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Have questions about this site?

What is this site?

  • This website is Hornbill's new product documentation website and is currently under development.
  • It is intended that all existing and future public-facing documentation we produce will be available to search, browse and share.
  • Hornbill's current documentation is available at Hornbill Wiki but over time this content will be migrated to this documentation site.
  • Please feel free to have a look around at any time.

Why has Hornbill created this site?

  • Hornbill's products have moved on considerably since we introduced it almost 10 years ago. At the time, the MediaWiki tool was sufficient, but we have outgrown it.
  • Our customers are more enterprise focused and more self-sufficient than ever before, so for 2023 and beyond we have established a new documentation platform and team to drive our documentation initiative forwards.
  • We are aiming to deprecate the use of Hornbill Wiki for most Hornbill related documentation.
  • We want to enable our growing partner network with product resources and information, documentation beyond our Wiki approach is required.
  • We could definitely do with some help, and may even pay for some! If you have domain knowledge and would like to help, please check out our Hornbill Docs Contributor Guide and contact the Hornbill docs team at

What will this site be good for?

  • Community contribution will be facilitated, encouraged, and most welcome.
  • High quality documentation, will be kept up to date as rapidly as our products evolve.
  • Real-time content search and discovery.
  • Articles organized into books, books into libraries, creating a more natural and logical structure to our documentation.
  • Legacy API documentation and various other documentation sources will all be consolidated into a single unified documentation system.
  • Documentation available in browser as well as printable/viewable as PDF on demand.
  • Personalized documentation experience, allowing dark/light mode, article subscriptions, social media sharing and other useful features.
  • Almost all publicly available documentation on will be open-source and available to fork on GitHub, allowing customers to derive their own custom documentation around Hornbill products should they wish to.

What is the timeline for this site?

  • We have taken the decision to publish and make available early, there is very little content at this time.
  • As and when we have completed/usable documentation, it will be published here.
  • We have a host of additional features we wish to add over time, so please watch this space.
  • We expect most of our existing documentation should be reviewed/migrated to over the coming months.
  • The documentation project will be ongoing, will continue to expand, evolve and improve day-by-day.

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A Hornbill Automation is a definable automated task that will occur within the workflow. The available Hornbill Automations are provided by each application that uses Workflows.

Adding a Hornbill Automation

When viewing a workflow canvas, there are a couple of ways to add a Hornbill Automation.

  • Add after existing node
    Drag an arrow from an existing workflow node. When you let go of the mouse button, you are presented with a list of nodes that you can select from. Select Hornbill Automation

  • Add between existing nodes
    Click on an arrow between two existing nodes. Once the arrow is selected, right-click on the arrow and select Add node between connected nodes. Select Hornbill Automation from the list of available nodes.

Hornbill Automations can be easily identified in a workflow as a light blue rectangular node.


The properties of a Hornbill Automation can be accessed by either hovering the mouse pointer over the node and then clicking on the cog icon or you can simply double-click on the node.

  • Language
    This will default to the language of the user that is adding the node. After the node has been added, you may consider adding translations for other languages by selecting a language from this list.
  • Display
    This is the name of the node that will be displayed in the node when viewing the workflow. This is also displayed when using the variable picker. The display should easily identify the node and its purpose.



Each Hornbill Automation includes help information. This is accessed by clicking on the ?. This help information includes valuable information about the inputs and outputs of each Hornbill Automation. The help information displayed will be in context with the selected Task.

  • Application
    Each application can provide a set of Hornbill Automations to select from. A workflow that is executed in one app can perform an automation in another app. This option allows you to browse and select from the applications that provide automations. This node will run under the context of the selected application.

  • Scope
    The scope can either be set to Entity or Application.

    • Application
      When selected, the Type field shows a number of different categories of automation that are not directly related to an application entity. This list is independent of the selected application and will be the same for all selected applications.
    • Entity
      Enables the entity option where you can select from a list of entities that relate to the selected application.
  • Entity
    This option is only available when the Scope is set to Entity. This list will include entities associated with the selected application that have at least one automation available.


    An entity is an identifiable object defined within each application. Hornbill Automations are designed to update the attributes of these objects.

  • Type
    Tasks are categorized into types. Selecting a Type will make the related tasks available in the Task field.

  • Task
    This is the definable automation where you can specify inputs that are needed for the automation to run.

  • Result Reference
    When there is more than one Hornbill Automation node that performs the same task, unique references can be used to access the outcomes of each node at the time that they were run.


The list of options provides inputs that are used to perform the task. These options will vary with each task.

  • Mandatory
    Options that are mandatory display a vertical red bar on the left-hand side.
  • Information
    Each option has an information icon where you can read some basic information about that option. Additional information can be found in the help by clicking on the ? icon.
  • Auto/Manual/Variable/Ignore
    Each option allows you to select how it will be populated.
    • Auto
      This will use a default value for the option. Not all options have a default value and you will have to refer to the documentation for each individual automation to confirm if this can be used.
    • Manual
      Use this to manually type in the text or select from a drop-down box if provided.
    • Variable
      Use this to allow for the use of a variable that can be selected using the Variable Picker.
    • Ignore
      This is only available when an option is not mandatory. This ensures that no value is used with this option when the automation is run. Non-mandatory options will default to Ignore.

Set Stage Checkpoints

You can select one or more checkpoints to be set when this node is reached.

Output Params / Context Reference

Hornbill Automation nodes provide output parameters which can be accessed through Variable Picker or Decision node in a Business Process. The value in Result Reference of a node is appended to the reference of each output parameter.

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