Tasks

Tasks make collaboration better. Tasks are better than messages when you work together with others. Tasks have a clear status and an assignee. You can go to the Tasks app to claim a task for yourself and start work on it.

Magnolia uses tasks in the publishing workflow: when an editor publishes a page the system creates an approval task and sends it to the publishers group.

See also Custom tasks and User tasks documentation for how to integrate it with jBPM. But please keep in mind, that you can create and work with Tasks without having to deal with jBPM and workflow.

Do not use tasks if you do not have any human activity in your workflow. They are unnecessary for operations that only involve the system itself.

TasksManager

A task is an object that you create using TasksManager. You can send the task to a list of users or to a list of groups. A recipient can assign the task to themselves. Others can see who owns the task and its status when they go to the Tasks app.

When working with tasks, use the TasksManager interface to update fields such as creationDate, modificationDate and status and to notify the system event bus.

To get TasksManager in your implementations, use injection:

Using TasksManager
@Inject
public MyClass(TasksManager tasksManager) {
    this.tasksManager = tasksManager;
}

public void createTask() {
    Task task = new Task();
    ...
    tasksManager.addTask(task);
}

Be aware that by calling

  task.setId(String);

the task will not be created in the workspace.

Creating a task

Start by giving the task a name. The name is unique for the type of task you are creating and acts as a reference to the task definition in the registry.

Defining the task name
task.setname("getGroceries")

Next, define the possible assignees for the task. You can send a task to a list of groups or actors.

Defining assignees
List<String> actorIds = new ArrayList() {{
       add("eric");
       add("susan");
    }};
List<String> groupIds = new ArrayList() {{
       add("groceryShoppers");
    }};

task.setActorIds(actorIds);
task.setGroupIds(groupIds);

Finally, add content to your task. The content should contain the information the assignee needs to complete the task. For example, in the default publishing workflow the content contains information the publisher needs to review a page and publish it such as the workspace where the page resides, a path to the page node, and the version of the page being published.

Adding content to a task
Map<String, String> content = new HashMap() {{
            put("groceries", "milk, eggs, beer");
            put("budget", "15.- CHF");
        }};

task.setContent(content);

The content map is stored to JCR using OCM and allows storing any <String, Object> map where Object is a simple type. The data inside the content map is usually only used for displaying information in the Tasks app.

Claiming a task

When a user assigns a task to themselves they claim it. To claim a task, set the actorId:

Claiming a task
taskManager.claim(taskId, userId);

This will update the task status and modificationDate and notifies the system event bus.

Magnolia uses info.magnolia.task.app.actions.ClaimTasksAction inside the Tasks app for this step.

Reclaiming a task

With appropriate publication rights you can reclaim a task which is already InProgress from another user.

Task reclaiming works in the same way as claiming a task, i.e.

Reclaiming a task
taskManager.claim(taskId, userId);

using the info.magnolia.task.app.actions.ClaimTasksActionDefinition class but adds notifyPreviousAssignee, which is set to true by default and will trigger sending an i18n-able notification in the Tasks app to the previous assignee in the publication sequence that the task has been reclaimed by another user:

Notifying the author
messagesManager.sendMessage(task.getActorId(), message)

Please note that notifyPreviousAssignee is present also in info.magnolia.task.app.actions.ClaimTasksActionDefinition.

Resolving a task

To resolve a task assigned to an actor:

Resolving a task
Map<String, Object> result = new HashMap<String, Object>();
result.put("budgetSpent", "13.25 CHF");

taskManager.resolve(taskId, result);

A resolved task usually produces some sort of output. You can use the result map to pass this output to further processing. TasksManager will take care of notifying any handlers registered to the system event bus.

Magnolia uses info.magnolia.task.app.actions.AbortTasksActionDefinition inside the Tasks app for this step. It allows you to define a decision inside the configuration which is mainly used for approving or rejecting a publication.

abort:
  class: info.magnolia.task.app.actions.AbortTasksActionDefinition
  decision: abort
  icon: icon-publish
  availability:
    multiple: true
    rules:
      canAbort:
        assignee: false
        class: info.magnolia.task.app.actions.availability.TaskAvailabilityRuleDefinition
        status:
          Created: Created
          Failed: Failed
          InProgress: InProgress
          Scheduled: Scheduled
    access:
      roles:
        superuser: superuser

After resolving the task using the ResolveTask action the result map contains only one entry with the configured decision.

As with the content map, the result map is stored to JCR using OCM and allows storing any <String, Object> map where Object is a simple type.

Archiving and removing a task

The TasksManager provides a method for archiving tasks. The method removes the task from the Tasks app. You can still retrieve an archived task later in case you want to re-open it or audit.

While the API allows deleting a task, we strongly discourage doing so unless you know for sure that the deleted task won’t be used any more.

Archiving and removing a task
taskManager.archiveTask(taskId);

taskManager.removeTask(taskId);

Status

Every task is bound to a life cycle and goes through several statuses in your process:

  • Created: The task has been created but is not assigned to any user.

  • InProgress: The task has been assigned to a user.

  • Resolved: The task has been resolved by the assigned user.

  • Failed: Task execution has failed.

  • Archived: The task has been removed from the Tasks app.

  • Removed: The task has been removed from the repository. Removing tasks is supported by the API but should be used carefully. Depending on the use case, a user should be able to reopen a task after it has been resolved.

Changes to task status can be tracked by registering TaskEventHandler to the system event bus.

Task definition

Every task type needs a unique name. The name is used to read the task definition from the task registry in your module configuration.

'publish':
  'class': 'info.magnolia.module.workflow.jbpm.humantask.definition.PublicationTaskDefinition'
  'parameterResolver': 'info.magnolia.livecopy.workflow.jbpm.humantask.DynamicPublicationTaskParameterResolver'
  'taskJobFactoryClass': 'info.magnolia.module.workflow.jbpm.humantask.schedule.PublicationTaskJobFactory'
  'groups':
    'publishers': 'publishers'
  'viewMapping':
    'default': 'workflow:publish'
    'website': 'pages-app:publish'

The simplest TaskDefinition needs the following properties:

All properties below are required.

<task name>

The node’s name used to look up the configuration for a task.

     title

The i18nable title of the task displayed in the tasks list in the Tasks app.

     taskView

The view definition used to render the form and action bar in the detail view of the Tasks app. This is a reference to a messageView definition.

     class

The class mapping used for map2bean to initialize the POJO. info.magnolia.task.definition.TaskDefinition.

As with any definition used in Magnolia, you can define your own extensions to the task definition and add configurable nodes and properties.

Task view

While we use the term task view for the detail view of a task, it is technically a message view used to render the form and action bar.

Use a message view configuration to define which fields of the task object are displayed to the user. You can use a dot notation such as content.groceries to reference fields from the content or result map. In the same fashion, you can configure your actions, including availability and action bar mappings.

image

Configuring actions

The abort, archive and claim tasks are configured as bulk actions.

The decoration file below adds a setting for the abort action in the task browser and detail (the definition class is info.magnolia.task.app.actions.AbortTasksActionDefinition) with the travel-demo-publisher role set to access this action:

<my-light-module>/decorations/tasks-app/apps/tasks-app.yaml
subApps:
  allTasks:
    actions:
      abort:
        availability:
          access:
            roles:
              - travel-demo-publisher
<my-light-module>/decorations/pages-app/messageViews/publish.yaml
actions:
  abort:
    availability:
      access:
        roles:
          - travel-demo-publisher

To allow actions for different users, add their role names from the list of default roles as the properties and values of the roles subnode.

See Action definition for more details about action properties.

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