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Understanding Objects

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Understanding Objects in Workfront

The information you can display in Workfront is contained in objects which are stored in the Workfront database. The objects are what drives the information in Workfront.

Understanding how the objects are defined in Workfront is important so you can use the correct object for the needs necessary in your organization. 

For example, when you plan a large amount of work, you need to use the Project object to define that work. To divide this work into smaller planned increments, you can use the Task object. For a smaller amount of work that is not planned, and can occur unexpectedly, you can use the Issue object. If you want to track the progress and the adherence to budget and timeline of a group of projects, you can organize them in Portfolios and Programs. To define other elements that help you resolve your work, you want to use other objects that are stored under Projects, Tasks, Issues, or Portfolios, like Documents, Notes, Hours, Users or Job Roles. 

Reports and Dashboards are another example of objects that can help you organize the amount of data you have in Workfront visually, to make it easily accessible for all users. 

For a complete list of objects in Workfront, see the "API Explorer."

Understanding the Interdependency and Hierarchy of Objects

Objects are linked to one another in Workfront. For example, a Task or an Issue can never exist independently, outside of a Project. Tasks and Issues are just an example of objects that are stored under the Project object. Tasks and Issues are considered children objects to Projects, which are considered parent objects.

The following are some of the most commonly used objects in Workfront and their respective parent and children objects:

Object Parent Objects Children Objects
Portfolios   Programs, Projects, Documents, Notes, Users
Programs Portfolios Projects, Documents, Notes, Users
Projects Portfolios, Programs Tasks, Issues, Documents, Notes, Hours, Users
Tasks Projects Issues, Children Tasks, Documents, Notes, Hours, Users
Issues Tasks, Projects Documents, Notes, Hours, Users
Dashboards   Reports, External Pages
Reports Dashboards  
Groups   Users
Teams   Users
Users Groups, Teams, Companies Job Roles
Companies   Users
Documents Tasks, Issues, Projects, Portfolios, Programs, Users  

Customizing Object Names

As a system administrator, you can customize object names in Workfront by using a Layout Template. 

For more information about how to customize object names using a Layout Template, see "Customizing Terminology".

After you customize a layout template and you assign it to users, those users see the customized names for the objects. The users that have been assigned to the layout template no longer see the default names for the objects anywhere in the web application. 

NOTE For the new names of the objects to be visible for your users, they must log out and log back in to Workfront after you have saved the Layout Template. 

IMPORTANT The Workfront documentation always refers to the default names of the objects. As a system administrator, ensure that you notify users of the changes in object names, so they can understand how to use the Workfront documentation, as well as the areas of the applications which do not reflect the changes in the names of the objects.  

Object Names That Can Be Customized Using a Layout Template

As a system administrator, you can customize the names of the following objects to match the terminology in your organization:

  • Portfolio
  • Program
  • Project
  • Task
  • Issue

For example, if the larger amount of work in your organization is known as a 'Campaign', you can replace the name 'Project' with 'Campaign'. Your Workfront interface shows 'Campaign' instead of 'Project' everywhere where the name 'Project' would appear. 

For more information about how you can customize object names using Layout Templates, see "Customizing Terminology."

You cannot customize the names of any other object in Workfront. For a complete list of objects in Workfront, see the "API Explorer."

When you customize the name of an object, the new name for that object appears in most areas of the Workfront application where that object name would appear.

Areas of Workfront That Reflect the Customized Names of Objects

The following areas show the updated name of the objects:

  • Global Navigation Bar
  • All tabs
  • All menus 
  • Report builder and reporting elements (views, filters and groupings)
  • Save buttons
  • Exported files
  • Emails
  • Mobile Apps

Areas of Workfront That Do Not Reflect the Customized Names of Objects

The following areas do not show the updated name of the objects:

  • Legacy Gantt
  • Resource Estimates
  • Resource Budget Manager
  • Capacity Planner
  • Resource Grid
  • Team Builder
  • Portfolio Optimizer 
  • Outlook Add-in 

Understanding the Implications of Customizing Object Names

You should be aware of the following when customizing object names in Workfront:

  • You may encounter stylistic or grammatical errors in system displays. For example, if you rename 'Issue' to 'Request' and you see anywhere in the system the phrase 'An request', this is functioning as intended and should not be considered a bug.
  • Your custom names for the objects are not translatable. Only the Workfront default names can be translated in the supported languages. For more information about languages that are supported in Workfront, see "Supported Languages in Workfront."
    The custom object name fields support foreign characters so you can input terminology in any language. 
  • When you customize object names using a Layout Template, we recommend that you assign your Layout Templates around your business units (Teams or Groups).
    We recommend that you use names that are clearly understood by the users of these business units, to avoid confusion.
  • Email notifications and delivered reports always contain object names as defined by the Layout Template of the user who generates the email. Your users should be prepared to see object names in their emails that are not related to their group or team, if they receive email notifications from users in other teams and groups. 
    As a system administrator, advise users to notice the icons associated with each object. The icons remain consistent between various object names and consistent with the default object, as it appears in the database. For a list of all Workfront icons associated with objects, see "Understanding Object Icons."

NOTE For common tasks in your organization, consider creating custom documentation to reflect your terminology 

Understanding Object Icons

The Workfront documentation always refers to the default names of objects. If your objects have had their names customized, you can rely on the icon associated with them to understand which customized object corresponds to which Workfront default object.  

The following is a list of objects and their corresponding icons in Workfront. 

Object Icon Customizable Object Name
Company company_icon_old.png, company_icon.png  
Dashboard dashboard_icon.png  
Group group_icon_old.png,group_icon.png  
Issue issue_icon.png,issue_icon_new.png 
Job Role job_role_icon.png,job_role_icon__1_.png   
Portfolio portfolio_icon.png
Program program_icon.png
Project project_icon.png,project_icon_new.png 
Report report_icon.png  
Task task_icon.png,task_icon_new.png 
Team team_icon_old.png,team_icon.png   
Template Screen_Shot_2017-01-27_at_3.00.12_PM.png  

Understanding Reference Numbers of Objects

Each object created in Workfront is assigned a unique reference number. Reference numbers are useful in distinguishing between two otherwise similar objects (such as tasks with the same name). You can search for objects using their reference numbers and you can include reference numbers in reports.

For information about how to search for objects by reference number, see Searching the Reference Number of Objects.

Running Object-Specific Searches

You can search across all the objects that are searchable in Workfront, or you can select a specific object to search for in your basic and advanced searches. 

Not all objects are searchable in Workfront. You can run basic and advanced searches for the following objects in Workfront:

Object Basic Search Advanced Search
Projects  ✓
Tasks  ✓
Issues  ✓
Reports  ✓
People  ✓
Templates  ✓
Documents  ✓
Portfolios  ✓
Programs  ✓  ✓
Dashboards  ✓  ✓
Companies  ✓  ✓
Notes  ✓  

For more information about running basic and advanced searches in Workfront, see "Searching Workfront."

Reporting on Objects

Understanding the hierarchy and interdependency of objects is extremely important before you start building reports in Workfront. Reports are object-specific. You must select the correct object for your report, before you can display the data you want. 

Depending on what object you selected for your report, you can access only those objects that are directly linked to the object of the report. 

IMPORTANT You can report only on the object you select and the parent objects in the same report. You cannot have information about the children objects in a parent object report. For example, you can display project information in a task report, but not task information in a project report. 

You can report on all objects in the database using our open API. For a complete list of all objects in the database, see "API Explorer." 

NOTE If you have customized the names of your objects using a layout template, the names for the object in the report builder have also been customized. Ensure you know what objects have been customized and look for the customized name in the report builder. For more information about which objects can have customized names in Workfront, see "Object Names that Can Be Customized Using a Layout Template."

When using text mode in your reports, the names of the objects in text mode expressions are the standard names in Workfront, and not the customized object names. For more information about using text mode in reports, see "Understanding Text Mode."

You can report on the following objects when using the report builder in the Workfront web application:

  • Project
  • Task 
  • Hour
  • Issue
  • User
  • Access Level
  • Approval
  • Approval Process 
  • Assignment
  • Backlog Work Item
    Displays tasks or issues on the agile backlog. For more information about the agile backlog, see "Managing the Agile Backlog."
  • Baseline
  • Baseline Task
  • Billing Record
  • Calendar Event
  • Category (or Custom Form)
  • Company
  • Dashboard
  • Document
  • Document Approval
  • Document Version
    Enables you to view various information about the version of the document, the document the version is associated with, who created the version, and the user who created the proof on the document version if one exists (Proof Creator). 
  • Email Template
  • Expense
  • Expense Type
  • External Page
  • Favorite
  • Filter 
  • Group
  • Grouping
  • Hour Type
  • Iteration
  • Job Role
  • Layout Template
  • Legacy Resource Pool
  • Milestone
  • Milestone Path
  • Note
  • Parameter (or Custom Field)
  • Parameter Group (or Section Break)
  • Portal Profile
  • Portfolio
  • Program
  • Project (Financial Data)
  • Proof Approval
    Enables you to view various information about the proof approval, including: the proof that was submitted for approval, information about the Approver, information about the Requester (if the Requester is a licensed Workfront user), version information, the proof ID, and the proof creation date.
    Proof Approval reports include only proofs that are available in users' My Work areas where decisions have not yet been made.
    Proof approvals are assigned in Workfront as described "Adding Users to a Proof" in "Sharing a Proof."
  • Queue
  • Queue Topic
  • Rate
  • Reminder Notification
  • Report
  • Resource Budgeted Hour
    This is the Budgeted Hours, as they appear in the Resource Planner. 
  • Resource Estimate
  • Resource Pool
  • Risk
  • Risk Type
  • Schedule
  • Scorecard
  • Team
  • Template
  • Template Task
  • Timesheet
  • Timesheet Profile
  • Topic Group
  • View
  • Work Item 

For more information about building a report, see "Creating a Report." 
For more information about our API, see "Workfront API's."

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