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External Dialog Step Component

Created: 03 Mar 2009 • Updated: 21 May 2010 | 5 comments

I am attempting to use ASP.NET pages developed outside of Altiris Workflow Designer to submit my workflow and handle approval.

I have been told by a Symantec technical resource:

“Yes… you can use the External Dialog Step component, the Custom Workflow Interaction generator, and… all Workflows are deployed as Web Services… so you can consume/use them as needed.”

I need more information.  Does anyone know of documentation, tutorials, or sample workflows the could help get me started?  I am new to workflow.  Especially Integration workflows and custom components.

Thanks for your help.

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waveinfotech's picture


Here are the steps that you need to follow:

1) Use a Dialog Workflow Component

2) Inside the Dialog Workflow Component put an External Dialog Step Component

Next the key thing is to configure this component with the Url of your external application, various paths, the data that you want to expose from your workflow project and also the data that will come back to the workflow from your external project. 

Then Deploy your project, when you deploy this project, you will see other than the standard workflow webservice, you will also have a custom web service which can then be used to interact with the workflow which is paused at the External Dialog Step Component. 

In your web application ( project) create a Proxy for this web service and then you will be able to fetch data from the workflow and also put data back into the workflow. Once you have completed your interaction in the Custom Pages, just redirect the application to the Return URL that you received in this project.

Please feel free to ask more questions.'s picture

This is exactly what I was looking for.   

If you have any example workflows or documentation you can share, that would be great.  Otherwise, I will build a test application and begin educating myself.

I may have some questions for you later, but at least now I have a direction to go.

Thanks again.'s picture

I created a Workflow Webservice model called SampleWebService.  It has a Dialog Request with an External Dialog Step Component inside of it. I ran "Publish Application to Server" and chose the local server.  I can find the web service for the workflow project (SampleWebService.asmx), but I can't find the web service for the external dialog step.

In the External Dialog Step Component properties, I named the web service "ApprovalWebService".  There is no instance of this web service anywhere on my workflow server after I publish.

Do I need to do something special when I publish the application?  I'm sure I'm missing something simple, but I need some direction.

I hope I'm explaining this clearly.  Any help is greatly appreciated.  Thank you.

waveinfotech's picture

This is a Known Issue :(, the External Step Dialog Component if used from inside an Embedded Model, it does not work.

Symantec should soon be releasing a patch for this, however till then, you will have to use this Component only on the Primary Models.'s picture

Not sure what you mean by "Primary" and "Embedded" model.  I'm guessing that means I can't use the External Dialog Step Component inside of a Dialog Workflow component?  However, when I search for External Dialog Step Component in the the primary model, it's not available.

How can the External Dialog Step Component be used in the primary model?

Did someone at Altiris tell you this would be patched?  How and when does that typically happen?

Thanks again for your help.