Configuring Object Lifecycles


Object lifecycles are the sequences of states (In Review, Approved, etc.) that an object record can go through during its life. An object lifecycle must have at least two states but can have up to 100 if needed. Not all objects use lifecycles. Objects without lifecycles simply have a status of Active or Inactive. For objects that do use lifecycles, each state is tied to one of these statuses.

Accessing Lifecycles

Lifecycles are visible and editable from Admin > Configuration > Object Lifecycles. You must have the correct Admin permissions through your security profile to create and modify object lifecycles.

The Object Lifecycles page lists all lifecycles currently in the system. You can create new lifecycles by clicking Create or edit an existing lifecycle by clicking the lifecycle’s name.

Object Lifecycle Details Page

Once you’ve clicked into a lifecycle, you can also click into a specific lifecycle state. From here, you can set up entry actions and user actions for a specific state.

Object Lifecycle State Details Page

About Inactive & Active Lifecycle Status

Lifecycle states and lifecycles themselves have a status flag to indicate Active or Inactive. This flag allows you to build all the artifacts for the lifecycle before making it visible to users. Any change to an active lifecycle is immediately visible to all users.

How to Create Object Lifecycles

To create a new object lifecycle:

  1. Navigate to Admin > Configuration > Object Lifecycles.
  2. Click Create.
  3. Enter a Label and Name. The label appears to users throughout the vault. The name identifies the lifecycle through the API.
  4. Optional: Enter a Description. This value only appears in the lifecycle configuration pages.
  5. Define states, including any entry actions or user actions, for the lifecycle. See details below.
  6. Edit the lifecycle and select an Initial state. This determines which state Vault will assign to a new object record.
  7. Optional: Select a Complete state. This determines which state Vault will assign to an object record that has reached the end of its lifecycle.
  8. Navigate to Admin > Configuration > Objects.
  9. Click into details for the object that should use the new lifecycle.
  10. Click Edit, select the new Lifecycle, and click Save.

How to Define States

When you create a new object, Vault automatically creates two states (Active and Inactive) and associates them with the Active and Inactive statuses. You can reuse these default states by renaming them or create new states. You won’t be able to delete the default states until you’ve set up at least one other state that corresponds to Active status and one that corresponds to Inactive status.

To define lifecycle states:

  1. Navigate to Admin > Configuration > Object Lifecycles and click into a specific lifecycle.
  2. From the States section, click Create.
  3. Enter a State Label and State Name. The label appears to users throughout the vault. The name identifies the state through the API.
  4. If the new state corresponds with Inactive status, select the Records in this state become inactive checkbox.
  5. Optional: Enter a Description. This value only appears in the lifecycle configuration pages.
  6. Click Save.
  7. Optional: Click into the new state to define any entry actions or user actions. Records will not be able to change states unless you configure user actions.

State Types

For each object lifecycle, there are two state types associated with the object: Initial and Complete. Admins must link the Initial state type to a configured lifecycle state. The Complete state type is optional and does not have to be linked to a lifecycle state. Admins can define and edit these state types by navigating to Admin > Configuration > Object Lifecycles > [Lifecycle] and clicking Edit.

State Entry Criteria

You may need to ensure that an object record meets conditions (fields are populated or have certain values) before entering a specific lifecycle state. For example, users may not know the start date when first creating a Marketing Campaign record, but they will need to fill in the Start Date field before the campaign can enter In Review state.

When users move an object record from one state to another, Vault confirms that the record meets the entry criteria for the new state and does not allow the move until the criteria are fulfilled. Users see a message with details on the unmet entry criteria.

If an object record undergoing a lifecycle state change does not meet entry criteria, the workflow fails to complete and Vault gives you an error message. If this happens, you must ensure that all entry criteria are met before restarting the workflow.

State Entry Criteria on Related Objects

You can define state entry criteria to validate that the lifecycle state of a related object (parent, child, many-to-many, or reference) meets specific criteria before entering a specific lifecycle state. For example, on a Product record in Ready for Approval state, you can define entry criteria to verify all related Product Variant records are in Approved state.

Entry Criteria Types

  • Field: Requires that a specific object field is populated.
  • State of Related Record: Validates the lifecycle state value of related records.

