Keeping track of Emails with EWS and K2

I haven’t posted anything in a while as I have been working on another project, which I am hoping to unveil sometime very soon. In the meantime though  I wanted to talk about K2 and Exchange. Now we all know that K2 can talk to exchange and send emails and receive replies back in the form of SmartActions out of the box.

But what if we wanted to keep track of the emails sent from a K2 app then this gets a bit tricky. We could save the message in a database using  a SmartObject Event and then use the email Event to send the email. Which is an ok approach, but I think something could be done better, where we don’t need to have this two step/event approach.

So lets have a think about about what i want the assembly to do?

  1. Send an email
  2. View the mailbox
  3. View an email

We could modify the existing email event to do what I am suggesting below, but that would be a pain as we would need to do it every time we use the email event and would also require the person building the workflow to be able to write code.  With the approach  I am going to go through, it  will allow anyone to be able to build a workflow where it would track what emails are being sent without having to write code and more importantly every app will be able to see it’s own emails it has sent out.

We are going to create a Email Endpoint Assembly that will allow a workflow to send an email and reference a primary key , SN, Process Instance Id or  application type (see framework) and view it’s mailbox by same type of information.

Getting Started

We will need the following

  1. Visual Studio 2015+
  2. Microsoft exchange web service (EWS URL)
  3. Exchange version
  4. UserAccount specifically setup just to be used for K2 mailbox (I normally create a service account, that just has a mailbox)
  5. User Account Email Address
  6. Microsoft.Exchange.Webservices.dll

To do this i need use the assembly Microsoft.Exchange.Webservices.dll which you can get from here .

Once we have the above we can start building the new email endpoint assembly.

EWS Code

To setup the connection to exchange server,  it is important to identify which version of exchange we are talking too.

ExchangeService service = new ExchangeService(ExchangeVersion.Exchange2010_SP2);

When we have created an instance of the exchange service, we then give the instance the exchange web service url.

service.Url = new Uri(“Web service”);

ExchangeService service = new ExchangeService(ExchangeVersion.Exchange2010_SP2);
service.Credentials = new WebCredentials("Username", "Password");

service.Url = new Uri("Web service");
service.ImpersonatedUserId = new ImpersonatedUserId(ConnectingIdType.SmtpAddress, "Email Address");

We have now got a connection to exchange server via it’s web service and we can do a number of different things such as

  1. Send Email
  2. View mailbox contents , such as the inbox or sent items
  3. View an email
  4. We can also do things such as create meeting requests

We will look at the basic code for sending an email

Sending an Email

To send an email we need to create an instance of the EmailMessage object and pass in the Exchange Service Object.

EmailMessage email = new EmailMessage(service);

Once we have done that we can access the properties and methods of EmailMessage object.

So we can give are email a subject email.Subject = “Subject”;

We can also give the email body and decide whether we want to send a plain text or a HTML message.

email.Body = new MessageBody(BodyType.HTML, Body);

EmailMessage email = new EmailMessage(service);
email.Subject = "Subject";
email.Body = new MessageBody(BodyType.HTML, Body);

To add recipients (To, Cc, Bcc) we just need to add the following code

  • email.ToRecipients.Add(“address”);
  • email.CcRecipients.Add(“address”);
  • email.BccRecipients.Add(“address”);

If you have more than one email address for ‘To’ or ‘Cc’ or the ‘Bcc’ then we can simply loop through the correct address method parameter. Like in the example below.

 if (To.Contains(";"))
 String[] to = To.Split(';');
 foreach (var address in to)

To send the email we simply use .Send(); method


Now we can send a basic email. So let us have a look how we can now extend this email so it can contain some additional properties that relate to the workflow it is being sent from.

The EmailMessage object allows us to add properties called extend properties and they are really simple to create. The only thing you need to remember is that the GUID used to identify the property must be the same every time we an email is sent and needs to be the same for when when we retrieve the mailbox.

So in this example i am going to bind the process instance id to the email message. We will then be able to search the sent items mailbox and retrieve all the messages that relates to that process instance id.

Creating extend properties.

This is the most important part , extend properties is what allows the ability to be able to group emails by the process Instance I’d, business key etc.. 

Create a Guid called ‘ProcessInstanceId’ and assign it a GUID.

Guid ProcessInstanceId_PropertySetId = Guid.Parse("fc0a27be-f463-472e-bea8-648e62d1d7dc")

We then have to define the extend property by giving the property a name in this case the property is called ‘ProcessInstanceId’ and we define the data type of the property as a ‘String’.

 ExtendedPropertyDefinition ProcessInstanceId_ExtendedPropertyDefinition = new ExtendedPropertyDefinition(ProcessInstanceId_PropertySetId, "ProcessInstanceId", MapiPropertyType.String);


Now that we have defined the property , we can now populate the email with the process instance id. In code example below I am checking to see if the ‘ProcessInstanceId’ is greater than 0 or is not null and if true it will assign the property the value of the ‘ProcessInstanceId’ and if it is false it will assign the property a 0.

email.SetExtendedProperty(ProcessInstanceId_ExtendedPropertyDefinition, (ProcessInstanceId > 0 | ProcessInstanceId != null ? ProcessInstanceId : 0));


Now every time we send an email, it will now contain the process instance id.  In the complete code example of the ‘Send Emall’ method below I have also added some additional properties to contain the following

  1. Primary Key of the main business data
  2. ProcessTypeId (framework see here)
  3. Foilo of the process instance
  4. MessageId, so we can identify each email
public static string SendEmail(string Subject,string Body, string To, string Cc,string Bcc,int importance, string sn,string Folio, int? ProcessInstanceId, string ProcessTypeId, string BusinessKey)
 string result = string.Empty;
 ExchangeService service = ConnectToExchange();
 if (To != null || To.Length != 0)
 EmailMessage email = new EmailMessage(service);
 email.Subject = Subject;
 email.Body = new MessageBody(BodyType.HTML, Body);

Guid SN_PropertySetId = Guid.Parse("fc0a27be-f463-472e-bea8-648e62d1d7dc");
 ExtendedPropertyDefinition SN_ExtendedPropertyDefinition = new ExtendedPropertyDefinition(SN_PropertySetId, "SN", MapiPropertyType.String);
 email.SetExtendedProperty(SN_ExtendedPropertyDefinition, (!String.IsNullOrEmpty(sn) ? sn : "0_0"));

Guid Folio_PropertySetId = Guid.Parse("fc0a27be-f463-472e-bea8-648e62d1d7dc");
ExtendedPropertyDefinition Folio_ExtendedPropertyDefinition = new ExtendedPropertyDefinition(Folio_PropertySetId, "Folio", MapiPropertyType.String);
 email.SetExtendedProperty(Folio_ExtendedPropertyDefinition, (!String.IsNullOrEmpty(Folio) ? Folio : "Email Message"));

Guid ProcessInstanceId_PropertySetId = Guid.Parse("fc0a27be-f463-472e-bea8-648e62d1d7dc");
 ExtendedPropertyDefinition ProcessInstanceId_ExtendedPropertyDefinition = new ExtendedPropertyDefinition(ProcessInstanceId_PropertySetId, "ProcessInstanceId", MapiPropertyType.String);
 email.SetExtendedProperty(ProcessInstanceId_ExtendedPropertyDefinition, (ProcessInstanceId > 0 | ProcessInstanceId != null ? ProcessInstanceId : 0));

Guid BusinessKey_PropertySetId = Guid.Parse("fc0a27be-f463-472e-bea8-648e62d1d7dc");
 ExtendedPropertyDefinition BusinessKey_ExtendedPropertyDefinition = new ExtendedPropertyDefinition(BusinessKey_PropertySetId, "BusinessKey", MapiPropertyType.String);
 email.SetExtendedProperty(BusinessKey_ExtendedPropertyDefinition, (!String.IsNullOrEmpty(BusinessKey) ? BusinessKey : "0"));

Guid ProcessTypeId_PropertySetId = Guid.Parse("d6520129-3c59-4191-b9d7-4f5160329e4f");ExtendedPropertyDefinition ProcessTypeId_ExtendedPropertyDefinition = new ExtendedPropertyDefinition(ProcessTypeId_PropertySetId, "ProcessTypeId", MapiPropertyType.String);
 email.SetExtendedProperty(ProcessTypeId_ExtendedPropertyDefinition, (!String.IsNullOrEmpty(ProcessTypeId) ? ProcessTypeId : "00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000"));

Guid MessageId_PropertySetId = Guid.Parse("6e997d14-d9b3-4516-8d14-0a10b0aa74aa");
 string MessageId = Guid.NewGuid().ToString();
 ExtendedPropertyDefinition MessageId_ExtendedPropertyDefinition = new ExtendedPropertyDefinition(MessageId_PropertySetId, "ProcessTypeId", MapiPropertyType.String);
 email.SetExtendedProperty(MessageId_ExtendedPropertyDefinition, MessageId);

if (To.Contains(";"))
 String[] to = To.Split(';');
 foreach (var address in to)

if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(Cc))
 if (Cc.Contains(";"))
 String[] to = Cc.Split(';');
 foreach( var address in to)


if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(Bcc))
 if (Bcc.Contains(";"))
 String[] to = Bcc.Split(';');
 foreach (var address in to)


if (importance > 0)
 email.Importance = (importance == 1 ? Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.Data.Importance.Normal : Importance.High);


result = email.Id.ToString();
 catch(Exception ex)
 result = "Error: " + ex.Message.ToString(); 

 return result;

Retrieving an Exchange Mailbox

Now that we can send emails with K2 related data we now need to be able to retrieve those emails. So we can then view them in a SmartForm.

The first thing we need

public static List<EmailBox> GetMailBox(string MailBoxType,int PageSize)
 ItemView view = new ItemView(PageSize);
 List<EmailBox> list = new List<EmailBox>();

Guid SN_PropertySetId = Guid.Parse("fc0a27be-f463-472e-bea8-648e62d1d7dc");
 ExtendedPropertyDefinition SN_ExtendedPropertyDefinition = new ExtendedPropertyDefinition(SN_PropertySetId, "SN", MapiPropertyType.String);

Guid Folio_PropertySetId = Guid.Parse("fc0a27be-f463-472e-bea8-648e62d1d7dc");
 ExtendedPropertyDefinition Folio_ExtendedPropertyDefinition = new ExtendedPropertyDefinition(Folio_PropertySetId, "Folio", MapiPropertyType.String);

Guid ProcessInstanceId_PropertySetId = Guid.Parse("fc0a27be-f463-472e-bea8-648e62d1d7dc");
 ExtendedPropertyDefinition ProcessInstanceId_ExtendedPropertyDefinition = new ExtendedPropertyDefinition(ProcessInstanceId_PropertySetId, "ProcessInstanceId", MapiPropertyType.String);

Guid BusinessKey_PropertySetId = Guid.Parse("fc0a27be-f463-472e-bea8-648e62d1d7dc");
 ExtendedPropertyDefinition BusinessKey_ExtendedPropertyDefinition = new ExtendedPropertyDefinition(BusinessKey_PropertySetId, "BusinessKey", MapiPropertyType.String);

Guid ProcessTypeId_PropertySetId = Guid.Parse("d6520129-3c59-4191-b9d7-4f5160329e4f");
 ExtendedPropertyDefinition ProcessTypeId_ExtendedPropertyDefinition = new ExtendedPropertyDefinition(ProcessTypeId_PropertySetId, "ProcessTypeId", MapiPropertyType.String);

Guid MessageId_PropertySetId = Guid.Parse("6e997d14-d9b3-4516-8d14-0a10b0aa74aa");
 ExtendedPropertyDefinition MessageId_ExtendedPropertyDefinition = new ExtendedPropertyDefinition(MessageId_PropertySetId, "ProcessTypeId", MapiPropertyType.String);

ExchangeService service = ConnectToExchange();
 view.PropertySet = new PropertySet(BasePropertySet.IdOnly, ItemSchema.Subject, SN_ExtendedPropertyDefinition, Folio_ExtendedPropertyDefinition, ProcessInstanceId_ExtendedPropertyDefinition, BusinessKey_ExtendedPropertyDefinition, ProcessTypeId_ExtendedPropertyDefinition, MessageId_ExtendedPropertyDefinition);

