Epsis Composer User Manual

Welcome as an Epsis Composer user. This manual contains the documentation needed to use the program effectively. If you find that something is missing or you get any other problems when using the manual or the software product, please submit at ticket here at our support site.


1. Introduction to Epsis Composer

Epsis Composer is an independent and lightweight application that allows you to create and manage info modules. It makes the creation of info modules more intuitive by visualizing the flow and using a simple drag and drop interface.


1.1 Composer Overview



1. Building Blocks

    - Lists out all templates, info displays, info elements and layouts available for you to create info modules.


2. Canvas

    - A visual representation of building blocks and their relations.


3. Info Modules

    - List of all the info modules that you are able to edit. The info modules are divided in different module libraries that you have access to. An info module is a collection of info displays.


4. Nodes / Info Displays

    - When you drag and drop building blocks, the info displays will be visually displayed as nodes in the canvas. An info display is a collection of info elements. You can add info displays to your info module from the building blocks panel or by dragging and dropping folders from file explorer.


5. Info Elements

    - Info elements can be added from the building blocks panel or by dragging and dropping files from file explorer. Info elements describes what TeamBox shall execute when an info module is run and providing input to an existing template. 


6. Layout

    - Layouts can be added from the building blocks panel by dragging and dropping a layout to the info display.


7. Tabs

    - Tabs are the info modules you have are editing. 


8. Info Module Controller

    - Buttons to manipulate the info module that is open in canvas. 


9. Canvas Controller

    - Buttons where you can control the canvas layout. 


10. TeamBox Controller

    - Buttons where you can control the info module in a TeamBox environment


11. Menu Bar

    - A standard menu bar where you can find shortcuts to info module controller (see above), log file, tutorial and more.


1.2 Keyboard shortcuts

Epsis Composer supports several shortcuts. 

  • CTRL + N = New info module
  • CTRL + W = Close info module
  • CTRL + S = Save info module
  • CTRL + Z = Restore info module (to the state of the info module last time it was saved)
  • CTRL + DEL = Delete info module
  • CTRL + P = Open preferences dialog
  • CTRL + R = Reload data from Data Service
  • CTRL + TAB = Switches to the next tab
  • CTRL + SHIFT + TAB = Switches to the previous tab


If you have marked an info display or an info element these shortcuts are also available:

  • CTRL + C = Copy info display or info element
  • CTRL + V = Paste info display or info element

Info displays and info elements can be copied and pasted across info modules.


2. Building blocks panel

The building blocks panel contains all the resources you have available to either create new building blocks or re-use existing building blocks.


2.1 Panel actions

  1. Search area where you can type in a search term, and the building blocks that does not contain your search term will disappear.
  2. Sort functionality - Three different sort methods is available. 
    1. "Name ascending" - Sort alphanumerically ascending
    2. "Name descending" - Sort alphanumerically descending
    3. "Created by me" - This option will only show building blocks that is originally created by you.


2.2 Types of building blocks



2.2.1 Templates

The template section consists of a variety of pre-configured info element templates created by an administrator in the "Epsis TeamBox Admin" application. 


2.2.2 Info displays 

The info display tab contains "New info display" and every info displays from all the info modules that you have access to. This makes it very easy to create new info displays and to re-use info displays. Any duplicate steps are automatically filtered out to keep the list clutter-free. Dragging and dropping an info display into the canvas will copy all the metadata and info elements from the info display and adding it to the selected info module. This does not impact the original info display or the owner info module at all.


2.2.3 Info elements

Through the info element tab you can easily create new info elements or reuse info elements from existing info displays. Info elements may either be dropped into an info display to create a copy directly into the info display. Identical info elements will also be filtered, making it easier for you to find the right ones.


2.2.4 Layouts

In the layouts tab you can choose the desired environment available. From the set of environments selected you can be drop a layout in an info display. One layout per environment can be applied to the info display.



3. Info modules panel

3.1 Panel actions

  1. New module - Button to create and set a new info module in the canvas.
  2. Search area where you can type in a search term, and the building blocks that does not contain your search term will disappear.
  3. Sort functionality - Three different sort methods is available. 
    1. "Name ascending" - Sort alphanumerically ascending
    2. "Name descending" - Sort alphanumerically descending
    3. "Created by me" - This option will only show building blocks that is originally created by you.
    4. "Recently edited" - Sorts the latest edited first. 


3.2 Module libraries

The info modules are divided into different sections depending on what libraries you have write access to. When you open an info module, it will be highlighted and easy to notice.


Module libraries with a crossed over pencil are read-only libraries. Info displays in read-only libraries can only be opened and copied and not deleted. 



3.3 Options

An info module has four options: open, copy, copy URL and delete. 

  • Open - You can open an info module in two ways, either drag and drop it into the canvas or by clicking open in the menu. 
  • Copy - Copies the content of an existing info module into a new one.
  • Delete - To delete an info module you can click the trash can icon in the menu.




4. Canvas

The canvas is a visual interface for creating and editing info modules. Info displays are represented as “nodes”. Manipulating and sequencing these nodes decides what the info modules will do when it is started. On the top left corner of the canvas you'll find the name of the info module you're editing. A close button is located in the top right corner. This button will close the info module you're currently editing and send you back to "New info module" state.


4.1 Canvas navigation

The canvas is 4000px by 4000px, so there is a large area to play on. Nodes can be moved freely around inside the canvas if you drag the top header of the node. The canvas can also be moved with the same technique if you drag directly on the canvas, or by using the scrollbars located on the bottom and on the right side of the canvas. This will keep the nodes in their original place in the canvas, and move the entire canvas. You can also zoom the canvas by using the mouse wheel. 


4.2 Info module controller




The info module controller consists of four buttons. From top to bottom:

  • Edit info module - opens up a dialog where you can change the name, description and library of the selected info module.
  • Save info module.
  • Restore info module - if you have made any changes that you want to discard you can click restore. This will reset the info module to the state it was the last time you saved it.
  • Delete info module.


4.3 Canvas Controller




The canvas controller consists of four buttons. From left to right: 

  • Zoom out - Decreases the scale of the canvas and the content inside.
  • Zoom in - Increases the scale of the canvas and the content inside.
  • Reset zoom - Sets the canvas zoom to default (100%). 
  • Sort canvas - This will place the nodes in an organized fashion.


4.4 TeamBox Controller


The TeamBox controller consists of four buttons for interacting with TeamBox while running. From left to right: 

  • Previous - Goes back to the previous info display in the info module.
  • Start - Starts the info module. 
  • Stop - Stops the info module.
  • Next - Goes to the next info display in the info module.

You can not see these buttons if TeamBox is disconnected from Composer. The following button will appear instead.

This button will try to reconnect Composer to TeamBox. If reconnecting fails, please contact your system administrator.


4.5 Info display nodes

The info display nodes is a visual representation of the info displays you've added to the current info module.


4.5.1 Linking




The sequence of the info displays is controlled by their connected links. Each info display node has two ports, one in port (on the left side) and one out port (on the right side). A link between two nodes can be created by dragging from an out port to an in port on another node. The info display that does not have a link to its in-port will be the first info display in the info module, and the info display that is not linked to a node with its out port will be the last step. The last step cannot create a link with the first step.


To remove a link, hover over the link so it becomes red and click on it or drag the link from the connection and drop it.




4.5.2 Actions

  • Edit (pencil) – Opens a properties dialog for the selected info display.

  • Remove (X) – Removes the info display from the info module.

4.6 Info elements

Each node in the canvas has a list of elements that represents info elements.


4.6.1 Sorting info elements

The order of the info elements corresponds to what display it will be opened in when running the info module. You can change the order by clicking an info element and dragging it up or down in the list. When moving it up or down a image will appear to indicate where the info element will be positioned.


