How-To: Allowing Multiple Contributors To Use the Same File With Concurrent Contributor

If you have a task with many assigned Contributors, it can be inconvenient when only one user can use a task form at a time. Use Concurrent Contributor to allow multiple users to use the same task form simultaneously.


Why use this feature?

Oftentimes, several users will be assigned to a task, which makes it likely that many users may want to use the same task form at the same time. Since task forms can only be used by one user at a time, all other users must wait until that form is no longer in use, which can be inefficient and inconvenient.

One way to solve this problem is to create distinct task blocks and task bindings for each Contributor. This works well if you have a small number of Contributors. But what if you have dozens or hundreds? Creating that many task blocks and task bindings would be highly labor-intensive. In this situation, you can use the Concurrent Contributor functionality instead.

Concurrent Contributor allows users to use specific page options, rather than the entire task form. This means that only those page options become unavailable to other users and any page options that are not currently in use are still available. In practice, Concurrent Contributor enables multiple users to work on a single task form simultaneously, boosting productivity and convenience for users.

In this article, you will learn about the Concurrent Contributor feature best practices and how to set it up on your task forms.

Before you begin

To follow the instructions in this article, you will need at least Manager access.

If you are a Contributor and are looking for instructions on how to use a file with Concurrent Contributor enabled, please see the guide for Contributors.


How to

You can enable Concurrent Contributor on any task. The feature is specifically enabled on individual task forms, so you can have tasks that contain task forms both with and without Concurrent Contributor enabled. To your Contributors, a Concurrent Contributor task form is recognizable by the CollaborativeIcon.jpg (users) icon that appears next to the form in the Task accordion of the Tasks interface.


To enable Concurrent Contributor on task forms:

  1. Navigate to the Manager tab.
  2. Select the process that contains the tasks you want to enable Concurrent Contributor on. This should take you to the Designer view.
  3. Double-click on the Task Block that contains the form(s) you want to activate Concurrent Contributor for. This will open the Task Details drawer.
  4. Find the Task Forms section to see the list of forms attached to this task.

  5. To enable Concurrent Contributor for any task form, move the toggle to the ON position. 
  6. Select Save to save your changes when you are finished.
  7. When your Contributors view a task on which you have enabled Concurrent Contributor, they will see the Concurrent Contributor symbol next to the relevant task form(s) and will be able to use page options as outlined in this guide.


Notes & known limitations

This feature is not suitable for all types of tasks. Before you enable Concurrent Contributor, please review the following notes to determine its suitability.

  • Concurrent Contributor is not suitable for tasks that require a review:
    • The review process does not work well for tasks with many users. A reviewer has no easy way of only rejecting some inputs. Should the reviewer come across an issue of only one Contributor’s inputs, every other assigned user would also see the task as rejected, despite the fact that their inputs may have been correct. This is because the review step applies to the entire task form.
  • Concurrent Contributor may not be suitable for tasks that require submissions:
    • For tasks with many users, if one user submits the task, this prevents further access to the associated task forms for any other Contributors, even if they have not yet completed their inputs.
    • As a best practice, we recommend the following setup to prevent Contributors from inadvertently submitting a task with Concurrent Contributor. Map a set of 'dummy' page options which you keep permanently used in Concurrent Contributor task forms. As long as any page options (or task forms) remain in use, the Submit button will be disabled, preventing any user from submitting the task prematurely.
  • Concurrent Contributor is generally not suitable for task forms on which hiding page options from specific users is a requirement:
    • The recommended solution is to enable and configure Data Permissions in your Vena environment. While users will be able to select page options that they do not have access to, the associated data will not load into the task form.
    • Alternatively, you can set up multiple tasks instead of just one. On each separate task, assign a subset of the users who would have been assigned to the single task, and create task bindings for the page options appropriate to this subset of users. This workaround is practical only if you can split the original task into just a handful of tasks, otherwise, the benefit of using Concurrent Contributor (not having to set up many task bindings) is quickly negated.




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