A workflow can sometimes require additional input parameters from an outside source while it runs. These input parameters can come from another application or workflow, or the user can provide them directly.
For example, if a certain event occurs while a workflow runs, the workflow can request human interaction to decide what course of action to take. The workflow waits before continuing, either until the user responds to the request for information, or until the waiting time exceeds a possible timeout period. If the waiting time exceeds the timeout period, the workflow returns an exception.
The default variables for user interactions are security.group and timeout.date. When you set the security.group variable to a given LDAP user group, you limit the permission to respond to the user interaction request to members of that user group.
When you set the timeout.date variable, you set a time and date until which the workflow waits for the information from the user. You can set an absolute date, or you can create a scripted workflow element to calculate a time relative to the current time.