What is a Collection?

Understand what a Collection is in ProcessMaker.

Overview

The Collections package is not available in the ProcessMaker open-source edition. Contact ProcessMaker Sales or ask your ProcessMaker sales representative how the Collections package can be installed in your ProcessMaker instance.

Use the Collections package to maintain sets of schema-less data, each referred to as a ProcessMaker Collection. Each ProcessMaker Collection uses up to three different Screens to create, edit and view information in that Collection. Functioning similarly to a database, ProcessMaker Collections provide ease and flexibility to design custom data views for information storage and reporting without integrating into an organization's IT infrastructure. Also similar to a database, each ProcessMaker Collection contains a set of records, each representing distinct sets of information similarly to how a conventional database contains a set of fields that comprise a record.

The Collections package has the following features:

  • An external database is not required to store ProcessMaker Collections. Collections are maintained in the ProcessMaker instance.

  • A ProcessMaker Collection is composed of a set of records. Similar to a relational database, a record is a grouping of fields that represent related data. Design the grouping of fields using ProcessMaker Screens to represent this data, thereby making it easy for any ProcessMaker user to view, create, or edit record data if they have the appropriate permission(s) to do so. Within a ProcessMaker Collection, potentially use different Screens to create a record, edit a record, or view a record within that Collection. This provides greater control in how information within a ProcessMaker Collection is consumed by various stakeholders in the Collection. Consider the following use case:

    • Create a record: Allow an assistant to create a record using ProcessMaker Screen for this purpose, such as in a medical practice.

    • Edit a record: In the same medical practice, a dedicated ProcessMaker Screen allows a nurse to edit patient information after the new patient has granted legal permission for medical staff to edit sensitive medical information (in compliance with HIPAA standards).

    • View a record: Use a third ProcessMaker Screen that references identical record information, but limits the content and editing so that the medical practice complies with patient legal protections.

  • Use the following ProcessMaker Screen controls that are part of the Collections package that allow Request participants and Collection users to view, select, and verify information referenced from a Collection:

    • Collection Select control:

    • Collection Record control:

  • ProcessMaker Collections are schema-less, meaning that any type or format of data may be stored in a Collection. Because ProcessMaker Collections are schema-less, changing the ProcessMaker Screen(s) that are used to create, edit, and view records in each Collection thereby changes the types of information or data to all records within that Collection. You are not constrained by how you define a ProcessMaker Collection when you create it. For example, if you want to allow Collection stakeholders to attach a file that becomes associated with a record, add a File Upload control in the applicable ProcessMaker Screen(s) that represent information in that Collection; the new File Upload control becomes available in all records in that Collection.

  • Determine which ProcessMaker users and/or groups have permission to view, create, edit, or delete Collections by setting Collection permissions. These permissions are different than record permissions that specify which ProcessMaker users and/or groups can manage records within an individual Collection.

  • The Collections package integrates with the Saved Searches package. Use the Saved Searches package to save and share searches associated with a ProcessMaker Collection. See Saved Searches Package. Use ProcessMaker Query Language (PMQL) parameters to compose queries to search for record information in a Collection. Furthermore, changes to a ProcessMaker Collection may then be applied to Saved Searches associated with that Collection.

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