FindItemsResults<Item> findResults = service.FindItems((MailBoxType == "Sent" ? WellKnownFolderName.SentItems : WellKnownFolderName.Inbox), view);
 foreach(Item email in findResults.Items)
 Item mail = Item.Bind(service, email.Id);
 list.Add(new EmailBox
 MailBoxType = MailBoxType,
 Subject = mail.Subject,
 Body = mail.Body,
 Importance = mail.Importance.ToString(),
 Id = mail.Id.ToString(),
 Categories = mail.Categories.ToString(),
 DateTimeCreated = mail.DateTimeCreated,
 DateTimeReceived = mail.DateTimeReceived,
 DateTimeSent = mail.DateTimeSent,
 Cc = mail.DisplayCc,
 To = mail.DisplayTo,
 SN = (email.ExtendedProperties.Count > 0 ? email.ExtendedProperties[0].Value.ToString():string.Empty),
 Folio = (email.ExtendedProperties.Count > 0 ? email.ExtendedProperties[1].Value.ToString(): string.Empty),
 ProcessInstanceId = (email.ExtendedProperties.Count > 0 ? email.ExtendedProperties[2].Value.ToString(): string.Empty),
 BusinessKey = (email.ExtendedProperties.Count > 0 ? email.ExtendedProperties[3].Value.ToString(): string.Empty),
 ProcessTypeId = (email.ExtendedProperties.Count > 0 ? email.ExtendedProperties[4].Value.ToString(): string.Empty),
 MessageId = (email.ExtendedProperties.Count > 0 ? email.ExtendedProperties[5].Value.ToString(): string.Empty)


 return list;




Retrieve an Email

Now that we can retrieve a list of emails from a mailbox we now need to be able to retrieve a single email.

We can do this.ww

public static EmailBox GetEmail(string Id)
 EmailBox email = new EmailBox();
 ExchangeService service = ConnectToExchange();

 Item mail = Item.Bind(service, (ItemId)Id);
 email.Subject = mail.Subject;
 email.Body = mail.Body;
 email.Importance = mail.Importance.ToString();
 email.Id = mail.Id.ToString();
 email.Categories = mail.Categories.ToString() ;
 email.DateTimeCreated = mail.DateTimeCreated;
 email.DateTimeReceived = mail.DateTimeReceived;
 email.DateTimeSent = mail.DateTimeSent;
 email.Cc = mail.DisplayCc;
 email.To = mail.DisplayTo;
 email.SN = (mail.ExtendedProperties.Count > 0 ? mail.ExtendedProperties[0].Value.ToString(): string.Empty);
 email.Folio = (mail.ExtendedProperties.Count > 0 ? mail.ExtendedProperties[1].Value.ToString(): string.Empty);
 email.ProcessInstanceId = (mail.ExtendedProperties.Count > 0 ? mail.ExtendedProperties[2].Value.ToString(): string.Empty);
 email.BusinessKey = (mail.ExtendedProperties.Count > 0 ? mail.ExtendedProperties[3].Value.ToString(): string.Empty);
 email.ProcessTypeId = (mail.ExtendedProperties.Count > 0 ? mail.ExtendedProperties[4].Value.ToString(): string.Empty);
 email.MessageId = (mail.ExtendedProperties.Count > 0 ? mail.ExtendedProperties[5].Value.ToString(): string.Empty);
 catch(Exception ex)
 { }

 return email;


Now that we have these methods to send an email, retrieve a mailbox and to retrieve an email. We can now register the library as an endpoint assembly. 

We could extend this to be able to add attachments and we could also look at the calendar meeting requests and doing the same with those and extend their properties 

We can then build a SmartObject around it and then we can use it within are workflows and Smartforms. To make it even easier for people to use the new email SmartObject, we could wrap a SmartWizard around the methods.

The full solution can be downloaded from here 


Slack and Simple K2 Integration

One of the big messaging apps for team collaboration is Slack and  is perfect platform to demo how to integrate K2 into it. This will be the first article on how we go about doing this.  Slack is free to use and so is great to demo with and it has an ever growing list of third party integration plugins to play with.

So before we start with the demo,what would we expect a K2 slack plugin to behave? I believe it behave in the following way.

  1. Send notifications of tasks that we have to actiontask
  2. Be notified of when task has been completed and what the action was or the workflow has moved to a certain stage or when there is a workflow escalation.
  3. To be able to action a task from inside Slackhomepage_example_hiretron
  4. To be ask Slack what are my outstanding tasks or what is the status of a certain workflow

So lets starts with points 1 and 2 and deal with simple notifications.


Building a Simple messaging app for Slack

Lets start with a simple example, where we can K2 notification messages to Slack, whether its a public message , message to a particular group or a message to an individual person.

First of all we need to sign up for Slack and create a team, which you can down from here . Now we have a slack team, we just need to here  to get access to API for Slack.


We are starting simple, so click on “Incoming webhooks” and then click on the link ‘ incoming webhook integration


Building the web hook url

  1. Choose the channel you want to send the messages to, don’t we will be able to override this later on.

introwebhooks12. Click on the green button ‘Add incoming Webhook integration’

3. You can how see your web hook url, copy that.

introwebhooks24. Further down you can also customize the actual message. I have opted for a K2 look.

introwebhooks35. Click on ‘Save’, we have now created are web hook for incoming messaging.

Slack endpoint assembly

Now we have the web hook, we can how write some code, so K2 can use it. We are going to use a endpoint assembly for this. So we are going to create a class that will take the endpoint and allow us to pass in a message, a optional username and optional group.

private static void PostMessage(Payload payload)
 Encoding _encoding = new UTF8Encoding();
 Uri endpoint = new Uri("web hook here");

string payloadJson = JsonConvert.SerializeObject(payload);
 using (System.Net.WebClient client = new System.Net.WebClient())
 System.Collections.Specialized.NameValueCollection data = 
new System.Collections.Specialized.NameValueCollection();
 data["payload"] = payloadJson;

var response = client.UploadValues(endpoint, "POST", data);

//The response text is usually "ok"
 string responseText = _encoding.GetString(response);

Simple code for posting a payload of information to the web hook url

public static void PostMessage(string text, string username = null, string channel = null)
 Payload payload = new Payload()
 Channel = channel,
 Username = username,
 Text = text


The actual public static method, we will be creating a SmartObject from and then using inside a workflow.

We can then build the solution and take the dll  and now tell K2 about it using the ‘Endpoint Assembly broker’. If you don’t know how to do that view my previous post on creating an Endpoint Assembly.


Now just build a SmartObject that uses the service instance you just created.

Slack SMO

We can test it in the SmartObject tester


When it executes we get this response in Slack


No that the SmartObject has been created, we can now use this method inside a workflow


I am just going to use a simple workflow for this, that has one task and two actions.


