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5.F Creating your first Workflow - A Practical Exercise

I. Overview

This knowledge resource is designed to help guide you through the creation of your first Workflow.  Starting in Section II, you will find a step-by-step on how a workflow is created.  CoreFlow is an add-on feature of CoreView and requires that a customer has purchased our CoreAdmin subscription plan.


The CoreFlow module automates O365 IT tasks through robotic process automation (RPA) workflows, replacing complicated manual tasks with one-click error-free completion and offers the following benefits


Deep Workflow Automation


Using our CoreFlow ("workflow") solution, you are able to create reliable, consistent and repeatable processes that can help you streamline and optimize your administration of Office 365.  Complex, multi-step administrative activities can be made easier by the application of automation.  Workflow steps can be conditionalized and rules developed to ensure that the execution of any workflow is consistent with your organization's practices.  We even support the ability to introduce an approval step into a workflow, should that be needed. 


Safely and Easily Provision and Deprovision Users


Workflow templates permit you to easily automate provisioning or deprovisioning of your user's account.  With automation, IT ensures users have the right licenses to access the right infrastructure. IT can “clone” users or create them from a template to reduce errors and speed provisioning.


Stop Cloud Attacks


Gartner finds that the most successful cloud attacks exploit misconfiguration.  Once you have a secure approach to configure, map it to a workflow so it is done properly each time.


Reduce Admin Mistakes


Streaming administration through workflows takes the guesswork out of account management, license management, and security and compliance operations.


External Users lifecycle Governance


From our usage stats, we have found that 90% of External Users become inactive after 90 days. With automation, you can automatically block access and remove the user, or asking consent to the person or the manager who invited them. Any active account is an additional endpoint opened on your tenant.


Automate Licenses Management Easily


Create and automate a process to reclaim licenses when a user becomes inactive, ask approval to the manager or IT or to start the process to buy additional licenses, automate the request to you LSP through a workflow when a usage threshold is reached.


II. Workflow Practical Exercise - Provision an Office 365 User

The steps below are designed to guide you through the creation of a very basic workflow.  Our goal with this exercise is to provide you and a basic understanding of the functions of workflow.  With this understanding in hand, you can then try other more complex workflows to explore the power of automation.


For the purposes of this exercise, you'll need to be assigned the role of TenantAdministrator and your organization has purchased our CoreFlow product.  While we strive to make CoreFlow as user friendly as possible, it is helpful for anyone who is developing workflows to have a basic understanding of Office 365 workloads, operations as well as account and group attributes.


Now, let's get started:


A. Click on the Manage tab on the CoreView menubar

B. Click on the Workflow topic area on the left navigation pane, then click on Home.



C. The development of a workflow starts when you click on the Create button.



D. You'll then need to provide a meaningful name for your workflow, as in the example below

E. Once you are done, click on the Input tab.



F. Click the blue plus symbol, to define the minimum set of required attributes to create an object in Azure AD.



G. Then you want to do the following on order.

  • For Type, select String from the dropdown. Type the value FirstName and tick the Required box.
  • Click the blue Plus symbol to append an additional Attribute. 
  • For Type, select String from the dropdown. Type the value LastName and tick the Required box. 
  • Click the blue Plus symbol to append an additional Attribute. 
  • For Type, select String from the dropdown. Type the value Password and tick the Required box. 
  • Click the blue Plus symbol to append an additional Attribute. 
  • For Type, select List from the dropdown.  Type the value Domain.  You will then see a field appear under the column titled Values.  In this field type the name of your environment such as acme.com, then tick the Required box.  As you can see, this option supports multiple values.

H. When you are done, your Input page should like the image below.


 I. Now, the fun begins, click on Workflow.



J. As you can see to the right of the brace, CoreFlow can support a number of Office 365 workloads.  For the purposes of this exercise, please select User, as noted in the green circle, below.



K. With each Category there are associated Actions.  In this example, you will want to pick CreateOnCloudUser.



L.  You'll notice that the Action you selected previously is now reflected in the workflow step.


M.  Under Configure Settings you are going to now want to associate the Inputs you created in Step G. with the corresponding Office 365 Account attribute.  This is known as Binding.



N. As you can see, some foresight is needed regarding Input variable names and the particular workflow you want to execute. Under Configure Settings, you want to perform the following actions:

  • Click the lightning bolt associated with lastName and select the Input value LastName from the list.
  • Click the lightning bolt associated with displayName and select the Input value FirstName from the list, followed by a space character, followed by the Input value LastName from the list.  This demonstrates that CoreFlow allows you to derive, or combine multiple values to create new unique values.
  • Click the lightning bolt associated with email and select the Input value FirstName from the list, followed by a "." symbol and then followed by the Input value LastName from the list.  To that append the "@" symbol and then click on the lightning bolt associated with Domain.  
  • Click the lightning bolt associated with domain and select the relevant Domain for this user's account.
  • Click the lightning bolt associated with password and select the Input value Password from the list. 
  • Finally, set value to usageLocation to the appropriate value for your Office 365 subscription, in this example, the selected value is United States.



O.  Using your mouse pointer, hover over the gray arrow just under the workflow Step box to the right.  You should see the grey arrow turn into a blue Plus box.  When that happens, click on the Plus sign.  This is how you add a workflow Step.  When you do, you want to select Add Action from the pop-up menu.  A new workflow Step will appear.


P. As you did in Step J, under the Choose a Category, select User, circled in green below. and then AssignLicense as depicted in the two screenshots below.




Q. Now, you want to bind the required values to satisfy the needs of the licensing action. 

  • Click the on lightning bolt associated with userPrincipalName and select the Input value UserPrincipalName from the list. 
  • Under selectedLicenses, check the box for an Office 365 E3 license (or any other licenses you want for your training exercise).  Finally, set the usageLocation as appropriate.   This field will be located at the end of the list of available licenses.



R. Similar to the actions you performed previously, you want to add a new Step to the workflow, and then select OneDrive, as noted in the green circle below.  Then:

  • Click on PreProvisionOneDriveSites as noted in the green box below.
  • When prompted, select Click the on lightning bolt associated with userPrincipalName and select the Input value UserPrincipalName from the list




S. Provided there are no errors that need to be resolved, click on the blue + Create Workflow button to save this workflow.  Please refer to Section IV. Troubleshooting for additional help with resolving any errors.  When the workflow is saved, you will receive a green pop-up to confirm a successful save.


T. You can execute this workflow by clicking on the blue Execute Workflow button



U. When you click on Execute Workflow, you will be presented with an interactive window (dialog) wherein you need to supply the required information.  Once you do that, click on the blue Submit button.



III.  Managing Workflows

You can manage any workflows you have created in the manner below.


V. Click on the menu item labeled Workflows on the left Navigation Panel, as illustrated below.


W. Click on the tile that corresponds to the workflow you want to manage.  You'll then be presented with a pop-up window for the selected workflow.  From here and as depicted below, you can select the Actions button, as appropriate to perform any actions against the workflow or the Refresh button to check on a workflow that may be running.




IV.  Troubleshooting

Below, we'd like to highlight some very basic troubleshooting, should you run into an issue:


A. If the + Create Workflow is greyed out, you have an error that needs to be corrected.


B. If an error has been detected on any given step, you will see a red circle in the upper right corner.  Click on the Step's title to open up that step.  Identify the error and make the needed correction.  The + Create Workflow option will present as a blue button, once you have resolved any remaining errors.


C. You can click on this blue square to display a quick reference window.



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Published: 03-21-2020

Updated: 


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