Q&A: Session 2 Experiment, Pivot and Fulfill Your Vision

We continued to receive excellent questions during our Build with Aras Experience sessions. 

The questions below are from Session 2 of the Build with Aras Experience titled Experiment, Pivot and Fulfill Your Vision.


Q: Can I send notifications like an email to suppliers outside my company?  Do they need to have licenses if they are only getting notifications?

A: Yes.  Notifications can be sent to suppliers through the standard notification mechanisms. Supplier users do not have to be included in the subscription for this to happen, but there are several advantages to including them.  View and markup via Visual Collaboration would be a good example.


Q: How complicated is the testing and release process after making the sort of enhancements you showed today?  Is there a recommended testing process?

A: Aras provides several tools to simplify deployment of applications and updates. Changes can be packaged and moved between development, test and production environments. Sophisticated DevOps tools, including our Test Automation Framework, are also available.


Q: Will the AR Robotics sample data and customizations for last week’s and this week’s webinars be made available?

A: The sample data comes from an open source robotics project that is already publicly available. You can find it a anninrobotics.com. Many of the customizations you've seen will be published as open source. Other pieces are early versions of future products, so keep an eye out for those products in the near future.


Q: Can the automated emails from Aras have files attached?

A: It's possible to include attachments, but not generally recommended. Links are usually a better way to go because permissions are controlled that way.

Q: How can I tie together the workflow and changes in the lifecycle states to my project management system already in production at my company?

A It’s pretty simple to integrate external project management tools. Several examples are available in the Aras community, and Aras APIs are open and easy to learn. Once the project management system is integrated it’s straightforward to tie it to workflows and lifecycles.


 Q: When setting up workflow notifications, is it possible to also send the recipient a reminder (or multiple reminders) if the workflow task has not been completed after a certain amount of time?

 A: Yes. You can configure periodic reminders for users within the workflow definition. You can also configure escalations to send emails to the user’s manager when work is not completed in the expected amount of time.  


Q: Could you explain how you referenced Properties in the Subject Line form field when setting up the Email notification? 

A: We used basic XPath expressions to reference properties of the Meeting and related items. There’s quite a bit of flexibility here, but you will need to have some XML skills and know a little about Aras queries. There are examples available in the Aras community.


 Q: Is it possible to control the depth of the Tree Grid View when it is first opened?

 A: Yes. There’s a setting for this on the definition of the Tree Grid View.


Q: Can notifications be configured on lifecycles too? I want to send notifications when a document gets released.

A: Yes. Similar to Workflow Maps, you can add notification emails when an item reaches a particular state. It's pretty common to configure this for when an item is released. You could also use Visual Collaboration notifications for this purpose.

Q: Can the Query Definition follow any relationship? What about Where-Used?

A: Query Definitions are designed to traverse all possible relationships, including item properties, where-used references and typical parent/child relationships.  You can traverse pretty much any data structure possible in the system. Query Definitions are really useful and can be reused for Tree Grid Views, Graph views, 3D views and a bunch of other places. I would definitely recommend learning about them.