Support Import

How Queues Work

Let us create a very simple Queue along with two processes that will feed and consume Items of various Priority Status on it.

We use process "Add Queue Item" to insert Queue Items inside the Queue "Support Tickets" and process "Consume Queue Item" to consume them through the automatic distribution feature.

What the Add Queue Items does, is to Read some Lorem Ipsum text from a file, split this text into words and then loop through the produced list in order to add each word as a Queue Item (text) of varying priority status:

  • If the word starts with 'c' then it is set as Low Priority status,

  • If it does not start with 'a' it is set as of High Priority status (most words don't) and

  • if it starts with 'a' it is set as of Normal Priority status

add-queue-item-process.png

Please notice how eloquently we can describe this multiway branch conditional structure using a Switch-Case combination.

We can set the Priority status we wish to an item via the properties of the Add Queue Item in Queue > Advanced Tab:

add-queue-item-in-queue-set-status.png

Moving that process in production, we are ready to start working on the Consuming Process i.e. the "Consume Queue Item".

This has not to be complex:

consume-queue-item-process.png

A single action is enough to let us get going!

Since we want to consume Items via the automatic distribution feat we should not forget to specify Get: Queue Item that Initiated this Process in the Get Queue Item from Queue action.

get-queue-item-from-queue-options.png

After doing this we are ready to move this process as well in production and start developing our Queue.

Queues are very simple and handy to use. Two things you need to understand however, before you are ready to thrive in Queue development is that Queues are controlled from the Control Desk: there we can find two different Tabs containing the word Queues.

The Main 'Queues' Tab serves Monitoring purposes:

queues_tab_main.png

The other Queues Tab, accessible via the Settings Tab, offers the user the ability to create and edit Queues and their Settings.

queues_settings.png

So unlike Processes that are developed in Process Studio and Process Designer, Queues are created and edited in the Settings > Queues Tab of the Control Desk. Through this Tab you can also set the default Service Level Agreement Settings (SLA) of the Queue, defining how Queue Items of different Priority status will be processed in time.

Whether the Queue you want to define its SLA Settings exists or not, the steps to follow are the same:

a) If the Queue already exists you need to go to the Settings > Queues Tab [1] ->[2], select that Queue from the main pane [3] and then press Edit [4]. Then you have not but to click on the SLA Tab [5] of the resultant Edit Queue Window:

setting-sla-of-existing-queue_1_.png

b) If the Queue does not exist then you need to follow exactly the same process as in (a) but instead of clicking on the Edit button this time you will click on the New Queue and instead of selecting the SLA Tab from the Edit Queue, you will do so from the New Queue Window.

Now that we know the basics we are ready to return to the reality of our example. Creating the "Support Tickets" [1] we are careful of selecting "Text" [2] on Queue Item Type (since its Queue Item is nothing but a word from the Lorem Ipsum text), to check the Enable Automatic Distribution of Queue Items [3] and then select the already in production "Consume Queue Item" process [4] from the drop down and define the Execution Target [5] (i.e. where do we want the "Consume Queue Item" process to run). This can be done via the provision of either a Robot Pool [6] or a specific Robot.

new-queue-settings-options.png

Now let us move Tabs in order to appoint the SLA Settings:

sla-set-for-consume-item.png

The above arrangement will produce the following result:

a) High Priority Items that consist the majority of our Items due to the logic of our "Add Queue Item" process will start being processed 25 seconds after they are being added in the Queue. The Deadline for each of these Items in order to be successfully processed and gain the status Completed is a minute after they have been added in the Queue. That means that Items need to be processed by our resources within 35 seconds or else they will become expired.

b) Normal Priority Items will start being processed 1 minute after they are added within our Queue and will become expired if they have not been processed within another minute from their entry.

c) Low Priority Items will start being processed 2 minutes after they are added in our Queue and will become expired if they have not been processed within another minute from their entry.

--> Click Add and that's it!

To see your Queue in action, simply go to Processes Tab in the main Control Desk, run the "Add Queue Item" from there and click on the Main Queue Tab. You should be already looking at a non empty Support Tickets Queue. The real fireworks however will start 25 seconds later when High Priority Items will start being processed; in order to see that spectacle at its full glory double click upon the Queue Name and observe how the status of the Queue Items is transitioning over time:

queue-items-window-settings-tab.png

One last thing that you should know is that the number of the In Progress Items is being influenced by the Concurrency Limits that you have set for the "Consume Queue Item" Process and Robots that are running the Process!