We just going to use a SmartObject event to call the Slack notification SmartObject to send a message to the destination user when a task is generated and then a message to the originator when the task is approved or rejected.




We do something similar for the approve and reject activities, except we put in the originator name and the message is that the task has been approved or rejected depending on the activity.

When we run the workflow the destination user gets this message in Slack


With a link to the task, when they action the task the originator will get this message


Next time we will expand on this by making the notifications more advanced and by allowing the user to ask questions about K2.

The source code for this example can be downloaded from here

Testing a workflow inside a Smartform

So I have posted a few articles on testing in K2, we have looked at Unit Testing,  Testing Smartforms and then just recently more examples of testing a workflow.  After writing that article I realised that there was something missing. What about building a workflow testing tool inside of a Smartform. As it all well and good that we can write unit tests for testing a workflow, but that relies on the workflow developer being able to write code and being that the whole idea of K2 is to build low code , no code solutions. Then there should be away of doing it without the developer having to write code.

There are a number of tools out in the market and they do absolutely fantastic job of testing workflows without having to write code. But I wanted to see if it could be done inside a Smartform.

So my challenge is to build a Smartform App that would test a workflow, with out the tester having to write any code.

The app had to do the following

  1. Start any workflow and check that it has started
  2. Check that tasks have been created and the correct number
  3. Action a task
  4. Checking the task has been completed
  5. Check that the workflow has finished
  6. Check the workflow has gone down the direct path.

The app should all be in Smartforms and should be easy to use.

So lets see how I got on.  So i am going to start with the finished tool and then i will take us through it.

Testing Dashboard

The dashboard shows all the current tests that have been performed and shows the overall percentage of pass and failures.


From here you can also click on ‘Create Test’ button to create a new test. Selecting an existing test and clicking on ‘Run Test’ will  run an existing test. Finally double clicking on a test will open up the details about the test.

Test Details

So the test details shows the following information

test details

  1. Workflow being tested
  2. If has already been tested
  3. When it was tested
  4. Overall Pass or Fail
  5. What percentage passed and failed
  6. What was tested and whether each test passed or failed.
  7. It also shows any other tests relating to the workflow being tested.

From the test details you also have the ability to retest the test as well.

Creating a new test

From the dashboard click on ‘Create Test’ button.

test builder.PNG

  1. In the new test form, give the test a name
  2. Select a workflow that you are going to test. Once selected you will then be able to see all the activities of that workflow beneath.test-builder1
  3. Select the activities that the workflow will go throughtest-builder2
  4. The last section is where we build up the actual the tests and what results we expect from those tests.test-builder3

Building a simple test script

The workflow we have selected is a very simple one. It has the following activities

  1. Setup
  2. Task
  3. Approve
  4. Reject
  5. End


Task is where there is a client event which has one slot and goes to the originator.

Now that we have got the basic test details and what route we expect the test to go. We can now build are test script.

  1. Select ‘Start Process’ from the test type drop down list
  2. You will notice that the other text boxes in the row, will be pre populated with information and some will be disabled depending on what information the particular test type requires.
  3. Now we choose comparison sign we are going to use it can be either
    1.  =
    2. >
    3. >=
    4. <
    5. <=
  4. We are going to choose >
  5. In the expected result / comparison box lets enter 0, this is because if workflow starts successfully we expect a value greater than 0.
  6. So ‘Start Process’, needs to know the ‘Folio’ to give the workflow, you can either enter in something. Or if you leave it blank it will take the name we have given earlier to the test.
  7. The next parameter we need to give the test type is the process name. You can either copy the full workflow name and paste into this box or leave it and it will automatically get the workflow name.
  8. The next box is called milliseconds, you can either leave it at 0. Or you can enter in a value. This is useful as it may be your workflow is taking a while to perform an event. So you can enter in a delay to the tests to compensate for this.
  9.  Click on ‘Add’ again , we now what to check the status of the workflow, to make sure that once we started it. It is now active.
  10. So select ‘Get Workflow Status’ from the drop down list
  11. Choose ‘=’ from Sign
  12. Enter ‘Active’ in expected result
  13. We don’t need to enter in anything else
  14. Click on ‘Add’
  15. We now want to check to see if has generated some tasks
  16. Select ‘Get Task Count’
  17. Select ‘=’ in Sign
  18. Expected Result should be 1, as we know it’s only one slot and going to the originator.
  19. ProcessInstanceId, leave that how it is, as the testing framework will replace that with the actual process instance id as run time of the test
  20. Process name either enter in the full name or leave it and it will get automatically populated
  21. Next we can action the task
  22. Select ‘=’ for the sign
  23. In the expected result box enter ‘True’
  24. Where it’s says ‘Action’ we need to enter in the action we expect the test to use. So lets enter ‘Approve’
  25. Where it says ‘Serial Number’ we leave that and like the process instance id, it will be populated by the testing framework at run time.
  26. For Destination user, enter in the destination user that the task is supposed to be for.
  27. When this test type runs it will try and action the task based on the information we have given it (Task Action and Destination User) if the test is successful the actual result will be true.
  28. The last test we are going to do is to check that workflow has gone down the correct path and the correct activities were used. The test will compare the path we expect it to be. which was defined in the ‘Workflow Route’ section to the actual path taken.
  29. Select ‘Compare Activities’ from ‘Test Type’
  30. Select ‘=’ from Sign
  31. Enter in ‘True’ in expected result
  32. Leave ProcessInstanceId and Activities how it is
  33. In the Millisecond box enter ‘4000’ this will make the ‘Compare Activities’ test to wait 4000 milliseconds before starting the test. This will give the workflow time to perform it’s other activities before completing. If this test fails then increase the time. It will then pass.
  34. The test script should now look like thistest-builder4
  35. Now click on ‘Save’
  36. You will now see a read only version of the test
  37. With two buttons ‘Edit Test’ and ‘Run Test’

Running a Test

To run a test, either select a test from the test list and click on ‘Run Test’ or from the test details click on the button ‘Run Test’

Once the test has been completed, you will be displayed the results for each individual test and also the overall test.


Each individual test will show whether it has passed or failed. If it has passed the status will be true and in green and if had failed it will be false and in red.

For each test that we create we also get the overall test result.

A failed test would be when any of the individual tests has failed


It will show a pie chart showing the % of pass and fail with big black x cross above it.


