Testing a Process-Description: The Tallis Tester
The Tallis Tester is a standalone application that allows you to test the flow of a process-description by enacting it locally.
The engine keeps track of which tasks need to be performed to advance the process, and provides information to external agents regarding the current state of the process. The engine can also receive messages from agents indicating that they have completed certain tasks or provided data relevant to the running of the process.
- User interface modifications such as customised web pages do not appear in the Tallis Tester.
- Due to the Web Enactment being based around a sequential set of web pages (rather than a set of interactive panels as in the Tester) there are certain other minor differences in the runtime behaviour (most notably concerning the relationship between sources and enquiries).
Launching the Tallis Tester
Select Run > Run In Tester (or click the Run In Tester button on the toolbar ).
The process-description is first verified. If no errors are found, the Tallis Tester is launched, and the process-description is enacted.
- When the Tallis Tester is running, you can load and enact process-descriptions by selecting File > Load Process (or by clicking the Load a PROforma process-description button on the toolbar ).
- To restart the enactment of the current process-description, select File > Restart Process (or click the Restart the Current Process button on the toolbar )
The figure below is a screen capture of the Tallis Tester’s main screen:
The process-description is displayed in a tree view, similar to the one in Tallis Composer. The colours of the tasks change during the enactment, as they represent task states:
|Dormant||The engine has not yet determined whether the task needs to be performed.
Task colour: Grey
|In progress||The task is currently being performed by the engine.
Task colour: Yellow
|In progress decision with a recommended Candidate||In_progress decisions can be either yellow or orange:
|Discarded||The engine has determined that the task does not need to be performed.
Task colour: Black
|Completed||The task has been performed.
Task colour: Blue
Note: In Tallis Composer task colours represent the task type, and are therefore different from the task colours in the Tester.
Confirmable Tasks and Requested Data
During enactment, the panels of the Tester are populated with in progress tasks that require end-user confirmation (i.e., are non-automatic).
Actions and Keystones
- Actions and Keystones are displayed in the Confirmable Actions/Keystones panel.
- The Procedure of the selected action is displayed below, in the Procedure panel.
- Confirm an action (or a keystone) by selecting it and clicking Confirm (you can select multiple tasks by using the CTRL and SHIFT Keys; you can confirm all tasks in the panel by clicking Confirm All).
- Click Details to view further information about the selected task.
- Decisions are displayed in the Confirmable Decisions panel.
- Note: A decision that has sources defined in its Sources tab will only become confirmable after the data for the mandatory Sources has been collected. Thus, a decision might be in progress (as indicated by its yellow colour in the tree view), but not confirmable (and therefore it would not appear in the Confirmable Decisions panel).
- The candidates of the selected decision are displayed below, in the Candidates panel.
- Commit a candidate by selecting it and clicking Commit (if the candidate selection mode of the selected decision is multiple selection, you can commit multiple candidates; you can select multiple candidates by using the CTRL and SHIFT Keys).
- Click Details to view further information about the selected decision.
- When an enquiry (or a decision) becomes in progress, its sources are displayed in the Requested Data panel.
- To enter data, select a source and click Add (you can enter data for all the sources in the panel by clicking Add All).
The Task Details dialog displays information about the task:
- Common task attributes – name, caption, state, current cycle number (out of how many cycles), parameters, and description.
- For actions, the procedure is displayed.
- For decisions, candidates are displayed (marked with a green icon if they are recommended, and with a red icon if not), as well as the arguments for the selected candidate (marked with a black icon if the argument’s condition is true, and with a grey icon if it’s false).
To access the Task Details dialog, double-click on a task (either in the tree view or in one of the panels) or select a confirmable task in one of the panels and click Details.
The Data Browser dialog displays a list of the data items and their current values, as well as the properties of the selected data item.
It also includes an expression evaluation tool, which can be used to evaluate the current value of an expression:
Type the expression you want to evaluate in the field to the right of the Evaluate button, and click Evaluate (or ENTER). The result of the evaluation will be displayed in the field below.
To access the Data Browser dialog, select View > Data Browser (or click the Browse Data and Evaluate Expressions button on the toolbar ).
Saving and Loading Process-Description States
At any point in the enactment of a process-description, you can save the process-description state, that is, the stage to which it got in the enactment. Later, you will be able to continue the enactment from that stage. The process-description states are saved as .pfs files.
To save a process-description state, select File > Save State (or click the Save the Current Process State to a File button on the toolbar ).
To restore a process-description state, select File > Restore State (or click the Restore Process State from a File button on the toolbar ).
Try it yourself:
- Hands-on Tutorial
- This process is a collection of simple workflows, each enclosed within a “triggerable” plan. The Introduction action serves as a menu: it contains a list of hyperlinks that are linked to the appropriate event triggers, and allows the end-user to select between the available sub-processes.