A workflow defines a set of steps that a job follows through the system. When you
define a workflow, you specify what phases and, within those phases, what steps the
job passes through during processing.
You can create a workflow by copying a workflow and adding steps and step chains to
processing phases in the order that you want Ricoh ProcessDirector to do them. Delete any steps that you do not need. You set default values for some
job properties as part of the workflow.
You can add conditional processing to a workflow by specifying rules for the connectors
between steps. For example, a rule might specify jobs with fewer than 20 pages. The
connector with that rule sends jobs to steps that request a cut sheet printer. Another
connector sends all other jobs to steps that request a continuous forms printer.
When Ricoh ProcessDirector assigns a workflow to a job, the SetJobPropsFromTextFIle step processes all of the steps in the workflow and assigns values to job properties
set by those steps. Those values are used throughout the workflow unless an AssignJobValues step or a step that can set job properties from a file changes them, such as SetDocPropsFromConditions.
A step resource identifies a file that is used by a workflow step for its processing.
Some step templates allow you to specify a file for the step to use when processing
jobs. Some of these files might be created on your workstation but need to be available
to the workflow when it processes jobs. You can view, retrieve, and replace the file
by editing the step resource object.
These hints for using step templates help you choose the steps to place in a workflow,
order the steps in the correct sequence, and take advantage of conditional processing
capabilities. The Workflow Editor does not validate workflows to make sure that steps
are in the correct sequence or that conditional processing rules work.
When an input file enters the Ricoh ProcessDirector system, one of the first actions that the input device does is to assign a workflow
to it. After the input device assigns the workflow, the job can begin to move through
the processing steps. There are several methods through which the input device can
assign the workflow. You configure the method to meet the requirements of the installation.
When you install a new version of Ricoh ProcessDirector, the installer automatically adds new sample control files to the C:\aiw\aiw1\samples directory and copies them to your control files directory, C:\aiw\aiw1\control_files. It does not overwrite any of your customized control files in C:\aiw\aiw1\control_files. You can use the copyConfigurationFiles script to install the default control files
or to overwrite your customized control files.
If you do not want jobs to move through their workflow without human intervention,
you can configure the workflows to hold jobs at a given point. You can then have the
operators do an action to release the jobs. For example, if operators have to load different forms for each job, they can release
jobs after they have loaded the correct forms on the printer.
Ricoh ProcessDirector lets you add steps that run a program outside of Ricoh ProcessDirector. The external program can do special job-processing tasks and it can run on the same
computer that has the Ricoh ProcessDirector base product installed.
To move jobs from one printer to another, you might need to reformat the jobs. For
example, a job is formatted to print 2-up on a continuous forms printer, but you need
to move the job to a cut sheet printer where the data should be formatted 1-up. Scheduling
the job to the printer is not enough because the data in the job must be reformatted
to print correctly on the printer. You must set up the workflow to reformat the job
for the printer.
You can add a branch in your workflow so that if a job goes into error state, the
job continues processing in another path in the workflow instead of staying in the
Error state. You can define a branch out of any step in the workflow.
To send print jobs to the Ricoh ProcessDirector Transforms or the Advanced Transforms to be converted to a different data stream,
you must define a workflow that includes one or more data stream conversion steps.
Hot folder input devices can generate child jobs if they are configured to use a batching
method. If the AFP Support feature is installed, Download input devices can create
child jobs from multi-dataset jobs received from Download for z/OS and AFP Download Plus, or the input devices can merge the jobs into a single job.