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How to manage variable/multiple number of Datafields in Savvion

Submitted by Abhishek on Thu, 2011-12-08 17:58


Savvion Business Manager allows you to work with defined number of Dataslots. You would use BPM Studio to define these dataslots during design time and use then in your process during run time. However, there are scenarios where you may not know how many datafields are required during design time. Some Examples are

  • You are creating an invoice and you would need to have a variable number of line items for the invoice

  • You are opening an account for a Client Entity and would like to add number of account operators

  • You are doing a trade reconciliation workflow and want to add N number of trades that need to be reconciled

For such scenarios you do not know how many fields need to be made available during runtime and so cannot define dataslots for them during design.

How do you handle such situation? Here is how. We will take the invoice use case to come up with a strategy.

Lets assume you have the following fields in the variable portion of the form

  • Line Item Number

  • Particulars

  • Rate

  • Quantity

  • Total


Savvion provides something called Business Objects to handle such scenarios. However, using Business Objects happens to be tricky and lot of coding is required. We will use an XML based approach to achieve this.


Step 1: Define an XML Dataslot

You would need to define an XML dataslot called invoiceDetails. You can do this very easily from the dataslot properties tab in your BPM Studio. We will use this dataslot to store the invoice details. We could have defined it as a String dataslot as well but the problem with String dataslots is that they have a size limitation depending on your database. For example if you are using sybase it would need to be max 200 characters. If you feel that you will need just a few line items and this space would be sufficient to store the XML feel free to use String dataslot instead.

Step 2: Define fields on the form

For defining the fields on the form you would need to make use of some clever javscript. You can also make use of Rich text frameworks like Ext JS to create a grid.

If using basic HTML and javascript define an HTML Table that looks like this


Line Item











Under it add two buttons

  • Add Row: This button will call a javascript which will have code to add another row under the first row. If you are using jquery this could be achieved with far less code.

  • Remove Row: This button will call a javascript function which will identify a selected line (checkbox) and then remove it. You can use some index numbers to denote each row

Each of the cell will have a textfield. While duplicating if you use the same names for your fields in each row, you will get the data as an Array. For example if you named the textfield for particulars as “particulars” then you will be able to access it as document. Forms[0].elements[“particulars”][0].value later.

Abhishek Mishra
Good experience in working with BPM technologies like Savvion, JBPM. Founder and Chief Editor of Founder of Savvion Business Manager Mobility Framework Savmobify| View my BPMGeek Profile
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