Workflow Triggers


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Apply best practices to workflows

Workflow Triggers

As every process journey starts with tasks, workflows start even earlier, by a trigger. The trigger function allows you to decide how your process begins.  Such a  trigger could be a form or email that once they are sent out, your process will begin. Or another trigger could be when a new hire signs the employment contract, your process will begin. 

The trigger function allows you to decide how your process begins. Let's look at an easy example of hiring a new employee. In the following animation, we start creating a new process and end up in the screen to set a trigger.

Let's have a closer look at how a workflow can be triggered.

Select each type of Trigger to learn more. Choose Forms to begin. 


Which Trigger is Required?

Information can be provided in different ways to trigger a workflow. A person can provide information by filling a form in order to submit a request. In other cases, a system sends out an automated notification (for example, when a new order has arrived) to inform other people about the details. However, all information is important and workflows can react in different ways to it, depending on how the trigger has been defined.

Form Trigger

Starting a workflow by submitting a form is quite common and well known for users. Forms are used to ensure the user provides all required details in (often mandatory) form fields, which also validate the format.

Use cases from practice:

  • Request new business cards
  • Report GDPR relevant tasks in processes to Data Protection Officer

In SAP Signavio Process Governance, trigger forms can be set to private (default) or public.

Private Forms (Default setting)

Allows only registered internal members of your organization to start processes. This is the common case and is often used for any kind of internal requests, e.g. requesting business cards, budget or material.

Public Forms

Allows anyone (including external people) to start processes in your organization. This makes sense if the form is public (e.g. on a website). For example, a person can fill out the public form to request a call or informational material.

Form Fields

There is no form without fields. SAP Signavio Process Governance provides a form builder, which allows creating powerful forms included nested sections, mandatory and dynamic fields or field groups, and many more. Let's have a look at the most important field types, assuming we want to create a trigger form for a hiring process.

Compare the form in creation mode with the one in the runtime environment

Email Trigger

Workflows can also get started by receiving an email. This is especially common if these emails are sent by other systems, such as ERP systems or HR systems, in a form of configured notifications.

Use cases from practice:

  • A new employee record has been created in the HR Management System
  • A Customer has sent a request to a mailing list, like

How to Use the Email Trigger - Step by Step Explained

Step 1

Select the email trigger type - Before we can use emails to trigger a workflow, we first need to chose our trigger.

Step 2

Copy the auto-created system email - After selecting the email trigger, the SAP Signavio Process Governance creates a permanent email address used to trigger the process.

Step 3

Add the system email address to a mailing list - The system generated email cannot be shared with customers, but you can add it to a mailing list. Whenever an email is sent to the mailing list, the process gets triggered as well.

Step 4

Directly or embedded - The system generated email can either be:

  • Used directly: to send direct notifications from other systems to trigger the process
  • Added to a mailing list: to trigger a process additionally to a communication

Process Manager Trigger

This trigger type is specifically used to handover business process models from SAP Signavio Process Manager to SAP Signavio Process Governance. It allows starting approval workflows for process models in SAP Signavio Process Manager, before they get published into SAP Signavio Collaboration Hub.

Use case from practice - Send a created process model to the respective roles (such as process owner and process management team) for further review and final approval.

Such process approval workflows can be configured in different ways. Basically, they include the following functionalities:

Setting a State on the Process Model in SAP Signavio Process Manager

Those states can be configured and give the modeler some kind of feedback in which approval state the submitted process is (e.g. in progress, in approval, rejected, published).This topic is deepened in the course "Introduction into SAP Signavio Process Manager".

Showing Dedicated Process Information

There are certain information, which exist only if this trigger type has been chosen:

  • Process name and revision.
  • PNG file of the submitted process model.
  • Link to a preview version of the submitted process model.
  • Link to a revision comparison view of the submitted process model.

Every SAP Signavio Trial workspace is active for 30-days. Please note that the productive usage as well as Data Migration is not allowed within the trial. The functional scope further excludes the import functionality.

Which Trigger Would you Choose to Start Each Process?

Case Study

We're going to look at how to create an Employee Onboarding Workflow by applying the knowledge learned in this lesson. Make sure you signed up for your free 30-day trial and have access to the software. 

Step 1: Create a trigger form, including the following form fields:

Let's start by adding a form to enter the employee's information and reuse it in the existing tasks: 

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Email
  • Job title
  • Department (as selection: Manufacturing, Account Management, HR)
  • Start date
  • Responsible Manager (Field of type user) 
  • Add a checkbox if business cards need to be procured

All fields need to be set to mandatory in order to make sure, all information are available to trigger the workflow. Feel free to use form groups for a better structure.

1st Step

If your form looks similar, you did a great job!

In the next lesson, we're going to look at Actions and how they're used to creating our workflow. The Case Study will continue at the end of the next lesson. 

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