Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Artifact templates

When you're defining the process for your project don't forget that a major part of this is defining the standards for the files, documents and records (artifacts) that are created, modified and qualified as a result of the process. xProcess provides excellent support for defining the types of artifacts that will be used in a process. Furthermore it stores both the document templates and the resulting documents within its version control system so you can not only reliably access the most up to date version, but also compare it with previous versions if necessary. Here's a task pattern showing artifact templates that have been added to each of the subtasks in the pattern.
You can do this simply by right-clicking on the task and adding a "reference" to a new artifact - an attached file, form or hyperlink. (To learn more about the different types of artifacts supported in xProcess see Creating Artifacts in the Help system). Once you've done this, every time you make an instance of this pattern a clone of your artifact template will be created for use with that instance. Another nice feature is that you can substitute text in the file when you instantiate it, using the values that the user enters into the parameters of the pattern.

Actually parameters of patterns are discussed in the next article in this series, so see Using parameters in task patterns for more details.
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