User Portal Manual

Before You Start

This Manual consists of 5 chapters. In each chapter you will find all explanations for using Alchemy. The document has structured subchapters, where the important parts of text are highlighted in differently colored bubbles. 

Red bubbles are the use cases that should always be implemented.

Structure of the password

Please keep in mind that a password must contain a lowercase character, an uppercase character, a number and minimum 6 characters.

Purple bubbles represent the best practices that we recommend. 

Recommendation for the profile photo

We recommend that you upload a profile photo where your face is clearly visible and where you have a plain background in the photo if possible. This will allow better recognition between coworkers and clear visual understanding of who is assigned to a task or who has posted a comment etc.

Blue bubbles represent examples. 

Lab Manager of Alchemy - Beth Cooper

Throughout the manual we will be using fictional personnel names to better demonstrate certain actions and functions available in Alchemy. For this chapter we used the log in credentials of a Lab Manager called Beth Cooper. If you see these credentials used later on, remember that it is a part of an example.

There are different kinds of screenshots that will help you understand the text better. 

Page Overview screenshots represent the whole web page of a certain section with an explanation of each element.


Specific "How To" screenshots explain different functionalities.


Introduction

Welcome to the Alchemy User Portal Manual!

This document will provide you with all the necessary information to use Alchemy application.

Whether you’re working on new products, a new formula, or helping customers get the most from your current products, Alchemy accelerates your chemistry development, sales and service processes so you can delight your customers and monetize more of your work.

Alchemy is customized according to your organization's needs. It will aid you in your everyday work on the operational level or allow reporting for middle and upper management. The data you are storing in Alchemy could easily be searched and compared allowing the most effective way of working. Delegation of work and proper workload distribution is facilitated through Alchemy as well.

If you are our longtime user of the previous version, note that this document will be very valuable for you as well. The new version has incorporated functionalities that allow more flexibility and better navigation. The User Interface has been created with our current and future customers in mind by listening to their feedback and comments.

We believe that learning how to use Alchemy will be a walk in the park for you, so let's get started!


1. Sign In and Forgot Password

To start the Sign In process, first check your email for the invitation link. It is represented in Figure 1.1. If you don't see the mail in your inbox try looking in the spam folder or contact your business process owner to get in touch with us to sort out any possible problems.

Figure 1.1 Alchemy mail with an invitation link

After clicking on the hyperlinked text "click here to set your password." you will land on the page shown in Figure 1.2. Here, you need to set up your password. Please keep in mind what the passwords must contain which is explained next to the input fields.



Figure 1.2 Password set up page

Structure of the password

Please keep in mind that a password must contain a lowercase character, an uppercase character, a number and minimum 6 characters.

After entering the desired password according to all criteria you will land on the standard Sign In page which you will see every time you want to log in. Enter your email and password (Figure 1.3).

Bookmark the Sign In page

Our advice is to bookmark the standard Sign In page so you will have easy access to it anytime.

Figure 1.3 Standard Login page for Alchemy

If you forget your password, just click on the "Forgot password". You will be asked to enter your email for the reset link (Figure 1.4).


Figure 1.4 Forgot password page 

After entering your email, check your inbox again. You should receive an email with the link for the password change. Click on the hyperlinked text "Please request a password change over this link" (Figure 1.5).

Figure 1.5 Email with a link for the password change

After clicking on the link you will land again on the page for the password set up (Figure 1.2). Enter the new password and confirm it, then you will land again on the standard Sign In page (Figure 1.3).

Lab Manager of Alchemy - Beth Cooper

Throughout the manual we will be using fictional personnel names to better demonstrate certain actions and functions available in Alchemy. For this chapter we used the log in credentials of a Lab Manager called Beth Cooper. If you see these credentials used later on, remember that it is a part of an example.

2. Home Page

The Home page is the first page on which you will land after sign in. It's your starting point for using Alchemy. You can always easily return to the Home page by clicking Alchemy logo. In further chapters, all elements of the Home page will be explained.


2.1 Home Page Overview

Figure 2.1 Home Page overview


1 - Start New - from the drop-down list you can choose which process you would like to start

2 - My Assignments - a section with all projects that are assigned to you. Only the first 7 assigned projects will be displayed. For the full list, you can click on Show All  button

3 - New View - you can create new reports/lists/analytics by clicking on this button

4 - My Views - in this section you can see all your custom made analytics or lists that are relevant to you

5 - Search Bar - searching option by keywords. All types of search will be explained in detail further in this document.

6 - Notification and User Profile controls - On the upper right side after your user profile initials or image:

The Comment Notifications icon is represented by a text bubble - shows if there are any new comment notifications for you

The Task Notifications icon is represented by the Task icon - shows if there are any new task notifications for you

The Process Notifications icon is represented by the circular Process arrow - shows if there are any new process notifications for you

The icon with your initials is for User Profile options.

7 - Tips section - How To's


2.2 New Process and Assigned to me

As shown in Figure 2.1, under number 1 there is a Start New control. You can see a small arrow pointed down, which indicates a drop-down list in Alchemy. When you click on it you are able to see a list of new process types you can create. In Figure 2.2 you can see how it looks for our Lab Manager, Beth Cooper. After clicking on any of the process types you would like to create, you will land on the Process page which will be explained in chapter 3. Process Page.

Figure 2.2 Drop-down list for the Lab Manager after clicking the New Process control


If you don't initiate processes within your organization, you will not see this control on your Home page, instead, you will just see the My Assignments section.

Right below the Start New control is the list of processes for which there is a task assigned to you. More about tasks will be explained in chapter 3.6 Tasks. The list of these processes is sorted according to priority, from highest to lowest. In case there is nothing assigned to you currently, you will see a message “You don't have new assignments.”

Figure 2.3 Assigned to me card with details

Each card represents a different project that is assigned to you. In the blue circle, you can see the priority of the process out of all priorities regardless of who is assigned to it in the whole organization. You can also see the project name, Lab Work LWR-05-2020-001. Under the project name you can see the type of process - Lab Work and the Characterization is the stage in which the process is currently.


2.3 New View and My Views

In the middle section of the screen, you can see cards with specific names that represent the name of the view you have saved. Depending on the starting point of your view, each view will have an appropriate icon. By pressing the New View button you can create a new report. More about views will be explained in detail in chapter 5.Views.

In Figure 2.4 you can see the Views section. 

Figure 2.4 Views section on the right side of the Home page

My Views will contain all the reports you have made. You have the possibility to rearrange the view cards by drag and drop. Newly created views are added to the end of the list. You can also delete any view you have made. When you hover over the view with your mouse, in the top right part of the view square you will find a "two lines" icon, the one you can use for drag and drop, and below that is a bin icon, for deleting the view. 

2.4 Search Bar

In the central top part of the Home page, you can see a Search bar. Search functionality has two options: Quick Search Results and Show All Results. In Figure 2.5 you can see quick search results for the keyword "Formulation", but you can also search by expressions or combination of keywords.

Figure 2.5 Quick search result for the keyword "Formulation"

You can see the results as titles that contain the keyword(s). You can also see the search result type, whether it is a Process, Task or Record. More in-depth explanations will be covered in chapter 4. Search Options.

If you press enter in the search bar after writing the keyword, or if you click "Show all results" at the bottom of the quick search results, you will land on the results page. Here, you can see more details for each item of results. See the level of details in Figure 2.6.

Figure 2.6 Search results page

All search details and options are explained in 4. Search Options chapter. 

In this results page, you have the possibility to narrow down the search results. First, you can select the type of search item. Check or uncheck the types Process, Record or Task to control the search result. By default, all result types will be checked. 

In the Created By control, you can select the user from the drop-down list. You will narrow the search results to only those created by the user you have selected.

In the From and To controls you can enter dates to indicate the interval that interests you. You will get results of items that were created only during the selected time period.

