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The Basics of Smart Flows

Components

Xpertdoc Smart Flows consists of five main components.

Server Component

The server component does all the heavy lifting, e.g. fetching data, generating documents, running flows, and more. Typically, you’ll need to access it only during the installation and configuration stage.

Project Console

The Project Console is where you manage your Smart Flows projects and their functionalities – connectors, languages, printers, data sets, templates, flows, assets, etc.

Template Builder

The Xpertdoc Template Builder is an add-in for Microsoft Word where you design your templates, which includes adding data mappings, conditions, loops, formatting, etc.

Flow Execution Panel

The Flow Execution Panel is where users run flows.

API

The API connection can be used by developers to program custom document generation capabilities into the software.

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Note: If you are using Xpertdoc Smart Flows for Microsoft Dynamics 365/CRM, you'll also have access to the Workflow Assembly within the Microsoft environment.

The Smart Flows Process

Xpertdoc Smart Flows is based on the following process:

Connector

Set up a connector to link an external data system with your CRM platform. The introductory wizard will ask you to set up a connector.

Data Set

Create a data set. Data sets define the data that needs to be pulled from the connector, and how it is formatted.

Template

Create a template that will be linked to the data set, and design it using the Xpertdoc Template Builder. You’ll need to map the data into the template.

Flow

Build a flow through which the template will be used to generate a document. You can configure multiple steps and settings in your flow.

Document

A user runs the flow. The generated document goes through the steps you have configured until the flow has been completed.

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  • Click the “Smart Flows” button to open the Flow Execution Panel.
  • Select the flow you need to run and start it.

Sample Projects

Importing a Sample Project

Step 1

Go to Xpertdoc’s FTP site and download the sample project you want to import. To import an item, click on “Import” in the control panel.

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Note: If there are conflicts, e.g. you are importing a data set dependent on a connector that isn’t present in the import file or the target project, you’ll be asked to resolve them by mapping necessary components to existing ones.

This allows you to import items without having to manually adjust links between dependencies.


Data Sets

Data sets define the structure of the data available to be merged into a template.

For more information on data sets, please visit our Knowledge Base: https://kb.xpertdoc.com/display/UM/Data+sets

Creating a Data Set

Step 1

Start by defining the data you’ll need to include in your document, i.e. the sales quote template:

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A data set can be used in multiple templates.

Step 2

From the Smart Flows Project Console, click on the “Data sets” icon to create a new data set.

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  • Name is the name of your data set.
  • Description provides a brief explanation of your data set (optional).
  • Type of data set:
  • Standard: CRM (Microsoft Dynamics365 or SugarCRM).
  • Custom: User input.
  • Schema:
  • Xpertdoc Smart Forms: Advanced forms from Xpertdoc Portal.
  • Primary entity determines the main entity (also called “module”, “object” or “table” in other systems), in the data set. Select “Quote.”

Step 3

Select the fields and additional entities required for this data set. From the “QUOTE” entity, choose “N:1 RELATIONS” (many to one).

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From the “QUOTE LINE” entity, under “N:1 RELATIONS”, select “Existing Product” and expand to select “Product.”


Step 4

Samples are files of content corresponding to the structure of the data set. Adding samples to a data set enables you to preview (and make changes as needed) your document during template design.

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The data set is now created and ready to use in a template. Go back to the Smart Flows Project Console and click the “Templates” icon to start designing.

Templates

Templates are blueprints of your documents, typically containing static content and data mappings.

For more information on template design, please visit our Knowledge Base: https://kb.xpertdoc.com/display/UM/Templates

Creating a New Template

Step 1

From the Smart Flows Project Console, click on the “Templates” icon to create a new template. Click on “+ Create.”

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  • Name is the name of your template.
  • Description provides a brief explanation of what your template is for (optional).
  • Data sets are collections of data. One or many data sets can be connected to a template.
  • Type of template:
    • Standard: One template, one document.
    • Composition: Multiple templates merged into one document.
    • Xpertdoc Template Designer: Advanced templates from Xpertdoc Portal.

Step 2

The “Basic settings” window provides an overview of the template. You can add additional data sets as needed. For our sales quote sample, we only require one data set – the Xpertdoc data set.

To switch to the “Design” mode of the quote template, click “Design” on the left-hand menu.

Step 3

In the “Design template” window, select the language variant of the template. The default language is English. Click the “Design” button.

