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Plugin Version: 1.0.0


Overview

Process designers can use the Process Documenter plugin to create, maintain and generate professional-looking documentation about each process in a short amount of time, so other users can understand how the process works.

By adding sections to a group of elements, or adding a special section for just one element on the process map, process designers can easily organize documentation by element on the process map. You can create additional sections for each element if necessary. The complete documentation can turn into a print-friendly document that can export in PDF and DOCX format.

Requirements

This plugin is fully compatible with ProcessMaker 3.3.0 and later.

Installation

Log in as a user, such as "admin", who has the PM_SETUP and PM_SETUP_ADVANCED permissions in their role. Then, go to Admin > Plugins > Enterprise Manager. Either install the Process Documenter plugin by clicking on Install from File and uploading the plugin file, or by clicking on its Install Now button in the list of available plugins.

After installing the plugin, make sure that the Process Documenter plugin is  enabled.

Configuration

After the plugin is enabled, the Process Documenter Settings option appears under the Admin > Plugins sidebar.

The Process Documenter Settings option allows you to create, edit and delete Process Documenter sections for processes or elements globally. This means that changes to the section are displayed in all the processes in the workspace.

Click the Process Documenter Settings option to display the Sections panel on the right:

The section list has the following columns:

  • Name: The name of the section.
  • Scope: The scope of the section.
    • Element: The scope of this section only applies to the element specified in Applies To column.
    • Global: The scope applies globally to all elements in the process.
  • Applies To: The elements to include in the section. The value of this column is blank if the Scope column is "Global".
  • Date Created: The date when the section was created. This value is filled in automatically.
  • Actions: The actions you can perform:
    • Edit: Edit a selected section.
    • Delete: Delete a selected section.

By default, the Process Documenter plugin creates the "Summary" section in each process in the workspace. To add a new section, see Creating a New Section.

Process Documenter Designer

The Process Documenter Designer allows you to enter, format and organize information about the process in sections about each element. Click an element and do any of the following:

  • Enter a description of what the element does.
  • Describe how the element is configured and works.
  • Enter other element information into the Summary section (and other custom sections added).

After the plugin is enabled, a new button named Process Documenter appears next to the Redo Action button in the top toolbar of each process in the workspace.

Click the Process Documenter button to access the Process Documenter Designer interface.

The Process Documenter Designer interface includes:

  1. Process Title: The name of the process.
  2. Designer: The Designer button returns you to the regular process designer.
  3. Preview: The Preview button generates the process document with all the information entered. For more information, see this section.
  4. Zoom Buttons: Zoom in, zoom out and center buttons to change the view of the process diagram.
  5. Process Diagram: The process map as a diagram.
  6. Help Icon: This icon links to the Process Documenter plugin documentation.
  7. Summary section and other sections: The Summary section contains a text editor where you can create tabs to describe each element. For more information about the text editor, see this section. You can also add more sections.
  8. Process Inspector: The Process Inspector displays element properties. For more information, see this section.

When you click on an element in the process diagram, a green square appears around the element. The Process Inspector section refreshes with the element's properties and the summary section displays the information that was added about the element.

Text Editor

Use the text editor to enter information about each element in the process and format it so the text appears nicely in the document generated later.

The editor's toolbar includes the following options:

Action Icon Description
Undo Undoes actions in the text editor, including changes to either text content or text formatting.
Redo Redoes actions in the text editor, including changes to either text content or text formatting.
Formats Specifies the format of new text or changes the format of a selected text.
  • Headings: Applies a heading style from H1 - H6 to the selected text.
  • Inline: Includes the bold, italic, underline, strikethrough, superscript, subscript, and code options.
  • Blocks: Gives the text a container style, such as paragraph, blockquote, div, and pre.
  • Alignment: Gives the text a left, center, right, or justify alignment.
Bold Turns bold formatting on and off for new or selected text.
Italic Turns italic formatting on and off for new or selected text.
Align Left Sets the alignment of the current text or selected paragraph to the left.
Align Center Sets the alignment of the current text or selected paragraph to the center.
Align Right Sets the alignment of the current text or selected paragraph to the right.
Justify Justifies the text boundaries of the current or selected paragraph. Spaces entered at the end of a line are included and affect the justification of a line.
Decrease Indent Reverses the increase indent action. This option is applied only if the Increase Indent option was already applied to the text.
Increase Indent Increases the distance between the current paragraph (the selected one or the one where the cursor is placed) and the page's left margin.
Insert/Edit Link

Inserts a link in the element's description. By clicking the link icon, a dialog window is displayed.