For an overall Pass we get a tick and of course a 100%

These test results will remain until, you click on ‘Run Test’ again and this will overwrite the previous test results with the new ones.

Continue reading “Testing a workflow inside a Smartform”

Next Challenge

It’s that time of the year again where we start to move from those cold winter nights and frosty mornings.  To longer warmer days as we move towards Spring.

For me I am looking for that next  challenge. If your company uses K2 and you need some help whether it be solution design, development of K2 based applications. Or if your organisation is looking to create a centre of excellence within your organisation or you have team members that need to be trained in developing with K2 Blackpearl and Smarforms. Then please get in touch with me  as I am a  K2 Master and I specialise in K2 development and evangelism.

My rates are competive within the K2 market and I am willing to work anywhere in the UK/Europe/World. If you need more than one person then I can also provide your organisation with a K2 development team with each member having in depth knowledge and experience working in the K2 platform

Below is my experience and if you need someone like me in your organisation please email me at or ping me on LinkedIn

With over 17 years experience working on Microsoft based solutions, I have managed and designed solutions for a number of large enterprise clients including the Channel 4,NHS, MOD and NATO.  I am a regular contributor at industry events and have presented at a number of SharePoint conferences.

Working as part of a team, I am highly motivated to produce software that is functional and looks good.  I am security cleared for the Ministry of Defense.

Technologies that I have experience with

C# Crystal Reports
SharePoint 2007,2010,2013 HTML \ XML \CSS
K2 Blackpearl

K2 Appit



WPF Access 97/2000
N-Tier Architecture Object Oriented / Data Modelling
Silver Light ASP \
AJAX IIS \ DNS Administration
SQL Server 00, 05, 08, 12, Azure Office 365
Unit testing VB .net  & VBScript
Entity Framework Linq


Salesforce & Dynamics CRM

Web Services (REST, WCF, Asmx, Azure Data)



  • Project Management
  • Solution Design
  • System Analysis
  • Development
  • Technical deep dive talks
  • Leading Training Sessions
  • Presenting at Key Events
  • Researching new technology
  • Proof of concepts
  • Specification Writing
  • Evangelism

Other Qualifications

  • K2 Master
  • K2 Black pearl Core
  • K2 Smart forms builder
  • K2 Connect
  • K2 Extensions
  • K2 SharePoint
  • MCP in .NET Framework 3.5, ASP.NET Application Development
  • .Net Enterprise Solutions
  • Microsoft Curriculum Certificate (SQL Server)




References and full CV

Available on Request

K2 Management Portal: Using the K2 Scheduler

In the latest update of K2, there is now a management portal and one of the key new features of this is the ability to schedule workflows. Which up to now was only available if you had K2 for SharePoint , Appit or if you could decipher the K2 Scheduler API. Your only other option was to write a windows service that would call your scheduled workflow.


How to access the K2 Management portal

The K2 management portal can be accessed from here http://[k2servername]/Management


The management portal replaces the management console found in the K2 Work space, but doesn’t replace the work space completely.

The K2 Scheduler lives under ‘Workflow Server’ heading in the menu on the left. Expanding ‘Workflow Server’ you have a number of different options. The one we are after is ‘Schedules’ which is the fourth one down.



Clicking on Schedules shows a list of currently scheduled workflows and the ability to ‘Add’, ‘Edit’ and ‘Delete’  scheduled workflows from the scheduler


Creating a new scheduled workflow

To create a new scheduled workflow follow the following steps

  1. Click on ‘Schedules’
  2. Click on ‘New’
  3.  A form will pop up, for you to fill in
  4. Enter a name of what the scheduled workflow will be called
  5. Enter a description
  6. Enabled is checked by default
  7. Next enter the name of the workflow you want to schedule, either by entering it’s full name or by clicking on the search button to search for it
  8. Once you have found the desired workflow, it’s process data fields will load up and up have the option to populate them with values
  9. The folio can also use the date and time as default or can be edited with a value
  10. Now if we scroll down the form, we can now tell the scheduler when it should run
  11. Under pattern, we can choose what the scheduling pattern should be


Once K2 will schedule the workflow to run just once on a certain day and time


Daily K2 will schedule the workflow to run every weekday or intervals of days. It also has a start date and time and can be configured to end after a number of occurrences or by a end date and time


Weekly K2 will schedule the workflow to run at least once a week on a certain day. It also has a start date and time and can be configured to end after a number of occurrences or by a end date and time


Monthly K2 will schedule a workflow to run at least once a month, in monthly intervals. It has the ability to schedule a workflow to start on the last or first day of the month or first / last day of the week. It also has a start date and time and can be configured to end after a number of occurrences or by a end date and time


Yearly K2 will schedule the workflow to run at least once on a particular month. It has the ability to schedule a workflow to start on the last or first day of the month or first / last day of the week. It also has a start date and time and can be configured to end after a number of occurrences or by a end date and time


Interval With intervals, you can tell K2 to schedule a workflow to start by minutes, hours, days,months and years.It also has a start date and time and can be configured to end after a number of occurrences or by a end date and time


12. Click on ‘Ok’, the scheduled workflow is now scheduled to start at it’s selected interval.


13. From here you can see when it last ran, whether it has been successful or failed and also the ability to enable and disable the scheduled workflow


With K2 releasing the Scheduler in the management portal, this means we can now build some interesting workflows that relies on scheduling of workflows to perform autonomous daily tasks. Such as sending out daily emails to a subscription list.

Bill’s Tasking Workflow Pattern

Sending tasks is easy to do in K2, but to make them more adaptable from outside the work is a bit more tricky. A colleague of mine named Bill Irvine, came up with pattern to standardize the way tasking is developed and used.  So taking his idea i have come up with own interpretation of his tasking pattern so this why i am calling this Bill’s  tasking workflow pattern.


Getting Started

To get started we need the following SmartObjects, I have included the sql for the tables and store procedures.  When the framework is released it will be included as apart of that.


Tasking relies on the following tables


Task Library

Contains all the task types. It contains Id of the form that the task will navigate too and also whether task needs to send task notification email

CREATE TABLE [dbo].[TaskLibrary](
[TaskTypeId] [uniqueidentifier] NOT NULL,
[TaskName] [nvarchar](50) NULL,
[FormId] [uniqueidentifier] NULL,
[TaskDescription] [nvarchar](max) NULL,
[EmailNotification] [bit] NULL,
[Escalation] [bit] NULL,
[EscalationTimeId] [uniqueidentifier] NULL,
[EmailTemplateId] [uniqueidentifier] NULL,
[Slots] [int] NULL,
[TaskTypeId] ASC

Note if not using framework change, form id data type from unique identifier to Nvarchar(100).

