Creatio's Process Designer allows users to design, create, and edit business processes for both simple and complex use cases. These automations help businesses improve operational efficiency, streamline compliance objectives, cut down on manual errors, and provide a consistent customer experience. Today, we'll go through the Creatio Process Designer elements and what they can be used for. We will then define how we can use some of the elements to create an Approval process.

A business process is an activity or a collection of structured activities that a user takes to accomplish a specific organizational goal. Thinking about your current business use cases can help you identify how to best use Creatio's powerful business process tool for your needs.

Creatio Process Designer Explained

These are the different components of the Creatio Process Designer.

Creatio Process Designer

A. [Tool bar]: The tool bar is where users can save, run, cancel, and perform additional actions. The Process Designer tool automatically saves changes within Creatio, so if you leave the Designer without saving, you can recover those unsaved changes. However, it is always best practices to save the process as you go.

Users have the ability to save the process as a current or new version. Saving as a new version will create a new business process with the changes you have made thus far.

The Actions dropdown gives access the process log directly from this screen. A process log allows you to see how well your process is performing. In the top tool bar, you'll also see three icons: a magnifying glass, a cog, and a question mark.

Creatio actions dropdown

The magnifying glass is a search tool that allows users to search for any element found within the Designer. This function can be used at any given time during the configuration. Any element can be searched for by either name or code.

Select the cog to display the process settings in section [D].

Finally, the question mark icon will refer users to the Creatio documentation on the Process Designer.

B. [Working Canvas]: This is a blank work space where a user can design their process diagram. Users would use elements from section [C] to fill in their working canvas.

C. [Process Elements]: Process elements are also known as your building blocks. These are the different options you can pull in to build your process diagram. We will dive deeper into these elements a little later.

D. [Element Set up]: Each element can be designed with specific parameters. Process parameters are used to provide rules for when the process elements should be executed or they can act as a medium for exchanging information between elements. Process parameters can also be used to exchange information between a sub-process and its parent process.

E. [Context Menu]: Once a element is selected, users have the ability to change the current element type, delete the selected element, or connect the current element to the next element using the outgoing flow arrow.

F. [Zoom Toolbar]: This allows users to zoom in and out, and move the process diagram as desired. Users also have the ability to restore the default zoom and alignment settings using this toolbar.

Building an Approval Process with the Creatio Process Designer

Document Approval Process

Within Creatio, managers have the ability to create an approval process for documents uploaded in the Documents section. For example, let's say whenever a document is uploaded into the system, the user wants to manually run a process to [Send to Finance], allowing anyone within the finance department to approve this document. Similarly, we would also want to notify the individual that is sending the document if the document is approved or denied. If a document is approved by the finance department, the document status will automatically be updated to Complete. If the finance department denies this document, the user will be notified, the status will automatically be updated to Incomplete.


Before we begin any configuration within the business Process Designer, we must first enable approvals. To do that, we must identify which section we will enable approvals through.  In this case, it is the [Documents] section. Using the section wizard, we enable the approval in the selected section.

Now that we have enabled the approval, we can begin using our Designer to build our business process. Navigate towards the [Process Library], and select new process. We can see this opens up a blank canvas for us to begin with our building blocks.

Creatio process designer blank canvas

First, we want to name our process. The naming convention should be detailed so you or any other system admins can identify what the process is related to. For our example, let's call it "Document Approvals".

Next, we want to click on any blank area within the 'working canvas' to display our element set up. Think back to our use case: we want this process to identify which document needs the approval from the finance team. In order to do that, we need to add a process parameter. A process parameter allows us to store a value that can be used to transfer information into or out of the process. There are two type of parameters a user can create:

Static parameters are values that are defined directly within the process during the configuration, and are always the same.

Variable parameters allow you to select variables such as system settings, current date and time, or current user contact as the selected values.

In our use case, we want the parameter to populate with the corresponding document once the process is launched. Select [Add Parameter] and use Lookups.

Creatio process parameter settings

As you can see, we have filled in our parameter accordingly.

An important note here: We're using the [Document] section in Creatio to lookup which document we want the process to use once launched. A key factor we must define is the Direction. Creatio allows you to use parameters to define how to transfer information between a process and another variable within Creatio. In this case, we are using Bidirectional. Bidirectional indicates that we want some information coming into our process from somewhere else, and we also want to export that information from our process and add it somewhere else. Creatio offers three different directions, input, output, and bidirectional.

Using the system actions, add the [Read Data] element. Here, we want to define which data mode to use and which object to read data from. Remember, we want to be able to read the owner information so we can send notifications on the status of their document. 

Creatio process designer read data element

We now need to define our approvals. Using the user actions, select the [Approval] element. For more information on how to design email templates, please visit our blog post here.

Creatio process designer approval status

Next, we will use our [Modify Data] elements to update the status of the document depending on the result from finance. In our use case, when the finance team approves a document, we want our process to update the status to Complete. On the other hand, if the finance team denies the document, the system should update the document status to Incomplete. Let's go ahead and add two elements to our process. We want to repeat this step for both modify data elements the (approved or denied).

Remember, we are using [Conditional flows] to connect these elements. A conditional flow can be used once you have a condition. In our case, if the approver selects approved, the process will update the document status as well.

Creatio process designer conditional flow

If the approver denies the document, we want to be able to create a task for the user to revise the document. To do that, we'll add the [Read Data] element so Creatio can read which document we want to connect the task to. We also want to add the  [Perform task] element from the user actions so the system creates the task for the user to revise the document that is denied by finance. 

Creatio read data element

Our final step in this process is to actually set up the process launch from the documents section. Remember, our users will be manually running this process. Using the [Documents section] section wizard, select the business processes tab and select [Run business process from section]. Once selected, click save.

Creatio run business process

Our [Documents] section now gives users the ability to run the process.

Think about all your business use cases and how the Process Designer could apply. Does the approval process help achieve an organizational goal? What can YOU do with Creatio's Process Designer? For more information on what Creatio can do, please contact our experts here.

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