Smarter duplicate and rename functions for groups of objects

Idea created by Michael_Lowry on Apr 13, 2018
    Under review
    • Michael_Lowry
    • Carsten_Schmitz
    • erik_hess_automic

    Consider the following example. Let's say you have a workflow DEV.WF1, that contains two jobs, DEV.JOB1 and DEV.JOB2. If you want to duplicate or rename this workflow and its constituent jobs, there's no straightforward way to do this in the UI. XML export, manual find/replace, and XML import is currently the best way to do this.


    Intelligent duplication of groups of related objects

    I would like to request a Duplicate batch feature that intelligently updates object references when duplicating a group of objects. In the above example, the newly created workflow would include the two newly created jobs, and not the original jobs.

    How might it work? Well, the logic could be something like this:

    If an object being duplicated contains references to other objects, check to see if those objects are also in the group of objects being duplicated. If they are, then update the object references so that the point to the duplicated object, rather than the original.


    Intelligent renaming of groups of objects

    It would also be nice if the UI interaction for renaming duplicated objects (when duplicating a group of objects) were more intelligent and flexible. In my vision of a smarter group duplicate function, the rename dialog box that appears would be used to provide the user the opportunity to change something about the names of all selected objects. In the example above, UI could see that all three selected objects share "DEV." at the beginning of their names. The UI could then display a dialog box allowing the user to change or add to just the common portion of the object names, e.g., changing "DEV." to "TEST." or "DEV2.". This change would be applied to all of the selected objects.

    In a simpler (but also less useful) embodiment of the idea, the UI would simply provide the user the opportunity to add to the names one or more characters to make the new object names unique from the names of the original objects.

    Obviously, the above logic and UI enhancements related to object duplication could also be applied to the simpler and more general case of renaming a group of objects. The updated rename feature would obviously work differently from the current one. In the case of object duplication, the rename feature would likely prompt the user for input before actually creating the new objects, instead of after, as it does now.

    When prompting the user to choose new names, dialog box should let the user decide:

    1. Duplicate and rename; or
    2. Duplicate, rename, and update object references (wherever the reference target is one of the objects being duplicated/renamed).

    This idea originates in a discussion forum post from March 2014.