4.6.2 Moving info elements

An info element can easily be moved from one info display to another by clicking the info element and dragging it into another info display. Similar as when sorting the info elements, an image will appear to show its position. Once you drag the info element above another info display, the info element will be removed from its original info display and appear on the new info display.



4.6.3 Actions

  • Edit – Opens a properties dialog for the selected info display. This can also be achieved by clicking on the info element.

  • Remove – Removes the info element from the info display.

  • Copy – Copies the info element to the programs memory. You can copy the element into other info modules or info displays.

  • Cut – Removes the info element from the info display and puts it in the programs memory. 

  • Duplicate – makes a copy of the info element in the info display.

  • Start – Starts the info element in TeamBox.


4.7 Using files and folders

Files and folders can be dragged and dropped into the canvas the same way an info element or an info display can. Dropping a folder into the canvas will automatically create a new info display, with all its files becoming info elements on that info display. Files can be dropped either in the canvas directly or inside an info display node. When dropped into the canvas a new info display will be created and the files will be placed in the info display as info elements. When dropped inside an info display the files will be added as info elements. Dropping multiple files or folders and even mixing files and folders is supported.


5. Properties dialog


5.1 Actions

The properties dialog have three action buttons. 

  • Close (X) - In the upper right corner of the dialog you'll find a close button. This works in a similar way as the Cancel button.
  • Cancel - In the bottom right corner you'll find a cancel button. This will discard all changes you've made, and close the dialog.
  • OK - Located next to the cancel button. This will keep all changes made, and close the dialog.


5.2 Info display properties

Properties marked as required are fields that must be specified to be able to save the info module.

  • Name (required)
  • Description


5.3 Info element properties

Properties marked as required are fields that must be specified to be able to save the info module.


  • Name (required)

  • Description

  • File/URL Path (required)
    • This field controls what the info element opens. It can be anything that can be opened or executed by the operating system. For example, opening a document can be done by dragging it into the input box, using the browse button or by typing the full path of the document manually.
  • Presentation mode (only visible when you enable "Show legacy properties" in preferences).
    • When the file specified in File/URL Path is a PowerPoint file of type “.ppt” or “.pptx”, a checkbox called “Presentation mode” will appear under the parameters box (or working directory if legacy properties is enabled). When checked, the PowerPoint will disable edit mode and open in full screen
  • Parameters
    • The parameters field tell a program how to behave when it is started. Using internet explorer as an example; adding “-k http://examplewebsite.com” tells the Internet Explorer executable to open using the kiosk flag (-k) on runtime. This will make Internet Explorer launch the website in full screen mode. In this example, the Internet Explorer executable (iexplore.exe) would have to be specified as the application that is being started
  • Legacy properties (only visible when you enable "Show legacy properties" in preferences).

    • Working directory - Some applications require a specified working directory when being started.
    • Don’t share - When checked, the info element that is being edited will not be visible to others when using info elements sharing in a collaboration session.


5.4 Template properties

The amount of properties available in the template property dialog is depending on how the template is built up in the "Epsis TeamBox Admin" tool. Regardless of how the template is built up, you'll find the properties name and description.


Properties marked as required are fields that must be specified to be able to save the info module.

  • Name (required)

  • Description

  • Variables

    • Variables are added to a template from the "Epsis TeamBox Admin" tool by an administrator. Example: given that an administrator has created the template "Skype call" in "Epsis TeamBox Admin" tool, with the variable "Call to", you'll find the property "Call to" in the properties dialog. 


5.5 Windows organizer info element properties

A windows organizer info element can be used to make a process that is already running a part of the workflow. If there are multiple processes caught by the info element, they will all be opened inside the info element display.


Properties marked as required are fields that must be specified to be able to save the info module.

  • Name (required)

  • Description

  • Window text (required if process name is not specified)
    • The window text property tells TeamBox which window to search for. If a window matching the window text is found by TeamBox, that window will be moved into a display and made a part of the info module.

