us to add multiple paths to a single step and update the assignment and status dynamically depending on the path followed. Percentage complete is on the short-term roadmap.
Is there a near, mid and far term plan doc for future of services Workflow?
We have don’t have official documentation for this. However, if there is a functionality you are interested in please reach out to us and we can let you where it is on our road map.
Where can I get quick overview of Workflow Manager?
Can workflow be used in combination with taskforce?
For example, to go through approval process or to allow for dependencies (one task can only be performed when another has been executed first).
We are not familiar with Task Force. However, we can easily integrate with third party applications using our publicly available APIs which are easy to use.
If an analyst is assigned a task and cannot complete the task, can the task be re-assigned to another analyst with some remark assigned to the change?
Yes, this is a very common use case. You can update the assignment on a step in the job if you have the appropriate privileges. You can also make it part of the workflow where the job itself redirects to a Group instead of an individual user. You can add comments or notes as to why the job was re-assigned.
Can you create work in the web app but actually perform the work in desktop?
Yes, jobs created in Workflow Manager can be accessed in both ArcGIS Pro and in the Web app.
This has been a core use case for our first release where, a submission and an approval process can go through different departments and roles, each executing their own set of steps. Depending on what work is performed, these steps can be executed in both ArcGIS Pro and the Web Application.
The new deployment for Workflow Manager Server in Pro is available on the Early Adopter Site for ArcGIS Pro 2.6 . We will have an official release for the new deployment in ArcGIS Pro in the next release (2.7).
Can Specific WorkFlow Manager Jobs have multiple locations with multiple steps?
We support multipart locations for jobs in both deployments of Workflow Manager.
Are you able to integrate workflow with field apps. I.E Workforce?
For our traditional deployment we have some GitHub samples for integration with workflow manager:
We are not there yet for the new service driven deployment, but this is something we are actively looking in to where you could just add a workforce step that triggers a workforce assignment and get notified anytime it’s been updated.
Can workflow manager receive webhooks as triggers for workflows?
Web hooks should already work with third party software where you can trigger jobs in workflow manager. We are looking into smoothening this process on how web hooks could interact with WMX when creating and updating work.
Can you re-create jobs on a periodic review of the data, e.g. 1-year review, 3-year review, etc.?
Out of the box in either deployments this is not currently possible. We recommend users use windows scheduler with our PythonAPI to create a windows service that runs periodically. We are working with some of the Enterprise teams on how to improve this experience.
When uploading an attachment, do these get placed inside a geodatabase or can you direct to an .ftp or other file system of your choice?
The embedded attachments are stored in the data store. We can link to a file path on a local or network drive. You can’t currently send an attachment from workflow manager to the FTP site. However, you can download it from the data store using python, save it to your local drive and then upload it to an FTP. You can then save the link to the job and delete the embedded attachment that was previously stored in the data store.
Can you touch on any dependencies with branch versioning? Do either service based or classic workflow architectures require brand versioning?
The traditional version of Workflow Manager in enterprise geodatabase supports both traditional versioning as well as branch versioning. The new service driven architecture only supports branch versioned feature services presently.
Use of versioning isn’t required in every workflow though, it is only when you want to perform spatial data editing in a versioned environment. Many workflows that Workflow Manager support don’t have a data editing component to them.
Is it possible to create a step that not only launches Event Editor, but also zooms to the LOI?
Yes, Workflow Manager can support numerous web parameters using arcade expressions. The LOI is a web parameter in Event Editor that can be embedded using arcade expression in to the url configured on the Workflow manager step.
These parameters are dynamically populated with actual values like the LOI or the job version in the URL sent by workflow manager allowing users to use parameters specific to their Web App. And the best part is, these urls are hidden from the user running the step and so it makes it harder for users to mess with it.
The new ArcGIS Workflow Manager Server offers capabilities to help organizations become more productive across ArcGIS. Learn about the new web and desktop experiences, and how quickly you can build your business process into automated workflows to reduce repetitive manual effort and assist with completing GIS and non-GIS work in your organization. We will also compare the capabilities, requirements, use cases, and limitations with the Classic version.
The Esri Federal GIS Conference 2020 saw more than 5,000 attendees from across government agencies in Washington, DC. Symposiums and demos showcased government agencies using GIS to power deeper understanding for effective solutions.
ArcGIS Workflow Manager Product Owner, Michael Broadbent, and Technical Lead Kevin Bedel presented a comprehensive introduction of the exciting things to come!
The response to our earlier abbreviated 6 minute overview video of the New 10.8.1 ArcGIS Workflow Manager Server and web app was so positive that we decided to record and distribute the full length FedGIS overview for additional context!!
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Learn how to configure ArcGIS Workflow Manager to automate and simplify GIS and non-GIS work. This course prepares you to deploy standardized, centralized, and repeatable workflows to drive efficiencies in business processes and data production.