Front Office provides a number of integration points for interchange of information with other systems. This section covers the adapters shipped with the product; however, many more adapters are available for download via the Biomni Community, accessible online at https://frontofficehelp.biomni.com/hc/en-us/requests/new.
The Adapter area enables communication details of specific web services, which import/export data from the system and communicate with other systems, using pre-built adapters:
- Catalog Import
- App Store Product hook
- Approval hook
- External List-box
- Field Value changed by User hook
- Receipt Export
- Request Export
- Request Asset
- Request Event hook
- Request Fulfillment hook
- Request Import
- Request Update hook
- Request Validation hook
- Tree View
- Front Office (Directa) API
For any of the above the following data must be entered:
- Adapter Display Name
- Web Service URI (excluding Request Import & Front Office (Directa) API)
Only active records will be processed.
A number of security configurations are supported: Basic Authentication (User Name and Password), Windows Authentication (optional User Name and Password) and WS-Security (both Front Office and Adapter certificates).
The Front Office SDK can be found in \SDK. Please contact the support team via the Community at https://frontofficehelp.biomni.com/hc/en-us/requests/new for further information.
One or more supplier catalogs may be scheduled for import via a scheduled task, using a web service linked to an adapter.
App Store Product Hook
A product linked to a Service Catalog ‘App Store’ category can determine whether the item is available for immediate download for the requesting user, whether a request form (default associated to the App Store or an alternative request type) is generated for user completion, a request is automatically created/completed using known information or the App presented for information only.
A request can be imported into Front Office, ‘pushed’ by an external system.
It is also possible to generate a sample Xml import file from any existing request (system reference) using both the 5.40 and 8.0 schema. A version 8.0 schema is available as a Directa API call, and the schema can be found in the Directa API screen.
Business Form requests and loose item requests can be imported; requests containing bundles or off-catalog items are not supported. The xml file also supports automatic submission of the imported request to the approval process. If a stage results in a list-box, the first user in the list is automatically selected. A punch-in link is also generated, with the option of setting a read-only (Request Summary) or edit (Request Details) property.
Only one request import adapter may be active at any time.
An approved request can be exported from Front Office to an external system. This functionality is controlled by a system configuration setting and the export details are configured via the Request
Export system type in Adapter Maintenance. All request types will be included.
Only one request export adapter may be active at any time.
Request Update Hook
A request can be updated by an external system at any point during the request creation process. This functionality is configured via the Request Update Hook system type in Adapter Maintenance and then linked to a specific request type via the Request Type Maintenance main details screen. The hooks can be called and activated on initial request load or as you switch between each level of the request form, i.e., a request update hook can be called when the form is loaded, the requester leaves the header, supplier, or item pages, or enters the approval stage. Additionally, a user-initiated update is possible via an Update button within the page. The Request Update Hook can access an adapter and pull back information which then populates predefined request fields on the request, e.g., you may need a Software License check to occur when Software is being requested; the Software licensing system can be called and return data relating to licenses available etc. into the Front Office request.
Request Validation Hook
A request can be validated on request submission and updated applied to the request, or validation messages displayed against a specific request field or at overall request level.
Field Value Changed by User Hook
A change of request field value in a request form can call a request type level hook to update or reset other related fields. This allows cross field validation to be actioned.
This feature is not available for legacy forms.
Note: On change of ‘Requested For’ user hook is now deprecated and replaced by this hook, which gives
Request information can be passed to an external system for approval and optional update (either request fields editing, or catalog / off catalog items added) at any point during the approval process.
This functionality is configured via the Approval Hook system type in Adapter Maintenance and linked
to specific rules via the Approval Matrix setup.
Related Topic: Approval
System Configuration Setting: Public Web Services URL
External List Box
A Request Field Type External List-box allows data from an external source to be presented to the requester, generated in real-time. The request is passed out with the call and the resulting data is presented to the requester either as a single select list box or as a popup supporting multi-select, searching, filtering, and paging. The data presented can have multiple columns, be both text and images and all data can support localization, using the requester’s preference.
