Setting Up Your Workflow Design Workbench

This page explains the basics to set up your workflow design workbench. First, we explain how import the out-of-the-box workflows as samples in your workbench. Next, we explain how to define your first project. Finally, we describe how to create an Activiti Diagram which sets the start to define your first workflow definition.

How to import packaged workflows in Activiti?

[bok-callout]TIP Before you start designing a Workflow Definition from scratch, it is advised to export the out-of-the-box Workflow Definition in DGC, import them into Activiti and browse through them in order to get a general feeling. As we will see, any new workflow is usually a combination of task patterns already defined in these out-of-the-box Workflow Definition.[/bok-callout]

There are two approaches:

  • download the archive of all the files from the software release folder and add them to your project.
  • import workflows from your DGC instance.

To import a Workflow Definition into Activiti do the following:

  • Click the Settings menu at the top-right of the page;
  • Click on the Workflows tab on the left;
  • Click on Definitions
    • a table with all workflow definitions will appear;
  • Click on the Name of the workflow definition “Propose New Business Term”;
    • a screen appears with an overview of all configuration possibilities;
  • Click on the Flow tab on the left.

The following screen appears with on top the BPMN 2.0 diagram visualisation, and on the bottom the XML formatting of the Workflow Definition.

Next, copy the XML formatted text. We will paste it into your new Activiti process as follows. In the Activiti tool:

  • close all opened windows on your process definition;
  • in the Activiti explorer, right-click on the process;
  • select “open with XML Editor”. 


  • paste the XML text you just copied into the editor’s text area;
  • save and close the file.

Now you can re-open the file with the Activiti Diagram Editor. A BPMN diagram identical to the flow view in DGC should appear. Now you have imported the file and you can start exploring and changing its properties. Note: the identifier and name you may have provided earlier are now overwritten with the values in XML-formatted workflow definition, as you can see below in the properties pane.

Once you have unwrapped and imported the packaged workflows into your Activiti tool, you ca continue with further reading on:

How to Create a new Activiti project? 

To create a new Activiti Project in which you will manage your workflows, do the following:

  • click on File in the Eclipse menu;
  • select New>Other…

The following screen appears where you are prompted to choose a wizard:

  • open the Activiti menu;
  • choose Activiti Project;
  • click next.

A screen prompts for a name and optionally change the location. Hit Save.

How to create a new Activiti workflow definition in your project?

Now create your first Activiti process:

  • right-click on your Activiti project;
  • select New, and then Other, as illustrated below. 


  • open Activiti menu;
  • select the wizard for creating an Activiti Diagram as shown below;
  • click Next;
  • in the following screen, as depicted below, select the parent folder and filename;
  • click Finish. You do not need to click on Next.

Now your new process file appears in the Activiti Explorer and the Activiti Diagram editor show a blank sheet with a Palette of BPMN elements on the left. 

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