2.5 Notifications

Notifications are a way to inform you about the changes that have occurred in Alchemy. You can be notified about the changes in two ways: In-app notifications and/or by email. The notification icons are  located on the far upper right side of the Home page. If you have a new process notification, the icon,  represented by the circular Process arrow, will have a red dot with a number indicating new notifications. If you click on the icon, a small menu with a scroller will appear. You can see the short information about a notification in this menu (Figure 2.7). The same can be applied for Task notifications and Comment notifications (see chapter 2.1 Home Page Overview)

Figure 2.7 The Task Notifications Menu

1 - Task icon

2 - Mark all as read 

3 - Notification preview - at the end of the preview the blue button can be pressed to mark as read notifications one by one and vise a versa

Types of notifications are:

  1. Built-In
  2. Configuration Defined


Built-In


- Task assigned to me - this happens when the system automatically assigns you a  task or when another User assigns a task to you. The displayed message (subject) will be: "System has assigned [Task Subject] to you.".  If you click on this notification it will lead you to a Task Preview page, as seen in Figure 2.8. If you click on the button in the far right corner, View in Process you will land on a Process page with that task opened in the task area. If you click next to the arrow in the upper left part of the screen you will return to the previous page you were on. 

Figure 2.8 Task preview page - after you click on the notification preview

Configuration Defined


- Various notifications set up by the ADMIN - the subject of the notification is also set up by the ADMIN who will be configuring your organization's processes. If you click on the notification it will lead you to a new page where the complete notification can be seen.


2.5.1 Notification Control

The notification control is showing notifications for the signed-in user (Figure 2.7). The number of unread notifications is displayed inside the red dot on the process/task/comment icon, after clicking on the icon a control menu is opened showing the following:

  • List of all notifications - New notifications come at the top of the menu. Unread notifications are highlighted gray and read notifications are highlighted white. You can scroll through all the notifications. An infinite scroll will allow you to find any notification you need, no matter how old it is. If you click on the notification, it will be marked as read. You also have an option to mark all notifications as read “Mark all as read” or an option to “Mark as read” per notification.
  • Mark all as read - marks all the notifications as read

When you click on the notification (outside mark as read/unread control area) notification details are shown as defined for each notification explained in chapter 2.5 Notifications.


2.5.2 Notification Settings

In the User Profile icon (image or initials) you can find Notifications Settings for each notification type (see Figure 2.9). 

Figure 2.9  Notification Settings

Settings will be on as a default and you can turn them off in each of these settings. Until you turn them off you will receive the notifications in the app (Process icon, Task icon, Comment Icon). See Figure 2.10, Figure 2.11 and Figure 2.12 for more details.

Figure 2.10  Process notification settings

Figure 2.11 Task notifications settings

Figure 2.12 Comments notifications settings

2.6 User Profile

If you click on your initials next to the bell icon you will see options for your User Profile. This icon will be represented as your small profile photo after you've uploaded it. Click on the +Add photo to upload your profile photo (Figure 2.11). The formats for images which you can upload are: .jpg .jpeg or .png., and supported sizes are: small (16x16 pixels), medium (24x24 pixels), large (48x48 pixels). You can easily change your photo by uploading a new one. However, once a picture is uploaded, it can only be replaced by another image, it cannot be removed.

Recommendation for the profile photo

We recommend that you upload a profile photo where your face is clearly visible and where you have a plain background in the photo if possible. This will allow better recognition between coworkers and clear visual understanding of who is assigned to a task or who has posted a comment etc.

Figure 2.11 Add photo button

Figure 2.12 Selecting a photo

Figure 2.13 Uploading a photo to your User Profile

1 - Click on the + Add Photo

2 - Choose the profile photo from your computer

3 - Click Open

4 - The photo is saved as your User Profile icon

In the User Profile control, you can also see your name, surname, and email, this data cannot be changed on the user portal. However, if any of the mentioned information needs to be changed, please contact your designated ADMIN person.

In the User Portal control, you can also choose to Sign Out of Alchemy.

3. Process Page

In Alchemy all data is stored and presented in a structured way. Every process consists of multiple stages between which different transitions are possible. Every stage consists of at least one record. On each stage, one or more tasks are assigned to users who need to finish some portion of the work to continue further in the process. The tasks are the means to progress in a certain process. The graphical representation of the data structure is represented in Figure 3.1. 

Figure 3.1 Data structure in Alchemy

The process page is easily reached if you click on any of the  processes assigned to you in the upper part of the Home page screen. The Process page will probably be the one you use the most in Alchemy, therefore, it's really important to understand how it works. In Figure 3.2 you can see the sections of the Process page. In further chapters, all these sections will be explained one by one but always keep a clear overall image in mind. 

3.1 Process Page Overview

Figure 3.2 Process Page Overview

1 - Application Header - contains controls from the Home page (My Assignments, Start New, My Views, New View, Search Bar, Notifications and User Profile icons)

2 - Process Header - contains controls related to the current process you are in (Process Priority, Name, Process Type and Stage information, Follow icon, and depending on your privilege set, buttons for voiding or putting a process on hold)

3 - Stage Navigation - contains information about where you are in the process (Stage Name(s), Records and Tasks in each activated Stage) and enables you to click on the record or task you want to work on without scrolling.

4 - Records Section - record forms that need to be filled out (Record names, Stage to which that record belongs, three dots icon with additional functions, and fields for recording data)

5 - My Tasks - control button. By clicking on it, all Tasks that are assigned to you on that stage will become visible.


3.2 Application Header

As seen in Figure 3.2, the top header is the Application header. Those controls may be familiar to you as they are the same as in chapter 2. Home Page. The difference here is that the drop-down menu is available for My Assignments, Start New and My Views. See the drop-down menus available in Figures 3.3, 3.4 and 3.5 respectively. If you click on My Assignments , the list will show you a list version of all processes assigned to you which you can also scroll. When you click on  the Start New  button, you will see all the process types that you can make. This control is useful if you want to start a new process from the Process page you are on. On the My Views control, you will see a list of all your reports. Clicking on the New View button you will be taken to the page for creating a new report.

Of course, the search bar is always available. The controls on the far right are for notifications (bell icon) and your User Profile explained in chapter 2. Home page.

Figure 3.3 Assigned To Me in the Application Header

Figure 3.4 New Process in the Application Header

Figure 3.5 My Views in the Application Header

3.3 Process Header

In the Process header, you can see the controls for the current process you are in. In Figure 3.6 see the controls which will be explained in-depth in this chapter. 

Figure 3.6 Process Header Overview

1 - Priority - priority number of the process

2 - Process Name - full name of the process with the indication of the process type (Lab Work) and stage the process is currently in (Lab Work Review)

3 -   On Hold, Void buttons and Follow/Unfollow Star -controls for changing the process status (visible only to Users with a certain set of privileges) and  option for following or unfollowing a process by marking the star icon.

4 - Additional Process Details - controls that act like different tabs to provide more information about the process

3.3.1 Setting Priority

To set the priority of a process, click on the Priority number on the top left side of the screen (Figure 3.6 Process Header Overview). As shown in Figure 3.7, a list with all processes will appear. You can drag and drop the processes to change the order by holding the process card on the right side (there is an icon for drag and drop available). Keep in mind that you can only change the priority if you have those specific privileges configured in the system by the Admin. With this control you can change the priority of any process on the list and not just the current process you are in. When the priority of one process has changed, the priorities for the rest of the processes are recalculated.

Figure 3.7 Priority list of processes


To go back to the process details click on the Process icon on the left hand side in the header.

3.3.2 Follow/Unfollow Action

The blue star next to the Process On Hold/Void controls or the Process Information represents the follow or unfollow action (Figure 3.6 Process Header Overview). This action can be done manually by you, or automatically by the system.

If you click on the star, you will be following that process. When you manually choose to follow or unfollow a process, it cannot be overridden by automatic follow/unfollow action. 

This option can be helpful in the Views. You can make a custom report that will contain all your followed processes, not only the ones you are/were assign(ed) to, so you will be able to reach them more quickly.

Here are the automatic follow/unfollow actions:

  • Marked as followed if you create, void,  put on hold or reactivate the process
  • Marked as followed when you make any kind of action on that process, for example, enter data in records
  • Marked as followed if you are assigned to a task related to the process
  • If you are reassigned before making an action on the process, then the process is automatically unfollowed 
  • If you are reassigned but only after you have made an action on the process, it will still be followed
  • If the process you follow is voided or completed the follow/unfollow status remains the same.

3.3.3 Put On Hold/Restart Process Action

In the Process header, the first control on the right side is for putting the process on hold (Figure 3.6 Process Header Overview). An on hold process means that the process is "paused". This control will be available if you have the appropriate process privilege and the possibility to put the process on hold. When you click on the control On Hold, a pop up will appear providing details about this action, see this in Figure 3.8.

