If/Then. It’s not just an award-winning Broadway musical – it’s the basis for conditional programming which is visually represented as a logic model or diagram. It’s also your key to designing custom workflows for your document management system.

If x = y, then z, else w

You’re essentially telling the computer to check if a certain value is true or false and to recognize that if that it is true, then it needs to perform a certain action. Likewise, if that value is false, the computer will perform a different action or do nothing.


Conditional logic is used in several programming languages including Java, C++, SQL, PHP and dozens of others. It’s a simple way to tell a computer to perform an action upon a certain condition being met. Using this logic, you can build a tree of commands that eventually takes the shape of an executable program. This is a simplified explanation of computer programming, but it can still be used by anyone to code a series of instructions for a program. The control flow is the order in which the program follows the instructions. The computer won’t move on until it executes the current instruction set.


Example of Control Flow

If a parcel arrives at the front door, then inform Bill to receive it, else keep waiting.

If parcel weighs less than 2 lbs., then send it to storage, else send to Valarie for approval.”

If Valarie approves parcel, then send it to storage, else send parcel to Bill for return.”

How does this apply to workflows? “If, Then and Else” logic is essential for programming automated workflows. eFileCabinet can automate document related tasks using workflows. New clients will have several workflows programmed for you during the implementation of your DMS system fitting your office’s needs, but you have the ability to create and edit your own workflows.

Designing a custom workflow is easy as long as you understand the basics of conditionals and how ZonalOCR processes documents. A workflow similar to the above example can be utilized for a document, dictating what the system should do when a new document is entered into the system. eFileCabinet can utilize a wide variety of values and actions to build a control flow for documents, including approvals, time limits and notifications.

A popular workflow that clients request is an automated accounts payable workflow. Unpaid invoices are uploaded to the system that need to be approved. ZonalOCR detects the values in the unpaid balance field so the system knows how much each invoice is. The workflow is built to inspect the balance as the deciding value. If the balance is below a certain amount, it’s sent to an accounting manager to be paid. If the balance is above a certain amount, it’s sent to someone with more authority like the CFO for approval. In both cases, after the invoice is paid/approved, the system knows to archive it.


Workflows like this that automate simple document processes can be programmed by anyone, and they save so much time. Any process that you think can be automated by simple conditional statements can be done with eFileCabinet. This process can save you time and money, by freeing you and your staff up to concentrate on more important tasks. To learn more about how you can use eFileCabinet to automate your document management process, view a free demo.