Introduction to Box Relay for Admins

Currently, Box Relay is available for purchase with Business Plus, Enterprise and Elite level accounts. 


Coming soon: A new Relay that is replacing the existing Relay.

Box is releasing a re-architected Box Relay on June 26th, 2019. If you’re an existing Relay customer, beginning on that date you’ll receive the new Relay version at no additional cost, effective on either your renewal date or December 31, 2019, whichever comes first.

We will continue to support your current version of Box Relay - now referred to as Box Relay Classic - until its end of life on December 31, 2019. By that time you must be fully transitioned to the new Box Relay. After December 31, 2019, you will lose access Relay Classic, and you will also lose any Relay-specific files, such as workflow templates and reports. Your actual content remains in Box and you can continue to access it as you normally do.

For more details, please see the Relay transition FAQ in the Box Community.


Simply put, Box Relay is made of Tasks, Workflows, and Workflow Templates that you define to build, track and manage your everyday, repeatable work.


The basic building block of Relay is the Task. Tasks are standardized activities can be assigned to a single individual or a group of individuals, depending on what you need.


Workflow Templates are a set of tasks in a pre-defined order, ensuring that the work is performed the same way every time. Some important features of templates are:

  • Anyone at your company can build a template
  • You can share templates and manage the security with others, just like Box Files
  • You can duplicate templates that you like and make adjustments that would be important for your team

Learn more about Creating and Publishing Templates.


And finally, a Workflow is an active instance of a workflow template. Workflows are composed of the tasks that you previously defined in your template – when you launch a workflow, Box Relay will copy the template you select to construct the workflow's tasks. You will be able to make some minor adjustments to that template to match your needs, and then the series of tasks will begin.

  • Template Owners decide who can launch a workflow from a given template
  • You can change the assignees and the due dates for any task when you launch a template 
  • If you launch the workflow from a template, you are considered the Workflow Owner, and can continue to manage the workflow when it is running by modifying the assignees and due dates for any step

Learn more about Launching a Workflow.


Managing a Workflow in Runtime View

Your running workflows can be accessed at a bird's eye view from your active workflows page.  In this view, you are able to filter and search to show the workflows that meet your needs.  For example, if you wanted to see the status of all of the workflows using a Contracts template, you can filter to that template and get a list.


You get visibility into the progress of the tasks for any single workflow in the Runtime View

  • In Runtime View, the Workflow Owner can manage your workflow by changing assignees and due dates for any current task
  • Tasks can be completed in your Task Inbox or in your Runtime View

Learn more about Managing your Workflows in Runtime View or Completing a Task in Box Relay.


Building a template

Once Relay is turned on for your company, anyone in your company's managed user base can build a template. When a template is built, a template object is created in IBM's data centers for that template that contains all of the steps in that template, as well as who can access that template.



Sharing a template

When you create a template, you are automatically captured as the owner of that template. You can invite other users within your enterprise to that template. There are three permission levels for the template that determines what the individual can do with the template: Template Owner, Template Editor, and Template user. You can change the permission level at any time.



You can also share a link to a template! When you do this, anyone at your company will be able to access that template. This is helpful when you are trying to share the template for a process to an individual person, or for a company intranet.


When you get access to a template, you are able to view the steps in that template, as well as duplicate that template.  When you duplicate that template, you will save a new version and you will be the owner of that template.



Launch a workflow from a template

In order to launch workflows from a template, you must publish the template. Once the template is published, your Box users can manually launch workflows from that template, or you can configure the template to be auto-launched when content is uploaded to a folder in Box.


Manually Launched Workflows. When a workflow is launched, a new workflow object is created in IBM's data centers that is a copy of that template. Later, as the Workflow Owner, you can change the assignees and the due dates for your workflow object. When you make these changes, it only changes this instance of the workflow and does not update the template. Think about a document template you might use in Microsoft Word – any changes you make don't alter the main document template.


Once you click Launch several things will happen:

  • Box Relay creates a folder in Box for this workflow instance
  • Everyone who is assigned a task in this workflow is collaborated on the workflow instance folder with "Previewer" permission access
  • All reference files in steps remain in the folder they exist in Box


When the first workflow task is assigned, several things will happen:

  • The assignees' permissions change to match what they need to do with that task. All non-assignee workflow participants will have "Previewer" permission access to the workflow folder
    • Upload Content and Edit Content tasks grant "Editor" permissions
    • Give Feedback tasks grant "Previewer Uploader" permissions
    • Approve/Reject tasks grant "Viewer" permissions
    • Approve/Reject and General tasks grant "Previewer" permissions
  • In Upload Content and Edit Content tasks, users are prompted for certain types of files. An assignee can either upload content from their desktop or select a file that they have been working on in Box. Once these files have been submitted, metadata will be attached to the files with the name of the template, the name of the workflow and the date the workflow was completed. Depending on how you add files, there are different ramifications.
    • Uploading a file from your desktop will upload that file directly into the workflow instance folder. This file will be used in later workflow steps for whenever the file's type is needed for that step.
    • Selecting a file from Box will move that file directly into the workflow instance folder. When you do this, remember that depending on the step in the workflow, this file will not be able to be editing once submitted. At the end of the workflow, you can move this file back to where it lived.





At the end of the workflow, you probably want all of the files to go to publish to a different folder in Box. One of the benefits of Relay is that all of the files that go through a workflow have metadata, and when you move those documents, remember that the metadata and comments go with them.


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