Figure 3.8 Pop up with details about putting the process on hold

The information about the on hold action is:

  • All tasks will be put on hold
  • All tasks will still be editable
  • All tasks can be reassigned
  • Records will still be editable
  • You will be able to resume the process

When you click on the PUT ON HOLD BUTTON in the pop-up, the process header will change, as seen in Figure 3.9

Figure 3.9 Process header after putting the process on hold

1 - On hold status indicator 

2 - Restart Process- control instead of On Hold

The priority of the on-hold process is changed to N/A and it is not visible in the Process header anymore.

An on hold process can be restarted by pressing the control Restart Process After clicking the RESTART button in the pop up window (Figure 3.10), the process will be resumed and its status will again be In Progress with a visible Priority number. The priority will, however, be the last number on the priority list (the process will have the lowest priority, just as it would have if it is created at that point. 

Processes that are in progress can be put on hold, however, processes that are voided or completed cannot be put on hold.

Figure 3.10  Pop up with details for Process Restart

3.3.4 Void Process Action

In the Process header, next to the on hold control, you can see the void control. If you have the appropriate process privileges, you are able to void a process. This means that the process is "canceled", it cannot be reactivated. When you click on the void control, a pop up will appear explaining the details about the void action (Figure 3.11).

Figure 3.11 Void pop up with details about the void action

The information about the void action is:

  • All active tasks will be canceled
  • All tasks will still be editable
  • Tasks can’t be reassigned
  • Records will still be editable
  • You will not be able to resume the process

If you click on the void control the process header will also change, as seen in Figure 3.12.

Figure 3.12 Process header after voiding the process

After you've clicked on the void control, the status of the process is voided. The priority of the voided process is changed to N/A and it is not visible in the Process header anymore.

When the process is voided, tasks on that process can still be edited, also the effort spent on a particular task. However, the task cannot be reactivated or reassigned. The name of the process and data inside records can also be edited. 

3.3.5 Process Page Tabs

Under the Process header, some additional controls for processes are available. They behave as tabs so when you click on them, you are switching between tabs on the Process page. The first tab, Details is the default one you are always in when you reach the Process page. Remember to always return to this tab when you want to continue your work on the process. 

3.3.5.1. Split View

The next tab is Split View. Split view feature will allow you to work on 2 records simultaneously, or to enter data into one while looking at the data in another record. You can scroll through or select from the menu any two records placed in the current process. As you can see in Figure 3.13, on the left side you can see the Request for LWR-03-2020-009 and on the right side you can see the record Lab Work Agenda. This is a useful tool for comparing 2 records that are far apart in the process. For example the Request with the Test Results etc.

To exit the split view screen, click on any other tab on the process header (i.e. details). When the split view is turned on the task and navigation panel can't be opened. Furthermore, whatever you edit on either side of the record area will be saved.

Figure 3.13. Split View tab option

3.3.5.2. The Plan (a.k.a. Gantt Chart)

The third tab is Plan. This tab will enable you to see progress relative to plan visually in a gantt chart. (Figure 3.14) It is an easy, universally understood way to communicate status without having to type up an essay, and automated and therefore effortless project management for the project manager, all involved in the project and for upper management. Seeing progress relative to plan visually in a gantt chart  enables:

  1.  an easy, universally understood way to communicate status without having to type up an essay,
  2.  automated and therefore effortless project management for the project manager, all involved in the project and for upper management.  

See Figure 3.14 below where a project manager can enter a Target Stage Completion Date for each stage of a project. This is the date by when all work for this stage should be completed. The turquoise box shows a target completion date for Application Testing of March 19 and the purple box shows that date in the gantt chart represented by the skinny red line at the end of the stage.

Figure 3.14 Entering a target completion date

The Target Stage Duration is how long you expect the work to take during the stage. In this case, the project manager expects 14 days as shown in the turquoise box. The system will automatically set the start date for the duration to be 14 days prior to the expected completion date or March 5th which you can see in the purple box.

Figure 3.15 Setting a target duration

Finally, you can see four different stage statuses (or outcomes) in the screenshots below. 

Completed On Time 
  • Turquoise boxes
  • Request, Request Review and Benchwork stages were completed on time 
  • Green bars represent execution
  • Red skinny vertical lines represent end date 
Figure 3.16 Stages Completed on Time

Not Executed
  • Grey box
  • Technical Call stage 
  • No bar of any color for this stage represents the fact that this didn’t occur
Figure 3.17 Stages not executed

Completed, But Late (relative to the target completion date) 
  • Purple box
  • Formulation and Characterization stages
  • Green bars represent work before the target completion date
  • The red skinny vertical lines represent the target completion date
  • The red bars represent work that extended past the target completion data
  • Characterization still ongoing based on the blue vertical line which indicates “today” in the gantt chart and the blue folder icon of the stage in the left nav. 
Figure 3.18 Stages completed past the target date

Not Yet Started 
  • Orange box
  • Application Testing and Lab Work Review stages
  • The greyed out bar in Application testing represents that this stage didn’t start when it was originally planned because Characterization is running late
  • The greyed out bar in Lab Work Review represents that the stage has not yet started and was not yet planned to start.
Figure 3.19 Stages not yet started

The next tab is Flow. In this tab, you can see the process flow with all stages and transitions (Figure 3.20).

Figure 3.20 Process flow

 

Stages that are already completed are displayed as light blue. Currently active stages are dark blue and stages that haven't been activated are white.

3.3.5.3. Team

If you click on the Team tab you can see all the contributors for that process. Currently in Figure 3.21 Beth and Chad, who are both the Lab Manager are in the team. Contributors that are automatically added to the team are those users who do any kind of action on the current process. Some examples of actions are: create/void/put on hold/restart/set priority for a process, and also all task assignees are considered contributors. If you get unassigned from task(s) on a particular process (and you did not do any other actions), you will be removed from the team list.

Figure 3.21 Team tab 

3.3.5.4. Files

In the Files tab, you can see all the files that were uploaded to the current process. It's a summary of all files at one place, with additional details. A list with all the file names is shown and when you click on a file a side panel opens with this information: File Name, Record, Stage, Update By, Updated On and File Preview (Figure 3.22). From this panel, you can preview the files or download them. The preview of any image is opened in a modal window. Preview of all other files is opened in a new tab window.

Users can see only the files attached to records on stages for which they have at least view privilege. If a file is attached to a record on a stage which content is not visible to a user, that file will not be visible in the files tab.

Figure 3.22 Files tab details


 3.4 Process Navigation

The main idea behind navigating through processes in Alchemy is to be more effective and efficient. To spend less time on sequential operations that are standardized and to have good traceability of all projects your team (and you) are doing.  In Alchemy every process is designed to follow a specific workflow constructed from stages as building blocks. Stages have different transitions between them, and those transitions follow a certain logic.You will be progressing through the process by completing tasks on each of these stages. With the task completion you are announcing that a portion of the work is finished and that it can progress to the next stage. All processes and stages are custom made according to your organization's needs. The processes are designed by mirroring your actual processes and procedures your company is complying with. 

Records that are inside stages are representing forms or reports that you were either filling in electronically or on pieces of paper and then storing in archives.

By entering data in Alchemy you are enabling better usage of the valuable information that you are saving and allowing better analysis and continuous improvement capabilities.

As mentioned in chapter 3. Process Page, and shown in Figure 3.2 Process Page Overview, you can clearly see 3 distinct vertical areas, Stages (left-hand side - navigation), Task and Record. In this chapter, the focus will be on explaining the Stages navigation.

For easy navigating through the process, a left side panel is available. In Figure 3.23 you can see a detailed overview. Different icons and colors indicating statuses will help you understand where you are in the process and what is left to be done.

      

Figure 3.23 Process navigation panel


1 - Arrow for retraction of the panel

2 - Completed Stages

3 - Current Active Stage

4 - Tasks on the active stage

5 - Records on the active stage

Navigation retract and expand

The navigation panel can be retracted by pressing the arrow shown in Figure 3.23, under number 1. This is useful if you would like to have more working space for the task or record areas. When the panel is retracted you can see Folder icon in the upper left  corner. If you click this icon, the panel will expand again.

Stages in the navigation

Stages in the panel are represented as folders, the completed stages are retracted and have a green checked Folder icon to represent that those stages were successfully completed.

In Figure 3.23, the active stage is highlighted with blue. If any task in that stage is assigned to you, the stage will be shown expanded with additional details about tasks and records. If you do not have any tasks on that stage, it will stay retracted. 