Task Actions

Task Actions contains all the possible actions for that particular task type

CREATE TABLE [dbo].[TaskActions](
[TaskActionId] [uniqueidentifier] NOT NULL,
[TaskTypeId] [uniqueidentifier] NULL,
[TaskAction] [nvarchar](50) NULL,
[TaskValue] [int] NULL,
[TaskActionId] ASC


Tasks contains the destination users for the task type, the task’s serial number against a particular task type and process instance Id

CREATE TABLE [dbo].[Tasks](
[TaskId] [uniqueidentifier] NOT NULL,
[WorkflowType] [uniqueidentifier] NULL,
[SN] [nvarchar](50) NULL,
[Username] [nvarchar](50) NULL,
[BusinesObjectId] [nvarchar](50) NULL,
[ProcessInstanceId] [int] NULL,
[TaskTypeId] [uniqueidentifier] NULL,
[TaskAction] [nvarchar](50) NULL,
[DestinationKey] [uniqueidentifier] NULL,
[TaskId] ASC

All tables have basic CRUD methods to manage the data and there is also some additional store procedures to help with the tasking pattern


The tables and store procedures scripts can be accessed here 


The tasking SmartObject is called K2C.CMN.SMO.Tasking, and it manages the creation of creating task types and its related task actions. It also manage the destination user’s task details


TaskId GUID Destination User Task Id for an instance of the task
ProcessTypeId GUID Process Type Id
Username Text FQDN of the destination user
BusinessObjectId Text Primary Key of the main business data
ProcessInstanceId Number Id of the instance of the process
SN Text Serial Number for the task
TaskTypeId GUID Id for the type of task
TaskAction Text Action for the task
TaskActionId GUID Action Id for a particular task type action
TaskValue Number Task value that relates to actual action in the workflow either 1,2 or 3
TaskName Text Name of the task type
FormId GUID Form Id from the form library
TaskDescription Text Description of the task type
EmailNotification Yes/No Whether task needs to send an email

SmartObject Methods

Method Name
Store Procedure
Create Task Action sp_TaskActionsCreate Creates a new action for the task type
Delete Task Action sp_TaskActionsDelete Deletes the action for the task type
Get All Task Actions sp_TaskActionsList Gets a complete list of the task actions
Get Task Action sp_TaskActionRead Gets a action for Task Type
Update Task Action sp_TaskActionUpdate Updates a action in the task type
Create Task Type sp_TaskLibraryCreate Creates a new task type
Delete Task Type sp_TaskLibraryDelete Deletes a task type
Get all Task Types sp_TaskLibraryList Gets all Task Types
Get Task Type sp_TaskLibraryRead Gets a particular task type
Update Task Type sp_TaskLibraryUpdate Updates a task type
Create Task sp_TasksCreate Creates a new task entry
Delete Task sp_TasksDelete Deletes the task
Get All Tasks sp_TaskList Gets a list of tasks
Get Task sp_TaskRead Gets a particular task
Update Task sp_TaskUpdate Updates the task
Get tasks by type sp_TaskActions Gets all actions by task type
Update Task Action sp_TasksUpDateAction Updates the destination user task’s action
Task Result sp_TaskResult Gets result of the task
Create Destination Key so_CreateDataFieldKey Creates a group key for destination users


This version is very simple and only works for one slot, but it could be expanded to manage multiple slots.

Process Data Fields

The process data fields needed for this workflow are

Data Field Name
Data Field Type
In or out
TaskId String So we know what task type In
ParentProcessInstanceId Number Parent Process Instance Id In
 DestinationKey  string
Expire Boolean stops start going to expire, set to false Int
ActionResponse String action value returned Out

Simple tasking pattern



  1. Setup – Links workflow to framework
  2. Send Email, sends email based on a template
  3. Task, creates task based on the task type Id
  4. Action 1 ,2 , 3,  records the action returned
  5. Expire , responds to the task escalating
  6. End, tidies everything up based on framework



The setup activity does all the framework registration

Send Email

This activity will record the task with the notification service. It will also call the Email service and pass in the template id from the task type reference


It will add the Serial Number to the destination user record in tasks and the activity will also have a client event. It will get task url from the form library and the destination user will come from task reference. It will have 3 actions (1,2,3)

Action 1, 2, 3

Will record the action  against the task by getting the action name from the ‘Get Task Action’ method and it will set the data field ‘Action Response’ with the action value


Will do the framework clean up, so deleting  external data fields etc…



Remember to audit logs (for the actual task workflow and also for the parent workflow so we can record the action e

Line Rules

Line Rule
LR Email Notification Required If method ‘Is Email Required’ returns true
LR No Email Notification Required If method ‘Is Email Required’ returns false
Start to Expire Data field ‘Expire’ = ‘True’


The tasking pattern workflow requires two references

  1. Destination
  2. Task Type


Destination Reference

Gets a list of destination users for a particular task type

  1. In the  Data (3rd) tab of the context browser in K2 Studio / Visual Studio
  2. Right click on ‘References’ and click ‘Add’
  3. Give the reference a name ‘Destination’
  4. Select the method ‘K2C.CMN.SMO.Tasking.Get Destination Users’
  5. For the input property use the ‘DestinationId
  6. Click ‘Next and then ‘Finish’



Task Type Reference

Gets information about the task type such as whether an email should be sent, which form to use as the task.

