Blog Feed Post

Introducing the Rollbase Graphical Workflow Designer

Rollbase now offers an easy to use graphical workflow designer. In this tutorial, learn how to use it in your own low-code apps to design a workflow in minutes.

Many applications require some form of workflow process. Most importantly, a lot of processes can be implemented and enforced in software for greater productivity and traceability. But due to the high cost of implementing applications, and sometimes due to a huge IT backlog, many processes do not get implemented.

Thus it is critically important for any modern platform—and in particular for a low-code platform—to provide great support for workflow processes. With the release of version 5.0, Rollbase has raised the bar by providing an innovative graphical workflow designer.

Now an application designer can literally create a workflow process in minutes. 

In this blog post we will show how it takes only a few minutes to create a simple task management application with an associated workflow process where a task can be started, completed, approved or rejected.

Creating a Graphical Workflow in Rollbase

First, we create the Simple Task object (click on the "new" menu in the sidebar, and make sure you are logged in as an admin). Besides giving it a name, we enable the Task and the workflow attribute as illustrated below.

Workflow enabled

Creating a workflow process in the new workflow designer consists of creating workflow states and connecting the states with actions to form a flow diagram. Let’s do that with our task management app.

Creating a Workflow Status

When we enable workflow on an object, we automatically get the Created state, so let’s create the task “In Progress Status”. For this we just click the + icon in the canvas toolbar:

Workflow designer

We then double-click on the status and give it a proper name, repeating these steps for waiting approval and completed states. We can place the nodes anywhere we want by simply dragging them around on the canvas.

workflow status creation

Designing the Flow

Now we are ready to create the flow. When we mouse over a status, we get connector points. We simply drag a connector point to a target status. On connecting, we get the Actions pop-up. We click on the + icon to create a new action. The popup will also list the available actions when we have created them.

Workflow action creation

Now the sidebar will open and let us enter multiple properties for the action.

Workflow action properties

We repeat these steps for the Complete, Approve and Reject actions. At this stage, you can select any element and drag them around to layout the flow as you like. Note that you can move the action label independently of the arrow. We end up with something like this:

workflow designed
The designer offers some built-in layout managers. We can give them a try by clicking on the layout icon in the canvas toolbar.

Workflow layout

In the below example, we selected Top to Bottom. Note that our manual layout remains in effect until we click the Apply command. After applying Top to Bottom, the flow looks like this:

Workflow vertical layout

At this stage, I’m free to move elements to further tailor the generated layout.

Complex Workflows

Of course, many workflows are more complex than our first example. They may contain many more statuses and actions. We have provided zoom-in, zoom-out and a fit to available space function so that you can get a high level view of complex diagrams. Here is an example of a more complex workflow and using the “fit to available space” function:

workflow fit to space

Other features promoting scale:

  • Built-in layout managers (as shown above): for very complex workflows, it may become difficult to manually organize them. Using one of the built-in layout managers will most likely be a good starting point.
  • We added panning support for quick access to scrolling from the canvas without having to use the scrollbars: simply mouse down on canvas and move mouse.

Workflow Actions Power—Triggers

Workflow is more than managing status changes. Its full power comes with the capability to execute triggers. For example, in the step where a task is rejected, we may want to send an email to the user.

When you click on an action, the side panel provides an interface to select which triggers to run and in which order to run them. For example:

Workflow triggers

You can find more information on triggers in our documentation.


The graphical workflow designer provides immediate access to workflow action permissions. Now with just a few clicks, the application designer can specify who can execute specific workflow actions:

  1. Select the action in the graph
  2. Click on permissions tab
  3. Assign role(s)

Task Management in Under 15 Minutes

In this blog, we have demonstrated how Rollbase provides the necessary tools to create workflow driven applications. In less than 15 minutes, we built a cloud-enabled simple task management application that works out of the box on smartphones, tablets and desktop.

You can learn more about the workflow designer here, or check out everything that's new in Rollbase 5.0.

Curious to give Rollbase a try? Get started with a free 30 day trial today.

Try Rollbase for Free

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Progress Blog

Progress offers the leading platform for developing and deploying mission-critical, cognitive-first business applications powered by machine learning and predictive analytics.

Latest Stories
Continuous Delivery makes it possible to exploit findings of cognitive psychology and neuroscience to increase the productivity and happiness of our teams. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Daniel Jones, CTO of EngineerBetter, will answer: How can we improve willpower and decrease technical debt? Is the present bias real? How can we turn it to our advantage? Can you increase a team’s effective IQ? How do DevOps & Product Teams increase empathy, and what impact does empath...
As many know, the first generation of Cloud Management Platform (CMP) solutions were designed for managing virtual infrastructure (IaaS) and traditional applications. But that's no longer enough to satisfy evolving and complex business requirements. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, Embotics CTO, explored how next-generation CMPs ensure organizations can manage cloud-native and microservice-based application architectures, while also facilitating agile DevOps methodology. He expla...
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software. They hope to capture value from emerging technologies such as IoT, SDN, and AI. Ultimately, irrespective of the vertical, it is about deriving value from independent software applications participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridhar, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, discussed how given the magnitude of today's application ...
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
You know you need the cloud, but you're hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You're looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you're concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies. What do you do?
Sanjeev Sharma Joins June 5-7, 2018 @DevOpsSummit at @Cloud Expo New York Faculty. Sanjeev Sharma is an internationally known DevOps and Cloud Transformation thought leader, technology executive, and author. Sanjeev's industry experience includes tenures as CTO, Technical Sales leader, and Cloud Architect leader. As an IBM Distinguished Engineer, Sanjeev is recognized at the highest levels of IBM's core of technical leaders.
Recently, WebRTC has a lot of eyes from market. The use cases of WebRTC are expanding - video chat, online education, online health care etc. Not only for human-to-human communication, but also IoT use cases such as machine to human use cases can be seen recently. One of the typical use-case is remote camera monitoring. With WebRTC, people can have interoperability and flexibility for deploying monitoring service. However, the benefit of WebRTC for IoT is not only its convenience and interopera...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, discussed the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, application p...
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...
Mobile device usage has increased exponentially during the past several years, as consumers rely on handhelds for everything from news and weather to banking and purchases. What can we expect in the next few years? The way in which we interact with our devices will fundamentally change, as businesses leverage Artificial Intelligence. We already see this taking shape as businesses leverage AI for cost savings and customer responsiveness. This trend will continue, as AI is used for more sophistica...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.