This is the process of configuring workflow activities. It occurs whenever you add an activity to a workflow in the Workflow Designer. To add an activity to a workflow, you drag the desired activity type from the toolbox onto the workflow process diagram. The toolbox, located on the left of the diagram, lists all the activity types defined in Active Roles, including the custom activity types. For each activity of a custom type the Workflow Designer provides a page for configuring the activity parameters specific to that activity type. Once the activity parameters have been configured, the workflow contains a fully functional activity of the selected custom type.
Active Roles provides a graphical user interface, complete with a programming interface, for creating and managing custom activity types. Using those interfaces, Active Roles workflows can be extended to meet the needs of a particular environment. Active Roles also has a deployment mechanism by which administrators put new types of workflow activity into operation.
Since workflow activity extension involves two interactions, Active Roles provides solutions in both areas. The Administration Service maintains activity type definitions, exposing activity types to its clients such as the Active Roles console or ADSI Provider. The console can be used to:
- Create a new custom activity type, either from scratch or by importing an activity type that was exported from another environment.
- Make changes to the definition of an existing custom activity type.
- Add an activity of a particular custom type to a workflow, making the necessary changes to the activity parameters provided for by the activity type definition.
Normally, an Active Roles expert develops a custom activity type in a separate environment, and then exports the activity type to an export file. An Active Roles administrator deploys the activity type in the production environment by importing the export file. After that, the Workflow Designer can be used to configure and apply activities of the new type.