How to Dump Workflows

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How to Dump Workflows

To help you debug your workflows, you can generate a visual representation of them as SVG or PNG images. First, install any of these free and open source applications needed to generate the images:

  • Graphviz, provides the dot command;
  • Mermaid CLI, provides the mmdc command;
  • PlantUML, provides the plantuml.jar file (which requires Java).

If you are defining the workflow inside a Symfony application, run this command to dump it as an image:

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# using Graphviz's 'dot' and SVG images
$ php bin/console workflow:dump workflow-name | dot -Tsvg -o graph.svg

# using Graphviz's 'dot' and PNG images
$ php bin/console workflow:dump workflow-name | dot -Tpng -o graph.png

# using PlantUML's 'plantuml.jar'
$ php bin/console workflow:dump workflow_name --dump-format=puml | java -jar plantuml.jar -p  > graph.png

# highlight 'place1' and 'place2' in the dumped workflow
$ php bin/console workflow:dump workflow-name place1 place2 | dot -Tsvg -o graph.svg

# using Mermaid.js CLI
$ php bin/console workflow:dump workflow_name --dump-format=mermaid | mmdc -o graph.svg

The DOT image will look like this:

The Mermaid image will look like this:

The PlantUML image will look like this:

If you are creating workflows outside of a Symfony application, use the GraphvizDumper or StateMachineGraphvizDumper class to create the DOT files and PlantUmlDumper to create the PlantUML files:

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// Add this code to a PHP script; for example: dump-graph.php
$dumper = new GraphvizDumper();
echo $dumper->dump($definition);

# if you prefer PlantUML, use this code:
# $dumper = new PlantUmlDumper();
# echo $dumper->dump($definition);
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# replace 'dump-graph.php' by the name of your PHP script
$ php dump-graph.php | dot -Tsvg -o graph.svg
$ php dump-graph.php | java -jar plantuml.jar -p  > graph.png

Styling

You can use metadata with the following keys to style the workflow:

  • for places:

    • bg_color: a color;
    • description: a string that describes the state.
  • for transitions:

    • label: a string that replaces the name of the transition;
    • color: a color;
    • arrow_color: a color.

Strings can include \n characters to display the contents in multiple lines. Colors can be defined as:

  • a color name from PlantUML's color list;
  • an hexadecimal color (both #AABBCC and #ABC formats are supported).

Note

The Mermaid dumper does not support coloring the arrow heads with arrow_color as there is no support in Mermaid for doing so.

Below is the configuration for the pull request state machine with styling added.

  • YAML
  • XML
  • PHP
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# config/packages/workflow.yaml
framework:
    workflows:
        pull_request:
            type: 'state_machine'
            marking_store:
                type: 'method'
                property: 'currentPlace'
            supports:
                - App\Entity\PullRequest
            initial_marking: start
            places:
                start: ~
                coding: ~
                test: ~
                review:
                    metadata:
                        description: Human review
                merged: ~
                closed:
                    metadata:
                        bg_color: DeepSkyBlue
            transitions:
                submit:
                    from: start
                    to: test
                update:
                    from: [coding, test, review]
                    to: test
                    metadata:
                        arrow_color: Turquoise
                wait_for_review:
                    from: test
                    to: review
                    metadata:
                        color: Orange
                request_change:
                    from: review
                    to: coding
                accept:
                    from: review
                    to: merged
                    metadata:
                        label: Accept PR
                reject:
                    from: review
                    to: closed
                reopen:
                    from: closed
                    to: review

The PlantUML image will look like this:

This work, including the code samples, is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 license.