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These 6 actions and their differences are explained below:

Publish

Publish means, that you make the model available for the public and that it can be viewed by anyone over the Process Portal. It can still be modified after publishing, so it is not write-protected. If it has been modified you simply have to reload the Process Portal and the new version is shown, it is not required to publish the model again.

Preview

Preview does the same as Publish, with the exception that the model is not shown in the Process Portal's left side model explorer. However, if you have the specific link to a preview model you can still view it in the Process Portal, via this link. This might be helpful when there are only some but not all who should have the possibility to view it over the Process Portal.

Approve

With Approve the model as it is will be available for the public and becomes read-only. Changes to the model will then be enforced to be saved in new version. An approved version is final and can't be changed anymore. Approving a model alone will not make the model available for public in the Process Portal

Reject

If you want to retract the approval of a model you do this via the Reject action. However, even with rejection, the model remains read-only and changes can only be saved in an enforced new version. 

Hide

With Hide, you can make your model invisible despite the fact that it is published. Potential use case: You published a model and have to modify that model but you want that the old version can't be viewed by anyone in the Process Portal. You can simply hide it until the new version of the model is finished. 

Deploy

To deploy a process means you turn it into a an executable workflow. Deploy validates the latest changes and if there are no validation errors, the process can be executed as a workflow. Please note that always the last deployed process is being executed. So if you make and save changes to the process without deploying it, the workflow is executed based on the last deployed version of the process. Therefore always deploy the process before you execute it.

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