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Developer Tutorial: Using Workflow Builder to Share Analysis Steps for Replay – No Coding Required



Workflow Builder was introduced in JMP 17. Use the attached JMP Journal to try Workflow Builder using your licensed version of JMP 17 and JMP Pro 17.  


Questions answered by Ernest Pasour @ErnestPasour and Scott Wise @scwise during the live demo:


Q: In JMP 16, the enhanced log does not capture every action, will Workflow Builder have the same limitation?

A: Yes, Workflow builder is built on top of the events from the enhanced log. However, JMP 17 has expanded the number of items that are logged.


Q: Is there any way to slow the process down?

A: If you mean how to slow down the flow of the workflow process, you can add “wait” actions into the workflow builder steps that will let you control how fast steps are run. She shows how in one example. For example, to wait 10 seconds, in the "Step Settings", add a custom code action which will let you enter JSL.  Put Wait(10) as  the code.  For a more advanced fix, you can group all the steps, then put the Wait(10) in the step actions where it will apply to every step.  You can play with that depending on exactly what you need.  Alternatively, you can step through one step at a time manually.  Or add a  "continue" dialog after each step.


Q: What happens when you execute something that requires user input?

A: There are ways to add places for user prompts (to close windows, to enter an output or input for an analysis report, etc.) via augmenting the saved scripts and/or using the step setting actions.


Q: Can you just copy the same command and apply to the rest?

A: Not in 17, although we hope  to get that in for 18.  However, hide tables is on the Step context menu, so you can multi-select to control that setting.


Q: Can you add a specific definition when showing the results instead of the JMP reference as the description?

A: Yes, she just copied and pasted from the documentation. You can add any text you want. You can also use the URL option in the message action. That allows you to point to a web page which could contain text, or even a video.


Q: Can this be extended to show how results can be presented in a report (e.g., PowerPoint)?

A: Exporting to PowerPoint is something that is captured yet by the Action Recorder, which means it won’t be recorded in the Workflow Builder.  But you could save the script out into a Script Window for a Workflow Builder up to the PowerPoint step.  Then you can paste it or type in the script for the PowerPoint action at the bottom and you will have one executable script to handle everything.


Q: How do you add the Reference Manager to the first step?

A: The reference manager applies to the entire workflow.  The prompting will happen if tables appear to be needed and not open. You only need to visit the reference manager if the automatic behavior isn't sufficient.




A Community member who does not have JMP 17 yet asked  about the red triangle options:.  They are:


Presentation Mode - Log History is hidden and the ability to edit the workflow is limited.

Show History Grouped by Age - Groups or ungroups history based on time.

Allow Backstep - Enables the user to back up a step in the workflow. This is a useful option to have enabled as you record and work on a workflow. Once complete, disable to increase the execution speed of the workflow.

Name Default to Here - Sets the names to local names (Tip: During development, disable when working with large data tables if you encounter slowness in your workflow.)

Show Enable Checkboxes - Shows or hides check boxes on the workflow to enable or disable steps in the workflow.

Set Notes - Adds a note above the workflow steps. (Tip: Use the Notes section in the Step Settings to annotate individual steps.)

References - As the workflow executes, it prompts the user for tables or columns that are not found in order to continue the workflow. The References menu contains the following options.

Allow Replacement of References - (Selected by default.) Enables the workflow to prompt for unknown tables or columns.

Clear Replacements - (Available after executing a workflow with replacements.) Clears the previously selected replacement tables or columns.

Manage - Opens the Reference Manager window to manage table and column replacements. Set prompts, when to prompt, and what to prompt for with each workflow run.

Add Custom Action - Enables you to add a step specified by JSL code.

Include Workflow - Adds a dynamic reference to the workflow to run another workflow.

Import Workflow - Imports a saved workflow into the current workflow.

Temporary Subset - Adds an action to create a temporary table subset to use for workflow debugging.

Duplicate Workflow - Opens a duplicate workflow window.

Add Steps to Journal - Adds the steps from the most recent execution of the workflow to a Journal. Each step is a journal entry with a JSL code window. Steps that generate analysis windows show a thumbnail image of the analysis window along with the full size image in a closed outline. The journal can be saved to a PDF file for sharing outside of JMP.

Save to Script Window - Saves the JSL from the workflow to a script window. This enables the use of the script outside of the Workflow Builder.

Create Workflow Package - Saves the workflow and associated files, such as data tables, to a package for sharing.

How can I make changes to the workflow script so that it becomes data-table agnostic? Meaning that I wanted to run the same workflow but on a data table that has different name. I have observed that the workflow runs the original data table always.

@AdditiveNewt746 if you remove the first line of workflow which refer to the data table then when you start the worflow it will ask you which table you want to use. Hope this answer your question.

@AdditiveNewt746 also in the video above, there is an example labelled Generalized Workflow.  I believe it is example 6.  That is set up so that it prompts every time for the table you would like to use.  It uses the Reference manager in the Workflow Builder. 

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