Advanced Task Configuration

Table of contents

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Introduction

The advanced task configuration mainly allows to: 

  • Generate tasks based on specific criteria
  • Add context to a a task

The answers provided by the requester in the Web form or when the form is filled in Octopus can be used in the tasks.

NOTE: The advanced task configuration can be complex and may require a fair amount of time to configure. A sound knowledge of Octopus and its service request task creation process is an asset. It will be very important to test the configuration before going live with it. For more information on the classic task management, see the Task Management article.

Conditional generation of a task

By default, if a task has been added to a workflow it will automatically be generated when the request is created. If it is not required, it can be deleted or canceled depending on the situation. 

The evolution of this method is to only generate the tasks that are required, based on the answers provided by the requester. 

For example, when a request is submitted to move one person, we would like to have:

  • The equipment move task assigned to the Technical Service
  • The phone move task assigned to the Telephony group
  • A notification task sent to the person responsible of ergonomics (if the person requires an ergonomic installation)

However, if there is no phone to move or if an ergonomic installation is not required, we do not want these tasks to be generated. Use the Condition field to configure the workflow so that only the needed tasks get generated. 

Another example can be seen with a software request, for which we want an approval for a standard software request and a different approval for a non-standard software request, since further analysis must be made.

From a list of software choices, if Other is selected, we would consider that it's a non-standard software request and more information may be required by the requester.  

Visual explanation

Move request example



 

 

Software request example

Add context to a task

What makes this configuration even more interesting is that some information provided by the requester through the Web form can be recuperated and used in the task instructions as personalized variables. We could also use variables coming from other Octopus fields. 

Examples for a move:

  • Main Contact
  • Main Contact Information
  • New Location
  • Moving Date

And for a software request:

  • Software name
  • If Other was selected, you will want the name of this other software
  • A justification of the need
  • The required date of the software
Visual explanation
Example of a move


Example of a software request

Configuration

In the advanced task configuration, the Web form fields or questions represent the criteria that can be used to create variables. These variables will then be used in the Condition, Subject or Detailed Description fields in tasks 

These are the steps to do so:

  1. Place your cursor where you want to use a variable in either one of these fields:
    • Condition
    • Subject
    • Detailed Description
  2. Press F3 to show the available custom and Octopus variables
  3. Make your selection and confirm with OK
  4. Add the condition to generate the task in the Condition field
  5. Add the context to the Subject and Detailed Description fields
Visual explanation


Example of a custom variable in the subject of a task



Example of an Octopus variable in the description of a task



Example of a custom variable added as a condition to a task

Possible conditions

For more flexibility, here are the operators that can be added to the Condition field of a task:

  • = Equal
  • <> Is different from
  • You can combine more then one field with:
    • @or
    • @and

Example of a configuration that generates a task

  1. We can base the condition of a task on the Telephone checkbox type field of the Equipment to move section. If the user checks the Telephone box, the task will get created.
    • $Equipmenttomove.Telephone=Yes
  2. Another task can be based on the Do you need an ergonomic installation question. If the requestor answers Yes, the task will be created.
    • $Ergonomy.Doyouneedanergonomicinstallation=Yes
  3. In a request for software, we can have a list of standard softwares and add one more called Other that would represent non-standard softwares. Different approvals can then be generated for each type.
    1. For a standard software approval, we will base the condition on a choice that is different from Other.
      • $REQUESTINFORMATION.SoftwareName<>Other
    2. For a non-standard software approval, we will still base the condition on the same field, but this time to if it is equal to Other.
      • $REQUESTINFORMATION.SoftwareName=Other
         
Visual Explanation








 

NOTE: If the condition is false, the task will be generated each time. No validation is made on the Condition field. All invalid or incomplete expression will be considered false and will act as if the condition does not exist or was not entered.

Context of a task

You can add context to a task by using the custom or Octopus variables.

Visual Explanation


Context inside a variable

In a case where you would want to add context with a non mandatory field, a technique that can be used consist of adding the context inside the variable. This way, if the field is not filled in the Web form, the information will not come up in the generated task. To do this, the context needs to be added inside the double square brackets, in front of the dollar sign ($). 

The Other Information field from the Web form, put into task 2, will become:

Other Information -  $OtherInformation. 

If it is filled in by the requester it will appear in the task, otherwise it will not be there.  

Visual Explanation

Bilingual Environment

Web forms can be built in both languages so that when a requester fills out a form, Octopus will report the information into the task in the requester's language. Even if the names in the custom fields are not written the same in French, Octopus will still be able to generate the task and complete them with the information provided by the requester.

Visual Explanation

  

 

For requests that are not created from the Web Portal

When a user calls to open a request the same Web forms can be used from within Octopus and benefit from the advanced tasks functionality. You only need to use the Form link above the Detailed description field. A new window will open with the same questions as on the Web form.  

Visual Explanation

 

 

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