The deployment process involves the development of a script that implements the workflow action and declares the activity parameters; the creation of a Script Module containing that script; and the creation of a Policy Type object referring to that Script Module. To deploy an activity type to a different environment, you can export the activity type to an export file in the source environment and then import the file in the destination environment. The use of export files makes it easy to distribute custom activity types.
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:
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.
The extensibility of workflow activity types builds upon Policy Type objects of the workflow activity category, each of which represent a single type of workflow activity. Policy Type objects are used within both the activity type deployment and activity type usage processes. The process of deploying a new activity type involves the creation of a Policy Type object. During the process of adding an activity of a custom type to a workflow, the activity type definition is retrieved from the respective Policy Type object.
Each Policy Type object of the workflow activity category holds the following data to define a single activity type:
To create a custom activity type, you first need to create a Script Module that holds the script function that will be run by the workflow activities of that type. Then, you can create a Policy Type object referring to that Script Module. When you import an activity type, Active Roles automatically creates both the Script Module and the Policy Type object for that activity type. After the Policy Type object has been created, you can add an activity of the new type to a workflow.
In Active Roles, Policy Type objects provide the ability to store the definition of a custom activity type in a single object. Policy Type objects can be exported and imported, which makes it easy to distribute custom workflow activities to other environments.
In the Workflow Designer, an administrator is presented with a list of activity types derived from the Policy Type objects. Selecting a custom activity type from the list causes Active Roles to create a workflow activity based on the settings found in the respective Policy Type object.
This section covers the following tasks specific to custom activity types:
For more information about Policy Type objects, including instructions on scripting for Policy Type objects, refer to Active Roles SDK.