Dummy/Ghost Windows - What are they, and how are they used?

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    "Dummy windows", "ghost windows", "windowed windowless actions" are colloquial terms that refer to what are correctly described as Update Actions.  These are windowless actions that have been associated with the main object window, and as such only update the record, rather than create a new one.


    They are used when data from the process object (Incident, Problem, Change, Request etc) needs to be displayed in an action where it would not normally be possible, for example, displaying Incident Title and Description on a "With Customer" action window.


    In essence what we are doing is creating a window that looks like a With Customer action window, but is in fact an Incident window, applying it to a Windowless Action, so that it becomes a windowed windowless action, then copying the data from there into the actual With Customer action.



    Here is how you would set up the above example:


    First we need to add Attributes to the Incident object to simulate the With Customer attributes.

    This is what the With Customer object looks like in OOTB:




    All we are interested in are the Details, Title, and User attributes, so we will create new attributes on Incident with identical "Max Length" values to the corresponding attributes on With Customer:




    IMPORTANT:  When creating the link between User and Incident make sure you drag the User object onto Incident, and do not create a collection, ie, click "No" when prompted.


    Next, we need to create a new window for our With Customer action, but because we are going to use an Update Action, it has to be based on Incident:





    Next, we need to create an action to display the window we just created.  Go into Process Designer and drag a Manual Action onto your Incident process.  The "Select Action" dialog will appear:




    Click the [New] button.  You will then be presented with the "Create New Action" dialog:




    Give the Action a meaningful Title, and ensure you set "Allow Association With Window" to "True".  This is what tells an action that is not associated with an object that it has to display a window. Actions that are created from collections in Object Designer know to display a window for the collection object, eg Add Note is an action created from the Notes collection, so it knows to display a Note window.


    Next we need to add an automatic "With Customer" action to the process.  As with all automatic actions, when you drop it into the process you will be presented with its window.  We want the Title, User and Description attributes to be populated with what is typed into the attributes on the Update Action's With Customer window, so to do that we need to use Value Types.  Right Click on Title, and select Value Type:




    You will then be presented with the Control Value Selection dialog.  You need to select the "Specify a runtime value for control" radio button, then select an appropriate runtime value from the tree below.  In this instance, we want the With Customer Title attribute from the Incident, so expand the Incident object and select it.  See below:




    Do the same for the Details and User attributes.  Once you have done this, click [OK] on the With Customer window.


    Now you need to connect the actions in your process.  Here is a very basic example:




    Now we need to set up a View in Window Manager, so that when this action is selected in the process a different Incident window is displayed:




    You may need to restart Console and perform an IIS reset after doing all of the above.


    Now when you perform the "With Customer" action, you will see the update action window, populated with the Incident details.  Plus, when you view the With Customer action in the Audit Trail, you will see the same details you typed in, as they would have been copied over by the value types.