Thursday, April 24, 2008

Email and Escalation Configuration Suggestions

I would like to make a few suggestions after just completing another BlackPearl project.

Re-useable Email Configuration

In the past for K2 2003 I had a complex project where we had tons of emails being sent and the users wanted the ability to configure emails after process deployment. Our solution was to create a database with email subjects and bodies that were configurable through a custom page. Problem was that took a little time to through together in K2 2003.

Now with a recent BlackPearl project we had tons of email configurations; lots of them. We made sure we were not creating a spam machine however it was needed. The deal is that even with SmartObjects that did not solve the problem because I needed to embed dynamic content into the subject and body of the content. I wanted to use the drag and drop to get data from both XML and SmartObjects. Plus I did not have lots of time to pull this together. Our solution was to manually get this into like around 40 different email configurations access tradition email events and escalation emails.

What I would like to see is a way to define email subject and body templates that can be used anywhere in the process. I understand that one limitation would be that I could only reference SmartObject and Process level fields but that is good enough. I know there is this whole Notification framework in the K2 Workspace but I rather have this part of the process definition.

Escalation Configuration Usability

Getting into and navigating through escalations could be made easier. Simple things like the ability to re-order the way are listed (even though that does not control the order in which they are fired). Another would be grouping up some of the field configurations into fewer screens to click through because it can be time consuming to click through tons of them. Maybe the ribbon that is in many of the event wizards would be incorporated into the escalation wizard.

Need Escalation Rules

I would really like to see the ability to define conditional logic around escalations. There should be two types of configurations. The first is the ability to configure rules that would register the escalation when the activity instance is created. A use case would be if this is over a $10,000 dollars a user group must be reminded in three days to take action versus a different group of people may be every day. In this use case, it would be expected that I configure two different escalation rules; one for over $10,000 and another for under $10,000

The second is the ability to configure rules when the escalation is raised. The use case would be if a dollar amount has changed from $10,000 to $500 maybe an escalation event that was registered may not apply any more.

Now both of these can be accomplished by adding custom code into the code of template but it would be good to be able to do this through the UI similar to putting in a line or destination rule.

No comments: