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Best Practices for Designing Advanced Workflows

By Michael Joyner | October 10th, 2017
Audiences: Administrators, Developers

At SugarCon 2017, I had the opportunity to see Angel Magaña share his common best practices on using Sugar’s Advanced Workflow module. Angel is a 20-year CRM veteran that always delivers excellent instructional material, whether he is teaching or a featured speaker at a SugarCon session.

I enjoyed his presentation and wanted to take the time and share with you some things that I really feel will be useful.

Note: This article assumes that you are familiarized with the Advanced Workflow module.

First, let’s make sure we agree on our gateways:

  • Exclusive Gateway: With many routes on, one is chosen based on meeting a condition(s), or by going a default route.

  • Inclusive Gateway: Can branch one or more routes, based on meeting a condition(s) or by going a default route.

  • Parallel Gateway: No conditions to meet, it splits the route into concurrent processes.

It is essential to note that you should always converge if you have diverged with a gateway.

Multiple Evaluations: Common Mistakes

When presented with designing a process with multiple evaluations, it is best to use an Inclusive Gateway.

Here is an example of evaluating several CRM fields:


 
In addition to the above, Stop Events would need to be placed on divergence. Here is a better way of approaching this:

Parallel Gateway and Saving Records

When a parallel gateway creates multiple paths of execution, it might be best to have a Wait Condition until the other records are saved. In other words, if the top path depends on the value from the second path to be updated to continue processing, a Wait Event can leverage your timing.

Here is an example:

Advanced Workflow in Sugar 7.9.1: Major Performance Improvements

Versions 7.9.1 and above of Sugar contain performance and scalability enhancements to Advanced Workflow, such a being able to run more than 5000 in-flight processes could be achieved.

Pitfalls to Avoid

There are some often overlooked commonplace areas, which cause performance issues. These are the areas you should avoid:

  • Minimize the use of Start Events

  • Only evaluate the necessary records (e.g., new records versus all updates)

  • Increased Business Rules can equate to longer save times

  • All fields vs. concatenated field

We hope that this has been informative, and I would like to thank you for reading our blog. If you need assistance with designing or implementing Advanced Workflow, please contact us.

Slide Presentation from SugarCon 2017 Session


This post is part of our SugarCon 2017 Spotlight series. Take a look at all the articles from SugarCon 2017 here.
About the Author
Michael Joyner
CRM Client Manager