ProcessMaker API Documentation
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Message Flow Element

Indicate messaging in your Process model by setting Message Flows elements between elements in separate Pool elements.

Overview

In a Process model, Message Flow elements represent messaging between elements of (or within) one Pool element to elements of (or within) another Pool element. Message Flow elements cannot connect to Process model elements within the same Pool element. Message Flow elements are not to be confused with Sequence Flow elements.

Use Message Flow elements to represent collaboration and transfer Request data from one Pool to another. Since each Pool element in a Process uses its own Request and Request data, use Message Flow elements to exchange data and information between separate Pool elements and/or elements within those Pool elements.

These messages indicate the transfer of Request data between separate Process model elements. Use a Text Annotation element to add descriptive information about the nature of the data transfer.

In Process Modeler, Flow indicators display when you click an element in the Process model. The dotted-line Flow indicator is for Message Flow elements (highlighted below).

Message Flow indicator (highlighted) on a selected Process model element

Incoming and Outgoing Message Flow

From the context of a Process model element associated with a Message Flow element, that Message Flow element can be "incoming" or "outgoing." Consider the following Process model example to demonstrate their differences.

Message Flow element is outgoing for Task 1, but incoming for Task 2

Below are the differences between incoming and outgoing Message Flow elements:

  • Incoming: An incoming Message Flow element comes from its connecting element. In the Process model example above, the Message Flow element is incoming to the "Task 2" element.

  • Outgoing: An outgoing Message Flow element goes to the connecting element. In the Process model example above, the Message Flow element is outgoing from the "Task 1" element. The outgoing Message Flow element must originate from a separate Pool element than from where it connects.

Restrictions on Message Flow Elements

The following BPMN 2.0 elements do not use outgoing Message Flow elements:

Permissions Required

Your ProcessMaker user account or group membership must have the following permissions to configure Message Flow elements in the Process model unless your user account has the Make this user a Super Admin setting selected:

  • Processes: Edit Processes

  • Processes: View Processes

See the Process permissions or ask your ProcessMaker Administrator for assistance.

Connect the Message Flow Element Between Elements in Separate Pool Elements

Follow these steps to set the Message Flow element between elements in separate Pool elements:

  1. View your Processes. The Processes page displays.

  2. Click the Open Modeler iconto edit the selected Process model. Process Modeler displays. Ensure that the Process model has at least two (2) Pool elements from which to establish Message Flow between them.

  3. From one Pool element, select the Process model element to which to establish messaging via the Message Flow element. Available options display to the right of the selected element. Process model element types that do not support the Message Flow element do not have the Message Flow indicator as highlighted below.

  4. Click the Message Flow icon.

  5. Do one of the following:

    • Click the second Pool element to indicate messaging between the two elements.

    • Click an element inside the second Pool element to indicate messaging between the two elements.

Adjust How a Message Flow Element Bends Using Anchors

Use anchors in a Message Flow element to adjust how that Message Flow element bends between its connecting elements/connectors. There are two (2) types of Message Flow anchors:

Message Flow anchors adjust how that element bends

Adjust a Straight Line Within a Message Flow Element

Follow these steps to adjust a straight line within a Message Flow element:

  1. View your Processes. The Processes page displays.

  2. Click the Open Modeler iconto edit the selected Process model. Process Modeler displays.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • Connect a Message Flow element from one element to another.

    • Select a Message Flow element so that available options display above the selected element. Message Flow elements that have immediately been connected require two clicks of the Message Flow element for anchors to display.

  4. Drag the oblong anchorperpendicularly with the straight line of the Message Flow element.

Adjust Where a Message Flow Element Bends

Follow these steps to adjust where a Sequence Flow element bends:

  1. View your Processes. The Processes page displays.

  2. Click the Open Modeler iconto edit the selected Process model. Process Modeler displays.

  3. Connect a Message Flow element from one element to another.

  4. Select the Message Flow element so that available options display above the selected element. Message Flow elements that have immediately been connected require two clicks of the Message Flow element for anchors to display.

  5. Do one of the following:

    • Drag an existing round anchorto place where to bend that Message Flow element.

    • Click, and then drag, on a straight line of the Message Flow element to add a round anchor, then place where to add a bend in that Message Flow element.

    • Click an existing round anchor to delete it, thereby removing that bend in that Message Flow element.

Change the Color of a Message Flow Element

The Message Flow element is black-colored by default. After a Message Flow element is connected, its color can be changed. Element and connector colors may only be changed individually.

Follow these steps to change the color for a Message Flow element:

  1. View your Processes. The Processes page displays.

  2. Click the Open Modeler iconto edit the selected Process model. Process Modeler displays.

  3. Select the Message Flow element to change its color. Available options display above the selected element.

  4. Click the Open Color Palette icon. The color palette displays.

  5. Do one of the following:

    • Select a color swatch: Select one of the color swatches from the color palette. The Message Flow element changes to that color.

    • Specify a custom color: Click theicon to display the color selector, and then select a color, enter the Hex color code, or enter the red, green, blue, and alpha color values for the custom color. The Message Flow element changes to that color.

    • Reset to the default color: Click theicon to reset the Message Flow element to its default color.

Delete a Message Flow Element

Follow these steps to delete a Message Flow element from your Process model:

  1. View your Processes. The Processes page displays.

  2. Click the Open Modeler iconto edit the selected Process model. Process Modeler displays.

  3. Select the Message Flow element between the connected element/connector to delete. Available options display above the selected element.

  4. Click the Delete icon. The Process model element deletes.

Settings

The Message Flow element has the following panels that contain settings:

Configuration Panel Settings

Edit the Element Name

An element name is a human-readable reference for a Process element.

Follow these steps to enter or edit the name for a Message Flow element:

  1. Ensure that the Hide Menus buttonis not enabled. See Maximize the Process Modeler Canvas View.

  2. Select the Sequence Flow element from the Process model in which to edit its name. Panels to configure this element display.

  3. Expand the Configuration panel if it is not presently expanded. The Name setting displays. This is a required setting.

  4. In the Name setting, enter or edit the selected element's name and then press Enter.

Advanced Panel Settings

Edit the Element's Identifier Value

Process Modeler automatically assigns a unique value to each Process element added to a Process model. However, an element's identifier value can be changed if it is unique to all other elements in the Process model, including the Process model's identifier value.

All identifier values for all elements in the Process model must be unique.

Follow these steps to edit the identifier value for a Message Flow element:

  1. Ensure that the Hide Menus buttonis not enabled. See Maximize the Process Modeler Canvas View.

  2. Select the Message Flow element from the Process model in which to edit its name. Panels to configure this element display.

  3. Expand the Advanced panel if it is not presently expanded. The Node Identifier setting displays.

  4. In the Node Identifier setting, edit the Message Flow element's identifier to a unique value from all elements in the Process model and then press Enter.

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