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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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Workflow Designer

The Workflow Designer lets you define and build workflows that can then be used to standardize and automate your processes. You can define a logical sequence of activities and automated tasks in a workflow that can then be repeated reliably.

Tool Bar

  • Filter
    Filter the list of workflows by typing text that will match against the following fields: Workflow name, Category, Created By, and Updated By.
  • Status Filter
    Filter the list of workflows by status using the options Show All Workflows, Show Active Workflows, and Show De-Activated Workflows.
  • Search workflows for a set value
    This option will search all of your existing workflows for a string of text. For example, you can search on a User ID to locate all the workflows where that User ID has been set within the workflow options.
  • Create New
    Select this option to create a new workflow.
  • Delete
    Delete one or more workflows that have been selected in the list of workflows. This option will only be available once a workflow has been selected.


  • Column Headings
    Each heading can be clicked on to change the order in which the workflows are displayed.
  • Workflow
    Column that displays the name of each individual workflow. This can be clicked on to view and edit the selected workflow within the Business Process Designer.
  • Actions
    Some quick access options are available in the last column for each workflow.
  • Process Publishing & Activation
    Clicking this option will allow you to publish the workflow, using the latest draft version. You are also able to activate one of the previous 10 versions of the workflow or copy them back to the draft version.
  • Copy process
    Create an identical copy of this workflow.
  • Rename process
    Rename this workflow. This can only be done when the workflow has no executed processes with a status of active or suspended. Use the Manage Executed Processes option to identify and manage these executed processes.
  • Delete process
    Delete this workflow. This can only be done when the workflow as no executed processes with a status of active or suspended. Use the Manage Executed Processes option to identify and manage these executed processes.


A stage is a container for a set of actions or tasks that fulfill a particular aspect of a workflow.

  • Each workflow can have one or more stages.
  • The workflow cannot go back to a previous stage.
  • A stage can be skipped.
  • The output of a node is only available within the stage where it is located.


A stage contains a series of nodes that make up the workflow.


The via node serves no functional purpose, but can be used in the designer, between nodes to better align the layout of the workflow on the design canvas.


The Start Node indicates the starting point of the workflow. There are no parameters and you can can only have one per stage.

Hornbill Automation

Hornbill Automations are definable automated actions that will occur within the workflow. The available Hornbill Automation are provided by each application that utilizes workflows. Each application can provide automated tasks.


Used to define the decision makers for authorizations, set their approval weightings, add expiry options on the decision, and if required include useful variables from the parent request to assist with the decision making in the authorization task information.

Auto Assign Authorization

This node is used to invoke authorization tasks for approvers which have been predefined using the Service Manager > Entity > Request > Suspend > Wait for List of Request Authorizers node or the Core > Application > Utility > Get Authorizers by Group. This node has no requirement to define approval weightings etc as these will have been configured in the preceding node. Options do include the configuration of outcomes, the authorization task details and lifespan setting including optional due and expiry dates.

External Authorization

This node is used to request an authorization decision from an external party via email. The node allows for a single email recipient, definable outcomes, and the option to inject variable content into a hardcoded email which will be sent to the email address (static or using a variable). The recipient of the email will receive a link to a web page; from where they can review the authorization decision, choose an outcome , and if configured provide a supporting reason. Where the node is used, the workflow will be suspended awaiting an outcome and will resume once the recipient has submitted their response. This node would typically be followed by a decision node, like any other type of authorization, with branches configured to reflect the outcome choices of the node. The recipient of the email does not need to log into any interface when accessing the web page link.


These nodes can be used after a number of other nodes including, Human Tasks, or Automated tasks where multiple outcomes are possible. The Decision node can be used to facilitate the drawing of multiple outcome lines to other nodes, and for each outcome to be individually set. It is also possible to join decision nodes, to other decision nodes through the use of a No Match outcome. This caters for situations where multiple outcomes per decision are needed and not simply the three which are available from a single decision node. Note: It is strongly advised that all Decision nodes have a No Match outcome to avoid the potential of a No Matching GotoIf error when none of the criteria are met.

Human Tasks

This is for a synchronous manual activity that needs to be carried out. The workflow will wait for someone to update the activity with one of the expected outcomes. You need to define the name and details of the activity, allocate a role or an individual co-worker, and expected outcomes, as well as optionally including variables from the linked parent request which may assist in the completion of the task.

Cloud Automation

This node is used to invoke automated actions in a workflow using either integrations with 3rd party solutions using Hornbill’s Integration Bridge, or by invoking automations defined in 3rd party tools like Microsoft Orchestrator or HP OO. options will include choosing the connector to use, selecting the Method (automation) you wish to invoke and then supplying the required input parameters relevant to the connector and method you have chosen.

IT Automation

This allows for the selection of a specific package and operation as in an ad-hoc IT Automation Job or as used within a Runbook

Runbook Workflow

This allows one to select a Runbook with the input and output parameters.


This stage will terminate the workflow. You can only use this node in the final stage.

Next Stage

This will take you either to the next sequential or a later stage and will only be available when you have 2 stages or more. You cannot go to a previous stage.


This node will end the workflow and will cause the heads up display to show as red.

Set Checkpoint

This node will allow you to set a visible indicator that a task / or important milestone in the workflow has been met - In order to use this node, checkpoints must have been defined for the stage of the workflow (Stage Properties). It is also possible to mark a checkpoint as having been met on the all the above nodes as a configuration option.

Start Parallel Processing

This node can be used where there is a need in a workflow stage to invoke more than one stream of actions, and for these to run in parallel. Adding this node, will enable multiple process streams to be defined, and these will run independently until brought back together by the Finish Parallel Processing node. An examples of where this would be used, would be where two tasks need to be assigned to different teams, but there is no dependency or need for one to be completed before the other, so they can be created and invoked in parallel.

Finish Parallel Processing

Use this node to bring together and finish the individual process lines which had been initiated from a Start Parallel Processing node.

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