Did You Know: The Magnificent Flexi Task – Communication Methods

Continuing the flexi task journey, of Behaviors and Reminders and Escalations, let’s look at some of the mechanisms the end user has at their disposal to control how they are notified and how they can respond. This includes receiving/responding to:

  • an email
  • an instant message
  • a text message
  • filling out a form
  • using the mobile app

Before we begin, please be aware the workflow designer has the final say with some of these communication mechanisms and that makes sense. If they know the task is going to have a lot of text then there’s not much point in transmitting that via SMS or instant message. There are three places for the designer to specify the forms of communication.

In the action tab, you can specify if the task can be delegated to someone else and if you want to enable lazy approval (express approval in the NWC world).

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In the Task NotificationNot Required Notification and Reminders tabs you also have the option to specify if you want to deliver the message via email, instant message, by user preference or not at all. Keep in the mind the option for this in the reminders tab is at the bottom of the screen whereas in the other two screens it’s closer to the top. Go figure!

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Just in case it’s not clear, if you select email, the user will be notified via email. If you select instant message (and you’re using Lync/Skype for Business) then an IM will be sent. If the person is in an uncontactable status (e.g. DND, busy, away), the system will revert back to email. If you select none then the user will have to manually navigate to the SharePoint tasks list or use their mobile app.

Now, if you select User preferences, the end user gets to choose which is very cool. Everyone gets to set their preferences – just click on their name > Nintex Workflow > Manage Notification Preferences.

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Ahhh, what do we see here? Another option that’s not available to the designer – the ability to send a notification via SMS. Naturally, this assumes you have your SharePoint server hooked up to an SMS gateway.

I’m going to assume that most readers will have seen how a notification via email happens so we won’t get into that here other than pointing out if you have ticked the lazy approval option, the user will be able to respond by simply replying to the email and typing their answer. They can always click through to the intranet to go and fill out a form.

If the communication mechanism is via IM then we get a slightly different interaction:

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It’s very similar to email – you get the option to click through to the SharePoint site and answer everything from there. If lazy approval is turned on then Nintex is very polite and will ask you if you are available to deal with the task:

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If you tell it that you are not available, it will revert back to email:

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You’ll see that just like an out of office, you specify the dates that you will be away but in this case you specify who you want your tasks to go to.

I hope this has helped. Go and try out some of these options – used correctly they can be very useful.

 

In the next post of this series, we’ll look at how permissions are managed when assigning tasks.

 

Chris Ben

Chris Ben is a Product Lead at Provoke Solutions and a Nintex Virtual Technical Evangelist (vTE). He is based in Wellington & Wairarapa, New Zealand.