What options are available for receiving an email when a particular tag is added or updated? More broadly what options exist if any for receiving an email when a people field such as member status is changed?
The current use case is small group notes. The ministry leader would like to know when a small group leader adds notes to a profile. More broadly I am just trying to understand what Arena is capable of.
Another method for handling this would be to create a query that looks for updates to the table.field: smgp_member.notes. This query could be scheduled to run as a job on SQL Server to process once a day, or several times a day, as you need.
Then, using the associated person_id, create a new Assignment with that person_id being either the requester_person_id or the person_id of a people workflow. (If you're not familiar with Assignments this might not make sense yet, but it'll work.) Then, your ministry leader would be the worker_person_id of the assignments, get notified of the new note being added via email.
This way, once the internals are setup, the process becomes automated and potentially hands-off for the IT team. I use this type of functionality all the time and it works GREAT! Plus it gives a level of accountability to ensure that things are getting done as needed.
Ron, I am looking at assignments now and they are terribly confusing - could you share some of the setup you use? I find the documentation from Shelby lacking and feel like I am doing this blind. I was hoping to use assignements to help with our shut in visits.
@standrewlu, You're not alone on grasping a good understanding of Assignments. I'm continuing to work on that myself. But here are some things that I've discovered that might help, and I'll speak directly to your Visitor case.
Now, in Arena, create a new Assignment Type called Visitation and edit the details.
General - this tab is pretty straight forward. Note, a child Assignment is only for security purposes. In other words, the security settings get passed from the parent to the child, that's it. There's no functional reason for having child assignments at this point. Though, I do like grouping assignments together.
Workflow States - this tab is the meat and potatoes of Assignments. Using the example, I see three States (maybe four):
What you CANNOT do with Assignments (without custom development, or third party purchase):
So, for basic linear workflows, you can do quite a bit. You can break down a larger workflow into a bunch of smaller ones, but moving from one to another would be manual. In my mind, this is where a child assignment would come in.
One of the things that I have done with Assignments use SQL and Tags to start. Workers are managed through a tag by the ministry leader. If the status of the person on the tag is Connected, then a SQL SPROC will grab them and sync them as workers. Those with anything other than a Connected status will be removed from the list of workers. This runs as a scheduled job in SQL Server.
Then a separate SPROC, also scheduled, will look for people that meet a criteria, like every new Prospect, and created a new Assignment where the Requester is the new Prospect. The idea being that we can start contacting people that are popping up for the first time through our website. After all, not everyone fills out a visitor card. There is a manual process that needs to take place before this. All of the WebProspect records need to be validated and merged, as needed. Then those left get the Member Status field updated to Prospect. That way we eliminate a good number of false positives.
Please know that I'm not an expert with Assignments. I'm simply further along the path that you're starting down. Like most things, there's a hump that you'll get over and all the sudden a lot of this will make sense. Keep plugging away at it...you'll get there.
Final note, after you get a bit more familiar with Assignments out-of-the-box, take a look at KFS (Kingdom First Solutions) Advance Assignments Suite. Some of the shortcomings listed above are addressed with new Actions that can be added to a state.
Ron Kochanowski That is a wonderfully thorough write up of Assignments. I thought I might add one piece of information to it for those who are diving deeper into assignments. It is in reference to your bullet point in your "CANNOT" section.
While it is true that you cannot branch to other workflows, if you can keep your wits about you, you can actually create a multi-path assignment workflow. One of the key elements to pull it off in the "out of the box" parts of Arena is the "Set State after Testing Field". If you can manage to use Custom Fields to flag assignments the way you desire, you can use the "Set State after Testing Field" action to jump to a specific state based on the value it reads for that custom field. If you want to get super crazy, at the last church I worked at, I built a ridiculously complicated workflow with lots of potential paths, and used SQL jobs running independently of the Assignment process to go and set the custom fields via SQL so that the next time the Assignment agent would run, all the custom fields would be where they needed to be. You could also fine tune this by synchronizing when your job would run with when the assignment agent would run. This is definitely not for the beginner just starting to use Assignments, but for those who have started to push it a bit, it can be done . And if it can't, well you can always "phone a friend" for help (wink, wink).