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This article will show you how to get started with workflows. This feature lets you work more efficiently. It was designed to help you:
- notify of an upcoming expiration when something is within the specified lead time.
- automatically update users when passwords or documents are added or updated.
- filter out any irrelevant notifications that don't require action.
- target notifications to specific users.
- choose how to notify your team: by email or in third-party activity feeds.
Breaking down your process into simple steps
With workflows, you have many different combinations of triggers, filters, and actions available to you, which means you can take your routine processes and create repeatable workflows.
For instance, when a domain, license, warranty, or SSL certificate in an "Active" organization is about to expire, you can set a workflow to send an email to the service desk to take action. Or when an important password or document is changed, you can have a notification sent to specific people to review the change.
Workflow actions are delivered as notifications. You are not restricted to email notifications either. A powerful webhook output is provided for integration with Microsoft Teams, Slack, or other third-party activity feeds, which means you can monitor certain IT Glue activity from external systems without having to write any code. Services like Zapier also offer RESTful APIs that can be leveraged to help IT Glue talk to different apps, like Zendesk and Asana.
- Trigger: Domain expirations
- Lead time: 15 days
- Filter: Include domains in active organizations only
- Action: Send email to the Service Desk
- Action: Also notify the team in Microsoft Teams #general channel
Accessing the workflows feature
You will need to be signed in as a Manager or Administrator. You can then go to Account > Workflows. You will land at your workflows management page where you can edit or delete workflows and turn them on/off, as needed. You also have search and sort options near the top of the screen.
Clicking More Details on a given workflow shows you what actions are associated with it and clicking on an action lets you go directly to the action in edit mode.
Step 1 - Create a new workflow
Click + New (top-right corner of screen) to be taken to the new workflow setup screen.
Each workflow is organized into different sections. By default, all workflows come with Add Trigger and Add Action sections. Filters and other actions can be added, as needed.
New workflows will be in an off status, so that you don't accidentally send incomplete notifications.
Step 2 - Choose a workflow trigger
The first step when creating a new workflow is to choose one of the available triggers.
The current options to trigger on are:
- Documents - Triggers when a document is published or updated
- Passwords - Triggers when a password is added or updated
- Domain Expirations - Triggers when the specified lead time is met on a domain's expiration date
- SSL Expirations - Triggers when the specified lead time is met on a SSL expiration date
- Configuration Expirations - Triggers when the specified lead time is met on a configuration's (warranty) expiration date
- Flexible Asset Expirations - Triggers when the specified lead time is met on a flexible asset's expiration date
Step 3 - Configure the trigger
On the next screen, you'll be asked for some information about the chosen trigger.
- Trigger Name: Enter a descriptive name for the notification. The name will be shown in the workflows management page and should be globally unique across workflows to make identification easy.
- Notify At (Lead Time): Only applies to expiration-based triggers. Specify the number of days in advance that you want to be notified when an asset is nearing its expiration.
The following checkboxes are displayed below the lead time:
- Expire sooner than the lead time
- Have already expired
If you select these checkboxes, this will schedule a one-time job that will notify you of existing assets that are about to expire (i.e. sooner than the specified lead time) or are already expired.However, if you don’t select the checkboxes, we’ll still notify when something that breaches the lead time is added to your account later on, and you'll have control over whether you also get notified about already expired assets. You may decide, for example, not to be notified when configuration items that are past their expiration (warranty) date are uploaded. After the first job runs, edit the workflow, so that it fits your needs for already expired assets.
- Notification Failure Email: If there is a bounce back from the notification, an email will be sent to this email address from email@example.com.
Step 4 - Estimate how many notifications
If you choose an expiration-based trigger, you'll have the option of estimating how many notifications will be triggered when the first job runs by clicking the Estimate How Many button. Depending on how much data you have and your criteria, this might be a very large number, as shown in the example below.
Estimates may increase significantly when both checkboxes are selected
Note that filters (next step) are not factored into the estimate.