This functionality is configured via the External List-box system type in Adapter Maintenance and linked to External List-box type fields during request type set up.
An External List-box field can be set via a Request Update Hook or an Approval Hook, although no validation of this field type will occur.
It is possible to include an External List-box field as a Request List column. External fields can be included in Request List Advanced Search, where values will be searched in free text entry mode.
Additionally, they can be used for Request Field Approval within Approval Matrix Maintenance, with the operators Equals or Contains.
Note: An External List-box field cannot be used as a dependent field. No default can be set. External
list-box field presentation ignores the system configuration setting ‘Maximum number of items in a
A request field type Tree View allows data from an external source to be presented to the requester,
generated in real time. It is a type of External List-box (see above), but the results are presented in a tree view rather than in a tabular form. The request is passed out with the call and the resulting data is presented to the requester as a single or multi-select option; the option to cascade the selection down
the tree is also available. Any number of nodes, to any depth, can be displayed.
This functionality is configured via the Tree View system type in Adapter Maintenance and linked to Tree View type fields during request type set up.
A Tree View field can be set via a Request Update Hook or an Approval Hook, although no validation of this field type will occur.
Tree View fields are restricted to the request form and email templates and cannot be referenced elsewhere, e.g., in approval or in Request List Advanced Search.
Note: A Tree View field cannot be used as a dependent field and no field default can be set.
A request field type Asset allows access to an externally hosted asset database where appropriate information may be retrieved and applied to the request. Details are configured via the Request Asset system type in Adapter Maintenance. Multiple Request Asset adapters may be active at any time, allowing each asset field to call a different adapter.
An approved request can be exported from Front Office to an external system. This functionality is controlled by a system configuration setting and the export details are configured via the Request Export system type in Adapter Maintenance. All request types will be included.
Only one request export adapter may be active at any time.
Request Event Hook
There are five events available: the on load, on form navigation, on approval start, on approval stage start and on approval completion.
The ‘on load’ request hook will fire when the request is loaded from the following actions:
- Raising a request from the cart, a bundle, or any type of catalog (including full catalog, favorites, off catalog, app store or quick links); clicking 'return to request' link; editing a draft request; editing a request via a punch-in link; editing a request as an approver or inbox task assignee.
The ‘on load’ request hook will not fire in the follow circumstances:
- When switching between item, supplier, confirm and header request pages; when selecting asset, tree view, or external list box request field popups; when editing a price or quantity on the request item page; when any request rules fire; when approving or completing a task from the request summary.
The ‘on form navigation’ hook will fire when editing a request and switching between the header, supplier, items and confirm forms.
The ‘on approval start’ hook will fire when a request has been submitted for approval.
The ‘on approval stage start’ hook will fire when a new approval stage is activated.
The ‘on approval complete’ hook will fire when the approval process is completed successfully, or approval has been declined.
Note: It is intended that additional request ‘events’ will be added to this hook over time, allowing all request interaction to be centralized around a single hook. This will allow the other hooks to be deprecated.
Request Fulfillment Hook
Post the approval stage, the request may be configured to be sent to an external system for fulfillment or an adapter activity could send it as part of an internal fulfillment process.
Multiple Request Fulfillment types may be active concurrently, allowing different routing for individual Request Types. Association to a specific Request Types is via Request & Approval > Request Type Maintenance.
A Request Fulfillment adapter may be assigned to a single request type.
Front Office (Directa) API
This adapter definition is available to allow access to the Front Office (Directa) API Web Services to be completely disabled, or for basic authentication or WS-Security to be configured. By default, the Front Office (Directa) API is enabled, if Front Office is running in an environment where the Public Web Services are available over the internet, disabling or securing this adapter should be considered.
Access to the WSDL and available DAPI methods can be found here, as well as the v8.0 Request Import schemas. Information for developers is available in the SDK documentation.
Only one Front Office (Directa) API external system record may be active.
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