Build and document workflows

Available with Workflow Manager license.

ArcGIS Workflow Manager (Classic) allows authorized users to design workflows that match your organization’s business processes. Units of work can then be created using the workflows to standardize and organize tasks to ensure that no step is missed. Workflows in Workflow Manager (Classic) allow steps to be associated with customized executables, support automation, be configured on a number of levels, and be assigned dynamically and branched based on conditional parameters. For additional flexibility and control, job workflows can also be configured to be dependent on other job workflows.

Translate processes into Workflow Manager (Classic) workflows

Workflow Manager (Classic) provides administrators, managers, and business developers with applications and tools for authoring and publishing standardized workflows to provide a consistent and traceable process for users to follow. The following steps outline the process of translating an existing cartographic process into a Workflow Manager (Classic) workflow, where the end goal is to produce a hard-copy map.

  1. Identify the process or type of work you want to translate into a Workflow Manager (Classic) workflow.
  2. Create a map output.
  3. Break the process up into specific types of activities.

For this process, the data sources that will make up the completed hard-copy map might first need to be gathered and processed. Once the data has been located and prepared, , a layout can be created with the necessary surround elements. A quality control (QC) check should be performed to ensure that the symbology for the data is correct before creating the final output.

This process can be broken up into the following steps:

  1. Collect the data
  2. Process the data
  3. Create the map in ArcGIS Pro
  4. Perform a QC check
  5. Create the final output

Once the steps have been identified, they can be translated into step types in Workflow Manager (Classic) Administrator for ArcGIS Pro by creating one step type for each of the steps in your process. After the step types have been created, a workflow needs to be created to contain the steps in your process. Add steps types to the workflow by dragging them from the panel on the left to the workflow canvas and add paths to link the step types together. Once the workflow has been created, it can be validated and saved for use in a job type.

The linear workflow outlined in the above steps doesn't take decision points, branching, or looping into account. For example, asking the user if the data requires processing or asking the quality assurance person if revisions need to be made before creating the final output. The following diagram is an example of what a workflow that accommodates these additional decision points might look like for a cartographic process that produces a hard-copy map.

workflow diagram with decision points

Workflow Manager (Classic) also contains automated steps that allow you to perform the following actions:

  • Launch a map in ArcGIS Pro
  • Run geoprocessing tools and other programs using the provided custom step libraries
  • Prompt users to answer a question
  • Open a file or URL

You can also do the following to configure the step types in your workflows:

The first few times that you run through the workflow, you might need to adjust the steps in the workflow. In most cases, workflows evolve over time as your processes change due to changes in work or identification of better methods.

Document the workflow

There are several ways to document workflows in Workflow Manager (Classic). Descriptions can be added to step types and appear when the cursor hovers over a step type or when the step properties are opened while the step is running. You can also provide users with guidance for running the steps using the step description. Task Assistant Manager integration can also be used to guide users through tasks that need to be accomplished in ArcGIS Pro.