Monday, June 16, 2014

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vTiger Workflows: How to automate your daily tasks in vTiger CRM

by CONRADO MAGGI on JULY 30, 2013
Workflows - series of automated actions that you can trigger to occur, based on a person’s behaviors or contact information —  allow us to focus on business processes and automate some of the daily manual tasks we do.
In vTiger, workflows go beyond email. Workflows allow you not to just send emails but also to update information, create events and run custom developed functions that can do whatever we need to do. In this post, we’ll walk you through the typical setup process of workflows

Step 1: Choosing a trigger

Let’s create our first workflow by going to: Settings Icon > CRM settings > Workflows.This can be found under ‘Other settings’ block.
In order to create a workflow, you need to provide a starting condition or criteria, which, if met by a given record (Entity as vtiger call its), will trigger the workflow. By default vtiger provides the following starting conditions:
  • Only on the first save
  • Until the first time the condition is true
  • Every time the record is saved
  • Every time a record is modified
vtiger wokflows - Step one - choose trigger

1) Example of “Only on the first save”

The first option is “Only on the first save.” This is useful when you want to notify some one of a new created record. For example let’s say one of your contacts calls you with some issue regarding an order or product, they previously purchased from you. In this case you might create a new ticket to record this issue, and automatically notify the client about the ticket number and other relevant information about the current issue.

2) Example of “Until the first time the condition is true”

This option allows us to validate a condition and trigger a workflow, the first time this condition is met. For example, you want to follow up on every customer seven days after they get the order at their door. In this case, we can create a new workflow, so when the order is marked as delivered, it sends an email to the customer saying that he should be receiving the product, and schedule a phone call with the sales rep to follow up with this new customer, seven days later just to make sure everything is OK.

3) Example of “Every time the record is saved” and “Every time a record is modified”

This option allows us to check a condition each time we modify a record. For example, lets say we want to make sure the sales rep gets an email, each time we update one of the account phone numbers. To accomplish this, we can create a new workflow to send this email, each time someone saves or edits the account the sales rep owns.

Step 2: Choosing a condition

A workflow condition is a way to filter the trigger execution, to make sure the workflow is running exactly when we need to. Let’s say for example you need to send a thank you note to a customer. Then, it would be a good idea only to send it when the Opportunity stage is Closed Won as the example below.
vtiger workflows - step 2

If you already know how to create filters, then you shouldn’t find any problems working with this option.

Step 3: Make the action

So far we have defined when this workflow should be running, under which conditions, and now is where the magic happens. We need to set up the action we need the system to do.
There are seven predefined Tasks currently available
  • Send Email Task – Send an email notification when the condition is matched.
  • Create Event Task – Create a new calendar event when the condition is matched.
  • Create Todo Task -Create a new calendar todo when the condition is matched.
  • Invoke Custom Function Task-calls certain specific methods on the entity objects.
  • Update Fields Task-Update the fields on selected module if conditions are satisfied.
  • Create Entity Task-lets admin to create and update the records when the workflow conditions are satisfied on a parent record.
  • SMS Task-You can be able to send SMS notification to the selected module if conditions are satisfied.
vtiger wokflows actions
Continuing with our example we will choose the option “Send Email,” and in the following screen we can write down the email we will send each time the workflows runs.
vtiger workflows - sent emails
The great thing about workflows is that you can add multiple actions to a given workflow in whatever order you choose. You may create a workflow whose starting condition is “Sales Stage Won.” The first step is to click “Send Thank Note Email,” the second, to “Create a to-do in calendar to enter the sales order information, ” and the third step is to “Create a To-do for admin to create and send the invoice.” Now you’re all set to perform three distinct actions for every opportunity that you won, without having to do a thing once you’ve set up that simple workflow.

Custom Functions: What are they?

Custom functions are a clean and efficient way to add extra functionality in your vTiger CRM instance. Let’s say for example that each time you close an opportunity for a website development, you need to create a standard project with tasks and sub tasks,  supposing this project has the exact steps, each time a customer buys you a website development project.
In this case, you can create a custom workflow function that uses vtiger webservices to create the new project, and it saves you from manually entering all the project tasks in vtiger each time you sell a new website development.
Another example of workflow custom is when we need to update a related module field. For example, you need to mark all the Accounts contacts to inactive, once the account became cold. You can accomplish that with a custom workflow function that updates the contacts once the account has changed to status inactive.


In today’s post we have shown how to leverage vtiger wokflows to add you features using custom workflows, and how to automatize  repeated tasks we perform on a regular basis like sending emails, creating to do’s,  and updating records in our CRM system.
Are you leveraging workflows to make your day more efficient? What unique workflow ideas do you have in mind that would “save your day”?


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