RoboFlow

RoboFlow
All RoboFlow configuration tasks are performed with the RoboFlow module of the Cumulus Web Server Console.
First you configure the global settings for RoboFlow to define parameters valid for all workflows and then you define workflows.
 
Prerequisites for Configuring RoboFlow
The RoboFlow Server Application needs to know the Cumulus Server to connect to and the user account to be employed for the connection.
So before you start configuring RoboFlow, you have to create a Cumulus user (and/or role) with all the permissions required for the tasks to be performed within workflows and access to all catalogs required.
NOTE: Cumulus Administrator
Do not employ the Cumulus Administrator as user account for the connection!
Then use this special RoboFlow user to logon to the Cumulus Client and create an Asset Handling Set and – if needed – a Permissions Template and Asset Actions.
The RoboFlow Configuration Module
All RoboFlow configuration tasks are performed with the RoboFlow module of the Cumulus Web Server Console.
NOTE: If the RoboFlow Server Application runs on a different machine than the Web Server Console and you access the RoboFlow module for the first time, an error message is displayed because it does not know the IP or DNS-name of the RoboFlow server. It assumes by default "localhost". You can type in the IP or DNS-name and click connect. It will remember it for the next time..
Enter the required information and click
Connect.
The following sections describe the configuration options. Before you start to configure workflows, you have to define a few global settings.
Defining Global Workflow Settings
The global settings define parameters valid for all workflows. To specify them click Global settings.
It is mandatory is to define the Cumulus Server and the user account to be employed for the connection.
Since RoboFlow is a back-end-server-process, it is best to configure the e-mail parameters. So you can be notified in case of a problem. Some workflows might require it, too. RoboFlow does not use the Cumulus e-mail-engine because it needs to be able to notify when Cumulus is down or unreachable.
If your Cumulus installation uses Roles, you should specify the default Cumulus Permissions Template.
 
Defining Workflows
In Canto RoboFlow, the work to be done is defined as one or many workflows. Depending on the workflow type, a workflow consists of one or several action scripts. Each action script is comprised of several actions. The workflow type determines the available action scripts but the user defines the concrete actions to be executed within an action script.
Workflows may process different inputs. The input processed by a workflow determines its type. The following types exist:
The workflow type is selected while creating a new workflow via the Cumulus Web Server Console. The type of a workflow cannot be changed after the workflow has been created.
Creating a Workflow
Click Create new workflow and the window for defining it appears:
Depending on the workflow type, a workflow has different parameters. For example, in case of a workflow processing an SQL query, database connection settings and the SQL query to execute must be set via the workflow parameters.
If a workflow is enabled, it is started by an event. The following events exist:
During the startup phase of a workflow, the workflow might check a pre-condition and stop running if the pre-condition is not met. A common example for such a pre-condition is whether a monitored file system path contains a new file.
Action Scripts and Actions
Depending on the workflow type, each workflow consists of 1 to 3 independent action scripts. For example, a workflow processing the results of a SQL query has the following 2 action scripts:
The available action scripts are shown in the user interface of the workflow as tabs.
Each action script may contain an arbitrary number and a collection of actions. Each action defines a step in the workflow like opening a catalog, moving a file to a different folder or substituting text in a string.
You need to define the actions and their order. You choose the action from the Actions drop down menu. Actions are grouped by categories, e.g. actions manipulating a file or actions able to create a notification.
Depending on the action selected, different parameters are available like input values. Information is passed between actions via variables. Variables are only visible within the action script they were defined in. A workflow might have some global parameters which are available as global variables, too.
Canto RoboFlow also supports conditions allowing parts of an action script to be only executed if a certain condition holds. Conditions can be nested.
Legacy Pre-defined Workflows of Canto RoboFlow 8
Canto RoboFlow 8 only provided a set of pre-defined workflows. The user was not able to define new workflows with different action scripts.
Those legacy pre-defined workflows are still supported in Canto RoboFlow 9 but the user is encouraged to not create new ones. However, while creating a workflow via Cumulus Web Server Console, one can also select a pre-defined workflow and configure it accordingly.