How to Define Entry Criteria

To set up entry criteria for an object lifecycle state:

  1. Navigate to Admin > Configuration > Object Lifecycles. Click into a lifecycle and then click into an individual state.
  2. Click Edit in the Entry Criteria section.
  3. Click Create Rule.
  4. Optional: Select Perform with conditions if the criteria should only apply for object records that meet certain conditions.
  5. Under Validate that, specify the entry criteria. Select an object record field, an operator, and a value. For a related record, select State of Related Record, a related object, a condition, and a lifecycle state. Note that if you select the At least one record exists condition, you don’t select a lifecycle state.
  6. Optional: Add additional criteria by clicking Add action. If the rule is conditional, these criteria will share the same conditions.
  7. Click Save.
  8. Vault immediately starts to enforce the entry criteria rule for records moving into the lifecycle state, but this does not affect records that are already in the state.

Entry & User Actions Types

The following entry and user actions are available for object lifecycles:

Entry Actions

  • Change related object lifecycle state: Moves all related objects to the states in their lifecycles that correspond to the selected state.
  • Send a Notification: Sends an email and in-app notification to the selected users using the selected message.
  • Update Record Field: Sets the value of a selected object record Text, Number, or Date field during a state change using an Excel™-like formula language. You can also set the values for Yes/No, Picklist, and Object fields.
  • Update Related Record Field: Sets the selected field on a related object record. You can set values for Yes/No, Picklist, Number, Date, and Text fields. This is available for records related through Parent, Child, Reference, and join relationships. Note that you cannot update more than 1,000 related records.
  • Start Workflow: Begins a workflow on the object record.
  • Sibling Check Related Record State Change: Checks the lifecycle state of “sibling” records and moves the related record into a new lifecycle state if all sibling records are in the appropriate state. This is only available with the QMS application.
  • Set signature records obsolete: Sets all eSignatue records not included as a preserved signature type to obsolete. When defining this action, select signature types from the Preserve these signature types drop-down list to prevent specified signature types from being set to obsolete. This is only available for objects with the eSignature option enabled. Learn more about Managing Object eSignatures.

User Actions

  • Change State To: Allows the user to manually move the record into a different lifecycle state. Vault executes entry actions for the state change.
  • Web Action: Allows the user to execute a web action. Note that these appear in the vault’s base language within the user action setup, even if you are using a different language.
  • Workflow: Allows the user to start a workflow.

Defining State Entry Actions on Related Objects

You can define entry actions to update the lifecycle state of a related object (parent, child, many-to-many, or reference). For example, if a user changes the state of a Product record to Approved, you can define an entry action to change the state of related Marketing Campaign records to Ready for Approval.

How to Define State Entry or User Actions

To set up an entry action or user action for an object lifecycle state:

  1. Navigate to Admin > Configuration > Object Lifecycles. Click into a lifecycle and then click into an individual state.
  2. Click Edit in the Entry Actions or User Actions section.
  3. Click Create Rule.
  4. Optional: Select Perform with conditions if the user action or entry action should only appear for objects that meet certain conditions.
  5. Under Allow the following actions, select a user action type. For entry actions, select an entry action under perform actions.
  6. Define details of the user action or entry action. For example, with a state change, you need to select a state that the record will move into and enter a label.
  7. Optional: Add additional actions by clicking Add action. If the rule is conditional, these additional criteria will share the same conditions.
  8. Click Save. The action is immediately available to users with access to edit object records.

About Conditional Entry Criteria & Actions

Any entry criteria, entry action, or user action that you define for a lifecycle state can be conditional based on the object record’s field values. For example, you could have several conditional entry actions configured to send notifications when a product record enters Retired state. One condition specifies that the Therapeutic Area must be Cardiology. The related entry action sends a notification to the group Cardiology Team. Another rule could send a notification to the group Veterinary Team if the product record’s Therapeutic Area field is set to Veterinary.

To define conditions, select an object field, operator, and value. If needed, you can define multiple conditions by clicking Add condition.

An object record must meet all of the conditions defined within a rule. For example, if a record meets one of two conditions for the entry criteria, Vault will not apply the entry criteria.

About Atomic Security

Atomic Security allows you to secure object fields, actions, and relationships by individual lifecycle state or assigned roles on an object record. Learn more about configuring Atomic Security.

System-Managed Objects

Vault does not allow you to assign lifecycles on system-managed objects (Performance Statistics, etc.). If an object is system-managed, its Details tab shows System-managed: Records managed by the System.


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