Sometimes we get questions from our customers to very fundamental functionality in OpenText MBPM. One of them was regarding the Alert Message which is visble to users in the ToDo- and Watchlist when using Loopback actions. When using a Loopback action, by default the action updates the Alert Message with the action name of the Loopback action itself. This might not be the expected result. In some cases, the prefered result is to show the previous message, the one which was responsible for the folder ending up at a specific stage. The following quick tip is based on a short cut solution which has been made available by Metastorm many years ago.
What is a Loopback Action?
In Metastorm you can draw an action where the source and destination stages are the same. Such an action is called a loopback action.The action type can be any action except a Rendezvous action (More on that in future quick tips).
A loopback action is any action that updates a folder, but does not move it on to a different stage. By default, when a loopback action is taken on a folder, OpenText MBPM does not regenerate the list of users who have the folder on their To Do or Watch lists. It simply updates the details for this folder in each list. Using the properties on the Roles tab for a loopback action, you can modify this functionality so that the To Do and Watch lists are regenerated. Ok, that explains the basics of loopback actions. But how can we show the user the previous Alert Message in the ToDo and Watch list? Within the Metastorm Designer you can use the method GetEarlierMessage().
The method GetEarlierMessage()
This method within Metastorm returns the alert message associated with a previous action on the current folder. If you want to retrieve the last action message you need to select the Method from the Expression Builder (Folder Information Menu) and pass in the index. The complete Method call would then look like:
To actually make that work to answer the client's question you need to call this code from the loopback actions's Message property: