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Infor Process Automation 10.1.1 – Numerous Noteworthy Features

May 28, 2014

By Keith Knuth and James Jeyachandran

This month, May 2014, a new update to Infor Process Automation (IPA) was made available on Infor Xtreme.  The IPA 10.1.1 release includes numerous noteworthy new features that you’ll want to incorporate into your business processes. This release packs in many new features that can simplify the Processes you already have as well as open doors to some new uses of IPA that you may not have thought of.

A summary of the new features:

  • Updated Designer user interface
  • New For Each Activity Node
  • New Wait Activity Node
  • New File Encrypt Activity Node
  • New File Decrypt Activity Node
  • SQL Node updated
  • New JSON Activity Node
  • Web Service Node updated
  • FTP Node updated
  • Email Node updated
  • New ION Pulse Alert Activity Node
  • New ION Pulse Notification Activity Node
  • Proxy Assignment

This means that IPA now offers over 40 activity nodes for you to use when constructing automated business processes.  Here is a chart to help to help visualize them.

IPA1011_1In the chart above you can see we have separated the nodes into groups and color coded them.  This is part of the first new feature in this release, the updated user interface.

Updated Designer User Interface

The Designer interface has been refreshed to more closely match Infor’s “Soho” standards that you will see across all of our products.  Each activity node’s icon has been updated. Nodes that belong to the same group also all have the same color.  This is to help the Designer more quickly identify what each node is doing (all orange nodes deal with data transfer or manipulation, all green nodes require a user action, etc.).

IPA1011_2

For Each Node

The For Each activity node lets you configure a loop, equivalent to a For or While loop in programming, for processing of multiple items. There are several ways to process a loop:

  • Iteration: Takes a single number as input and loops for exactly that number of times.
  • Expression: Takes Java Script expressions as input to determine number of iterations.
  • Array: Takes an array of values as input.
  • XML: Takes XML schema and data as input.

Wait Node

The Wait activity node lets you add a wait time to a process. During the wait period, the process completely stops. This releases the working thread and allows the resource to be used for another process. This node is intended to be used in situations where it is predictable that a process will not be able to process during a specific timeframe. For example, if you want a process that requires action from staff who only work weekdays, you could add a wait time to start at the end of the workday on Friday and resume at the start of the workday on Monday.  The Wait Activity node can be used within a loop except for ForEach (Iteration option only)

Wait times can be managed by administrators through the Infor Process Server. You can set the Wait for

  • Days
  • Hours
  • Minutes
  • Seconds
  • Variable

An example of using the For Each and Wait nodes together might look like the following.  here we are using the Wait node to pause before trying again when a check from a web service fails:
IPA1011_3

File Encrypt and Decrypt Nodes

The Encrypt / Decrypt activity nodes let you encrypt and decrypt files based on the selected encryption protocol such as PGP. Use Encrypt when you want to send encrypted data; use Decrypt when you are receiving data that has been encrypted.

SQL Query Node updated

The SQL Query node has been updated to include new functionality for creating a stored procedures and executing a stored procedure.  The node can now iterate through mutiple result sets.

JSON Node

The new JSON node allows you to build and consume JSON (Java Script Object Notation). IPA can also quickly convert between XML and JSON syntax within the process.

Web Service Node updated

The Web Service node now supports SOAP 1.2 as well as 1.1.

FTP Node updated

The FTP node now supports secure FTP (SFTP) with configuratble provate/public key pairs.

Email Node updated

The Email node can now be setup to use multiple mail server configurations (for example one for a test environment, and one for production).  You can also set the Connection and SMTP timeout parameters.

New ION Pulse Alert and ION Pulse Notification Nodes

This release of Infor Process Automation provides support for Infor Ming.le Enterprise / ION Pulse integration. You can enable users to receive IPA Tasks in Infor Ming.le Enterprise in addition to their normal IPA Inbasket. You can also configure ION Pulse Alerts and notifications to work with processes. To enable IPA Tasks to appear in Infor Ming.le Enterprise, you simply create an ION connection in which you enable the integration flag and supply the ION logical ID. To enable ION Pulse Alerts or notifications, more complex configuration involving setting up receiver and configuring the appropriate activity node is required.

Proxy Assignment

A proxy lets a user (or an administrator on behalf of a user) assign a Task that you would typically perform to another user so that another user can take action for you. You might, for example, need to assign proxy for a Task if you are going on vacation and need someone to sign off in your absence. You could also assign a proxy permanently to one of your Tasks. Users, who have been given the required access rights, can assign proxies for themselves. Infor Process Automation administrators can also assign proxies for users.

IPA1011_4

Configuration of all the activity nodes are in the document Infor Process Designer Help which is available in the Infor Landmark infocenter and the Xtreme Support site.

 


Comments

9 responses to “Infor Process Automation 10.1.1 – Numerous Noteworthy Features”

  1. Kelly Meade says:

    Great new features! I look forward to trying them out. Thanks for the update.

  2. Jeremy Stoltzfus says:

    What is the Java node under the control section?

  3. Keith Knuth says:

    Jeremy – The Java node is the “Custom Activity Node”. Custom activities are implemented as Java Beans.

  4. Kelly Meade says:

    I just noticed the “Check Point State” on the Common tab on some nodes. I don’t see anything in the documentation. What is this and how is it supposed to be used?

  5. Keith Knuth says:

    @Kelly: You have found our teaser for future enhancement! It is not fully implemented yet, but soon you will be able to control where the Process starts off from when the Workunit is restarted.

  6. Charlotte Hammond says:

    Is this 10.1.1 release part of Landmark Runtime, and therefore able to be used with S3 version 9.0.1.12 ?

  7. Keith Knuth says:

    @Charlotte: Yes, 10.1.1 Landmark Runtime is compatible with Lawson apps 9.0.1.12 and higher. There is a great document on Infor Xtreme called the “Compatibility Matrix” that details this and other requirements for all Infor Lawson products.

  8. Kelly Meade says:

    Hi Guys – This is a little off topic, but I’m curious… I love the debug feature, but I’m wondering if there are any plans to add a variable “watch list” feature? I can view variable values while debugging, but whenever I step to a new node I have to go back and navigate to the variable(s) again, which can be painful. Am I doing something wrong?
    I’m using IPA 10.1.1.2
    Thanks for continuing to make this product better!
    Kelly

  9. James Jeyachandran says:

    @Kelly, great idea. We will add it to our enhancement list.
    Thanks
    James Jeyachandran

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