Tech Tip: Gateways in Laserfiche Forms
By: Sarah Seene
Laserfiche Forms automates business processes that revolve around information collected in forms. Often these processes need to be as flexible as the information they capture. For example, expense reports over $1,000 need to be reviewed by the Department Manager and those under $1,000 should be reviewed by the team lead. Or, an employment application might need to be routed to each department that might be interested in a candidate. By using gateways in your Laserfiche Forms processes you can account for these dynamic scenarios.
Use an exclusive gateway when only one of two or more paths can be taken.
Example: A supply request form can be approved or rejected. Approved forms need to be sent to Accounting, and rejected forms need to be archived in the repository. An exclusive gateway splits the process into these two potential paths and only one is taken.
Example: Vacation requests for three days and under can be handled by the team lead, vacation requests between four and ten days go to the department manager, and vacation requests for more than ten days need to go to Human Resources. Only one of those conditions can be met at a time, so an exclusive gateway is used.
Use an inclusive gateway when one or more paths can be taken.
Example: The CTO frequently sends out memos via Laserfiche Forms. On the memo form, she selects the departments that need to see the memo. The Forms process uses an inclusive gateway to route the memo to each selected department– whether it’s one, several, or all departments.
Use a parallel gateway when all paths should be taken.
Example: After a travel request is approved, it always needs to be routed to Accounting and Human Resources simultaneously. A parallel gateway ensures both departments can work on the request at the same time.
After splitting a process into multiple paths to account for different situations, you may want to bring your process back to a single path.
Use a parallel gateway to merge multiple paths into a single path that will run only once.
Example: After a memo is routed to multiple departments, a form collects the comments the departments made and emails the CTO a list of their comments. To ensure the CTO is only notified once, and not multiple times, a parallel gateway collects all the paths and outputs a single path to the CTO’s user task.
Use inclusive gateway or exclusive gateways to merge multiple paths into one path that will run each time the process reaches it.
Example: Multiple departments review project proposals and the CTO needs to respond to each department’s concerns individually. To ensure the CTO gets emailed once per each department, an inclusive gateway collects all the paths and outputs a single path, with a single CTO user task, that will run once per department.
To learn more about configuring these gateways and see animations of them in action, visit the Laserfiche Forms help files.