If you want to start a discrete workflow automatically when people upload multiple files, you can use Box’s File Request feature.
File Request is a separate feature, available to every paid Box Business Plan account (or higher). You can review comprehensive information about File Request elsewhere. Basically, File Request enables you to create a Web form in seconds that anyone can use to upload content to Box. When you specify File Request as a workflow trigger, the workflow launches automatically each time someone completes your File Request form and uses it to submit content to the Box folder you’ve designated.
This is especially useful when gathering content from someone is the first step in a workflow. For example:
- HR teams can use File Request to gather employment-related documents from new hires and upload them directly into Box. Relay then routes the documents through the HR review process before moving the documents to the new employees’ files.
- Marketing teams can use File Request to gather assets from creative agencies, with Relay automatically routing the assets through a review-and-approval process.
- Finance teams can use File Request to solicit vendor invoices and have Relay route those invoices through an approval process.
- IT can use File Request to obtain security and compliance certifications from partners so Relay can route them to legal and compliance teams to review.
Using File Request as a trigger in Relay effectively enables you to apply one workflow repeatedly, to every document submitted via your form, without any further action on your part. You can:
- assign a single workflow outcome to a discrete set of files instead of to a single file
- create a new folder with a unique and easily-identifiable name and move all files submitted via your File Request into that folder
- approve multiple files simultaneously, with a single action
You can use File Request to solicit documents and metadata from anyone, inside or outside your organization, regardless of whether they even have a Box account.
A File Request trigger differs from a simple “file upload” trigger in that it enables you to initiate a single workflow on multiple files at once, automatically.
Using File Request to Trigger a Relay Workflow
This consists of three separate procedures:
- Create a File Request on a folder. All content submitted via your File Request is uploaded into that folder. Instructions for creating a File Request.
- Build a Relay workflow on that folder using File Request as a trigger. Instructions for building a workflow.
- Send the link to the File Request form to the people whose content you wish to process through your workflow.
As the above procedure shows, you must create the File Request first. Otherwise you cannot select a File Request as a trigger when you begin building your workflow.
Also, when you build your workflow, you can modify it to start based exclusively on some metadata condition being met – for example, if the value of a submitted contract exceeds a certain amount.
The workflow does not begin until Box receives requested content – that is, when requested files have been uploaded and metadata has been added. Relay then moves the submitted files and their associated metadata onto the next step of the workflow en masse, as a single package of files.
The workflow starts each time content is submitted via the File Request form.
When building your workflow, you can only use File Request forms on folders for which you have the corresponding Relay permissions. For example, if Relay is available only for a folder owner or co-owner, you must be the owner or a co-owner of that folder to use that folder’s File Request as a trigger in your workflow.
Box File Request enables you to request up to 500 files at one time. However, we recommend you limit your workflows to 20 files or fewer. If you think people might upload more than 20 files, consider adding instructions to your File Request asking people to limit uploads to 20 files at a time.
If you assign a task as an outcome following a file request, that task applies to all requested files together, as a bundle.