Workflow definition

This page explains how to create a workflow definition and set its properties.

Data-driven workflows, available in Semarchy xDM 2023.1 and later, are subject to specific licensing requirements; please confirm your eligibility to use such new functionality by consulting your license agreement or by contacting your Semarchy account representative prior to use.
All customers can still use the workflow feature available in previous versions (now known as legacy workflows). For more information, see Workflows (legacy).

The first step in designing a workflow involves creating a workflow definition for a specific model. In a workflow definition, you need to:

  1. Define the data scope by selecting the entities on which you wish to create the workflow definition.

  2. Specify the attachment properties.

  3. (Optional) Define a workflow metadata retention policy.

Create a workflow definition

To create a workflow definition:

  1. On the welcome page, click Workflow Builder.

  2. In the Model Editions section, select the model for which you wish to create a workflow definition.

  3. In the bottom right-hand corner, click the Create item Create item button.
    The Add a Workflow Definition dialog appears.

  4. Enter a name for the workflow definition.

    A workflow name can only contain letters, digits, or underscores (_). It must start with a letter, and consist of at least 2 and at most 128 characters.
  5. Click Create. The custom editor displays a blank workspace.

  6. Click anywhere in the blank workspace. The side panel sweeps in from the right.

    workflow definition properties

  7. (Optional) Set the Administrator Role required to administer instances of this workflow definition.

  8. Set the attachement properties and declare the entities to include in the workflow.

  9. (Optional) Configure the workflow data retention policy if you wish to override the default one (set to forever).

Attachment properties

The Attachment Properties section allows you to specify the properties of the attachments that business users can add in a workflow instance at all steps.

Attachment properties
Property Required Description

Attachment Max File Size


Maximum size of an attachment in KB. Only enter a numerical value in this field.

By default, the attachment size is set to 10,000 KB.

Attachment Max File Count


Maximum number of attachments that can be uploaded in the workflow. Only enter a numerical value in this field.

By default, this number is set to 5.

Attachment Mime Types


Formats in which business users can upload attachments. The formats should be specified as MIME types and separated by commas.

By default, all mime types are allowed. This is indicated by an asterisk (*).

Attachments allowed in PDF, XML, and CSV formats

Retention Policy

When running a workflow, metadata from the workflow instances and their related stepper and branch instances, obsolete work items, attachments, and datasets may be stored in the data location schema where the model is deployed. To keep a reasonable volume of information and prevent database overload, workflow designers can configure a retention policy that governs the purge schedule of a specific workflow definition.

In the Retention Policy section, select an option in the Retention Type field to configure the retention policy that you wish to apply to your workflow definition. The available options are:

  • Forever (default): workflow metadata are retained indefinitely.

  • No Retention: select this option if you do not wish this workflow’s metadata to be retained.

  • Period: select this option to specify a retention duration for this workflow’s metadata. If you select this option:

    • Enter a number in the Duration field.

    • Select a time unit (days, hours, months, weeks, or years) in the Time Unit field.

The retention policy of a workflow definition and its related data purge schedule apply exclusively to workflow metadata (such as workflow instance and step information) and to the datasets stored by each workflow step. Source records stored and processed by Submit Data automation steps are not included in the workflow purge and are handled by the data purging process.
For more information about how to schedule the workflow purge, see Workflow Metadata Purge.


All entities and child entities manipulated in a workflow must be declared in the Entities section. You need to add at least one entity in the workflow definition.

To add an entity:

  1. Click the Create Create button next to the Entities section header.

  2. Select an entity from the model.

  3. Click Create.

  4. Set the entity’s properties.

  5. Add the Child Entities that are manipulated in the workflow. To add a child entity:

    1. Click Create Create button next to the Child Entities section header.

    2. Select the role of the child entity in the reference relationship that links it to its parent entity in the model.

    3. Click Create.

Property Required Description



Determines how many records can be authored in instances of this workflow definition. Possible values are:

  • Single Record (default): allows authoring a single root record in each instance of this workflow.

  • Multi Record: allows authoring a set (or basket) of records with one workflow instance.

When Multi Record is selected, all user task instances from this workflow definition start with a collection step that shows the current basket of records and allows end-users to add, edit, or delete records from the basket.

SemQL Alias


Name used to refer to the entity in SemQL expressions.

Display Card


Display card used to represent records in My Tasks in the application and in email notifications.

If the display card is set to <None>, then the entity’s default display card is used.

Child Entities


Child entities of the current entity, if any.

Child entities need to be specified so that the hierarchy of entities covers the entities processed in steppers and integration jobs.

Copy a workflow definition

To create a copy of an existing workflow definition:

  1. Access the Workflow Definitions page of the Workflow Builder.

  2. In the list of workflow definitions, select the checkbox next to the name of the workflow definition you want to copy, open the action menu, and then select Copy Copy.

  3. The Add a Workflow Definition dialog appears.

  4. Enter a name for the workflow definition and click Create.

  5. The selected workflow definition is copied with the name provided and the workflow definition editor opens automatically.

This feature is useful to create different versions of a workflow definition. To perform non-cosmetic changes (such as adding or removing steps) on a workflow definition that has running instances, it is usually recommended to copy the definition, keep it unmodified, and make changes to the new definition.