Introduction to Business Process Management

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					  Functions and
 Architecture of
Workflow System
Role of Workflow Management Systems

Information systems must meet a number of requirements:
   1.   IS must set up in such a way that the structure of the
        business processes is clearly reflected.
   2.   There should be an integrated approach, which also
        encompasses non-computerized tasks.
   3.   IS must be set up in such a way that the structure of the
        business processes can easily be modified.
   4.   The performance of a business process can be tracked
        properly, so that any problems can be discovered at an
        early stage.
   5.   Good workload management is crucial to achieving
        effective and efficient business processes.
Role of Workflow Management Systems

 How information systems are traditionally structured?
  Process management has not been separated from
   the application software in information systems.
  The process management has been hidden inside
   the information system.
  Little attention been paid to process structure
   within the framework of traditional systems, it has
   often been difficult to actually recognize the
   business process.
  The process contained in the system has
   sometimes been incorrect or incomplete.
Role of Workflow Management Systems
Role of Workflow Management Systems

   This makes it possible to reuse the same
    functionality in more than one task.
   This makes it possible to rearrange the
    business process at a later stage.
   In this way, it is even possible to integrate
    new applications with legacy systems.
   The process execution is more manageable,
    with progress and bottlenecks being more
    easy to check.

• WFMC,1996
 –   Workflow Enactment Service
 –   Process Definition Tools
 –   Workflow Client Applications
 –   Invoked Applications
 –   Other Workflow Enactment Services
 –   Administration and Monitoring Tools
 Workflow Enactment Service

 The heart of a workflow system.
 The Enactment Service may consist of several
  workflow engines.
 Workflow engine
  – creating new cases and removing completed ones.
  – routing cases, using the interpretation of the appropriate process
  – submitting work items to the correct resources (employees), based
    upon resource
  – managing and handling triggers.
  – starting up application software during the performance of an
  – recording historical data.
  – providing a summary of the workflow.
  – monitoring the consistency of the workflow.
Process Definition Tools
 The process definition tool
 The resource classification tool
 The analysis tool
Process Definition Tools
• Ability to establish process definitions (name,
  description, date, version, components, and so on).
• Ability to model sequential, parallel, selective and
  iterative routing by means of such graphic
  components as the AND-split, AND-join, OR-split and
• Version-management support (after all, there may be
  several versions of the same process) .
• Definition of case attributes used in the process .
• Task specification.
• Checking of the (syntactical) correctness of a process
  definition and the tracing of any omissions or
Process Definition Tools
The following is established for each task:
• name and description of the task
• task information - any instructions and supporting
  information for the employee performing the task
• the requirements with respect to the resource carrying out
  the task (for example, a specification of its role and
  organizational unit, or information about the separation of
• the task's routing characteristics (AND-split, AND-join, OR-
  split, OR-join)
• the specification of any triggers required
• instructions for the workflow engine (for example:
  priorities, case management and resource management)
Process Definition Tools
The resource classification tool
 A list of the resource classes, often subdivided
  into roles (based upon qualifications, functions
  and skills) and organizational units (based upon
  arrangement into teams, branches and/or
 Any specific characteristics of a resource class.
 Relationship between the various resource
  classes (for example, a hierarchy of roles or
  organizational units).
Process Definition Tools
The analysis tool
   Before a workflow which has been defined
    can go 'into production', it is first useful to
    analyze it.
Workflow Client Applications

The standard worklist handler
  – The standard worklist handler offers the
    functionality just described.
The integrated worklist handler
  – This specific worklist (customized worklist
    handler) handler would contain supporting
    facilities alongside the standard functionality
    described above
  – Ex: processing similar cases in batch;
    processing a series of successive tasks for a
Worklist Handler
Invoked Applications

Interactive application (ex. word, excel)
Fully-automatic application (ex. calculation)
Other Workflow
Enactment Services
 A workflow system may contain several
  workflow engines.
   These come under the same management and use
    the same workflow definitions.
   Such engines are said to belong to the same
    workflow domain.
 However, it is also possible to link several
  autonomous workflow systems with one
   cases (or parts of cases) can be transferred from
    one system to another.
   This means that the Workflow Enactment Services of
    each system are linked. We refer to this as workflow
Administration and Monitoring Tools

  The operational management tool
   – Not case-related (resource-related or system-related)
      • addition or removal of staff;
      • input/revision of an employee's details (name, address,
        telephone number, role, organizational unit,
        authorization and availability).
   – Case-related
      • inspection of the logistical state of a case;
      • manipulation of the logistical state of a case due to
        problems and exceptional circumstances.
Administration and Monitoring Tools

The recording and reporting tool:
  – These are historical data which may be useful for
    management. For example, the following interesting
    performance indicators may be distilled from the data:
     • average completion time for a case;
     • average waiting time and processing time (possibly
       subdivided per task);
     • percentage of cases completed within a fixed
       standard period;
     • average level of resource capacity utilization.
Components of a Workflow
Users of a Workflow Management
Roles of people involved
 Workflow management system
  –   The Workflow Designer
  –   The Administrator
  –   The Process Analyst
  –   The Employee
 Applications
  – database designers/programmers
  – application designers/programmers
Data in a workflow system

                            Resource                                 Operational
Process Definition                            Analysis data
                         classifications                           management data
The definitions of     Roles              The results of any     Technical
processes and tasks.   Organizational     analyses carried out   configuration
                       units               (simulation).          (system Parameters)
                                                                  Case-related data
  Historical data       Application data      Internal data
                                                                   management data
Progress of an        Case data          Worklists which       Case states
individual case        (individual)        are active             State of each
Cause of a            Master data        Sate of each          resource and the
problem                (customers and      engine                 triggers available
Performance of        suppliers)          Network addresses
the business process
Interfacing problems

• WFMC recognizes five interfaces
  – Improve the exchange of data.
  – Create links between servers in a simple way.
  – Applications are entirely independent of the
    workflow management system.
  – Every interface will be achieved using
    Application Programming Interface (API).
  Interfacing problems (cont.)
Interface 5                               Interface 1
•Management                               •Connect/disconnect
     •Addition of an employee
                                          •Process definitions and resource
     •Permission of authorization
     •Execution of a process definition    classifications
•Track                                    •Opening, creating and saving a
     •Waiting times                        process definition
     •Completion times
     •Processing times                    Interface 4
     •Routing                             Other Workflow Enactment
     •Staff utilization

Interface 2
 production of case                              Interface 3
•Work item state summaries                       •Application is opened
•Generation of new cases                         from the system
•Beginning, interruption and                     through interface 3.
 completion of activities                         (also can opened from
                                                  the worklist handler)
  Interfacing problems (cont.)

   An application can be
   started by an engine
   and/or from a worklist

                                        An application is called
                                        to perform a task.

If the workflow engine does
not become accessible
following the execution of    Once the system has been
the Application due to a      corrected, the engine will have
system error, the engine      no choice but to roll back the
and the application will be   task.
'out of synch’.
Interfacing problems (cont.)
 • Atomicity
    – Completed in full (Commit).
    – Restarts from the very beginning (Rollback).
 • Consistency
    – The result of an activity leads to a consistent state.
 • Isolation
    – Tasks performed at the same time must not influence one
 • Durability
    – Task is successfully completed.
    – The result must be saved.
    – Completed with a commit.
Interfacing problems (cont.)

 • In the financial world, we frequently have
   to ‘pass the ACID test’.
 • Linking two or more workflow systems,
   most of the workflow management
   systems is not always entirely clear what
   the state of a case is.
Interoperability standards

 • Interoperability specification
   – Specifications for workflow modeling and
     workflow description (i.e., design-time)
   – Specifications for runtime interoperability.
Interoperability standards (cont.)

