Workflows on the Web Client Part 1



Learn how to use the Freezerworks Web Client to process Workflows.


Introduction – 00:00

Hi there, welcome to the Freezerworks 2021 Learning Series, your visual guide to our sample management software. To be honest, it’s hard not to get excited about the Workflows in Freezerworks; by standardizing groups of Tasks, Workflows increase productivity and accuracy while reducing opportunities for user error. Recently, we added Sub-Aliquot Workflows to our set of Workflow Types, allowing you to take greater control over one of the more complicated processes. If you'd like to know more about those Workflow Types or Workflows in general, we have many older Workflow videos that still apply to the current program, and more are coming as well. Today, however, I'd like to discuss the basics of processing a Workflow on the Web Client. Workflows have been on the Web Client for a while now, but we've never taken the time to talk about how they work there. So let's do that now.

Setup – 01:05

Before you can process any Workflows on the Web Client, Workflow Templates must be created and assigned to your Group on the Desktop. Currently, you cannot create and manage Workflow Templates on the Web Client. If you do not have any available Workflow Templates for the Workflow Type you're trying to process, you or your administrator will need to set them up on the Desktop Client. As I said earlier, we have an older series on workflows which will cover configuring Workflow Templates in detail. Check those out for help creating your Workflows.

How to Start a Workflow – 01:35

Let's imagine we have all the templates we need and we want to process workflows remotely now. Let's log into the Web Client, and the first way you can process a Workflow on the web is from the Inventory List View. For a deep dive on how to use the Inventory List View, see our video of the same name. For now, let's create a search for records we want to process a workflow on. From here, I'll highlight the exact aliquots I'm trying to work with and hover over the Actions menu. These are our four Workflow Types: Check Out, Check In, the newly added Sub-Aliquot, and Process Shipment. I'll choose Check Out for now, but we'll go through the rest of the types in the next video. A Check Out is when you are taking the aliquots out of the freezer for analysis, testing, moving, etc. When you select any of the four buttons, a list of available Templates for the Workflow Type you chose will appear. I chose Check Out, so here are the Check Out Templates assigned to my Group.

Now, before moving on to the Process Workflow form, let's quickly mention the other spots you can start a Workflow from. Whenever you open and edit a Sample in the new Samples Entry Forms on the web, you can run any of the Workflow Types on its Aliquots. Simply go to the Aliquots page, highlight the Aliquots you want to work with, and click the Process Workflow button. This opens a menu with the four possible Workflow Types. From here, it's just like the Inventory List View: Select the type you'd like to run and choose your Template. The last way you can start a Workflow on the Web Client is with a Flatbed Scanner. If you do not use Flatbed Scanners with Freezerworks, or simply don't have them set up, the options won't even appear on the Web Client, and you can go ahead and skip to the Process Workflow form. If you do use Flatbed Scanners, and wish to know how to use them for Workflows, see our Flatbed Scanners: Web Client video. Again, it's an older video, but much of the material hasn't changed. Just note that you can only Check Out and Check In with a Flatbed Scanner and that these two options are now in the Inventory Management tile on the Home Screen.

Process Workflow Form Basics – 03:42

Let's actually process a Workflow from the Web Client now, starting with Check Out. This process usually entails a number of data management actions that can be completed in a single workflow. We'll go through nearly all the possible Workflow Tasks with this Workflow Type. In the next part of the series, I'll show you what makes the other types different, but a majority of the info I cover today applies to all Workflow Types. So, you want to start any Workflow Type by looking at three things. First, the top portion of the form, where you can enter a Workflow Run Name, which helps you and others identify Workflows in Workflow History. This field may be required in your template, but more on that in a second. You'll also find the Custodian field, which is purely informative and doesn't change an Aliquot’s attributes or security like the Owner or Aliquot Status. Speaking of, the Aliquot Status is listed here, but it isn't modifiable during processing. Take note of it though and make sure it's set correctly for what you're doing – Aliquot Status can have major ramifications on what you can do with Aliquots later. The final drop down, Workflow Type, just tells you what Workflow Type you chose, so we see Check Out (it also isn't modifiable). The second thing you want to pay attention to when starting a Workflow is what pages are available on the left (which indicate what tasks you are expected to perform before processing). As I said earlier, I've got nearly every possible task in this workflow, so your page pane will probably look smaller than mine. Finally, take note of all the asterisks on the form. These are the tasks and fields required to process the Workflow, such as the Workflow Run Name. Filling in a required field removes the asterisk.

