By Sarah Zhao

An important part of Collibra lies in the workflows that generate and approve all actions that are made by the user. A workflow is a process, and Collibra is built upon several basic processes – such as adding a code value, or approving the business term. This summer, amongst working with other aspects of Collibra, I have been focusing on the workflows – how to create them, deploy them, and use them. Today I will be talking about the drafting process and how to begin creating a process.

When generating a workflow, you need to first draft a process by which this can happen, and understand where this workflow comes from and see if you can alter a current existing workflow.

Let’s arbitrarily create a new workflow that adds new state codes. A state code is a “Code Value,” which falls under the Domain Type: “Code List.”  Therefore, the first part of the workflow involves proposing a “Code Value,” and then filing that under a specific Code List, which in this case is the “US State Codes ISO 3166-2” Code List under the “Health Plans” Community.

Now that we have an idea of what our workflow wants to do, we need to generate it. If you use Signavio, you can generate a diagram for a workflow, but Signavio’s diagrams will not contain any actual duties. Within Signavio, you create an account for yourself, and then start generating a task. Since you are only interested in business processes, we want a business diagram (.bpmn). Thus, open up the business diagram and start off with the “Start Event” button, and further create “tasks” that follow up on the event. This all happens within a “Pool,” and the title of that “Pool” is “Add a New State Code.”

For “Propose a New State Code,” the workflow is that service task followed by an “End Event” button. Now, here is the issue. Signavio does not create the code that bounds any part of Collibra to the workflow itself. Signavio generates diagrams, not real processes. In order to generate a working process, you need Eclipse’s Activiti plug-in.

First download Eclipse Juno, and then add in the Activiti plug-in. In order to do this, you need to type in into “Eclipse >> Help >> Install New Software” . After having downloaded and imported Activiti, open it. In order to do so, you go to “File >> New >> Other >> Activiti >> Activiti Diagram”.

Now, understand that “Propose New State Code” is almost exactly the same as “Propose New Code Value” workflow in Collibra. Collibra contains all of the rudimentary workflows necessary, so there is no need to recreate your own, but simply alter what is currently there. So, copy the .XML file inside of Collibra’s Workflow “Propose New Code Value” and open it in your new Activiti Diagram. Save that file, close it, and reopen it so that the workflow will display in the Diagram Editor section. Now, you have both the text editor that contains the .XML code, and the diagram. The diagram is the same as the one you’ve created in Signavio, but there is code attached to this file, which grants it the body.

Now that you have the template for your workflow, let’s figure out what it does. “Propose New Code Value,” when activated in Collibra, takes an individual code value term that you create, and adds it into the “New Reference Data” code list in the “Data Governance Council” community. Now, our job is to find the code that places the code value into “New Reference Data” and change it to the code that places the code value into “US State Codes ISO 3166-2” Code List. This will be presented in another blog entry.

Besides being the behind-the-scenes workers of Collibra, workflows also make the users’ lives much easier, as many of these workflows exist in Collibra’s dashboard. Thus, I believe it’s very important to understand and generate workflows to help make Collibra an even friendlier user interface.