  1. In the  Data (3rd) tab of the context browser in K2 Studio / Visual Studio
  2. Right click on ‘References’ and click ‘Add’
  3. Give the reference a name ‘Task Type’
  4. Select the method ‘K2C.CMN.SMO.Tasking.Get Task Type’
  5. For the input property use the ‘Task Id’ data field
  6. Click ‘Next and then ‘Finish’


Building the tasking workflow

  1. Create an activity on the canvas and name it ‘Setup’
  2. If you are using framework then, add in the related framework events, else just put a  placeholder event in their for now.
  3.  Create another activities called ‘Send Email’ and ‘Task’
  4. Create a line between ‘Setup’ and ‘Send email’ and another line between ‘Setup’ and ‘Task’
  5. Right click on the line between ‘Setup’ and ‘Send Email’
  6. Select properties
  7. In General properties give it the label of ‘LR Email Notification required’
  8. Click on the ‘Line rule’ section greenarrow
  9. Click on ‘Add’
  10. In the rule editor now. In the ‘First Variable’ open the context browser expand the 3rd tab
  11. Expand references, expand ‘Task Type’
  12. Select ‘Email Notification’, either drag it into ‘first variable’ or click on ‘Add’
  13. Comparison operator should be ‘=’
  14. Second variable will be ‘True’
  15. Click ‘Ok’ and then ‘Finish’
  16. We have now added a rule that will check to see if an email notification is required.
  17. We now need to do the same for the other line we created, except call the line ‘LR No email notification required’
  18.  Second variable for this rule should be ‘False’

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The email event

  1. Add an email event in the ‘Send Email’ activity
  2. Give it a name like ‘send email’
  3. Select ‘originator’ and unchecked ‘specify’ in ‘Recipient’

Task Activity

In the task activity we need to add a ‘SmartObject event’ that records the serial number of the task and we also need to add a client event

Recording the ‘Serial Number’

  1. Drag the ‘SmartObject Event’ into the task event
  2. Give the event a name ‘Add sn’
  3. Select the SmartObject method ‘Add task sn’ from the SmartObject ‘K2C.CMN.SMO.Tasking’
  4. Click ‘Next’
  5. Now in ‘Input Mapping’ for the ‘PSN’ click on ‘Assign’
  6. Expand Process Instance from and select ‘id’
  7. Type in ‘_’
  8. Expand ‘Activity Destination Instance’ and select ‘Id’
  9. Click on ‘pTaskId’ and ‘Assign’
  10. Expand the ‘Destination’ reference and  use Task Id
  11. This will now save the task serial number against the destination user.

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Adding user task

  1. Drag a ‘Client Event’ in to the task activity
  2. Name it ‘User Task’
  3. Check ‘Task Item URL’
  4. If using framework follow this route
    1. dd
  5. If not using framework follow this route
    1. Click on eclipse
    2. Go to the 3rd tab expand ‘References’
    3. Expand ‘Task Type’
    4. Drag ‘FormId’ or select ‘Form Id’ and click on ‘Add
  6. Click on ‘Next’ and ‘Next’ again
  7. In Actions click on ‘Add’
  8. In the ‘Add Action’ window, enter 1 in name and click on ‘Ok’
  9. Repeat this adding 2 and 3 as a action
  10. Click ‘Next’ and ‘Next’ again
  11. In Destination users click on ‘Add’
  12. Click on eclipse,
  13. In the context browser
  14. Click on 3rd tab
  15. Expand References
  16. Expand ‘Destination’
  17. Click on ‘Username’ and click on ‘Add’
  18. Click ‘Next’ and then ‘Finish’
  19. We have now created a generic task

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Recording the Action

  1. Create a ‘Default Activity’ and name it ‘1’
  2. Drag a SmartObject Event into the event
  3. Name it ‘Task Action’
  4. For ‘SmartObject  Method’ use ‘Update Task Action’ from ‘K2C.CMN.SMO.Tasking’
  5. Click ‘Next’
  6. In Input Mapping, click on ‘pTaskAction’ and then on ‘Assign’
  7. Click on eclipse, it opens the context browser
  8. Go the 1st tab, expand SmartObject Servers
  9. Expand the SmartObject ‘K2C.CMN.SMO.Tasking’
  10. Expand the method ‘Get Task Action’
  11. Select the ‘TaskAction’ property
  12. Click on ‘OK’
  13. This method requires some additional properties.
  14. ‘pTaskValue’ property needs to be 1
  15. ‘pTaskTypeId’ property needs to be the datafield called ‘TaskId’
  16. Click ‘Next’ and ‘Next’ again
  17. Select ‘Task Action’ and click ‘Next’
  18. Make sure ‘Return a single item’ is checked
  19. Click on ‘Finish’
  20. Click on ‘OK’
  21. What we have just done is get the text value of the action for the task type and of the action value of 1.
  22. pTaskId just needs to be Task Id from the destination reference
  23. Click on ‘Finish’
  24. Copy this Activity and rename it to ‘2’
  25. and change ‘PtaskValue’ to ‘2’
  26. Repeat steps 24 and 25 and change the ‘1’ to a ‘3’
  27. These activities will now record the action of the task against the destination user
  28. We also need to record the action in the data field ‘Action Response. So do to steps 9 to 23 in a data event for each of the 3 activities. This will allow the parent workflow to easily retrieve the action.
  29. Connect the out come lines to the activities we just created
  30. Create an activity called
  31. Last of all create a activity called ‘End’ with a placeholder called ‘End’ and join the 3 activities to the end activity.


Your tasking workflow should look something like this



Download workflow, SmartObject from here


The workflow could be extended to allow multiple slots and multiple destinations. The great thing about a tasking pattern is that it just reduces development time and testing and allows actions to be dynamically added and removed, without the need to go into the actual workflow.

It also allows there to be generic task forms that just point to the tasking workflow and they just need the task type id to load up the correct actions for the task type.

Below is a brief explanation of how to use it, but I will go into more details on how to use it in a later article. For now it’s just about exploring the idea of a tasking pattern and how it would it work.

How to use the tasking workflow

To use the tasking workflow follow these simple steps

  1. Add the tasking workflow to the solution
  2. Create a new workflow
  3. Use the SmartObject event with ‘Create destination key’ method and bind the result to a data data field called ‘Destination key’ of type string
  4. Now we need to use the ‘Create Task’ method to add the destination user, task type id and destination key
  5. Add the IPC Event and point it to the tasking workflow
  6. Choose synchronous
  7. Map the following data fields ‘Task Id, Destination Key’
  8. For the return value map ‘Action response’ data field of the tasking workflow to the parent ‘Action response’ data field
  9. Then use a line rule to direct the workflow based on the ‘Action response’







How to: For Each Event

Over the last couple of weeks people have asked me how to use the for each loop event in K2. So I thought i would put this quick demo together.

The demo, that i am going to do is going to loop through a list of subscribers and update their status from ‘Not Sent’ to ‘Sent’.

Getting Started

I have created a simple Smart box  SmartObject for demo purposes that has the following properties

  1. 1. Name of type string
  2. Email of type string
  3. Id of type Auto number and Key
  4. Status of type string


I have inserted 3 rows of data with the status of ‘Not Sent’. We will use this SmartObject to use the ‘For Each’ event to loop through the data.

