Workflows define how an asset transitions from an unapproved state (i.e. not visible to anyone except approvers) to an approved state (i.e. visible to any user that has permission to view it) within your Asset Bank.
A workflow is a collection of states and transitions. Each state defines who can see assets in that state, the transitions that can be performed and who can perform the transitions. It can also include help text that is shown to relevant users to guide them on how to process assets.
These workflow definitions are specified in a commented xml file stored in the WEB-INF\manager-config\workflow directory of your Asset Bank webapp (this file should only be edited or changed by people who have a full understanding of the system's current approval process, the states that any assets in the system are currently in, the process that is trying to be achieved and how to install the new workflows). Here is an example of the workflow XML:
When an asset is uploaded to Asset Bank it can / will be submitted for approval (depending on the uploaders permissions). These submissions for approval enter the workflow as defined in the xml file. Assets that are in workflow states become visible to the relevant users so that they can be approved / rejected / modified through the approver user's Approval page.
The Approval page lists all assets that are in a state that the current user can act upon. Each asset is listed with the state transitions they can perform (eg. approve, reject and delete, reject for resubmission etc.) and a message box that is used to display any necessary information to the next user that sees the asset in the workflow.
When an asset completes the workflow and is finally approved it becomes visible to all users with relevant permissions in the application.
Asset Bank can support different workflows for different folders. This functionality enables you to have an asset follow an approval process to appear in folder X whilst following a different approval process to appear in folder Y. As an example you could have an asset follow a complex multi step approval process before it can appear in a globally visible folder whilst only following a very basic single step approval process before it appears in a local division folder.
The workflow that an asset will follow for a particular folder is defined by selecting a workflow name from the list box on the edit folder page. If you only have one workflow all folders will be tied to the same workflow.
Workflows are complex to setup and are very important when deciding how your assets should be processed. The majority of instances of Asset Bank will happily make use of the default workflow that comes setup with the standard installation, if however you do feel you need to change your workflow and you are at all unsure about how to make the changes or the impact the changes will have on your current assets and their approval statuses you should get in touch.
Controlling asset privacy
Workflows can be a useful way of controlling the way new assets become visible to your users, and also how users download files from the system. By effective use of workflows you can ensure that all assets are reviewed by an approver (or multiple approvers if necessary) before they are publically visible to your users. The same process of approval can be used for downloading assets. The different stages of a workflow are controlled on a group-by-group basis; for example one group of users may require download approval whereas a second group would have permission to both download and approve download requests from other users. It is also possible to set up download options so users can download low resolution versions of an asset, but require approval to download hi-res versions.