 Design-time
  – WPDL (WFMC’s Process Definition
    Language )(Interface 1:Process Definition Tools)
  – PIF (Process Interchange Format)
     • Process descriptions can be exchanged automatically
       without using different translators for each pair of systems.
        – Process modelers
        – Workflow systems
        – Process repositories
  – PSL (Process Specification Language ) by NIST
Interoperability standards (cont.)
  Runtime
    Interface
       • Interface 2 :Workflow Client Application
       • Interface 3 :Invoked Application
       • Interface 4 :Other Workflow Enactment Service
    Standards
       • WFMC
       • SWAP
       • WF-XML
       • OMG’s jointFlow
Required Technical Infrastructure

  Most workflow system operate within a
   client/server environment.
   – Client
      • Worklist handler
      • User Interface
      • Application
   – Server
      •   Workflow engine
      •   Application
      •   DBMS
      •   Application data
Required Technical Infrastructure
Current Generation of Workflow
 Product in 2000200 suppliers
 The number of workflow systems actually
  in production is relatively limited.
   – The technology is quite new.
   – Resulting in limited functionality and
     unsatisfactory reliability.
Current Generation of Workflow
   – Graphical Workflow Definer (GWD)
   – Graphical Form Designer (GFD)
   – Work Queue Manager (WQM)
   – Staffware Server (SS)
   – Staffware Administration Managers (SAM)
   – Audit Trail (AT)
Current Generation of Workflow

                             Workflow Client Application

                             Workflow Enactment Service
          Administration &
           Monitoring tool


                               Process Definition tool
Current Generation of Workflow
 • GWD
   – The tasks are called steps.
      • Automatic steps
      • Normal steps
      • Event steps
   – Semantics
      • Step
          – OR-join/AND-split

      • Wait
          – AND-join/AND-split
Current Generation of Workflow
    • Condition
       – OR-split two choice

    • Compare with Petri net
       – Concepts such as AND/OR-split/join play an important
         role in both types of models.
       – One of the core differences is the fact that the notion of
Current Generation of Workflow
   – Models become larger.
   – Several constructs which can be modeled in
     terms of Petri nets cannot be modeled in
     Staffware.(external application)
Current Generation of Workflow
 Figure 5.11 does not consider two
  additional features:
   – It is possible to withdraw steps.
   – It is possible to model time-outs.
Current Generation of Workflow
 COSAR (COmputerunterstutze SAchbearbeitung) is
  produced by Software-Ley GmbH.
 It is a workflow management system based upon
  Petri nets.
 COSA can be described as a traditional workflow
  management system that closely follows the WFMC
  reference model.
COSA (cont.)

               1.COSA Network Editor (CONE).

                2.COSA User Editor (COUE).

                   3.COSA MemoBox (COMB).

   COSA    4.COSA Networkstate Displayer (COND).

               5.COSA Runtime Server (CORS).

                  6.COSA Simulator (COSI).

