Altium NEXUS Server

Working with Tasks in Altium NEXUS Server

Created: December 12, 2017 | Updated: February 13, 2018
Now reading version 1.0. For the latest, read: Working with Tasks for version 5.0
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Parent page: Browser-based Access & Management

An integral part of the Altium NEXUS collaborative design environment is the support for Workflows, that guide a company's designers through typical, everyday design processes such as:

  • Requesting new managed parts
  • Performing design reviews
  • Creation of new managed projects.

Each Workflow that is used to implement a particular design process is created as part of a Process Definition. Processes, and their Workflows, are created and managed through the Altium NEXUS Server's browser-based interface - by an Administrator of that Server. For more information, see Creating & Managing Processes.

When designing in Altium NEXUS, a designer can access and initiate any of the processes that have been activated for use at the administrative level. Interaction with a process - or rather its defined workflow - is through Tasks. A Task relates to a user task defined within the workflow - a point at which action by a user is necessary for the workflow to progress.

Accessing Tasks

Tasks can be browsed from the Tasks page of the Altium NEXUS Server's browser interface. This page lists all of the tasks currently outstanding for the signed-in user, and which require action (for example a task related to a project reviewing activity, or a part request). Each task is a specific stage reached within an associated process workflow.

Accessing the Tasks area of the NEXUS Server's browser interface, from where you can see instantly what tasks require your attention.Accessing the Tasks area of the NEXUS Server's browser interface, from where you can see instantly what tasks require your attention.

Working with Tasks

The left-hand side of the page presents active (outstanding) tasks for the signed-in user. For a standard (non-admin) user, the list of tasks is automatically filtered so that only tasks requiring their attention are listed.

For an administrator, the Search field will contain their username, to initially present only that user's tasks. As an administrator, should you wish to browse all outstanding tasks, across all users, clear this field and press Enter. An administrator can also browse all outstanding tasks - from a process workflow perspective - from the Browser tab of the Processes page.

Example listing of outstanding tasks for user SiEntist.Example listing of outstanding tasks for user SiEntist.

Each tasks is listed in terms of the following:

  • Timeframe - the point at which the task was encountered in the underlying process workflow.
  • Task Name - the name given to the user task element in the process's underlying workflow.
  • Title - the title of the task, which is the name of the associated process, along with an instance suffix (e.g. Ad Hoc Review #3).
  • Username - the username of the NEXUS Server user responsible for performing the task.

If there are a large number of tasks, use the Search field above the list to quickly zero-in on the desired task - filtering acts on the Title of the task, as well as its Name.

For an administrator, browsing all users tasks, the search also acts on the Username.

Click on a task entry to have its associated form presented on the Form tab, on the right-hand side of the page. The form presents all information and fields that have been defined for that specific user task - by an administrator when crafting the process workflow - in order to obtain choices, information, or data from the user, which will facilitate the onward progress of that workflow.

Example form for a user task associated with the default Milestone Review process. Hover the mouse over the image to see an example form for the default New Part

Request Assign process.Example form for a user task associated with the default Milestone Review process. Hover the mouse over the image to see an example form for the default New Part
Request Assign
process.

To view the underlying workflow for the task's parent process, make the Diagram tab active. The diagram not only shows the complete workflow for the process, but also the point that has been reached in that flow - the user task which you are currently addressing, reflected by the inclusion of your name.

Accessing the workflow diagram for the default Milestone Review process, highlighting the user task requiring action, and by whom. Hover the mouse over the image to see the

workflow diagram for the default New Part Request Assign process. In both cases, user SiEntist needs to address these tasks in order for the workflow to proceed to its next event.Accessing the workflow diagram for the default Milestone Review process, highlighting the user task requiring action, and by whom. Hover the mouse over the image to see the
workflow diagram for the default New Part Request Assign process. In both cases, user SiEntist needs to address these tasks in order for the workflow to proceed to its next event.

Interact with the form as necessary to complete your task. This could mean choosing an option, making a comment, or attaching additional files/data. What needs to happen is typically specified within the form, and any data you require to perform your task - for example conducting a design review - is usually provided with the form, or as a link. Provided the form for a user task has been crafted intuitively by an administrator at the time the process (and its workflow) were defined, you will be able to efficiently complete each and every task assigned to you, with no ambiguity, and no need to query what needs to be done - unless of course a user has requested a new managed part for example, and has not provided enough information for you to act upon, in which case you can complete your task by choosing that more information is required!

Once you have filled in the form for your task as required, click the  button. The task will be deemed complete and will be removed from your list of tasks.

If any required fields for the form have not been addressed, the software will detect this and flag that there are errors. Required fields will be highlighted for you to go back and handle as necessary, before attempting to submit again.

Viewing Tasks for a Specific Project

Any user can view all currently active (or closed) processes for a specific managed project - provided that project has been shared with them. From the Projects page of the NEXUS Server's browser interface, click the Open control () associated with a managed project - or click on its name - to access the detailed view of the project. Make the Activities tab active to see a listing of all Active activities associated to the project. From here, you can see at-a-glance what tasks are outstanding across those activities, and which user(s) are assigned to perform those tasks.

Example activity for a specific managed project, from where can be seen the currently outstanding task and who is reponsible for it.Example activity for a specific managed project, from where can be seen the currently outstanding task and who is reponsible for it.

Click on an entry for an activity to view a diagram of its underlying process workflow (on the Diagram tab below the list), showing what needs to happen for the activity to be completed, and where the activity is at along that flow, in terms of who now has a task to perform to move the activity along. Tabs are also available for seeing the data attached to the activity (Data tab), and also a history of actions taken along the activity's process workflow (History tab).

Viewing Tasks for Part Requests

Any user that has submitted request(s) for new managed part(s) will be able to view all currently active (or closed) processes relating to those request(s). From the Part Requests page of the NEXUS Server's browser interface, you can see at-a-glance what tasks are outstanding across those requests, and which user(s) are assigned to perform those tasks.

Example part requests, from where can be seen for each, the currently outstanding task and who is responsible for it.Example part requests, from where can be seen for each, the currently outstanding task and who is responsible for it.

Click on an entry for a request to view a diagram of its underlying process workflow (on the Diagram tab below the list), showing what needs to happen for the request to be completed, and where the request is at along that flow, in terms of who now has a task to perform to move the request along. Tabs are also available for seeing the data attached to the request (Data tab), and also a history of actions taken along the request's process workflow (History tab).

Accessing Tasks through Altium NEXUS

When a user is signed into the Altium NEXUS Server through Altium NEXUS, their current list of tasks will be available through the Tasklist panel. Clicking on a task's entry will access a dialog containing the form associated to that task.

Example form for a user task associated with the default Milestone Review process, when accessed from the Tasklist panel in Altium NEXUS.Example form for a user task associated with the default Milestone Review process, when accessed from the Tasklist panel in Altium NEXUS.

To view the underlying workflow for the task's parent process, make the Diagram tab active. The diagram shows the complete workflow for the process, and the point that has been reached in that flow - the user task which you are currently addressing, reflected by the inclusion of your name.

Accessing the workflow diagram for the default Milestone Review process, highlighting the user task requiring action, and by whom.Accessing the workflow diagram for the default Milestone Review process, highlighting the user task requiring action, and by whom.

Use the form to fulfill the task and click the  button, so that the process can flow to the next relevant stage. The task will be deemed complete and will be removed from the panel.

If any required fields for the form have not been addressed, the software will detect this. Required fields will be highlighted for you to go back and handle as necessary, before attempting to submit again.

 

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