Below are some common terms you will encounter when using Task Assistant Manager.
A node style is a visual indicator that can be assigned to a node to impart meaning to the Task Assistant user. You can leverage node styles to convey additional information about steps. For example, you may want to highlight mandatory or information steps by using corresponding node styles.
Task Assistant Manager style files allow node styles to be stored. There are two style files used by Task Assistant Manager—Default.TMStyle, which stores the default node styles, and Custom.TMStyle, which stores user-defined node styles. There are a set number of default node styles, and these cannot be modified. Users, however, can create any number of custom styles.
The Style Manager displays all the custom and default node styles. It allows you to view all of them and add, modify, and delete custom node styles. The Style Manager displays the contents of all the styles that are currently referenced by task assistant workflows. It also contains personal and additional styles that may be used in task assistant workflows.
Task Assistant configuration
Task Assistant configuration information consists of two types of information:
- Information specific to ArcMap (for example, COTS and custom commands, geoprocessing tools and toolboxes, or construction tasks)
- Project (MXD)-specific information (for example, layer names and feature templates)
Configuration information is obtained directly from ArcMap when an ArcMap document is opened. It is used to populate the Designer tab and provide the options to construct a workflow step.
Task Assistant window
The Task Assistant window consists of the following components:
- The Task Assistant window shows the overall GIS workflow and all tasks needed to complete the workflow. GIS tasks may be optional, although the overall workflow is not. Since the task can be optional, tasks can be notes to guide the user or placeholders. Each workflow can have several tasks within it.
- A tool palette on the Task Assistant window shows the tools or commands required for completing the step. The palette is used when steps in a workflow require the use of more than one tool. In map navigation, for example, ArcMap provides a number of different tools: Zoom In, Zoom Out, and Pan. The icon for the first tool or command in the list displays along with a drop-down arrow. Clicking the drop-down arrow displays the other tools or commands in the list for selection.
- The Help tab, which provides step-by-step descriptions as provided by the task assistant
workflow designer. Descriptions are optional but are often useful
for users accessing the task assistant workflows.
If Task Assistant Designer is installed, see Adding a description for more information.
- The History tab, which shows all steps that have been executed along with the user name, date, and time. You can also add notes for a step by double-clicking the history log. By default, the history log is not stored; however, it is possible to save the entries to a text file.
- The Properties tab allows you to set application-specific properties as well as refresh the configuration file.
Task assistant workflow
A task assistant workflow consists of the series of steps necessary to complete a predefined task. Workflows may be defined to support common business tasks such as editing data, performing data analysis, and creating map displays.
Each of the steps in a task assistant workflow can perform one of the following tasks:
- Provide reminders
- Change settings in the ArcMap environment
- Activate a tool
- Execute a discrete piece of functionality
Installing Task Assistant Designer allows you to design and execute workflows. Installing Task Assistant User allows you to execute workflows only.
Workflow nodes/steps make up a task assistant workflow. Task assistant workflows can be composed of the following types of nodes or steps:
- Root—These nodes are the highest-level containers for tasks and typically do not execute any process. Root nodes are added using the New Workflow button .
- Parent—These nodes are containers of tasks within a task assistant workflow. Parent nodes typically do not execute any process. A parent node is usually created by demoting the steps beneath it to make the steps subordinate. Parent nodes are added using the New Step button .
- Task—These nodes are the represent the actual steps that are performed within the workflow and can be contained in a root or parent node. Task nodes are added using the New Step button . A node added using the New Step button is added as a task node by default.
The following image displays the different node types:
There must be at least one root node within a task assistant workflow.