                7.COSA Administrator (COAD).
COSA (cont.)
1.COSA Network Editor (CONE)
  CONE is a process definition tool for defining and revising
   processes. (Figure 5.15)
2.COSA User Editor (COUE)
  COUE is a resource classification tool for defining roles and
   organizational units. (Figure 5.16)
3.COSA MemoBox (COMB)
  COMB is a standard worklist handler for offering and
   starting work items.
4.COSA Networkstate Displayer (COND)
  COND is a graphic tool for presenting the state of a case.
COSA (cont.)
5.COSA Runtime Server (CORS)
  The CORS is a workflow enactment service which consists
    of one or more engines.
6.COSA Simulator (COSI)
  COSA offers a primitive tool for simulating business
7.COSA Administrator (COAD)
  COAD is used to manage the workflows.
• COSA does not offer a recording and reporting tool.
• COSA’s architecture can easily be mapped onto the
  WFMC reference model.
 ActionWorkflowR is produced by Action Technologies Inc.,
  and focuses upon supporting processes in which
  communication between people and/or parties plays a major
 Unlike COSA and Staffware, which concentrate upon the
  process, ActionWorkflow centers on coordination.
 ActionWorkflow uses so-called Business Process Maps
 Each workflow corresponds with a transaction that passes
  through the following stages:
   (1) preparation
   (2) negotiation
   (3) performance
   (4) completion
• Transitions between these stages take place using
  so-called speech acts (communication between the
  people/parties involved in the transaction).
• ActionWorkflow 3.0, also know as the
  ActionWorkflow Enterprise Series, consists of the
  following components:
   – 1.ActionWorkflow Process Builder
   – 2.ActionWorkflow Process Manager
   – 3.Action DocRoute
   – 4.Action Metro
• 1.ActionWorkflow Process Builder
  – The Process Builder is used to illustrate workflows, with the aid of
    Business Process Maps.
• 2.ActionWorkflow Process Manager
  – The Process Manager is at the heart of ActionWorkflow.
  – It is both a workflow engine and a tool for managing the workflow.
• 3.Action DocRoute
  – DocRoute is based upon the Process Manager and offers the ability to
    integrate document management and imaging applications seamlessly.
• 4.Action Metro
  – Action Metro offers the opportunity to create workflow system which
    make use of the Internet.
• ActionWorkflow is only available for a limited range
  of platforms.
• COSA is traditional and thorough, enabling the
  support of most routine production processes
  within administrative organizations.
• ActionWoraflow differs in many respects from
  standard workflow management system, and
  appears to be best suitd to supporting processes in
  which coordination is crucial.
Analysis tools
    產品                     Woflan                             ExSpect                           Protos
               Woflan (WOrkFlow Analyzer)          ExSpect (Executable             Protos is a tool which can be
               is a tool that analyzes             Simulation Tool) is a full-     used to model and document
               workflow process definitions        fledged simulation tool based   business processes.
  應用原理         specified in terms of Petri nets.   on Petri nets.

               It has been designed to verify
               process definitions that are
               downloaded from a workflow                          _                Modeling workflow processes.
    用途         management system.

    導向                          _                                  _                    Case-Driven Processes

  圖形輔助                          _                                  O                               O

    限制                          _                                  X                        簡單運算

可互通之Workflow                Staffware                           COSA                            COSA
                             COSA                               Protos                          Corsa
    系統                                                                                         FLOWer

                                _                  有支援(BPR)                        可以以RTF文件或是HTML
                                                   可應用於生產流程、                       pages作為輸出
  特殊功能                                             運輸網路、嵌入式系統
Analysis tools
• Woflan (WOrkFlow Analyzer) is a tool that analyzes
  workflow process definitions specified in terms of
  Petri nets.
• Today’s workflow management systems do not
  verify the correctness of workflow process
• Therefore errors made at design time such as
  deadlocks and livelocks may remain undetected.
• To avoid these costly problems, it is important to
  verify the correctness of a workflow process
  definition before it becomes operational.
Analysis tools (cont.)
• Woflan takes a workflow process definition
  imported from some workflow product, translates it
  into a Petri net, and tells whether or not the net is a
  sound workflow net.
• Using some standard Petri-net analysis techniques
  as well as those tailored to workflow nets, the tool
  provides diagnostic information about the net in
  case it is not a sound workflow net.
Selecting a workflow
management system
 The selection process begins with the listing of
  the requirements which the system must meet.
  Based upon these, a shortlist is then compiled.
 One way to quickly gain a good impression of a
  workflow management system is to work
  through a sample process chosen in advance.
 The sample process is representative of the
  relevant business processes.
 Once the workflow management systems on the
  shortlist have been put on trial in this way, it
  usually becomes clear which package is the best
• 5.1
• 5.2(b,d)

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