  • Search type (“substring” selected by default) - The search type specifies the method TeamBox will use to find matches in the window text
    • Substring - Find windows that contains the specified substring. For example, using the substring “Document” will grab all the windows that have a string containing that substring.
    • Wildcard - Wildcard will find all the windows based on a partial string. For example, “Document.*” will match with all windows that contain “Document”, regardless of what stands after the period mark.
    • Regular expression - When selected, TeamBox will search for the window title using a regular expression. This option can be useful if the window text is dynamic based on, for instance, user or context. For example, when catching a PowerPoint specifying “Document$” will tell TeamBox to grab all windows that end with the string “Document”, regardless of the context.
  • Process name (required if window text is not specified)
    • Process name is offered as an alternative to window text. It achieves the same goal in opening already running processes, but uses a different method to search for it. Process names can be found, for example, in Task Manager. The process name must be exact, search type is not applicable.
  • Startup path
    • This field controls what the windows organizer info element opens. This option is useful if a process cannot be grabbed as a normal info element because it, for instance, does not have a registered window handle. A windows organizer info element would then allow the user to open a process and use alternate methods to search for the correct window to grab.

  • Parameters
    • The parameters field tells the program how to behave when it is started.
  • Minimum ratio
    • A minimum width to height ratio can be set to achieve an optimal window arrangement within an info element (used when windows organizer info element finds more than one match).
  • Maximum ratio
    • A maximum width to height ratio can be set to achieve an optimal window arrangement within an info element (used when windows organizer info element finds more than one match).
  • Refresh interval in seconds
    • When a process that matches the windows organizer info element is opened after the info display has already been launched, it will automatically be grabbed by TeamBox and put in the correct info element. This value controls how often TeamBox will look for the specified process.
  • Working directory (only visible when you enable "Show legacy properties" in preferences).
    • Some applications require a specified working directory when being started.
  • Close all windows
    • When checked, the info element that are caught by the windows organizer info element will be closed when the info module is being navigated/stopped.
  • Don't share (only visible when you enable "Show legacy properties" in preferences).
    • When checked, the info element that is being edited will not be visible to others when using info element sharing in a collaboration session.
  • Catch multiple windows
    • This options indicates whether the workspace will catch all the windows it finds when opened and also keep checking for further windows, or only catch the first window it finds.

6. Preferences

Preferences is found in the menu bar under "Edit - Preferences". In the preferences dialog you're able to change some of the behavior of the application.

  • Appearance:
    • Use dark theme – enables a theme that is darker with less contrast to make it easier on the eyes.
    • Hide help tooltips – all tooltips that do not contain error or other important information is hidden. This options requires a restart.
  • On startup:
    • Reopen last info modules – will reopen info modules from the previous session if they are still accessible.
    • Restore window position – the application will save its window state and restore it on startup.


When opening Advanced Settings a few more options will be available:

  • On Startup: 
    • Enable Copy API URL – enables a button in all editors that makes it possible to copy the API URL of the item being edited.
  • Legacy:
    • Show Legacy Properties makes it possible to edit legacy options for info elements.




7. Session Variables


Session variables are placeholders for information the user will provide when starting the info module. A session variable can be used in any info element within the info module and all of them will be populated with the value the variable is assigned by the user.


7.1 Setting up session variables


Session variables can be configured in the advanced section in the info modules properties. 

  • Name (Required):
  • Field name:  
    • The field name is the name that can be viewed when you set the variable in the info element. Set the field name of the session variable so that you would understand them in the context of the info elements you would use them in.
  • Field description:
    • A description of the variable.
  • Default value:
    • A default value is a placeholder when the info module is starting. The default value can be changed when launching the info module in TeamBox.
  • Required (*):
    • A session variable can be required in order for the info module to start. If the variable is empty when the info module is starting, TeamBox will stop the workflow.



7.2 Adding session variables to info elements


All session variables added to the info module can be applied to info elements. This can be done by clicking the "+" button inside any value input, selecting a variable and then clicking add.


The selected session variable is placed within bracket delimiters at the caret position of the input.