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How to support multiple work object forms with the Work Area control

Updated on May 3, 2020


Using a Work Area control, a section in a composite portal can allow users to open multiple work objects at once.

Through parameter settings, a Work Area control can provide a variety of other functional capabilities.


Suggested Approach

Introduced in V5.5, the advanced HTML Property rule named WorkArea provides a variety of useful capabilities for composite portals. (See Related Topics for additional articles about composite portals.)

This control accepts a several parameters that determine is capabilities. This article illustrates four sets of parameter settings:

  • Worklist display
  • New work object display
  • Get Next Work processing
  • Display of a harness rule

Example 1. Worklist display and tabs

The standard composite portal User includes a section rule Data-Portal.UserCenterPanel containing only a Work Area control. Through parameter settings, at runtime this control:

  • Presents multiple work object forms as tabs
  • Expands horizontally and vertically to fill the available space
  • When first opened, presents a worklist (from list view Assign-Worklist.WorkListEmbed, presented in harness Data-Portal.UserName
  • Automatically refreshes the worklist when the tab is clicked

These capabilities are determined by the following parameters:


When building a composite portal for your application, if these settings meet your needs, you can directly reference the Data-Portal.UserCenterPanel section in a panel of a harness that occupies the Work space.

You can override the standard worklist report, to show different columns, add SmartInfo pop-up capabilities, or make other changes.. This requires no change to the HTML Property parameters or to the section rule.

Using the Application Skin wizard (Application > New > Skin) you can change the fonts, colors, and formats of numerous portal elements and work object form elements. These also occur independently of the HTML Property parameters and the section rule.

Example 2: New work object

To explore other capabilities of the Work Area control, set the Tabbed parameter to No. Examples 2, 3 and 4 do not use tabs.

Step 1: Create a section rule for use in a panel of a composite portal. By convention, use Data-Portal or @baseclass as the Applies To class:

New Section rule

Step 2: Add a Freeform layout below the initial (SmartLayout) layout consisting of a single cell. Delete the SmartLayout.

Step 3: Open the Column Properties panel for this cell and clear the unlabelled check box to the right of the Width column. Similarly, open the Row Properties panel and clear the check box to the right of the Height column.

Step 4: Select and drag the Work Area control ( Work Area) from the Advanced group and drop it into the cell.

Step 5: Open and complete the Cell Properties panel.

Leave the placeholder property value .pyTemplateDocumentView; it is not used.

Complete other fields of the General tab and Advanced tab as desired. Set the width and height as desired; in other fields you can accept the default values.

Step 6: Open and complete the HTML Property parameters.

Click the magnifying glass icon to the right of the Display As field to access HTML Property parameters. These parameters determine the behavior of the control.

Step 7: Set the Tabbed parameter to No. The parameter form changes to offer three possible values for the Default Action parameter. This parameter determines the contents of the Work Area upon initial display and refresh.

Step 8: Select Create New Work for the Default Action parameter. Identify a starter flow rule to execute. Optionally, you can enter parameters for the flow rule in the format:


where name1, name2 are parameter names and the values are literal constants within single quote characters, or a pagename followed by a period and a property name.


Step 9: Include the section in a harness rule for a composite portal space.

This example harness rule Data-Portal.UserWorkArea2 is a copy of the standard Data-Portal.User harness rule, modified so that the right panel contains the new section Data-Portal.EmeraldWorkArea:


Step 10. Finally, create a composite portal that references the harness rule as the Work space:


Step 11. To test, sign on as a user (not a developer) who has an access group associated with the composite portal (UserWorkArea2 in this example).

As expected, the initial portal display presents the New work object form associated with the specified starter flow. (Vertical and horizontal scroll bars appear automatically when necessary. In some cases, you can adjust either the work object form, or the section size, to eliminate one or both scroll bars.)

User portal

Example 3: Get Next Work

The Default Action parameter also allows Get Next Work as a value, which retrieves the most urgent and suitable assignment for this user by searching through a list of workbaskets.

If this behavior is appropriate for users of your application as the initial portal display, complete steps as in Example 2 above, but selecting that parameter value.

If your application includes a custom Get Next Work implementation that accepts parameters, you can supply parameters using the format described Step 8 of in Example 2 above,


Each time a user associated with such a composite portal opens or refreshes the portal, Get Next Work processing locates and opens a carefully selected assignment, helping assuring productivity and throughput.

Example 4: Display

A third Default Action parameter value is Display, which allows the portal to display a harness rule (that in turn may display any of a wide variety of objects).

Complete steps as in Example 2 above, but select Display for the Default Action. Identify a harness rule. In this example, the harness rule is named Data-Portal.EmeraldChart.


That harness rule in turn incorporates a single section that contains a Chart control.This example uses the interactive chart from the standard summary view rule Assign-Worklist.AgeByAssigneeIC.ALL.

Harness rule

At runtime, users see a frequently refreshed display of assignments for everyone in their work group as a horizontal bar chart. Assignment bars are color-coded as to timeliness.

At a glance, they can determine who has the most assignments and whether any assignments are at risk of exceeding service level agreements. By drilling down a chart bar and selecting an assignment to work on next, they can — as a team — work cooperatively to achieve within-goal processing.

(This example demonstrates a capability of the Work Area control. Allowing work group members to pick assignments may not be appropriate for all organizations,).

User Portal

Related Topics

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