Tech Tip: Scheduling Workflows
In Workflow 8.3, you can now run workflows on a schedule, which means your workflows no longer need a starting event to run, giving you more flexibility when automating your business processes. The new schedule starting rules are highly customizable, allowing you to run workflows at whatever times make sense for your business processes. You can create schedules that run only certain months of the year, that run only on certain weeks or days, or that repeat throughout the day.
If you select to have your workflow repeat monthly, you can choose which months you want the workflow to run (every month or only certain months), and you can select which day of the month you want to the workflow to run. When setting the day, you can set a calendar date, such as the fifteenth of each month, or a relative day, such as the last Friday of the month.
With the weekly option, you can choose which day or days of the week you want your workflow to run. You can also specify if you want the workflow to run every week or every few weeks.
Workflows can be set to run on a daily schedule. For example, you can have a workflow run every day, every weekday, or every few days.
Once you set a monthly, weekly or daily schedule, you can configure the schedule so that the workflow will repeat every few hours or minutes.
Example: The city of Bedrock processes a large number of building permits. It wants to make the processed permits available to the public as quickly as possible while keeping its records updated. Instead of using Workflow to update its Website and sync with its database every time a permit is processed, it is more efficient if the city can upload and sync several permits at once. The city creates a scheduled workflow to run once an hour, Monday through Friday. The workflow copies the metadata from all the permits in the Processed folder and inserts that information into a database. The workflow also moves the permits into a folder that is publically accessible with WebLink.
To configure a workflow with the same schedule as the example:
1. In the Schedule Properties step of the Rule Wizard, next to Start on, type the date and time you want your workflow to first run. For example, you may want your workflow to start on Monday at 8:00 AM.
2. Next to Repeats, select Weekly.
3. Click the Configure button.
4. In the Configure Weekly Schedule dialog, select Monday through Friday. Ensure that the workflow is configured to run Every 1 week.
5. Click OK.
6. Under After the Schedule has started, select Re-run the workflow every.
7. Next to Re-run the workflow every, type 1 in the first text box, use the drop-down menu to select Hours and type 8 in the last text box.
8. Optional: Select Stop schedule on and configure an end date. After this date, your workflow will no longer run.