The simulator intends for managers to test their workflow before making them available for end users in Google Drive. This allows to make sure workflows are free of mistakes and working as expected in any possible scenario.
1 - Opening the simulator
To open the simulator, from the workflow edition window go in the "Versions" tab. From there, you can run any version you would like in the simulator, be it the latest saved version or one of the older ones. To do so, just click on the "Run" button in the "Simulation mode" column.
You will be redirected in the simulator window. In this window, you can see the following elements:
- Two buttons:
- BACK: The first one to go back to editing the workflow
- VIEW MODELER: The second one to open the version modeler in a popup. This allows checking the version settings and parameters on the fly during the simulation. However, it is for consultation only: any change done in this popup will not be saved or have an impact on the simulation.
- The details about the workflow and the version that the simulator is currently running.
- The simulation details. By default only two tabs are available:
- Ongoing instances: displays the list of workflow instances that are being simulated for this specific version. It keeps in memory the instances of the previous simulations.
- Terminated instances: the list of instances that ran until the end of the workflow. It also keeps in memory the terminated instances of the previous simulations.
2 - Starting a simulation
In order to start a simulation, you first need to add the user that you will impersonate to start the workflow. To do so, enter the user's name and select them in the autocomplete field on the top right of the simulation area.
After selecting the user, a new tab appears that is dedicated to this specific user. You can add like this as many users as you need. In this new tab, you have the list of tasks assigned to this user, as well as the list of tasks they performed. Again, this list of tasks is specific to this specific workflow version and is kept in memory between the different simulations.
To start the simulation, click on "Start workflow".
If your workflow is depending on a file to run, a popup will request you to input a file ID or to search for a file.
Note that you can only select a file that is within the scope of the workflow - in other terms, in the workspace(s) in which the workflow is applicable, and with a File Type on which the workflow is applicable.
Be aware that running a workflow simulation on a file will have the following impact on the file:
- The workflow simulated will not appear in the front office for end users and will not appear in the workflow history of the file.
- However, all other actions relating to the file such as editing the metadata, adding tags, moving the file or changing its status will have an actual impact on the file in Drive.
It is thus recommended to run simulations solely on files that are created specifically for this.
Also note that even in simulation mode, the users impersonated will receive notification emails whenever a task is assigned to them.
After selecting your file, click "OK".
Your workflow start event form will immediately appear and allow you to start your workflow simulation using the same interface end users will see in Google Drive once the version is made live and active.
3 - Running a simulation
Once a simulation started, the tasks get assigned - in the simulator only - to the defined users in the workflow parameters. You thus need to add the user who is supposed to take the next step. If you do not remember who that is supposed to be, you can use the "View Modeler" button to check your workflow parameters.
Once an instance has been started, it appears in the "Ongoing instances" tab. From there, you can see the following details:
- N°: The instance number
- File Name: The name of the file is was started on
- Start Time: The start date and time
- Details: The workflow instance details popup
- Diagram: The workflow diagram and at which step in the diagram the instance is
- Variables: The list of variables currently defined on this specific instance and their values
In a user tab, you can see the number of tasks assigned to this user in the tab name between parenthesis. In the list of assigned tasks, you have access to the following details:
- File name: The name of the file the workflow was started on
- Name: The current task that is pending on the user's action
- Created Time: The date and time at which the task has been assigned to the user
- Identity Links: The list of candidate users for this specific task
- Variables: The list of variables which scope is limited to this specific task
- Complete: The button to open the workflow details popup and complete the task in the name of the user
- Submit Page: The link to the email approval page
To complete the next task, just select the user supposed to take the action, click on the "Complete" button matching the pending task, and submit the form.
After the last task has been completed, the workflow instance moves to the "Terminated instances" tab. In the list of instances, you have access to the following details:
- N°: The instance number
- File Name: The name of the file the instance ran on
- Start Time: The date and time at which the workflow was started
- End Time: The date and time at which the workflow ended
- Details: The detailed popup of the workflow history as shown to users in the Front Office. It contains the list of tasks performed as well as the history of forms submitted by the users.
- Variables: The list of variables with their values at the end of the workflow.