In standard Synergy, there are two fields available in a workflow request that provide unlimited data to be entered and stored. They include:
- Remarks: Request
- Remarks: Workflow
For most Synergy Users, a single workflow request will use both of the fields. The Remarks: Request field is generally used when the request is created in the first status. Mostly used when the status of the request is in a New or Open status. This can be determined by how the request is created (Manually or through the Event Manager).
The Remarks: Workflow field is used in the next and following stages of the workflow request for follow-up information. For simple one or two workflow stages, this will work fine.
Ideas on Use of these Fields
- We recommend that if the field is not to be used in a certain status, it should probably be hidden.
- The use of the Tabs functions in Synergy Enterprise may be used to place the Remarks: Workflow field in other than the first displayed request screen.
- By using these fields, it is easy to look for Requested Action and Actual Action. This can be used in support type requests, where an issue is detailed in the Remarks: Request field, while the solution is found in the Remarks: Workflow field.
- Using the Search functions in the Workflow module, it is possible to display both of these fields side by side. This is useful, especially when doing support type requests (above).
- Be aware of the fact that when having multiple notes being placed in the same field during multiple saves (or advances to new statuses); the oldest data will appear at the top on the field. This may make Users have to scroll down the field to see most current information entered.
- The Edit section for these two fields have six different options on whom can edit this field. They include the options of:
- Freeze: Creator
- Freeze: Everyone
- Freeze: Current
If no option is selected in this Edit section, everyone has the power to add, modify or delete information in this field, including notes that have been entered by other resources.
If the Freeze: options (Freeze: Creator, Freeze: Everyone: Freeze: Current) are selected, this will allow the creation of new information in these fields, and eliminating the possibility that previous notes are deleted.
As a best practice, I recommend that the Freeze: Everyone option is used in the majority of your workflow requests.
It is important to highlight that when using these two fields for Comments, if data is deleted within the field, you will not be able to retrieve the previous information.
If you attempt to use these Freeze: options (Freeze: Creator, Freeze: Everyone: Freeze: Current) on a Multiple Type Request, you will be presented with an error message that will not allow you to save the workflow definition.
There are issues that can affect the use of these two fields.
- Freeze Function for Multiple Type Requests This functionality is not possible for standard Synergy Enterprise fields (Remarks: Request & Remarks: Workflow)
- Comments are always Displayed Oldest on Top If you wish to see the most recent comments; you will probably use the scroll bar, especially if the comments entered are not brief.
- Searching for Notes by Other Resources If you wish to have other Resources to place data into one of these fields, it is more difficult to search specifically for their comments. With only two fields, as a request moves from one status to another, reporting will be impossible to display comments only from a specific status (Approved / Realized / Processed)
- When using these fields, the previously entered notes will appear above the entry field to create even more notes. This can often lead to the Resource having to scroll down the screen to have the ability to enter more data.
- When a Resources uses the Tab key to move down a request, the tab function will move down to the next available line in the Remarks: Request & Remarks: Workflow fields. However, if the resource moves the cursor, it is possible to start typing on the older notes that were previously entered.
The SynergyExpert.com Free Field tool had added 20 Long Text Fields, which satisfy the above issues and provide additional features not found in Standard Synergy Enterprise.
- Freeze Function for Multiple Type Requests The Freeze Function in Multiple Type Requests is possible with only our 20 new fields, not the existing Exact Synergy fields. If you wish to use this function in a multiple type request, make sure that you do not use the Remarks: Request and Remarks: Workflow fields with any Freeze options enabled.
- Comments above Freeze Displayed Option When the Request Type is created, there is a checkbox that will (when clicked) display the comments (notes entered) below the entry box to enter new notes.
- Add Latest Comments on Top Option When the Request Type is created, there is a checkbox that will (when clicked) display the latest comments on top of any previous comments. This saves the Remarks in descending order, so that the latest remarks are displayed first. When the field is not checked, it will work identical to the Standard Synergy Enterprise functionality.
- Searching for Notes by Other Resources By using multiple Free Comment Fields within a request, you can have Resources in each of the various statuses have the ability to enter their specific notes. This can become very useful in Reporting of this data.
- Allow the Use of Additional Formatting / HTML codes with these fields. With Version 254 and above, it is possible to add formatting to these Comment Fields. The value of this is when these fields are used by an administrator to instruct Resources on how to use the request or other fields, formatting commands may be used.