Workflow Tasks – 05:25

Okay, onto the Workflow Tasks. First, we have the Data Entry page. Fields in the top box are modifiable, while the ones in the bottom will be automatically updated based on the configuration of the Workflow. The fields with asterisks require entry before you can continue. When all required fields have been updated, the red asterisk on the page button disappears, like so. There may still be fields that do not require entry, but you can modify them nonetheless.

Let's go to the Freezer Positions page. For Check Out and Shipment Workflows, this page is very simple. Just open the dropdown and select what you want to do to the Freezer Positions of every Aliquot you're running this Workflow on. The three options are as follows:

  • Hold the freezer position – which just keeps all the aliquots in the same position
  • Remove entirely from Freezer – which will delete the positions for all the Aliquots.
  • Remove from Freezer, but keep Aliquot Position – which is meant to be used in tandem with a Check In Workflow. For example, when a 96-well plate is moved from freezer to freezer, the individual positions of its Aliquots will not change. We'll select this option so I can show you what I'm talking about in the next video.

If you are given control over this Workflow's emails, the email page will appear. If there are multiple emails, select the desired one from the Email Template dropdown. The email form should look much like any standard email application. Use the To and CC boxes to select email recipients, and the Subject and Body box to craft the actual email. Don't forget to also include any desired Attachments (exports or reports) by selecting the checkboxes on the Attachments tab.

Moving right along, our Transactions page has a red asterisk because Transaction Notes are required before you can process the Workflow. Enter some Notes…and the red asterisk will go away.

The Reports and Exports pages are where you can pick and choose which Reports and Exports you want to download from your browser when the Workflow is processed. Both pages function in the exact same way, just pay attention to the Before Process and After Process columns. Checking a box in the Before Process column means the deliverable will be created for the aliquot data that existed prior to the workflow being run, whereas After Process will incorporate any changes from the workflow.

The Shipping Box page will make a lot more sense when we go over a Shipment Workflow. We'll skip it for now.

The Labels Page has already been filled out for us, but we can select a different Label Format or change the Number of labels per aliquot, if necessary.

Now, if you are using Summit or Pinnacle, you may also see the Order Tests and Invoicing pages. For Invoicing, simply check the Catalog items you want charged for all the Aliquots you're processing. However, aliquots must already be associated with a Customer in order for Workflow charges to appear on an invoice. For Order Tests, you can select the Tests you want ordered, as well as enter a # of Runs and Date Due. You also have the ability to edit the Order and Pickup Date, Time, and Tech fields. The Order info will be prefilled with the current date, time, and user, but is still modifiable.

The final page in every Workflow is the Aliquots page, which displays all the Aliquots you're running the Workflow on. This is also where you'll find the QC Check Task if it is required by the Workflow, as it is for me. To check the Aliquots, go to this box on the right and first make sure that the Field is set correctly for you. This is the field you'll be verifying the records with. We'll use the system-generated Unique Aliquot ID, but feel free to use something else. You can either check using Manual Entry (with a barcode scanner for instance) or using Select by File, however your organization operates. If you choose Select by File, you will need to provide the delimiter your external file uses (i.e. what separates the data). If any of the values you enter are incorrect, the program will let you know, and you can remove the incorrect values or just restart the whole process. If any values are missing, you can't process the Workflow so keep an eye on the Aliquots found counter. You'll be able to tell which ones are missing because their records won't be highlighted in the list. Once the QC Check passes, the red asterisk on the Aliquots page will turn into a green checkmark, and we can finally process the workflow.

Post-Workflow – 10:06

So, click Process Workflow and a confirmation will appear. This tells us the various Reports, Exports, Shipping Boxes, and Labels that were generated by the Workflow. Click OK and you will be returned to wherever you started the workflow. All the changes you made to the Aliquots will be immediately visible. Take special note of the empty Freezer fields. We selected Keep Aliquot Position during the workflow, so everything except Positions 4 and 5 have been deleted. These fields will be used when we check the Aliquots back in next time. A Notifications menu will appear in the top bar, lit up in red, and containing a number corresponding to the number of deliverables that were generated by the Workflow. If you open the Notifications menu, your deliverables from the confirmation will be listed along with their current status. Clicking any of them will take you to a Workflow History form where you can then download and/or print everything you need. Your emails should come through any minute too, just like mine.

Conclusion – 11:05

Well, that does it for our first part of Workflows on the Web Client. Next time, I'll take you through the other three Workflow Types, Check In, Sub-Aliquot, and Shipments, because there are some key differences. Just know that the basics of any Process Workflow form on the web are covered in detail in this video. As always, thanks for watching, and see you next time!