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Creating custom tasks for Dovetail Task Manager

Out of the box, Dovetail Task Manager supports one action – Create Subcase. (See this post for a primer on Task Manager)

But because Task Manager is extensible, we can add our own custom actions that can do almost anything.

For this example, we’ll walk through  how to add an action named Get Stock Quote, that will call an external web service to get a stock quote. The quote will then be logged as a note to the case.

Just for testing, we’ll use Alternate Phone Number field on the case to store the stock symbol.

 

Setup

Add the custom Task Action

Using Dovetail Admin, edit the Task Action user-defined list.

Add an element named Get Stock Quote

Dovetail Task Manager

Add the custom Task Action parameters

Using Dovetail Admin, add a new user-defined list named Get Stock Quote Params

Add an element to this list named Symbol

 

image

The list name here is important. It’s conventional. The list name must be “{Task Action} Params”, where {Task Action} is the action we defined above.

You’ll notice in the next set of steps, where we set up the Task and its properties, that there’s no UI customization at all. It all just works.

Refresh Dovetail Agent’s cache

Using Dovetail Agent: Admin – cache – Refresh Cache

This allows Dovetail Agent to have access to the new user-defined lists and values that we just added.

 

Task Manager Setup

Task Property Template Setup

Using Dovetail Agent: Admin – Task Manager – Task Property Templates tab, click the + in the tab header to add a new template with the following information:

Name: Stock Symbol

Action: Get Stock Quote

Data Type: String

Save To: Symbol

Click the Create button.

 

The template will look like:

image

 

Task Setup

Using Dovetail Agent: Admin – Task Manager – Tasks tab, click the + in the tab header to add a new task with the following information:

Name: Get Stock Quote

Status: Active

Action: Get Stock Quote

Workflow: None

Click the Create button.

 

Task Property Setup

From the Get Stock Quote task page, click the + in the Properties tab header.

Select the Stock Symbol property

Set the value to Same as case Property: alt_phone_num

Click the Create button

 

The task and property will look like:

image

Task Set Setup

Using Dovetail Agent: Admin – Task Manager – Task Sets tab, click the + in the tab header to add a new task set with the following information:

Name: Get Stock Quote

Status: Active

Click the Create button.

Add the Task to the Task Set

From the Get Stock Quote task set page, click the + in the Tasks tab header.

Select the Get Stock Quote Task

Click the Add button

 

The task set will look like:

image

 

Customize Carrier

Dovetail Carrier needs to be customized so that it knows what to do when it receives a Get Stock Quote action. There’s 3 parts to this:

  1. Create a new class containing the information that we need to receive from Task Manager (i.e. the Symbol property)
  2. Create a policy so that the Task Manager API knows how to handle our new GetStockQuote Action. We can do this by implementing the ITaskRunnerPolicy interface.
  3. Register the new policy into our container.

I’m not going to go into the specific C# code details here.

But don’t worry, we’ve made all the code available freely on Github: http://dovetailsoftware.github.io/carrier-customizations/task-manager/

And it’s really not much code to make this work.

 

Run the Task Set

Now we can actually see it work.

From Dovetail Agent, open one of your cases, edit it, and set the Alternate Contact Phone Number to GOOG.

image

Remember that we’re simply using the alt phone field as a place to hold our stock symbol for testing.

 

Next, using the Workflow menu select: Run Task Set

Select the Get Stock Quote task set.

Click the Run Task Set button

image

 

Case History

Looking at the case history, we can see exactly what happened:

history

 

The user (Annie) ran the Get Stock Quote Task Set

Dovetail Rulemanager sent a message to Dovetail Carrier, telling it to Run a Dovetail Task Set

Dovetail Carrier received the message, made a web service call to get the stock price, and then logged the result as a note to the case.

 

Video

Here’s a short video that demonstrates the custom action

video link

 

Summary

What we’ve done here is to extend Dovetail Task Manager with a custom action.

With custom code, actions can do whatever you want. In this example, we interfaced into another system (to get the stock quote), and then we did an operation in our Dovetail system (log a note to a case).

This means Task Manager actions are no longer limited to just creating subcases – it can now run custom code to do almost anything you want – and those things can be within Dovetail, or external.

Very cool!

All of the code for this example is available on Github: http://dovetailsoftware.github.io/carrier-customizations/

 

Next up – I’ll discuss how to have Carrier invoke custom code without using Task Manager – which opens up even more possibilities. I’ll have that post coming soon. Stay tuned.

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