Creating the workflow


Adding the ‘For Each’ event

  1. Open K2 Studio or K2 for Visual Studio ( I am going to use K2 Studio)
  2.  Create a new workflow solution called ‘For Each Demo’
  3. Rename the workflow from process 1 to ‘ForEachWorkflow’
  4. Once the workflow canvas has loaded up
  5. Drag the ‘for each’ event on to the canvas
  6. In the event wizard, give the event the name ‘Loop demo’
  7. Click on Source ico icon, so the drop down list disappears  and open the context browser
  8. In the 1st tab (Environment) , expand ‘SmartObject Services’
  9. Go to the SmartObject you want to use and expand the list method you want to use
  10. Drag the property that you want to use, normally the primary key into the event box
  11. The SmartObject wizard loads up, click ‘Next’ and ‘Next’ again
  12. In ‘Select a return property’ make sure the ‘id’ value is selected.
  13. Click ‘Next’, make sure ‘Return all Results that match filter’ is selected.
  14. Click ‘Finish’
  15. For the reference name, enter in the name ‘Dummy Data Reference’
  16. For the index name, enter in the name ‘Dummy Index’
  17. Click on ‘Finish’

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Interacting with the for each item

  1. Back in the canvas, you will notice there are now two line rules coming out of the activity
  2. Drag the placeholder event on the canvas and name both the event and activity with the name ‘End’
  3. Drag the ‘line’ named ‘No more items’ to the end activity
  4. Create a new activity on the canvas and name it ‘Status Change’
  5. Drag the SmartObject Event into the newly created activity
  6. In the event wizard for the SmartObject event, name it ‘Update Status’
  7. Select the update method for the SmartObject that you used with the ‘for each’ event
  8. Click ‘Next’
  9. For the ‘ID’ property, click assign
  10. In the context browser go to the 3rd tab (Data) and expand ‘Item references’ and then expand ‘ Loop demo reference’
  11. Click on ‘Id’ property and click on ‘Add’
  12. Click on ‘Status’ and click ‘Assign’ and enter in the text ‘Sent’
  13. Click on ‘Next’ and ‘Next’ again and then ‘Finish’
  14. Drag the remaining line named ‘Next item’ to this activity and then create a new line from this activity back to the ‘for each’ activity.

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That is a simple example of using the ‘For each’ event. Anything that follows the ‘Next item’ line is in side the loop and has the context of the current row the loop is on. You can have multiple activities in this part and the workflow  will move on to the next item once it has completed everything in that section. You must always have a line going back to the activity with the ‘for each’ event in.

Other things to remember

  1. Choose 1 property to return in the for each event. Always best to use a primary or foreign key
  2. Remember to select ‘Return all Results that match filter’ as it will return the complete list back and it doesn’t matter if there is no filter applied.


Next step using references with the ‘For Each’ Event

So we have created a simple workflow with a simple for each loop. But what if we wanted to get more data from the for each event and then possibly use it in a line rule.

In the next example, the workflow is going to check the current status of the item it is looking at. If it’s status is already ‘Sent’ it will ignore it and move on to the next item in the list and if the status is ‘Not Sent’ it will then update the status as normal

I am going to use the same workflow as before

Creating the reference

  1. In the context browser, go to the 3rd tab (data)
  2. Right click on ‘References’ and click on ‘Add’
  3. In the ‘SmartObject Method Reference’ click on ‘Next’
  4. In name, give the reference a name , for my example i have used ‘Dummy data’
  5. In SmartObject Method, select a read type method that uses value you have selected in the for each as the input parameter. I am pointing my reference to the read method.
  6. Click ‘Next’
  7. In input mapping, click on Assign and select the id from the item reference for the for each loop.
  8. Click ‘Next’ and ‘Finish’
  9. We have now created a reference to get the related details based on the current row of the ‘for each’ event.

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Editing the ‘for each’ line rule for ‘Next Item’

Now that we have the reference setup, we can edit the line rule for ‘Next Item’

  1. Right click on ‘Next item’
  2. Click on ‘Properties’
  3. ‘Line General Properties’ will load up. Click on  greenarrowthe green arrow for line rules
  4. Click on ‘Add’
  5.  In rule editor, select ‘And’ from ‘Boolean Operator’
  6. In ‘First Variable’ click on eclipse
  7. In the context browser,  go the references in the 3rd tab
  8. Expand References, expand your reference you created in the last section
  9. Drag ‘Status’ into the ‘First Variable’
  10. The ‘SmartObject Wizard ‘ pops up, click on ‘Status’
  11. Click ‘Finish’
  12. Select ‘<>’ from ‘Comparison Operator’
  13. In the ‘Second Variable’ enter ‘Sent’
  14. Click on ‘Ok’
  15. Click on ‘Finish’
  16. We now need to create another rule that is similar to the ‘Next Item’ rule but where the ‘Status’ is equal to ‘Sent’

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Creating a new line rule for ‘Next Item’ and where status is equal to ‘Sent’

  1. Right click and drag a line from the ‘For Each’ activity to ‘Update Status’
  2. Then drag the line from ‘Update Status’ to ‘For Each’. (We have to do this as line can’t go back on it self without being connected to another activity first)
  3. Right click on the line and click on ‘properties’
  4. In ‘Label’ enter ‘New Item and status is sent’
  5. Click on greenarrow and then click on ‘Add’
  6. In the Rule editor in ‘First Variable’
  7. Click on eclipse and expand the process data fields
  8. Click on ‘Dummy index result’ and click ‘Ok’
  9. Select ‘=’ for the operator
  10. In Second variable enter in ‘True’
  11. Click ‘Ok’
  12. Click on ‘Add’
  13.  In rule editor, select ‘And’ from ‘Boolean Operator’
  14. In ‘First Variable’ click on eclipse
  15. In the context browser,  go the references in the 3rd tab
  16. Expand References, expand your reference you created in the last section
  17. Drag ‘Status’ into the ‘First Variable’
  18. The ‘SmartObject Wizard ‘ pops up, click on ‘Status’
  19. Click ‘Finish’
  20. Select ‘<>’ from ‘Comparison Operator’
  21. In the ‘Second Variable’ enter ‘Sent’
  22. Click on ‘Ok’
  23. Click on ‘Finish’


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Download example here