Stages that are pending to be activated will not be visible in this navigation panel. However, you can always look at the process flow explained in chapter 3.3.5 Process Flow.

Tasks in the navigation

As seen in Figure 3.23, under number 4, the information about the number of tasks is visible (number in brackets). Next to the Stage name there is an additional New button. On click dropdown with two items will appear - Task, Record. New tasks can be created, for example, if you have a need to add an additional task or if your superior would like to assign you additional work. This control will not be available if you don't have appropriate privileges or if the process is Completed, On hold or Voided.

The task subject is shown next to the task icon and a user profile photo or user's initials to whom the task is assigned to is visible. The task icon will change depending on the status of the task. If you click on a task, the Task Management area will expand next to the Navigation, providing more information about the task and allowing further manipulation. More about tasks will be explained in chapter 3.6 Tasks.

Records in the navigation

Below the tasks section, information about Records is available. Similar to the number of tasks, the number of records is shown in brackets. Next to the Stage name there is an additional New button . On click dropdown with two items will appear - Task, Record. Once Record is chosen the drop-down list of the records that can be added to that particular stage (if you have the appropriate privileges to make new records). Records that are automatically created when the stage is activated will be visible initially. Any other record that you create manually will be placed in the same list. Order of the record types in the navigation is pre-set by Admin, but every record of the same type will be placed together and sorted alphabetically.  The record name is  displayed in the list next to the appropriate icon. If the maximum number of records configured for that stage is reached, this New Record control will not be available.

Records that have a Red icon are invalid. This means that some required fields are not filled or that something is not calculated correctly. The records that have a Green icon are valid and correctly completed. When you click on a particular record, in the Record area that exact record will be in focus.


3.5 Records

Records are digital models of documents, spreadsheets, data input forms and images your organization might collect in its natural flow of work. In a record, information is stored in a structured way, within a certain context.

3.5.1 Records Area

The Records area is the largest area on the Process page. This will be your most used working area. In this area, records that belong to different stages are below each other, by scrolling up and down you can easily navigate the records area (but you can also use the left navigation). 

In Figure 3.2 Process Page Overview you can clearly see the Records area under number 5. To get a better working area, both, the left navigation and the task area can be retracted. See the records area in Figure 3.24.

Figure 3.24 Records area preview when the left navigation and task area are retracted

In Figure 3.25 you can see two different records. They are distinguishable by the folder label, with the stage name on it, followed by the record header which is visible for each record. You can clearly see two sections that represent the two records.

Let's take a look at one record and the components available in the records area, shown in figure 3.25.

Figure 3.25 Record overview

Record header - provides information about the record name and the stage in which the record is. 

1. - Record Name - the name can be automatically generated, it can have a pattern or consist of multiple field values, it is editable

1. - Record and Stage Information - are all required fields filled in (valid) or not (invalid). The name of the Stage in which that record is placed

3 - Comments - provides all comments on that record

4- Three dots - additional options, shown in Figure 3.26

5 - Record fields - these fields can be various, they are customized according to your organization's needs and configured by the Admin

6 - My Tasks - control button. By clicking on it, all Tasks that are assigned to you on that stage will become visible.

Figure 3.26 Additional options in the three dots next to the record name

These additional options will be explained in a separate chapter (3.5.2 Additional Record Options).

If you open the left navigation panel, while scrolling through records, they will be highlighted light blue indicating where you are in the process. This is demonstrated in Figures 3.27 A) and B).

Figure 3.27 A) Demonstration of the scrolling and highlights of records in the navigation panel, record Request LWR-03-2020-004 is highlighted

Figure 3.27 B) Demonstration of the scrolling and highlights of records in the navigation panel, record Characterization is highlighted

In Figure 3.27 A) also take notice of the record Request LWR-03-2020-010  in the navigation panel and records area, the record has the icon, this means the record is valid and correctly completed. The record  Characterization for Lab Work LWR-03-2020-010 in Figure 3.27 B) has the icon  which means the record is invalid. In this record, there is a marked field with the red asterisk, which indicates that the field is required and as shown in the picture it is not filled out, so that's why the record is invalid. When this field is filled, the record will become valid.


Record Name

The Record name is automatically generating when you reach a certain stage and the records roll out. In many cases, Record name will be pulled from the value of the field in the record, after that value is entered, or generated by adding that value to some pattern. In any case, the naming behavior is configured by the Admin as a naming pattern applicable for records. This pattern is formed according to your business owner proposal and what is the most logical for your processes. 

However this record name is editable by users with appropriate privileges. To change the name you just need to click on the current record name. 

You can edit the record name in these instances:

  1. Record name of an active stage 
  2. Record name of a completed stage if the option "editable after completed" is enabled in the configuration by the Admin
  3. Record name of a process that is On hold
  4. Record name of a process that is Voided or Completed if the option "edit after completion" is enabled in the configuration by the Admin

All of the above instances in which you can change the record name are possible if you have the appropriate view and edit privileges.

You cannot change the record name when:

  1. The record is inside a process which is On Hold and the "editable after completed" is disabled  in the configuration by the Admin
  2. The record is inside a process which is Voided or Completed and the "editable after completed" is disabled  in the configuration by the Admin

You cannot change the record name if you only have view privileges.

Every record needs to have at least some name, if you've deleted the current record name and didn't enter a new one a warning message will appear.

The maximum number of characters for the record name is 80 with spaces.

Unique record name on the process level

When you are naming a record in a process remember that the record name needs to be unique on the process level. This means that there cannot be two records with the same name in one process.

When you change the name of the record it will be updated in the left navigation panel as well.

Record Fields

Record fields are making up the content of one record. The input fields can have different characteristics:

  • Different types of data can be populated - text, numbers, or fields are filled out automatically while implementing a certain calculation (Plain of Formatted text, or Number)
  • Fields can be different sizes
  • Fields can have different borders around them
  • The layout of the fields can be horizontal or vertical
  • Fields can be inside tables
  • Fields can have drop-down lists where you can choose one or multiple options 
  • Fields can be Yes/No buttons or checkboxes
  • Fields can have a reference option when they are connected to another record, user or process (what you select from the drop-down list will be hyperlinked)
  • Attachment fields are also available
  • Fields where you can link websites
  • Fields can be in the format for choosing Date and Time

All of the aforementioned characteristics are customized in the Configuration Portal by the Admin. There is a lot of flexibility for the design of the records, usually the look and content of records will be agreed upon between the Business Owner and the Admin or the SME. The idea is that records closely resemble forms or the flow of your work and make it more user friendly.

Required fields

Fields that have a red border around them are required and need to be filled in in order to proceed with the process.

Numbers with decimal places

When you are entering numbers in fields, they have a defined number of decimal places, and remember that the dot is used for indication of a decimal place.


Add New Record

Records that are dedicated to a stage can be set to open automatically when you reach the stage. This is set by the Admin in the configuration. Usually these records are somewhat mandatory in terms that they represent the standard way of working for you. However, there are some records that can be added by you which may provide more relevant information for that stage or when you would like to add records that have already been automatically opened, if you need more versions of the same record template. 

See the blue bubble for a relevant example.

Figure 3.28 New Record adding by pressing the control in the left navigation and selecting record Formulation

The drop-down list from Figure 3.28 represents all the different kinds of records (from record templates) that you are able to add to a stage. When you add records they will be added to the bottom of the list in the left navigation panel and a new record will be visible in the record area.

Minimum and Maximum records on a stage

When the Admin is configuring Alchemy according to your organization's needs, he has to define the minimum and maximum number of records for each stage. Records can be in different templates which we call Record Templates. For example the Formulation record has the same layout (template) of fields whenever it is added. For each of those templates the admin needs to define the minimum and maximum number for each stage. These minimum and maximum values can be calculated as formulas. You don't have to think about it too much, because if you haven't done something correctly, warning messages will appear.


You can add records when:

  • You have the appropriate stage privileges (can view and edit)
  • When the maximum number of records for the stage is not exceeded


Logically, in these situations, you can't add records:

  • When you only have the view stage privilege
  • When the maximum number of records for that stage is reached
  • When the maximum number of records for a stage is not reached but the stage has been completed and the option "editable after completion" is set as false by the Admin in the configuration


3.5.2 Additional Record Options

Figure 3.29 Additional Record Options

Import From Existing Record

You do not always need to enter all the data from scratch. If you have a record that you can use as a starting point (i.e. a formulation table, where you only want to change a few of the ingredient amounts) you can import the data from an existing record to another.

