BPS Show Workflow Charts

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Applies to version 8.3.x, Sharepoint 2013; Author: Marek Suchowiejko

Description

One of the more visually interesting and eminent features added in WEBCON BPS 8.3 is the new Web Part: Show Workflow Charts. It can be used to display workflow instances in the form of one of four types of chart:

  • Line
  • Bar
  • Pie
  • Donut

It is also possible to add interactivity by including additional levels of aggregation. This allows end users to interact with the chart by clicking the section they wish to study closer, the final aggregation level can be configured to display an SWE Web Part containing a list of relevant workflow instances along with important form fields and direct links to them.

Example of use

In this article I will use the SWC Web Part as a visual reporting tool for a vacation process. I will define 3 levels of aggregation – each with a unique criteria and method of displaying data.

The first aggregation level (Fig.1) displays the percentage of leave requests each employee has submitted, compared to the total amount of requests. As the ‘Label column’ I selected the ‘Employee’ form field, the aggregation type was set to ‘count’.

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Fig. 1. A donut chart with ‘count’ as its aggregation type

Further aggregation levels are accessed by clicking any fragment of the donut chart. A new chart is then loaded, containing a completely different range of data, or just presenting it in a different way. In this case with vacation requests, the criteria of the 2nd aggregation level could be different leave types, narrowed down to those requested by an individual employee. For the sake of variety, I used a bar chart for this level (Fig. 2.)

The Label column (X axis of the chart) represents the various types of absence from work. Selecting an aggregation type other than ‘count’ will allow you to designate a column of values that will be the Y axis of the chart – in our case it is the sum of days of each leave type.

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Fig. 2. Bar chart displaying the total amount of days of each leave type

Depending on the configured aggregation type, hovering your cursor over any of the bars will display additional information:

  • Min. value
  • Max. value
  • Average
  • Sum

These operators are always calculated for the value of the form field designated as the value column (Y axis), in our case – total number of vacation days of the given type.

The third aggregation level was configured to be a line graph. Fig. 3 displays the average number of days in a month, that an employee has been absent. Keep in mind that the data shown has already been narrowed down based on the choices made earlier. This means that on Fig. 3, we see the average number of days for the selected employee (level 1) and the selected type of absence (level 2). The label column (X axis) contains the names of successive months, in which the employee requested a vacation. The value column (Y axis) represents the average number of days of absence for that specific month. The labels of the horizontal axis are angled so as to make the chart more readable.

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Fig. 3. Average number of absences according to month

The final aggregation  level of an SWC Web Part can be set to mimic a SWE (Show Workflow Elements) Web Part (Fig. 4.). In order to do this, mark the ‘Go to Workflow Elements List’ checkbox in the SWC configuration. Configuring the elements list is identical to configuring a regular SWE report.

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Fig. 4. SWE as the lowest aggregation level of the SWC

The toolbar at the very top of the SWC Web Part may be used to quickly return to previous aggregation levels, doing so will also refresh the displayed data (Fig. 5).

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Fig. 5. SWC Navigation bar

By default, the color scheme of the SWC Web Part is set to match the scheme of SharePoint site background. However, each aggregation level may have its own individual color scheme – this is done by choosing a color from the color picker (Fig. 6).

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Fig. 6. SWC color picker

Summary

The SWC Web Part is a useful reporting tool which can add visually interesting and interactive elements to a plain SharePoint form. Its intuitive configuration options will allow even beginners to take full advantage of it. Thanks to the nesting of additional aggregation levels, and integration with an SWE Web Part – presenting, browsing and searching through data is not only comprehensive, but easy and comfortable as well.

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