AX 2012 Workflow Observations – Providers

6 06 2011

Hi all.

I’ve just started delving into the goodness of AX2012 workflow and will hopefully over the coming days and weeks be posting some of the more interesting aspects and new aspects of AX 2012.

When opening the AOT in AX2012 and looking into the workflow node one notices a number of interesting changes.

1. Workflow Templates are no longer this in AX2012, rather they are called Workflow Types.
2. There is a new node named Automated tasks
3. There is a new node called “Providers”.

Todays focus is specifically on this last node, the providers node. In AX2012 is appears that Microsoft has decided to do away with requiring developers to lock into a specific provider for each of their tasks or approvals. Rather the provider can now dictate what workflow templates (workflow types) it supports. In other words I believe all the tasks or approvals that are part of a workflow type can now make use of any of the providers that have been made available to the Workflow Type. So for example a purchase requisition completion task could at configuration time, allow the administrator to select either a user group (using the WorkflowUserGroupParticipantProvider) or some form of role using the WorkflowRoleParticipant provider.

AX 2012 Approval Properties

AX 2009 Approval Properties

Providers can be setup to either be accessible to all Workflow Types or only a specific set of Workflow Types. These changes seem to be applicable to all types of providers including DueDate providers, participant Providers, hierarchy providers and the new type “Queue” Providers.

The Participant provider classes themselves (the provider nodes just link to these) seem to be similar to their Ax2009 counter-parts. Microsoft has expanded their list of out the box providers quite significantly and now deal with with a number of Dimension Driver expenditure providers.

My initial thoughts so far is that this improvement will significantly improve configuration time customisations and provide a greater level flexibility without having to get developers involved.



One response

24 01 2012

Have you ever attempted to go further and actually implement any changes to the providers? I have been working at this for a while now to add a expense manager assignment and it is absolutely horrible due to the dimension attributes, project distributions, and other extraneous bits.

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