Step 5 - Add a filter (optional)
You can dial your notifications down to focus on fewer things through the use of filters. This can help you reduce unnecessary or unwanted notifications, so that your team is seeing only what they need to see.
Filters let you add specific criteria that must be met before a notification will occur. For example, imagine a situation where your client decides they want to let one of their domain names expire. You can add a filter that will exclude the domain from the relevant workflow, so that your team won't get notified when the domain is nearing its expiration date.
Another helpful use for filters is when you want to create separate notification options for different flexible asset types. For example, you can specify that you want to notify only on "Licensing" flexible assets to help you create specific workflows for license expirations.
To add a filter:
- Click the + Filter button on the left side of the screen.
- Select your filter criteria using the drop downs. To add additional filter criteria, click the (plus sign).
Multiple filters can help you target specific data
Note the definition of each filter operator:
|Contains||Text field must contain a specific value.||The "Installed by" field contains the name Tim anywhere in the field.|
|Does not contain||Text field must not contain a specific value.||The "Domain Name" field does not contain your-able-experts.com.|
|Starts with||Text field must begin with a specific value.||Document "Name" starts with the word Project.|
|Ends with||Text field must end with a specific value.||Document "Name" ends with the word SOP.|
|Any of||Field must have at least one of the values you pick.||"Password Category" is Domain Admin or Server.|
|None of||Field must not have any of the values you pick.||"Organization Status" is none of Inactive or Vendor.|
|Is||Field must have the exact value you pick (e.g. true or false).||"Make document public" checkbox is True.|
Step 6 - Choose a notification method
Next, you will choose the notification method (the action that will be triggered).
The type of actions you can create with this feature:
- Email - Notifications you receive by email.
- Slack Webhooks - Notifications you receive via a Slack custom integration.
- Webhooks - Notifications you receive via simple connections with other third-party apps.
Webhooks are used to trigger an outbound API message to an external system. Therefore, you need a third-party integration for webhooks to work.
On the next screen, you'll be asked to provide some additional information. For email notifications, the following is required:
- Action Name: Enter a name for the action (e.g. Email to senior tech team).
- Recipients: Enter as many email recipients as you need.
- Subject: Enter the subject line for the email.
- Body: Enter the body text for the email.
Configuring an email action using variables
You can use variables in the subject and body fields. The variables will pull values from the asset that’s triggering the notification. The available variables are listed at the bottom of the screen where you input this information.
If you are interested in using webhooks, use the following articles as further reading and to start building webhook-based actions. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need further tutorials.
- Setting up Slack webhook notifications
- Setting up Microsoft Teams webhook notifications
- Setting up an Asana zap in Zapier
- Setting up a Zendesk zap in Zapier
Note: Zapier really goes the distance to offer a broad range of automations. For example, Digest for Zapier gives you the ability to capture info from multiple events in your workflows and collects them in a single summary that can be sent in an email or Slack message.
Step 7 - Test your workflow
Click the Test Action button to perform the job your action is set to do with some test data. For example, if your action is email, we actually send an email. This gives you a chance to make sure the notification is working. If the test fails or has incomplete information, you can fix it before you put the notification into production.
Note that test notifications are sent to the first email recipient, but the actual notifications will be sent to the entire recipient list.
Step 8 - Turn on your workflow
When you're happy with everything, make sure to put the workflow in an On status and then click Finish to save all your changes.
Your team will start receiving notifications within the next 24 hours. Note that notifications based on document or password triggers will be sent in real time.
Troubleshooting a workflow
We make several attempts to send notifications before we consider the workflow unsuccessful. This allows for any network outages and third-party downtimes.
After reaching a maximum retry limit, we will notify you by sending an email to the "Notification Failure Email." We recommend that you deactivate (set status to OFF) a workflow that is consistently failing and investigate the problem.
When there are undeliverable addresses, we send an email that says "Warning IT Glue notification failed to send to recipients" and list the email address that the notification could not be delivered to. Note that an out of office response could be the cause of an undeliverable address.