Process Designer

Processes Databases Datasources PropInfo ListBorder Toolbar1 PropList Activities

processdesigner screen

The Process Designer lets you extend and change the processes you initially created using the Mail Merge Wizard. It is for advanced users only. If the user needs to alter certain options you will normally add some controls on the Access forms and change the settings programmatically (see Programming mail merge processes).

To open the Process Designer, on the Mail Merge  menu/ribbon, select Tools > Process Designer

The process designer has three panes:

  1. List of processes (left pane)
  2. Activities (e.g. Mail Merge, Send Mail,...) and datasource in the selected process (middle pane)
  3. Properties sheet for the selected object (Process or Activity or..., right pane)

To change an Activity (or datasource)

  1. Click on the process it is part of
  2. Click on the Activity
  3. Change the property

To add an Activity (or datasource)

  1. Click on the process you want to add it to
  2. Click on the toolbar icon for the Activity or data source you want to add. This will add the Activity to the end of the process
  3. To move the activity to the position in the process' execution order right-click on the Activity and do Up (or Down)
  4. If the activity uses the result of a previous activity, select the activity and in the properties pane select

Things you might want to do with the Process Designer:

and much more!

The information on processes is stored in a file called [yourdatabase]_processes.xml.

Menus:

File Process Tools Help
New New Options Contents
Open... Delete License
Save Verify About
Save As... Generate Code Load process from XML / Use process classes only
Exit Database Insert / Move / Delete
Data source Insert / Copy|Paste / Left|Right / Delete
Activity Insert Mail Merge
Save As
Print Out
Send Mail
Move  Forward / Back


Popup (right-click on processes list box)


File

The normal way to open [YourDatabase]_processes.xml would be from starting from the database menu. So:

Mail Merge > Tools > Open Process Designer. This is the preferred route.

New

Create a new empty processes.xml file. This possibility has been added for completeness, not as a preferred way to create a processes.xml file. See the remark above.

Open...

Open an existing processes.xml file.

Save

Save changes to the open processes.xml file in another file. This is useful if you want to work with / try out different versions.

Save As...

Lets you save changes to another file.

Exit

Close the Process Designer.

Process

New > From Existing

Copies the selected process

Delete

Removes the selected process

Verify

Executes a set of design time check to see if the selected process can be executed without problems.

Generate Code

Generates VBA code corresponding to the selected process which you can use in your Access application, either 'as is' under a button (1.), or as starting point for your own mail merge automation using the 4TOPS Mail Merge Objects (2.).

  1. Load process from XML: Loads the process for you to execute without changes
  2. Use process classes only: detailed code using the Mail Merge classes and showing which properties are used.

Database

Databases refer to any named file from which Data sources can be used by the process' activities.

Currently only Access databases can be used. By default this refers to the current database.

Insert

Make a new database known.

Delete

Remove Database from process

Data source

Data sources roughly correspond to Access tables, queries or forms.

Insert

Add a new data source to be used by one or more activities.

Move

Forward

Back

Delete

Activity

Step in a process. Activities are executed in the order in which they are listed in the Activities collection of a process.

Insert

Add a new activity to a process, one of:

Move

Forward

Back

Delete

Delete activity

Tools

Options

Start Options dialog.

Help

Contents

Shows this help file opened on content tab

About

Author and version info

Popup

Up / Down

Change position in list

Delete

Delete selected process


Panels:


Processes

List shows available processes

Databases

Shows available databases

Data sources

Shows available data sources

Activities

Activities in in the selected process, in the order they are executed.

Toolbar

New Open Save Save As Database Datasource Mail Merge Save As Print Out Send Mail Send Fax

New

New XML File

Open

Load XML File

Save

Save XML File

Save As

Save As

Database

Insert Database

Data source

Insert Data source

Mail Merge

Add Mail Merge

Save As

Add Activity SaveAs

Print Out

Add Activity PrintOut

Send Mail

Add Activity SendMail

Send Fax

Add Activity Send Fax

Properties

Set the properties for the selected object.