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How-To Guides

Product Demo

In this five-and-a-half-minute demonstration video, we highlight the features of Flower that support the entire BPM lifecycle. Also we guide you through the Flower user interface.



Flower and Business Process Management

Flower for Jira is based on process models (workflow definition) and workflow instances.

You define process models using the Flower Workflow Designer, a graphical editor, in the Flower UI. After you publish a process model, it is available in Jira.

Process Models (workflow definitions)

A process model represents a business process and describes the tasks (activities) involved in the process. Flower uses the Business Process Modelling Notation (BPMN) to draw a model picture.

A process model has the following characteristics:

  • A process model is static. The actual execution of the process model is described by the workflow instance, which holds the run-time information.
  • A process model is versioned. Each time a workflow definition is published, a new version of that workflow definition is made available to users. The new version is used for workflow instances which are started after it is published; it does not affect any workflow instances that are already running.

Workflow Instances

As users work in Jira and Flower, they launch instances of process models. A process model can have an unlimited number of workflow instances in progress at any given time.

Administrators can view and terminate active workflow instances. For more information, see Managing workflow instances.

Create a Flower Model

Designing a process model involves knowing your business, understanding the workflow process, planning the workflow participants, and designing the task views.

Sample workflows are provided with Flower to get you started quickly. You can use them as templates and learning tools for your own workflows. You can find the list of example process models here.

How to create a Flower model

Using the Flower BPMN Process Designer

The Flower BPMN Process Designer is a graphic interface you use to define, publish, and manage workflows. The Business Process Modelling Notation (BPMN) is used to design a process model and is the global standard for process modeling and one of the most important components of successful Business-IT-Alignment.

A fully documentation of the BPMN standard can be found here (The Ultimate Guid to BPMN).

To open the Flower BPMN Process Designer, access your Flower model repository and click at the pencil button at your selected model. Whether the menu item is displayed, depends on your Jira access permissions.

Edit model control

BPMN designer control

  • Click the circle to the right to start building.
  • Click or drag a rectangle to create a task. Type to name it.
  • Create an end event by selecting the thick circle. |

Set Jira project and Issue type

Flower creates for each process model activity (rectangle) a Jira issue. Therefore you have to tell Jira which project and issue type to be used. If nothing is selected, default values apply (see settings section)

Flower add Jira Project

Add Jira labels

Labels in Jira are tags or keywords that you can add to Flower process models to show whether they possess certain characteristics. Later labels can be used to be included in a Jira JQL query and aid you to group your process model repository.

Use the "archiv" label to hide process models from your repository page.

Flower Labels

Flower Token Simulation

A picture is worth a thousand words - and a moving token is worth a whole bunch of static BPMN diagrams.

The simple token simulation aids your understanding of a diagrams semantics; to understand wait, join, and split semantics. It is a good starting point to learn BPMN execution in a playful manner.

Flower Token Simulation

Process Validation

Flower can check if your process model align with some basic rules to produce a valid BPMN file. Green markers stick at valid nodes; yellow and red markers indicate warnings and errors.

But Flower is very tolerant: Valid BPMN is not necessary in order to publish a model or to launch a workflow instance.

Flower BPMN Validation

Publish Model

A process model is versioned. Your actual drawing is the draft instance. In order to create a new version you have to publish the process model.

Each time a process model is published, a new version of that process model is made available to users. The new version is used for workflow instances that are started after it is published; it does not affect workflow instances that are already running.

Flower BPMN Validation

Launch a Workflow Instance

To create a workflow instance click at the "play" button at your selected process model:



How to create a Flower workflow instance

Managing Workflow Instances

Find all workflow instances related to a process model on one place:

How to manage your Flower workflow instances

Export your BPMN file

You can migrate process models from one environment to another environment using Export and Import buttons from the UI. Also if your favourite process designer supports the BPMN format, it is very likely that it is able to import Flower process models.

How to export a Flower BPMN model

Import your BPMN file

You can migrate process models from one environment to another environment using Export and Import buttons from the UI. Also all exports from other Process Designers, which produce the standard BPMN format, can be imported by Flower.

How to import a BPMN model

Configuration

Flower app does not come with an own data storage, all data (BPMN models, workflow instances, etc.) have to be saved as Jira tickets. To create a ticket, Jira needs to know project and issue type - therefore we have to tell Flower which values for those parameter should be used for each entity type. Flower handles 3 different object types:

  • The BPMN model is the graphical representation of you process. It is saved as a Jira ticket which contains all versions of a Flower process.
  • A workflow instance will be created when clicking on the play button at your BPMN model. It is saved as a Jira ticket.
  • It creates a task for each activity in your BPMN model when starting a workflow instance. Indeed, a task is a Jira ticket. By default, project and issue type are used from the global Flower settings, but it can be specified separately at each activity in your BPMN model as well (see Workflow Instances).
Flower Configuration guide

Search Flower Models in Jira JQL

As all Flower entities like Process Model, Workflow Instances and Tasks are persisted as Jira Objects you can search for those by JQL.

Flower JQL Advanced Search

To find more about JQL and advanced search in Jira, this documentation is a good starting point.

The most common Flower search expressions:

  • Search for all Flower entities:
    flowerType in (Model, "Process Instance", Activity)
  • Search for all Flower Process Models:
    flowerType in (Model)
  • Search for all Flower Workflow Instances:
    flowerType in ("Process Instance")
  • Search for all Flower Workflow Tasks:
    flowerType in (Activity)
  • Search for all Flower Workflow Instances for a certain Process Model:
    flowerModel=YOUR-MODEL-KEY AND flowerType in ("Process Instance")
  • Search for all Flower Tasks for a certain Process Model:
    flowerModel=YOUR-MODEL-KEY AND flowerType in (Activity)
  • Search for all Flower Tasks for a certain Workflow Instance:
    flowerInstance=YOUR-WORKFLOW-INSTANCE-KEY

These JQL expressions can be used to create a Jira board or as one of your favorite filters.