You can do so by clicking on the Additional Record Options (3 dots) next to the record name, and selecting the Import From Existing Record option (1). In Figure 3.29. You will then be able to select from a list of matching records (from the same template). You can find the record by searching (1)  by its name, and by clicking on (2) it you will be able to preview the data (3) as shown in Figure 3.30.

Figure 3.30 Import From Existing Record

After you find the record, you can import it by clicking on the import button (4) in Figure 3.30. You will be able to choose between two options:

  1. Overwrite existing fields
  2. Do not overwrite existing fields

By checking the box in the dialog that opens (figure 3.31).

Figure 3.31 Import Override Dialog

Overwriting the data will result in all of the editable fields in your record to be replaced with the data from the same fields of the record you are importing. This means that the data the user entered so far will be overwritten.

Choosing not to overwrite the data (by leaving the box unchecked) means that the data from the imported record will only be written in empty fields, where there is no data. If you choose not to overwrite when importing from an existing record, all checkboxes in your record will keep their previous value, even though they have a different value in the record you chose for import. 

Import From File

You can also import the data from a .csv file (comma separated values file), stored on your computer. You can do so by selecting the Import From File (2) option from Figure 3.29, number 2. This will open the dialog shown in Figure 3.32 where you can:

  1. Download the .csv file template
  2. Select the .csv file to import from
Figure 3.32 Import From File

The imported file needs to be in the right format. Then can be ensured by downloading it from the  import dialog (1) on figure 3.32 first. The first row of the file contains field identifiers, which are used by the system to find each field. Keep in mind that some of the fields cannot be imported from a file, such as record references, calculated fields etc. These fields will not be in the columns in the created import file template. You can enter (or paste) your data in row 2 and below. 

Number of data rows in the import file

For fields that are single (i.e not part of a table) you should enter only data in the second row of the file. For fields in tables, you can enter data in multiple rows (row 2 and above), each row entered will correspond to one row of data that will be imported in Alchemy.

Data in the first row

When the file is downloaded as .csv and then opened in excel for entering data, all data in the first row of the downloaded file must remain unchanged. Labels that are presented in the first row are field identifiers and are used for the system to know in which fields to import the values you enter. You can, however, reorder columns, or delete the ones that you do not want to fill in from the file.

Once you have the csv file in the correct format, import it by selecting (2) as shown in Figure 3.32 and by finding the file on your device. Importing data from a file will always overwrite the existing data in the record.

Export Record

This option allows you to export the data from the record in Alchemy to a csv file. Simply click on option (3) from the Additional Options (Figure 3.29) and select where on your computer you want to save your file.

Print Record

Selecting option (4) from the Additional Options (Figure 3.29) will open the print dialogue from Chrome where you are able to print the record or save it as a pdf. By default all fields in your record will be on the printout, however, you can contact your Admin to discuss if you do not want certain fields from the records to be printed, or if you want your print preview to look different.

Delete Record

In the additional options for each record, when you click the three dots, the last option is to Delete the record. A pop up window will appear asking whether you are sure you would like to delete that record, as seen in figure 3.33. Click DELETE if you want to delete that record and CANCEL if you would like to cancel this action.


Figure 3.33 Pop up window for deleting a record

You will be  able to delete records if:

  1. You have the view and edit stage privileges
  2. The minimum number of records that is configured by the Admin for that stage has exceeded

When you delete a record, it will disappear from the left navigation and the record area.

Share Record

Not all records can be shared

In order to be able to share records with external users, please contact your Admin to enable this feature for the records needed. This is not enabled by default.

To share a record, click on the “Share” button in the far right corner which is marked with a green box in  Figure 3.34.

Figure 3.34 Record Sharing Button

A pop-up window will appear with details for this shared record. To invite people, just enter their email addresses in the “Invite people” field which we denoted in the green box in the screenshot below. With the “pencil” icon selected, you can set the recipient(s) privilege. The recipient can “edit” the record directly themselves or can only view the shared record, based on the privilege you selected. Below that, you can type a short note to the recipient(s) to accompany the information just like you would in an email. 

Figure 3.35 Record Sharing Menu

When you've added the email addresses, they will appear in the 'Shared with' section which is seen in Figure 3.36.

Please note that a shared, editable record can have an expiration date, so that the link doesn’t stay open and changeable indefinitely. If you hover over the email you can see additional options: to set an expiration date, change edit/view rights and/or remove an email. To set the expiration date click on the clock icon and select the date when the link to this shared record will expire.

Figure 3.36 Record Sharing Options

People you have shared the record with will get an email with the link to that record. They can click on the record name or the “OPEN IN ALCHEMY” button to view or edit the shared record, as seen in Figure 3.37.

Figure 3.37 Record Sharing Email Example

3.6 Tasks

By finishing tasks in Alchemy you are progressing through any started process/project. Each stage needs to have at least one task related to the relevant work in that stage. When this task is finished you can continue to the next stage. If there are multiple tasks on that particular stage it is necessary to finish all of them in order to proceed to the next stage. In figure 3.38 you can see a detailed look at one of the tasks.

3.6.1 Tasks Management Area

The tasks management area is located between the stages navigation panel and the records area, as seen in chapter 3. Process Page, Figure 3.2 Process Page Overview. This area can be collapsed to get a better overview of the records area.

Figure 3.38 Detailed view of a task in the task management  area

1 - Task Management area control -task will not be deleted, the area will just be retracted

2 - Task subject - automatically generated or custom

3 - Task description - automatically generated or entered by the user

4 - Score information - for the complexity of the task

5 - Assign to - controls for assigning users to a task

6 - Task Dates - Planned Start, Completion Target, Started and Completed dates

7 - Effort spent information - total hours spent on the task or portion of work

8 - Progress Buttons - for changing the task status 

Collapsing the Task Area

If you would like to collapse the task area to get more overview of the records area you can just click the "x" control illustrated in figure 3.38 under number 1. The task will not be deleted, the area will just be retracted. To reopen the task area you can just click on the task subject in the navigation, stages panel on the left side. 

Task Subject and Task Description

The task subject and task description can be generated automatically. Depending on what will best suit you during your work, the Admin can configure the subject and task description for the mandatory tasks on every stage. The subject and description of tasks can contain patterns, information from different fields inside records or any other information that will be logical to you, they are not generic and the same as in the previous version. Of course, with the appropriate privileges, you can change the subjects and descriptions of tasks (again, mandatory tasks generated by the system). 

Tasks that you make through the control Add Task are determined solely by the user, which will be explained later in the chapter 3.6.2 Creating and Editing Tasks. The task subject can contain 80 characters, including the spaces. If you exceed the number of allowed characters a warning message will be displayed. For the task description, the maximum number of allowed characters is 3000, otherwise, a warning message will appear.

Score

The task Score field can represent the complexity of the task but it can have other meanings depending on your organization's needs, it's not a required field. It can't be a negative number and the values can be from 0 to 1000 without any decimal places. In Figure 3.41 an explanation for the score entering is shown.

Figure 3.41 Entering the task Score

1 - Score field is located after the task dates

2 - enter a number value from 0 - 1000 without decimal places

Assign to

In the Assign To area, you can see the current users that are assigned to a task. Also, there is a drop-down list with users that can be assigned to the task (Figure 3.39). If you have the appropriate privileges, you can assign one or more users to the task by clicking on Add Assignee. To remove the assigned user from a task, hover over the name or the profile icon and an "x" control will appear. By clicking it you will remove the user from the task.

Figure 3.39 Drop-down list for assigning users to a task

1 - Click on the Add Assignee

2 - Choose the user from the drop-down list

3 - The task is assigned to two users and more can be added

Task Dates

Task dates are important for keeping track of deadlines. Date and time that are included are: Planned Start, Completion Target, Started and Completed.

The Planned Start date marks the expected start of work on the task. By default, this date and time are set to when the task was created. It can also be set as in the future or the past (it can be before the stage activation date), but it cannot be after the Completion Target.

The Planned Completion marks the expected deadline of the task. If the task is created during stage duration, then by default Planned Completion is set as the end of the expected stage duration. Stage durations are set up by the Admin in the configuration user interface. If the task is created after stage duration has passed, then by default the Planned Completion field is empty and needs to be set manually. The Planned Completion cannot be before the Planned Start. In Figure 3.40 you can see the setting of the Planned Start date.