  • Url: The URL of an external page, which must have the "http://" or "https://" prefix. It is also possible to add a link that redirects you to the beginning or the ending of the document by selecting the #top option, or the #bottom option that is listed in this field. Note that in the preview of the document automatically the URL links in the web browser secure connections.
  • Text to display: By default sets the URL previously entered. You can change the text that holds the link.
  • Title: (Optional) The title of the resource.
Save Document Saves the content of the text editor.

Process Inspector

The Process Inspector section displays all the relevant information about the element selected, so you don't have to return to the designer to review it. If no element has been selected, the Process Inspector section displays the properties of the process, as shown in the image below.

The properties displayed for each element depend on the type of element. Below is the list of elements; click on the name of an element to display an example of what the Process Inspector displays.

Process Canvas
Key Value
Element Type Process
Process Title My Process
Process Description This is the process description
Calendar Default
Is a subprocess No
Pools and Lanes
Key Value
Element Type Pool/Lane
Name My Name
Activity: Empty Task / Business Rule Task
Key Value
Element Type Activity
Activity Type Task
Marker Type None/Loop/Sequential
Name Task 1
Description Task description
Assignment Type Cyclical Assignment
Assigned Users/Groups Administrator
Steps Dynaform 1, Dynaform 2
Triggers LoadData (Before Dynaform 1)
Case Labels Title: AAA, Description: NNNNNNN
Timing Control 1 DAYS
Notifications Current User: OFF, Next User: ON
Activity: Send / Receive Task
Key Value
Element Type Activity
Activity Type Send Message Task / Receive Message Task
Marker Type None/Loop/Sequential
Name Task 3
Description Task description
Assignment Type Cyclical Assignment
Assigned Users/Groups Administrator
Steps Dynaform 1, Dynaform 2
Triggers LoadData (Before Dynaform 1)
Case Labels Title: AAA, Description: NNNNNNN
Timing Control 1 DAYS
Notifications Current User: OFF, Next User: ON
Activity: User Task - Manual Task
Key Value
Element Type Activity
Activity Type Send Message Task / Receive Message Task
Marker Type None/Loop/Sequential
Name Task 3
Description Task description
Assignment Type Cyclical Assignment
Assigned Users/Groups Administrator
Steps Dynaform 1, Dynaform 2
Triggers LoadData (Before Dynaform 1)
Case Labels Title: AAA, Description: NNNNNNN
Timing Control 1 DAYS
Notifications Current User: OFF, Next User: ON
Activity: Script Task
Key Value
Element Type Activity
Activity Type Script Task
Name Calculate Shipment Fees
Trigger Associated pmCalculateFee
Activity: Service Task
Key Value
Element Type Activity
Activity Type Service Task
Name Request Carries Quotes
Connector pmDocusign
Return Variable myPMVariable
Activity: Sub-Process
Key Value
Element Type Activity
Activity Type Sub Process
Name Request Carries Quotes
Process Associated Process 1
Target Task Task # 1
Asynchronous Yes
Start Events: Empty, Signal, Conditional
KeyValue
Element TypeEvent
Event TypeStart Event
MarkerEmpty
DirectionCATCH
NameGoods to ship
Web EntryEnabled
Start Events: Receive Message
KeyValue
Element TypeEvent
Event TypeStart Event
MarkerMessage
DirectionCATCH
NameGoods to ship
Message TypeA
Correlation ValueB
Start Events: Timer
KeyValue
Element TypeEvent
Event TypeStart Event
MarkerTimer
DirectionCATCH
NameEvery 15 days
TimerDaily
Timer ConfigFrom: 13:00 to 15:00
Intermediate Event: Email Message
KeyValue
Element TypeEvent
Event TypeStart Event
MarkerMessage
DirectionTHROW
NameGoods to ship
FromA
ToB
SubjectC
BodyD
Intermediate Event: Send Message
KeyValue
Element TypeEvent
Event TypeStart Event
MarkerMessage
DirectionTHROW
NameGoods to ship
Message TypeA
Correlation ValueB
Intermediate Event: Send Signal
KeyValue
Element TypeEvent
Event TypeStart Event
MarkerMessage
DirectionTHROW
NameGoods to ship
Intermediate Event: Receive Message
KeyValue
Element TypeEvent
Event TypeStart Event
MarkerMessage
DirectionCATCH
NameGoods to ship
Message TypeA
Correlation ValueB
Intermediate Event: Timer
KeyValue
Element TypeEvent
Event TypeStart Event
MarkerTimer
DirectionCATCH
NameEvery 15 days
TimerDaily
Timer ConfigFrom: 13:00 to 15:00
Intermediate Event: Conditional / Signal
KeyValue
Element TypeEvent
Event TypeIntermediate Event
MarkerMessage
DirectionCATCH
NameGoods to ship
End Events
KeyValue
Element TypeEvent
Event TypeEnd Event
MarkerEMPTY/EMAIL/MESSAGETHROW/
ERRORTHROW/SIGNALTHROW/TERMINATE
BehaviorTHROW
Event NameFinal Event
Gateways: Exclusive / Inclusive
KeyValue
Element TypeGateway
Gateway TypeExclusive, Inclusive
NameMy Process
DirectionDiverging
ConditionsA
Default Flow Yes
Gateway: Parallel
KeyValue
Element TypeGateway
Gateway TypeParallel
NameMy Process
DirectionDiverging
Data Object / Data Store
KeyValue
Element TypeData
Object TypeData Object, Data Store
NameMy Process

