Generally, when you reach a manual action within the process, a window appears enabling you to specify the required information for that action. When you reach an automatic action, although a window still exists, it does not appear to the user. For example, you may not need a window to appear for an authorization, but you may want to record data such as the name of the person who authorized the process. This information can be automatically entered into the window, which you can then view at a later stage if required.
You can define static or dynamic data for an automatic action: for static information you specify a specific value, such as an assignment to the SA user at a particular stage or a set piece of text as the title; for dynamic information you specify a value that is determined at runtime, such as assigning to the current user, or using the title of the process as the title of the task.
You can specify dynamic values for Assignments and Automatic Actions.
There are several types of dynamic value you can use, which are covered separately:
a simple Value Type – enables you to populate a field with a value taken from a specific attribute (for example, completing the Analyst field on an Assignment window with the name of the Creation User, to automatically assign an incident to the analyst who originally logged the incident). For more information, see Specifying a simple Value Type.
a Value Type from a collection – enables you populate a field with a value taken from a specific attribute on a specific item in a collection (for example, completing the Details field on a Reminder window with the details of a Quotation from a collection of Quotations on a change, to enable the details of a specific quotation to be e-mailed). For more information, see Specifying a value from a collection for an automatic action.
a Value Type that include a macro – enables you to populate a field with a runtime macro (for example, completing the Analyst field on an Assignment window with the name of the CurrentUser, to automatically assign an incident to the current analyst). For more information, see Specifying the current user or group.
If you use a Value Type to populate a field, you can use no other text in that field – applying a Value Type to a field removes all other content in the field.
Insert place holder – enables you to include a runtime value as part of a longer piece of text (for example, including the Incident ID as part of the details of a reminder used to send an e-mail to an end-user to inform them that an incident has been logged for them). For more information, see Including runtime values in text strings.
Calculation – enables you to populate a field with the results of a calculation. For more information about calculations, see Calculations.
Mandatory fields on windows for automatic actions
Unlike with manual actions, you often have to complete the mandatory fields on the window that is associated with an automatic action. You must complete mandatory fields on the window when the window is used for an automatic action on a non-lifecycle object. For example, if you use Add Note as an automatic action, you will need to specify the mandatory Title. However, if you use Create Change as an automatic action, you will not need to specify the mandatory fields, because Change is a lifecycle object.
There are two other exceptions when you do not need to complete mandatory fields for automatic actions:
when the automatic action creates an independent object, such as a new user from a New Starter process
when the automatic action updates an existing object