Planned Start date cannot be after the Planned Completion date

When setting up the Planned Start date, if you try to set it up as a date after the Planned Completion (which is already defined), you will not be able to do it. First you will need to change the Planned Completion date and push it further and only then go back and change the Planned Start date.

If the Planned Completion date is missed, it will turn red to indicate that the deadline is missed for that task. You can choose to change the target date and complete your task after that or to complete the task without changing the date. In any case you will be able to move forward in the process.

Figure 3.40 Setting the Planned start date (same is for the Completion Target)

1 - click on the date for the Planned Start

2 - a pop up will appear for the setting of the date, click on the desired date

3 - next, you need to choose the time of the Planned Start, first, setting up the hours and then the minutes


The Started and Completed dates are calculated and cannot be set manually. The Started date will be the exact date when you press the I'm working on this button and change the task status. At the moment you press the DONE button the Completed field will be filled with the exact date and time when you've finished the task.

If you skip the I'm working on this status of the task and just click DONE, the Started date will not be calculated, it will be left blank and the Completed date will just be shown.

Change the status of tasks accordingly

When you begin to work on a task in the particular stage of the process, click the I'm working on this button on that task. That way the Started date will be shown. After you've finished that portion of work, click on the DONE button and the Completed date will be shown. If you skip the I'm working on this status and just click DONE, the Started date will be left blank. Follow this recommendation to have good traceability of the work and when it was started and completed.

Effort Spent

The Effort Spent on a task represents the number of hours spent on that particular task. By default, it is not a required field but it can be set as required by the Admin in the configuration user interface based on your organization's needs. The effort logging is explained in figure 3.42

              

Figure 3.42 Effort Spent logging

1 - Click on the Add first effort spent entry

2 -  An additional line with your name will appear and the field for entering the number of spent hours on the task, date of logging and an icon for deleting the effort

3 - Write down your effort instead of 0

4 - Multiple efforts can be added and they are all added overall in the Effort Spent on the upper left corner of this section

If the effort spent is configured as required, the task and stage cannot be completed if the effort is not logged and the effort must be larger than zero. The Effort can be added, edited or deleted on tasks in any status on both, automatically generated or manually created tasks.

Effort Spent can be entered, edited and deleted by users who are assigned to the task but also by users who are not assigned to the task but have the appropriate view and edit privileges for that stage. Keep in mind that you can add, edit and delete only your own efforts and not those of other users. Users with the stage privilege view cannot log effort or delete the Effort Spent.

Progress Buttons

The progress buttons are located under the task subject, and the buttons are: 

I'm working on this - when checked, it changes the status of the task from TO DO  to DOING

CANCEL - when you want to cancel the task

DONE - when the task is finished

These buttons dictate some of the task statuses but not all of them. The task icon in the navigation panel will change according to the task status. Here are all the possible task statuses and their explanations.

1. Tasks that have the status TO DO and have not passed Completion Target

2. Tasks that have the status DOING and have not passed Completion Target

3. Tasks that have the status TO DO and their Planned Start is in the future     

4. Tasks with the status TO DO or DOING and have passed Completion Target

5. Tasks that were CANCELED have the icon


3.6.2 Creating and Editing Tasks

Besides the tasks that are automatically created when you reach a certain stage, additional tasks can be added manually. In Figure 3.43 the process of creating a new task is demonstrated.

Figure 3.43 New Task creation 

1 - Click on the New button in the left stage navigation in the stage where you would like to add a new task

2 - Choose Task from the opened dropdown menu

3 - Enter the task subject (80 characters maximum)

4 - Enter the task description (3000 characters maximum)

5 - Choose the assignee(s) from the drop-down list of users, you can choose multiple users

6 - Enter the task score if you'd like

7 - Define the Planned Start date

8 - Define the Completion Target date

9 - Finish the task creation by pressing the CREATE TASK button (or cancel the task creation by clicking CANCEL)

All the fields that have an asterisk are required to be filled out.

After you've made a task you also have the possibility to edit it. Both, manually and automatically created tasks can be edited. Click on the desired task in the left navigation panel which you would like to change, the task will appear in the task area from which you can edit it.

Task subject and description can be changed by clicking on the text and writing the necessary changes, no save button is needed, everything is automatically saved which is also indicated by this ribbon close to the top right of the screen:


This applies to all changes made throughout Alchemy. Task subjects and descriptions can always be changed, even if the task is canceled.

Progress buttons (I'm working on this, DONE, CANCEL) can be changed by clicking on them. Some exceptions are explained in Figure 3.44. When the tasks are DONE or CANCELED no other buttons are available. 

Assigned users can be removed by hovering over their name and pressing the "x" control. Users can be added by pressing the +Assign User, explained in chapter Assign To. This cannot be changed if the task is DONE or CANCELED.

Task dates can also be changed, explained in chapter Task Dates. They cannot be changed if the task is DONE or CANCELED.

Remember that you can create additional tasks and edit them only if you have the appropriate privileges set in the configuration by the admin, these are view and edit stage privileges.

Task Score and Effort Spent can be changed in any case, no matter the task status.

Sometimes, it might happen that the tasks will not be able to be marked as DONE, usually, there will be a valid reason for that and a warning message will be displayed.

Some situations that may prevent the finishing of the task are:

  1. Invalid records
  2. Effort Spent is required and not logged 
  3. Minimum number of records for the stage is not reached
  4. Maximum number of records is exceeded

These situations need to be avoided in order for the tasks on stages to be completed. In case you try to complete a task if any of the 4 are true, you would get an error message like in Figure 3.44 (or a combination of them)

 

Figure 3.44 Task completion error message

3.6.3 My Tasks Overview

When you have a task assigned to you, My Tasks button  on that process page will appear in the bottom right corner (Figure 3.45).

 

Figure 3.45 My Tasks button

By clicking on it, all Tasks that are assigned to you on that stage will become visible (Figure 3.46). From the  My Tasks pop up window you can:

1 - Create a new task using the New Task button. That will open the same dialog window like is described in 3.6.2 Creating and Editing Task

2 - Add Effort Spent using the Plus button. After you write the number of hours confirm it on the Check button.

3 - Change Task status by checking the "I'm working on this" or clicking I'm Done button. 

Figure 3.46 My Tasks actions

4. Search Options

On each page in Alchemy, you are able to search the content with keywords in the search bar. The search bar is located at the top of the Home page or on any other page in the blue header (application header) at the top of your screen. Wherever you find yourself in the process, either on the additional information tabs on the Process page or on the Reports page you can search anything you'd like. The search option is not case sensitive.

The search bar option was briefly explained in chapter 2.4 Search Bar, in this chapter, we will dive into more details and explain this functionality more in-depth.

4.1 Quick Search

As mentioned in the previous chapter 2.4 Search Bar, there are two options for the search results: Quick Search Results and Show All Results. When you start writing the desired keyword(s) in the search bar a drop-down with the quick search results will be visible. Results can be a:

  • Process
  • Record
  • Task

For the Records and Processes search, Alchemy is matching the keyword with their Names and for the Tasks, the keywords are matched with the Task Subject or Task Description.

Result items will be shown as titles, Process Name, Record Name or Task Name,  and they will have a coloured "tag" at the end of the line representing the type of the search result, also the color will represent the status of the search item. See Figure 4.1 for more details, the searched keyword is "lab".

Figure 4.1 Quick Search Results

Process tags can have four different statuses and colors of icons:

1. Completed process

2. In progress process

3. Voided process       

4. On hold process      

If you click on any of the search items for processes, you will land on the Process page.

Record tags can have two statuses and colors of icons:

1. Valid records      

2. Invalid records   

When you click on any of the search items for records, you will land on the page with just that record.  Here you will have options to edit it (if you have appropriate privileges), to go back in the top right corner and a button "View In Process" in the top right corner if you want to jump to the process where the record you have selected is.

Task tags can have 6 different colors of icons: 

1. Tasks that are DONE

2. Tasks that have the status TO DO and have not passed Completion Target

3. Tasks that have the status DOING and have not passed Completion Target

4. Tasks that have the status TO DO and their Planned Start is in the future     

5. Tasks with the status TO DO or DOING and have passed Completion Target

6. Tasks that were CANCELED have the icon

When you click on any of the search items for tasks, you will land on the page with just that task. Here you will have options to edit it (if you have appropriate privileges), to go back in the top left corner, and a button "View In Process" in the top right corner if you want to jump to the process where the task you have selected is.

