Introduction to intraLibrary Workflows

One of intraLibrary’s main strengths is its advanced workflow system. If you aren’t familiar with workflows in the context of digital repositories or other CMSs, here’s how intraLibrary defines them:

“A [submission] workflow defines the steps that a resource passes through as it is uploaded, catalogued and published into the repository”

A common use of a workflow would be something like a quality control process, where one type of user contributes a resource to the repository, and it is then ‘passed through’ one or more groups of other users (i.e. reviewers), before it’s finally made available to a wider audience.

workflow actions
Some workflow actions available to the user in an “Upload and Catalogue” stage.

In order to best understand workflows in intraLibrary, it’s useful to consider them by looking at their components. Here is a quick summary:

  • Stages are the top level components of a workflow. Each stage represents a specific step in the workflow, such as ‘Upload and Describe’, ‘Under Dept. A Review’, or ‘Published’.
  • Stage Transitions are triggered when a resource moves from one stage to another. Examples of transitions are: changing the published state of a resource, or sending notifications to relevant users.
  • Each stage has one or more workflow processes assigned to it. A process is tied to a set of user roles. Having multiple processes in a single stage allows different users to work on the same resources in parallel.
  • Workflow processes are composed of actions. These actions are the core of workflows as they facilitate the actual ‘work’. Actions appear in intraLibrary’s UI for users in the roles assigned to the actions processes. Some examples are ‘Upload’, ‘Edit Metadata’, ‘Change Collection’, ‘Review’, etc.