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Universal Inbox

Universal inbox is a general framework for presenting end users with units of work (called inbox items) assigned to them for execution. It allows assigning only a single owner to each inbox item. Tasks can be transferred between users for reassignment, approval, or consultation through the universal inbox. Tasks are stored and accessed from the owner's inbox. The role of the inbox for Task UI is that is gives a single location for users to find and retrieve their tasks that have been paused or tasks that have been assigned to them in a long running process.

The Task UI framework is dependent on universal inbox to allow end users to start, resume, transfer, or delete tasks that were assigned or transferred to them. To make navigation easier, the bottom of Task Pane contains a hyperlink to the universal inbox.

Each universal inbox item of type Task references only one task instance. Throughout its life span, the task instance and its associated inbox item change through multiple states, indicated by the status field of the inbox item. Since the name of the inbox item is the name of the task definition, the additional inbox item context field allows distinguishing between multiple instances of the same task.

A user can resume a paused task in the inbox by clicking its hyperlinked name field (similar to starting a newly created task). The state of the task instance being resumed is recreated, and the view that was being displayed when the task was paused is shown. Note that if the data shown was changed and committed outside of the task, those changes show up when the task is resumed. For more information on this topic, see Task Transaction.

While generic universal inbox views show all inbox items assigned to current user, inbox items of paused tasks can be also be seen through their associations with particular business data such as accounts, service requests, or contacts. This allows end users to resume other user's tasks without jeopardizing integrity of their inbox. For more details, see Associating Tasks with a Business Object Instance.

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