4.2 Show All Results

If you press enter in the search bar after writing the keyword, or if you click "Show all results" at the bottom of the quick search results, you will land on the results page. Here, you can see more details for each item of results. See the level of details in Figure 4.2.

Figure 4.2 Show all results page

For each search item, more details are available. Depending on the type of the search item, different information is available. 

For Process search results, the details contain: the process name, process template (type), Created By, Date Created, and the status tag (Figure 4.3)

Figure 4.3 Process search result details

Record search results details will contain: record name, record template, matching field name and value, Date Created, User who created the record and the status tag, see Figure 4.4.

Figure 4.4 Record search result details

For Task search results, the details contain: task subject, stage, task description (optional, shown only if a match of the keyword is also found in the description), Date Created, User who created the task,  and the status tag,  see Figure 4.5.

Figure 4.5 Task search result details

Status tag icons and colors are explained in 4.1 Quick Search

In this results page, you have the possibility to narrow down the search results. First, you can select the type of search item. Check or uncheck the types Process, Record or Task to control the search result. By default, all result types will be checked. 

In the Created By control, you can select the user from the drop-down list. You will narrow the search results to only those created by the user you selected.

In the From and To controls you can enter dates to indicate the interval that interests you. You will get results of items that were created only during the selected time period.

5. Views

Each user in Alchemy can access and analyse the data by creating custom Views. The views are unique for each user, and each user can set up as many views as needed.


5.1. Data Structure and Available Nodes

In Alchemy all data is stored and presented in a structured way. Every process consists of multiple stages between which different transitions are possible. Every stage consists of at least one record (with related fields of different types) but can also have multiple records. Records have fields that contain data filled in by the users and/or the system. Fields can also be used to create a relation (or a connection) between two records, using references, as shown in Figure 5.1 represented by blue fields and the relevant connections to records. They serve as connection points that allow the data in Alchemy to be interconnected.

Figure 5.1 Example process - Lab Work, what is the structure of data and how it can be connected

Furthermore, on each stage, one or more tasks are assigned to users who need to finish some portion of the work to continue further in the process, which can also be accessed in the views.

Data in Alchemy can be divided into two main groups: system data and user data

System data 

Data generated by Alchemy automatically, which may or may not be immediately visible to the user. Examples are the dates when a process is created and completed, who created the process etc. Example screenshot needed here.

User Data

This is what the users in Alchemy enter while using the system. In most cases, these are the values entered in fields on records, (i.e. formulation composition), created records (i.e. raw materials), details of a task etc.

The data in Views is organized in 'Nodes'. It's easy to access different  "Nodes", one for each aspect of data. You can add multiple nodes, connected to each other, thus combining the data and creating complex views that let you analyse every aspect of your business and lab data.

5.1.1 Portfolio Node

This node allows you to see and access the system data stored for all the processes created in Alchemy. By default, with this node you will see the Name and Template of the process, and you can add additional system data such as:

  • Name: The Process name as shown in the header (i.e. LWR 2020-009)
  • Template: The template of the process (i.e. Lab Work)
  • Status: current status of the process. It can be In progress, Void, On hold or Completed
  • Priority: Number showing the priority of the active processes. Shows N/A for completed, voided or processes on hold.
  • Followed: Yes, No depending on if the process is followed (star is selected next to the name of the process)
  • Created On: Date and time the process was created on
  • Created By: The user who created the process
  • Current Stage: The name of the active stage(s) of the process
  • Completed On: Date and time when the process was completed (shows blank for ongoing processes)
  • Completed By: User who completed the process
  • Duration: Number of hours since the process started
  • Total Effort Spent: Sum of all effort logs on the tasks on this process

5.1.2  Records Node

This node allows you to see and access the system and user data from any record in Alchemy. When creating a record node, you can choose from one of the record templates available to you from a dropdown, or choose All Records.

Records system data

This data is generated by the system for each record, and can be accessed from the records Node in Views. These include:

  • Name: The name of the record (i.e. Sample 2020-007)
  • Template: The record template (i.e. Sample)
  • Status: Valid or Invalid - Valid records are those that have all required fields populated
  • Created On: Date and time when the record was created
  • Created By: User who created the record

Record user data

In addition to the record system data, you can add the information from any field in the record template that was chosen when creating the record node. You can add the fields you want to see in the view by clicking on the Manage Fields button on the right side menu when clicking on the record node box. Referring to Figure 5.1, for the Request Form Record Node, you would be able to add any of the fields in that record (i.e. Project Type, Expected Volume, Current Cost…)

All Records Node can only show system data

If you select "All Records" when creating a record node in views, you can only see the system data about these records in views. This is because each of the templates has different fields and cannot shown together in one node. To see fields from multiple records, please create a node for each.

5.1.3 Tasks Node

This node allows you to access the system data about tasks, as explained in chapter 3.6. These include:

  • Subject: Tasks subject, defined by the system or by the user (i.e. Test the sample pH)
  • Status: To Do, Doing, Done and Canceled
  • Assigned To: The user who is responsible for the task (i.e. Beth Cooper)
  • Description: Text, entered by the system or the user
  • Score: Number representing the complexity of the task
  • Total Effort Spent: Sum of all effort logs on that task. If multiple effort logs are created for one task, this will be different than the number shown in the "Effort Logged" field
  • Effort Logged By: The user who logged the effort. There can be multiple effort logs for one task, and each log will be shown in a separate row in the view source table
  • Effort Logged: Number of hours logged as effort in an individual effort log on the task. There can be multiple effort logs for one task, and each log will be shown in a separate row in the view source table
  • Effort Logged Date: The date on which the effort was logged. There can be multiple effort logs for one task, and each log will be shown in a separate row in the view source table
  • Created On: The date and time when the task was created
  • Created By: The user who created the task
  • Planned Start: Date and time
  • Started On: Date and time
  • Started By: User - this can be different than the user who started the task
  • Completion Target: Date and time
  • Completed On: Date and time
  • Completed By: User who completed the task, this can be a different user from who was assigned to a particular task

5.1.4 Activity Node

This node allows you to see all activity in the system: on processes, records, stages and tasks that you can view. This is a combination of system and user data, since part of it is generated by the user working in the system, while the other part is generated by the system following certain rules on how to record the mentioned user data. Activity data consists of:

  • Initiated On: The date and time of the activity
  • Initiated By: The user (or the system) that initiates the activity (i.e. creates a new record)
  • Activity: The type of the activity. Some examples are: Process Created, Record Created, Record Updated, Stage Completed, Task marked as Done etc.

5.1.5 Stage Node

This Node allows you to access the system data about the stages linked to a process, task or a record. The stage node cannot be used as a starting point for a view, and can only be added when you want to link it to one of the nodes described above. The system data for stages is:

  • Name: Name of the Stage
  • Status: Active or Completed
  • Created On: Date and time when the stage was activated
  • Completed On: Date and time when the stage was completed
  • Completed By: User who completed the stage
  • Run: Number indicating how many times this stage was activated. In a workflow with a loop (i.e. going back and forth between lab work and review) one stage can be activated multiple times. Each time it is activated, the stage run is increased by 1
  • Run Duration: The time each stage run was active for
  • Total Effort Spent: Sum of all effort logs from the tasks on this stage

5.2. Creating a View

To make your view, you will use Alchemy's graphical interface which allows you to quickly and easily pull the data from Alchemy database. To start, select the "New View" button from the home page or the Application Header. The initial View set up page will appear as shown in Figure 5.2 below.

Figure 5.2. View Creation Page

The view can start with any of the first four Nodes (5.1.1 - 5.1.4). Selecting one of the nodes will start building the Source Table for your view. 

Each new view will initially be named as "Untitled". You can rename the View at any time by clicking on the name and typing a new one, this way  you will be able to find your data more easily later on.. 

5.2.1. Source Tab

The source tab is the main part of the view, where you are able to define what you want to see and build your data table that can be used in other tabs of the view for graphing and pivoting. It has 3 main sections shown in Figure 5.3:

  1. The source table
  2. Node settings menu
  3. Source graph with Nodes

You can collapse or expand either of the sections by clickin on button (for the graph and table) or the x button for the Node settings.

Figure 5.3 View Source tab

Source Table

By adding nodes and fields you are building and expanding your source table. Each field (datapoint) added from the node settings menu will correspond to a column in the source table. In figure 5.3 for the two fields selected (Name and Template) two columns are added to the source table. The rows in the table are the items that fit the criteria defined by the source graph and filters. In Figure 5.3 each row corresponds to a process created by the users of your organization.

