Custom Workflow Integrations, ArcGIS Server, and Bikes.

I’m a simple kind of guy - I like being outside and I prefer to ride my bike instead of drive my car. For me, the simpler things are the better.  I feel like a lot of times folks tend to over-complicate things in the GIS-based asset management world, so I’m going to try to avoid that here.

I’d like to briefly explain one of the new features we’re introducing in XS3 - the Workflow Engine.  Given that I don’t like over-complicating things, I’m going to explain the Workflow Engine exactly how I would explain it to my 8 year old nephew:

The workflow engine is a tool that lets people customize how their software works - now go back outside and ride your bike.

For those of you who’d like a little more detail, read on.

The Workflow Engine is one of the most powerful new tools in XS3.  It provides incredible flexibility by helping utilities and municipalities create and deploy custom workflow processes specific to their individual needs.  The Elements XS3 Workflow Engine is based on the Windows Workflow Foundation and includes a front-end Workflow Designer application that allows users to configure their own custom workflow processes and trigger any number of events based on various criteria within the application.

So here’s how it looks in the real world:

A citizen calls in to report a natural gas odor.

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 3.22.14 PM.png

A “Leak Investigation” Investigative Task is Dispatched (a Service Request)

  • Based on criteria entered by the phone call recipient above, the Workflow Engine analyzes the data input by the call taker and generates an “Investigate Leak” task (Service Request) and routes the request to the appropriate person.  (Of course, if the criteria to dispatch a technician is not met, the phone call is logged and nobody is dispatched.)

Service Request is Completed.

  • During a field investigation of the incident, the technician completes required information on his mobile device - including whether or not a leak was actually found, the severity of the leak, and other details related to the incident.

A “Leak Repair” Task (Work Order) is Generated

  • Based on criteria entered by the field technician, the Workflow Engine auto-generates a “Leak Repair” work order, links the follow-up “Leak Repair” back to the original citizen request, and dispatches the Leak Repair appropriately.

The Work Order is Completed.

  • On the job site, the technician enters labor, materials, equipment usage as well as other pertinent data regarding the details of the actual Leak Repair.

Leak Repair Follow-Up is Auto-Generated and Auto-Scheduled.

  • Once the field technician(s) indicate that the Leak Repair has been successfully completed, the Workflow Engine triggers a “Leak Repair Follow Up” task and schedules the follow up for 1 year after the repair has been completed.

The end result of the above process is a series of Tasks and Events (phone calls, service requests, work orders, and other activities) that are all linked together and associated with all Assets (residing in ArcGIS) that were affected by the individual tasks.

There you have it - if you’d like to see it in action drop us a line and we’ll give you a login so you can try it out on your own.  Now, let’s get back outside and ride some bikes ;)