Extender’s versatility has earned it the title ‘the Swiss Army Knife of Sage 300 add-ons’. Monitor and log data changes; trigger workflows, alerts or dynamic note content; customize screens; develop custom tables; integrate with external applications.
Configure Workflows without writing code, or add Custom Actions using Python.
Progress workflows from outside Sage 300 by adding Remote Action
With the launch of Extender Workflow for Sage 300 in 2019, our most versatile module gained a whole new dimension. The addition of Remote Action in 2020 has taken things up another notch.
Extender & Workflow
Workflow capability comes at no extra charge when you install the latest version of Orchid Extender:
- Extender (Configurator Edition) gives you access to a set of pre-defined Workflow Actions, allowing you to configure workflows that apply to common business processes.
- Extender (Developer Edition) allows you to develop your own Custom Actions, tailoring powerful, bespoke workflows only constrained by your imagination and coding skill.
(As well as installing Extender, you'll need to ensure that named Workflow User licences have been allocated to those who'll be assigned workflow tasks.)
Working with Workflow
- Workflow Templates are attached to Sage 300 view fields or view operations. They can work with Sage 300 Masterfile, Transaction or Batch views.
- Workflows can be configured to start automatically when a data change occurs in Sage 300, or when a Python script is executed (e.g. by Process Scheduler, or an Extender Script attached to a Sage 300 view or desktop screen).
- You also have the option for workflows to start manually from an icon on a Sage 300 screen.
- A workflow instance is created for each running workflow.
- A user assigned to a workflow instance can progress it to the next step using the Workflow Console. The console allows them to navigate through the workflow records, approve or reject requests, and drill down to Sage 300 screens.
- Alternatively, they can use Workflow Icons configured on relevant Sage 300 screens.
- You can also progress workflows from outside of Sage 300 using our Remote Action service (see below.)
- A series of value-dependent Workflow Actions (Python scripts) is executed when each workflow step is invoked. We have developed a range of pre-defined Actions, which should be sufficient to support workflows for many standard business scenarios. Advanced users can also develop their own custom Actions in Python.
Like most Orchid modules, Extender Workflow will work not just with Sage 300 core modules, but also with any 3rd Party module that has been developed using the Sage 300 SDK
Workflow Use Case Examples
There is virtually no limit to the business processes that can be implemented and automated using Extender Workflow - particularly once you start developing your own Custom Actions. To start you thinking, here are a few sample use cases, which we have also developed into Tutorials and Workflow Sample Templates.
- A/R Credit Limit Approvals: Automatically start a workflow when the Credit Limit field is updated. Restore the original limit pending approval. Assign to different teams or individuals for approval, dependent upon the requested new limit.
- Set a Customer On-Hold, and email the Salesperson: A workflow is manually started by the A/R team, using a screen icon. The customer is placed on hold, and their primary salesperson is notified by email. Two different users need to approve sequentially before the customer can be taken off hold.
- Retail O/E Order Approvals: Automatically start a workflow when a new O/E Order is inserted for a retail customer. The order is placed on hold, and a customer service manager is notified by email. A user in Accounts must approve the order to have it taken off hold, or reject the order and provide a reason. The person who originally entered the order is notified of the outcome by email.
- Approve A/P Payment Batches being set to "Ready to Post": Automatically start a workflow when the A/P Payment Batch status is updated in Sage 300. "Ready to Post" batches are reset to "Open" until the request is approved.
- Vendor Alert: A workflow is manually started by the Purchasing team in order to send alerts about certain Vendors to Operations. They can choose to either 'send and forget' an email, or wait for confirmation that Operations have seen the notification on the Workflow Console.
- I/C Options Notification: Automatically start a workflow when the Serial Number Expiry Number of Days is changed in I/C Options. A user must acknowledge receipt of the notification in order to complete the workflow.
Few businesses provide Sage 300 access to all staff members, and those staff that do have it aren't always at their desk.
Thanks to Remote Action Service, you no longer need to be logged in to Sage 300 to progress an Extender Workflow action.
How it Works
- One or more Remote Actions can be included when configuring a Workflow Template, using Orchid Extender
- When the Remote Action is triggered, a configurable webform is created on the cloud-based Remote Action service platform.
- When the action is assigned to an individual (or group member) they are notified by email.
- The email each Workflow User receives includes a one-time link, unique to that named user and workflow instance/action.
- By clicking on the link they are taken to a secure page where they can complete the action. (E.g. Approve or Reject, enter a comment, enter a value.)
- Extender retrieves completed Remote Action forms from the website and feeds the results back into Sage 300 to progress the Workflow.
- The retrieval step can be automated by using Process Scheduler to regularly poll the Remote Action website for newly completed forms.