Node settings menu

On the right hand menu in the source tab, you can select what data you want to see from each of the nodes. Each node has its own settings, and you can select the node you want to edit by clicking on it in the source graph.

This menu allows you to add or remove any of the data available for the node as described in chapters 5.1.1 - 5.1.5 by clicking on the "eye" icon next to the corresponding field. An "open eye" means that the field will be visible in the source table, while an "closed eye" means the opposite. 

Node control example

In this example of a portfolio node, the user selected to see the Name and the Template of the process, while the status is hidden. 


You can further customize your source, by applying filters for each of the added fields, by clicking on it in the node control menu and entering the values to filter on. Depending on the type of data, filters can be:

  • Free text entry - this is done on alphanumeric fields where no selection is available, such as descriptions, names etc. This will filter the results based on the value in the filter, and will also include partial matches (i.e. "lab" filter will also include the "laboratory" result). This filter is not case sensitive.
  • Dropdown selection - if a predefined selection of values is available, either on the fields in records, or by the system (an example are the users, or process templates). In these filters, you may select multiple values.
  • Number and date filters - for number and date values, you can specify the start and/or end of the range to filter on in the from and to fields.

Source Graph and connecting the nodes

In the source graph, you can connect multiple nodes expanding your source table with the connected data. For example, if you started creating the source from the portfolio node, you can add a connection with a record node which will give you the linked data for each record (of the chosen template) to each of the processes.

Expanding the source table

Connecting a new node will add more data to the source table in either row or columns. As an example, if your starting point is the portfolio node, filtered to show only Lab Work Process Templates, your source table will have one row for each Lab Work processes created in Alchemy.

Adding a new Characterization Record Node will expand the source table adding columns (Template and Name in this case), and also additional rows if more than one characterization record was created in the process. In this example, Lab Work LWR - 03-2020-002 has two, thus there are now two rows for this process. The same will happen when adding a field that is a part of a table - the source table will show one row for each row of the table.

Keep this in mind when you use this data in pivot tables later on. If you do not create appropriate row and column groups, you might sum up some data twice (i.e. Effort spent on LWR - 03-2020-002).

To add a connection (add a new node) to your source graph:

  1. Click on an existing node that you want to connect the new node to (1). This will show you all the possible connections for your new node, as "empty" boxes on the screen(2).
Figure 5.4. Adding Nodes

  1. Click on one of the options for the new node (Figure 5.4. Option 2). If you choose the Record node, you will also have to select what record template you want to connect. For other nodes, they will be added automatically.

Relationship between the nodes must exist

When adding new nodes to your source graph, note that you can only select those that are related to other nodes in your source graph. For an example, you cannot add Viscosity Results Record Node to your Portfolio Node for the Opportunity Management Process Template. However, you can add the Viscosity Result to your Lab Work Process. This is because the Viscosity Results record is inside the Lab Work and they have a relationship or a connection point between them (in case of connected records).

Figure 5.5 Selecting the record template for the new node

  1. Select the data you need from the new node from the control and filter menu

You can connect multiple nodes this way, as long as the connection between them exists.

5.3 View Source Examples

Example 5.3.1 Active Lab Work Processes

1. Create a new view and start with a portfolio Node.

2. In the Node Settings Menu, select "Lab Work" in the template field to filter the results

3. Add the status field from the Node Settings Menu, and filter to "In Progress"

4. You can add additional columns if needed (i.e. Created On and Current Stage).

Example 5.3.2 Active Tasks

1. Create a new view and start with a Task Node.

2. In the Node Settings Menu, select "To Do" and "Doing" in the status field to filter the results

3. Add the Assigned To field from the Node Settings Menu

4. Click on the Task Node, then from the possible new connections, select the Portfolio Node

5. You can customize the portfolio Node if needed (following the example 5.3.1)

Example 5.3.3 Formulation and Characterization

1. Create a new view and start with a Record Node, and select the Formulation template from the dropdown menu.

2. In the Node Settings Menu, unselect "Status" field.

3. Click on the Formulation Node, then from the possible new connections, select the Record Node again, and in the menu chose "Characterization" record template.

4. Click on the newly created Characterization Node, and click on Manage fields

5. Select the pH at 25 and Viscosity at 25 fields

6. To go back to the Node settings and further customize, click on the < icon


5.4 Grid Tab

Once you have built your source table, you can further analyze and format your result in the grid or board tabs. To add a new Grid tab, click on the New Tab button, next to the view name and select the Grid option. Creating a new tab will create a new table, using the data from the source. You can further transform the data in your grid tab, without affecting the source or any other tab in the view (removing one column in the one grid tab will not remove that column from the source or other grid tabs). In the Grid tab, you can (Figure 5.6):

  • Click on the Columns or Filter menu (1). This will expand or hide the Settings Menu (2)
  • In the settings (2) you can choose which of the columns from the source you want to include or exclude in this tab (without affecting other tabs). In the screenshot, the template column is excluded.
Figure 5.6 Grid View Tab

  • You can drag any (one or multiple) of the columns from the settings to the "Row Groups" (3) to group the results. In Figure 5.7 the table is grouped by the current stage.
  • Once Grouped, you can expand or collapse the rows inside each group using the arrow icons on the left of the group names at the left side of the screen.

Figure 5.7. Grouping rows in grid tab

  • Dragging a column to the value field (4), will perform the chosen operation on values of that column, per group. I.e. if you drag the "Total Effort Spent" column to values, and choose SUM, it will show the sum of total effort spent, per lab work project in each group (by current stage) as shown in Figure 5.8. You can choose to show the sum, average, count, first, last, min or max value for each value group.
Figure 5.8 Summing up rows per group

  • You can reorder the columns by drag and drop directly in the table

Charting in the Grid Tab

By selecting the data from the table with your mouse, you can right click on the selection to graph the data.

Figure 5.9 Graphing the data

You can choose the type of graph from: Column, Bar, Pie, Line, Scatter, Histogram or Area plots, with different sub-options (i.e. grouped or stacked) for each. Once created, the chart will be automatically updated as the new data is generated, and you can further re-adjust the chart range etc.

Figure 5.10 Bar Chart example

You can also further customize and modify your chart using the options highlighted in the screenshot in Figure 5.10.

Pivot Options

You can perform advanced analytics on your data using the pivot option. Click on the slider in the settings (5) to enable the pivot mode. This will add a new section for column groups (6) and give you the ability to transform your data similar to a pivot table in excel. Then right clicking anywhere on the grid screen to choose the pivot chart option and visualize your data.

Figure 5.11 Pivot table and charts

Changing the source table will reset the grid and board settings

Making any changes to the source tab (i.e. adding a new node, or applying a new filter) will reset all the changes you made to your grid and/or board tab(s). Doing so will require you to remake your grid tables, charts and boards.


5.5 Board View

Board view is another way to organize your data from the source. The most common example where this may be used is to create kanban views for tasks, but there are many other uses.

To create a board view, click on the new tab button in the view, and select Board icon. After you have created the board tab, click on the control on the right (1 in screenshot on Figure 5.12) to open up the menu.

Figure 5.12 Setting up the Board View

All of the fields from the source table are available in the board and will be shown. To finish the set up, select one of the fields in the "Group By'' option (2) from the right hand menu (i.e. Assigned To). After this is selected, all the rows from the source table will be grouped by the field you chose, each having it's on column on the board (3). In the example on figure 5.12, this is done to show Lab Work Projects per project responsible. An alternative view would be to organize the tasks assigned to you, by the tasks status.

My Tasks Kanban view example

To create this view, you need to:

  1. Click on the New View button on the home page or in the application header
  2. Select the "Tasks" Node as the starting point
  3. Select the Tasks Node, and add the "Assigned To" field, by clicking on the "eye" icon next to it, on the right hand Node Settings Menu
  4. Filter the results to see only your tasks form the "Assigned To" field. In this example, we filtered to see only the tasks for Beth Cooper
  5. Add a new node to the source graph, by clicking on the "Portfolio" node from the possible options
  6. Add a new Board tab: click on new tab in the header, and select Board
  7. In the Board tab, group the data by Task Status
  8. Rename your view

If you have any questions or suggestions, our Customer Success team is always available to assist you.

Write to us at: cs@alchemy.cloud or contact your designated Customer Success Manager!