Blast Image Config Workflows Manager

 

These details are for BIC version 3.0 and newer. The legacy (no longer supported or updated) documentation for BIC v2.9.x Configurations/Workflows Manager are still available.

Workflows Folder Structure

In the Blast Image Config folder there is a folder named 'WorkFlows' which stores the 'WorkFlows.xml' file. At launch time BIC reads this XML file to obtain the entries for each workflow preference file specified.

Within the 'WorkFlows' folder there's another folder named 'WorkFlowConfigs' which holds all workflow preference files. These files are not yet in XML format, but it is planned to create a GUI application which will convert them to XML and make it much easier for admins to edit them. Be aware that BIC currently does not scan the 'WorkFlowConfigs' folder for preferences automatically, so you must create entries for each file that you want to use in the WorkFlows.xml file. This design may change in the future.

Single workflow (Legacy Mode - single default/auto-run preferences file)

When BIC is first launched, if the 'WorkFlows/WorkFlows.xml' file does NOT exist, a new, default file is created. If the file cannot be created, BIC will quit with an error. The default entry is then created for the auto-run prefs file named "edu.psu.clc.blastimageconfig.bicwf".

The default XML format of the WorkFlows.xml file is detailed below, with the section specific to each workflow highlighted in blue:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

<root>

<Workflow>

<DisplayName>Default Preferences</DisplayName>

<Description>This is the default preferences file.</Description>

<Filename>edu.psu.clc.blastimageconfig.bicwf</Filename>

</Workflow>

</root>

Since the above file only has one workflow listed, the user would not be prompted on which workflow to select, and BIC would attempt to automatically load the workflow file if it exists.

If the workflow <Filename> value matches "edu.psu.clc.blastimageconfig" then BIC first looks for the file in the legacy location in ~/Library/Preferences/edu.psu.clc.blastimageconfig and reads the settings from that file first. If you were using an auto-run preference file in previous versions of BIC (prior to version 2.9.0rc1) you should move it to the WorkFlowConfigs folder (which is INSIDE of the WorkFlows folder) for the future and ensure that the filename is correctly listed in the new WorkFlows.xml file.

The 'WorkFlows.xml' file that ships with the download disk image of BIC includes one entry for the workflow titled 'edu.psu.clc.blastimageconfig.bicwf'. This design allows for those who have no need for more than one workflow, and hasn't yet moved the edu.psu.clc.blastimageconfig file from ~/Library/Preferences/ directory to the new location of the BIC folder (ie, "/Applications/PSU Blast Image Config/WorkFlows/WorkFlowConfigs/").

Adding Multiple WorkFlows

If more than one workflow is found in the WorkFlows.xml file, the user is prompted to select which workflow should be used (and therefore load the corresponding workflow file.)

To create a new workflow entry, copy and paste the entire <Workflow> ... </Workflow> block for each selection you want available for selection. Recall that the Workflow block is blue in the above example.

For example, here's a WorkFlows.xml file that has two workflow entries, with the relevant lines highlighed in blue:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

<root> 

<Workflow>

<DisplayName>CLC Lab Mac</DisplayName>

<Description>Select this workflow to install the CLC Lab Mac image.</Description>

<Filename>edu.psu.clc.blastimageconfig.lab.bicwf</Filename>

</Workflow>

 

<Workflow>

<DisplayName>CLC Kiosk Mac</DisplayName>

<Description>Select this workflow to install the CLC Kiosk Mac image.</Description>

<Filename>edu.psu.clc.blastimageconfig.kiosk.bicwf</Filename>

</Workflow>


</root>

The workflow dialog sheet that would appear after loading this example WorkFlows.xml file would look similiar to these screen shots:

  • CLC Lab Mac:
  • CLC Kiosk Mac:

If the user selected the CLC Lab Mac workflow, then BIC would load the default settings from the edu.psu.clc.blastimageconfig.lab.bicwf file, as specified in the above example WorkFlows.xml file. If the user selected the CLC Kiosk Mac workflow, then BIC would load the default settings from the edu.psu.clc.blastimageconfig.kiosk.bicwf file.

The format of the workflow files are not yet in XML format, but I am working on supporting XML for them next. In the future I plan to have a new GUI based application to make editing the WorkFlows.xml file and auto-run preference files easier.

Refer to the Workflow Preference Settings documentation for the format and settings that can be configured.

Please contact us if you would like to have BIC behave differently with the management of the workflow files, as we are open minded and want to make this work better for everyone (including us!).

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Last Updated February 26, 2015