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How to Promote Forms and Workflow From Test to Production

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

Laserfiche CDI Fiche Tips Blog

By Kyle Knebel

November 2023 Consultants Corner

When moving your Laserfiche Forms Processes or Workflows from a test environment to production, Laserfiche can help you check that your Forms process or Workflow is ready. Both Forms and Workflow have built-in “promotion” tools that help check that the required resources are available in the new Production environment. In other words, you can take a Forms Business Process and upload a copy from your test system to your Production Forms system, and Laserfiche will launch a wizard that will check for consistency and match settings to what had been successfully running in your Test environment. The same goes for Workflow design imports. Laserfiche Workflow has an import wizard that checks for required resources. You make some simple changes in the wizard’s interview steps, and then you will be almost ready to run! (With a few exceptions)

Let’s look at the details of each of these promotion tools, and we’ll discuss some best practices for each.

Exporting from the Test environment

From your Test environment, export the Workflow or export the Form process.

WF (Workflow): In Workflow Designer, go to the menu and select Workflow>Export. Choose the workflow to download, which will be saved as a single file with a .WFI file extension.

Forms: In the Forms website, navigate to the “Manage” tab, select the Process from the list, then click the Download icon at the top-right of the toolbar. The file will be saved with a .xml file extension.

“Promote” to Production

This is just another way to say that we are moving our Forms Process or Workflow from a test system to a production system. Each product has its own promotion wizard to help migrate the configuration and configure the settings necessary for the process to function in the production environment. Some settings will have to be manually adjusted after import, however.

  • Also, be sure to review the following pre-requisites:

  • Repository folder structures match both

  • Fields/templates match in both

  • External data sources set up in Production.

    • Service Account with access to those data sources

  • Take backups and have a rollback plan.

  • Forms Teams, assignees, and Laserfiche groups (WF) must exist in the destination environment.

Best Practice: Next is the question is what order you should promote Forms Processes or Workflows. If promoting both Forms process and Workflows where the Forms process calls the Workflow, the best practice is that you should begin with Forms, since any Workflow names are hard-coded in the Forms Process activities. On the other hand, when you promote a Workflow, you’ll have to manually update any Set/Retrieve Business Process Variables workflow actions, regardless.

To Promote a Forms Process:

Forms specific pre-requisites:

  • Team names need to match one-to-one. Teams exist outside of any individual process.

Best Practice: In the target Production Forms system, go to Forms Administration>Team Management and create all Teams, as necessary, to match the names and membership (assignees) to what was being used in test.

  • Lookup sources

Best Practice: In the target Production Forms system, go to Forms Administration>Data Sources and create the identically named and configured Data Sources needed.

Note: To import Forms Processes with Lookup Rules that use Data Sources, the Forms User conducting the import must have the System Administrator role.

Step 1:

Navigate to the Manage tab and select New Process>Upload process.

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Step 2:

Select the previously exported Business Process .XML file for import.

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Step 3:

Enter any new values for User and Group names, as well as Sender’s Email addresses, where necessary. These properties are found on the user and email tasks within the process itself.

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Step 4:

For any Data Sources used by Lookup Rules on any forms, you’ll want to re-enter the properties of that connection.

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Step 5:

Update the Workflow server name and workflow names, as well as other resources like Payment Gateways, Logos used in form title bars, and production Repository Profile credentials to save forms as documents in a Laserfiche repository.

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Step 6:

For any existing reports, you will be able to either keep the existing report as is or overwrite the report. For any new reports, you will be able to either create them as a new report or Ignore the report and not import them.

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Step 7:

Click Upload to complete the promotion of your Forms process to production.

To Promote a Workflow:

Step 1:

In Laserfiche Workflow Designer, click on Workflow>Import Workflow... Use the wizard steps to configure the workflow to function in the production environment.

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The Workflow Import Wizard is the “promotion tool” for moving workflows from test to production.

  • WF Import out-of-the-box features include mapping of:

    • Connection profiles

    • Starting rules

    • Rename and publish.

  • WF Activities Requiring Manual Update after the import steps include, but are not limited to:

    • Find User

    • Query Data

    • Set/Retrieve Business Process Variables

Step 2:

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Step 3:

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Step 4:

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Step 5:

Click “Finish” to complete the wizard and don’t forget to check the “Open imported Workflows” box if you need to edit any activities, like Find User, Query Data, or Set/Retrieve Business Process Variables.

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Optional: If you do need to edit these activity types to match your production environment, you’ll want to use the Workflow Administration Console and configure the External Objects like Trustee Directories, Data Sources and Web Services.

In the case of the Find User activity, it will use a “Trustee Directory” to obtain user and group information, which will either be your Laserfiche repository or a Windows Active Directory host (server). You can manage them in External Objects>Trustee Directories.

For Query Data, Update Data, Insert Data and Custom Query activities you’ll want to configure the External Objects>Data Sources

For Set/Retrieve Business Process Variables activities, you’ll want to configure connections to the Forms server under External Objects>Web Services.

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This concludes our introduction to the promotion tools available for Laserfiche Forms and Laserfiche Workflow. As you can see, they are very useful and will help guide you to a successful migration from test to production.

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