Creating a New Section

To create a new section to include additional information, click on the + icon above the editor toolbar in the Process Documenter designer. The new section can include all the elements of that particular process, for some elements, or for a specific element, depending on its scope configuration.

A new section can also include in all the processes in a workspace by clicking the Add New Section button in the Process Documenter Settings section under Admin > Plugins. The new section can appear for all the elements in all processes or just for some elements in all processes in the workspace.

By clicking either option, the Add New Section dialog displays.

To add a new section, follow these steps:

  1. Name: (Required) Enter the name of the new section.
  2. Applies To: (Required) Select the scope of the new section.

    If the New Section tab of the Process Documenter Designer was clicked, the scope field has three options:

    • All Process Elements: The new section is included for all the elements of the process.
    • This Element Only: The section is included only for the current element selected.
    • Some Elements: The new section is included for the elements checked in the Elements section. Note that at least one element must be selected.

    If the Add New Section button was clicked under the Process Documenter Settings option, this field has two options:

    • Global: The section is added for all elements in all processes in the workspace.
    • Some Elements: The section is added for the elements selected in the Elements field in all the processes in the workspace.

  3. Elements: Check the elements that contains the new section:

    • Pool & Lanes (Pool, Lane)
    • Activities (Empty Task, User Task, Manual Task, Business Rule Task, Script Task, Service Task)
    • Events (Start Event, Intermediate Event, End Event)
    • Gateways (Exclusive Gateways, Parallel Gateways, Inclusive Gateways)
    • Data Objects (Data Inputs, Data Outputs, Data Stores)

    The Elements options are only available if the option selected in the Scope field is "Some Elements".

For example, to create a new section only for user tasks in the current process, click on the + icon and configure the new section as shown in the image below.

Click Save and the new section appears in a new tab for all the user tasks in the current process.

Exporting the Process Documenter Information

All the information entered into the Process Documenter designer can export by selecting the ProcessDocumenter option in the Promotion Manager exporting option.

Generating the Document

By clicking the Preview button, a new panel is displayed with the document generated by the Process Documenter plugin. The preview of the document contains all the information filled out in all the sections organized by element. The Preview panel is divided in three sections: the preview menu at the top of the panel, the preview document at the left and the list of the process elements at the right.

Preview Menu

The menu at the top side of the panel displays buttons with the available options in the current document.

Preview Menu

The above graphic displays the following options:

  • Process Title: The name of the process. There is a known issue regarding ProcessMaker installations on Linux systems. Linux systems support names up to 256 characters. If ProcessMaker is installed under a Linux system and the process title is longer than 256 characters, documents cannot be downloaded.
  • Back: The Back button, which allows you returns to the Process Documenter environment.
  • Download: Clicking the Download button displays two options to download the current document. You can download the document in DOCX and PDF format.

    Document Formats

Preview Document

The section on the left side of the panel shows a preview of the document. The first time the preview is created the order of the elements are:

  • Cover Page
  • Process Title
  • Diagram Image
  • Process
  • Pools
  • Lanes
  • Start Events
  • Activities
  • Gateways
  • Data Objects

The first page or cover page contains the title of the process in big letters and the description as a subtitle along with the ProcessMaker logo, as shown in the image below.

At the beginning of the second page, the title of the process, the process diagram and the text entered in the Process Description section displays.

After the Process Description section, each element section(s) is shown.

An element section has the following structure:

  • Type of Element and Name: The type and name of the element separated by a colon (:).
  • Description: The information entered in the Description section of the element.
  • Custom Sections: The information in created sections. These sections are ordered by their creation date.

Note that if an element section is defined but has no documentation in it, neither the section nor its title is shown in the document.

List of Process Elements

The section on the right side of the panel displays the list of all the elements in the process and defines the order of these elements in the document. To change the order, click on an element, drag it up or down then drop it.

In this section it is also possible to hide the type of the element in the document by checking the Hide Element Type box, or hide the element section by checking the Hide box. Every time a change is made, the preview section is updated automatically.