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Note: While Word is opening “Quote_Test Drive.docx,” you might see the “PROTECTED VIEW” message. Click on the “Enable Editing” button to continue. The Xpertdoc Template Builder pane will appear at the right of the screen. If the pane does not appear, it might be because the Xpertdoc Microsoft Word add-in is not installed. Close Word and install the add-in on your computer, then try opening the template again.

Step 4

Xpertdoc Template Builder Pane

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Click on any field in the Xpertdoc Template Builder pane. The selected field will be highlighted and the Field Inspector will show the data associated with the field.

Cover Page

Step 1

On the cover page of the sales quote template, two fields are dynamically populated:

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Then, select the field from the “Data Set” tab. You can either double-click on the field or the arrow in the toolbar.

Step 2

The “[Effective_Date]” field defines the expiry date of the sales quote. It is a pseudo-field that adds 30 days from the generation date. Here is how to create a pseudo-field.

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For more information on pseudo-fields, please visit our Knowledge Base: https://kb.xpertdoc.com/display/UM/Pseudo-fields

Page 2 – “Thank You”

Step 1

Here are the dynamic fields on page 2 of the sales quote template:

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  • Select “[Address_Line2].”
  • Go to the “Mapping” tab.
  • Click on the “Setting” icon.
  • Go to the “Formatting” window.
  • Select the “Other” option in the left-hand menu.
  • Check “Remove the paragraph.”
  • Repeat the steps for “[Address_Line3].”

Page 3 – “Price Quotation Summary”

Step 1

Here are the dynamic fields on page 2 of the sales quote template:

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To create the “[Name_Full_Product]” pseudo-field, use the procedure previously described to create the “[Effective_Date]” pseudo-field. In this case, the parent-element is “Quote_details” and the function is “Concat,” which will merge the “QuoteDetailName” and “Write-in Product” fields.

Step 2

To build a table with a loop:

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For more information on loops, please visit our Knowledge Base: https://kb.xpertdoc.com/display/UM/Loops

Publishing a Template

Step 1

Once the sales quote template is completed, it must be uploaded to the Smart Flows Content Manager. Click on the “Publish” icon.

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The quote template is now published and ready to use in a Smart Flow. Go back to the Smart Flows Project Console and click the “Flows” icon.

Flows

Flows are pre-configured document generation and output management processes.

For more information on flows, please visit our Knowledge Base: https://kb.xpertdoc.com/display/UM/Building+and+managing+flows

Building a Flow

Step 1

From the Smart Flows Project Console, click on the “Flows” icon to create a new flow. Click on “+ Create.”

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  • Name is the name of your flow.
  • Description provides a brief explanation of what the flow does (optional).
  • Template is the template based on which documents will be generated through the flow.
  • Primary entity determines the main entity (also called “module”, “object” or “table” in other systems) of the template. Select “quote.”
  • Relevant output and delivery blocks adds pre-set blocks to the flow. This can be done later.
  • Type of flow:
    • Simple: Pre-set blocks.
    • Advanced: Advanced flow building functionalities.

Step 2

Go back to the Smart Flows Project Console and click on the “Flows” icon.

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  • Start flow starts the flow from the CRM environment (by default).
  • Collect data retrieves data from the data set of the associated template.
  • Generate documents executes document generation actions.
  • Store & deliver executes storage and delivery actions on the generated documents.
  • Flow output is the feedback presented to the user after the flow run.

Configuring “Generate documents” Step

Step 1

To start configuring your flow, click on “Generate documents.”

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  • Flow output lists the items that will be showed to the user after the flow run.
  • Basic settings shows the selected template, data and default language.
  • Name & format settings displays the name and format that will be used to save the documents.

Configuring “Store & Deliver” Step

Step 1

Click on “Store & deliver.” To add a block to this step, click on “+ Add block.”

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  • Select “Generated document” under “Flows blocks.”
  • Choose “Generated document” under “Select block output.”
  • Save

Step 2

For this example, you’ll also need to attach the note to the “Account” record in your CRM platform. In the “Regarding” field, choose “Link to account.”

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The “Account” label (in yellow) appears in the “Regarding” field.

Step 3

To add the quote number in the title of the note, go to the “Title” field and type the title of the quote.

In the “Connect blocks” window, add the field “Quote ID” under “Select field.”

Step 4

In the “Description” field, provide a brief explanation of the object of the note.

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We will be transitioning to a new and improved knowledge base in the near future. Stay tuned here for updates as we prepare for launch.