Workflow validation rules

This topic applies to ArcEditor and ArcInfo only.

The workflow engine supports linear, branching, and looping workflows. You can also define job types with no workflow or even just one step. Once you've got more than one step, Workflow Manager will begin to enforce the rules detailed below.

When validating workflows in the editor, should something be invalid, Workflow Manager will inform you which steps are breaking the rules.

One start and one end

Every workflow that you design must have one unique starting point and one ending point. There are two exceptions to this rule: one-step workflows and jobs with no workflow at all.

Multi start/end step workflows
If your workflow breaks this rule, you'll receive a message indicating which steps are invalid.

Must be a closed system (no gaps)

This rule prevents you from creating multiple workflows for one job type. You are unable to create two complete separate workflows for one job type. If you find that your work requires two different paths depending on some factor, consider two different job types or creating those as branches in a larger workflow.

Floating step message
When there are steps or sections of workflow not connected into one, you'll receive a message indicating there are floating steps.

No self-looping steps

Workflow Manager will prevent you from looping a step back onto itself.

Self looping
To prevent an endless loop, Workflow Manager won't allow you to create a workflow with a self-looping step.

Looping rules

There are a couple of other looping rules that Workflow Manager will enforce.

For similar reasons as the one start and one end point, Workflow Manager will prevent loops from going back into the starting step, or from coming out of the last step in the workflow.

Looping rules
Looping back to the starting step or looping out of the end step in a workflow will break the validation rules.

Additionally, if you have concurrent sections in a workflow (two branches that are active at the same time), treat them as if they were their own mini-workflows or systems. Any loops created within those sections must be contained within themselves, and can't loop out to other concurrent or nonconcurrent sections in the overall workflow.

Concurrent loops
Loops in concurrent sections of a workflow must not loop back up to the previous nonconcurrent section of the overall workflow.

Published 6/7/2010