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Kevin Hudson

Oracle Corporation October 2001

Evolution of Workflow @ Oracle from Application to Infrastructure

Brief History of Workflow @ Oracle


1993 Oracle Applications Release 10
Financials Manufacturing Human Resources

Not Workflow as we would know it.


Order Entry Order Cycle and Approvals Purchasing PO Approval All Workflow capabilities built directly into the application

Workflow Emerges
1994 Oracle Workflow
Traditional Applications based Workflow Complete API access to all services PL/SQL, C Java API

Requirements driven by Oracle Applications


The move to Self Service Applications Common rules engine for Oracle Applications Common Worklist for Oracle Applications Common configuration model for Oracle Applications

1995 Workflow Takes Hold


New Applications see the light
Engineering Approval Self Service Requisition Self Service Expense Reports Self Service Human Resource

Predominately driven by the need for:


Worklist Approvals Self Service Configuration

Expense Report Processing


AP Standard Expense Report Process
AP Approval Approved Manager Approval

Start

Server Validation Determine Server Side Which Process Validation To Start From Process

Approve Manager (Spending) Approval Process Reject

ShortPay AP Approval Shortpay End (Approve) Process Unverified Receipt Items

Resubmit Report Rejection Process

Abort End (Reject)

Expense Report Processing


Yes Start Any Receipt Required For Expense Report No AP Expense Report Review Complete AP Adjustment Made Due To Spending Policy NonCompliance Yes No Yes All Expense Mark Expense End (Approved) Lines Pass AP Report As Approval Approved (Manual) No End (ShortPay) Any Justification Required for Expense Report No Yes Request AP To Review For compliance With Spending Policy

Get Adjustment Text

Inform Preparer That Expense Report Has Been Adjusted

Approved (Automatic)

Workflow Marches On
Established Applications make the move to Workflow
Order Management Purchasing General Ledger Account Receivable

Workflow becomes a component of the Applications development platform

Internet Procurement 100% Lifecycle Automation


Approved Supplier Lists AutoRelease Standard POs EDI / Fax

Workflow is much more than approvals


Approved

Procurement Workflow Supplier Schedules


MRP/DRP Generated Requirements

Web

Create Requisitions NonProduction Requests

Approval Workflow

ASN Receive Pay on Receipt Payment

Search

Catalog (Local or TPN Register)

AP

Suppliers

Content Loads/Updates

Release 11i Order Management Workflow


Workflow Processes Workflow Functions Workflow Notifications Order Cycles Cycle Actions Cycle Approvals

Workflow enforces business rules

Release 11i Order Management Workflow


Order Flow - Generic with Header Level Invoicing
Enter Book - Order, Manual Header level Invoice - Order Close - Order End

Line Flow - Generic with Header Level Invoicing


Unreserve

Enter - Line

Schedule - Line Create Supply Line

Ship - Line, Manual

Header Level Invoice - Line, Deferred

Close - Line

End

Workflow Enabled e-Business Suite


Release 11i highlights

ERP

CRM

Order Management Internet Procurement Self Service Financials Advanced Planning System Projects

HRMS
Candidate Offer Career Management Reviews

Call Center Service Contacts Support Marketing iStore

And many more...

Workflow Components
Directory Services Users Web Notification Worklist
Notification Services Engine

Roles

Send Web Monitor Oracle IAS Respond Forward Cancel Query

Execution Definition Administration Monitoring Query

Workflow Builder

Workflow Loader

Web Analysis Tools

Workflow Definition Files Mail Applications Notification Mailer Oracle Workflow Enabled Application

Browser Client

Application Server

Oracle 9i server

Workflow Development Client

Workflow Engine
Server Side Architecture Ensures Optimal Performance Oracle Applications Oracle Workflow

Heavily based on Oracle database technology


Database Queues (Used internally by the Workflow Engine ) 100% audit trail in relational tables Two Phase commit Transactional Integrity Scalability, Performance

o7 Oracle 9i

So Whats Wrong with all that?


Nothing!
But Theres a lot more to Workflow But The Oracle Platform has a lot more to offer.

Workflow was too tightly bound to the applications


Great for Control but what about collaboration? What is at the center Workflow or the Applications We needed to move with the technology We needed Business Events

The Real Break through


Applications Workflow meets Platform Workflow

OR
Oracle Applications meets Server Technology

OR
Kevin Hudson meets Dieter Gawlick

The Story Continues


1998 Workflow Business Event System
Manage Internal and External business processes that span information system Workflow process can be started or progressed by a business event Workflow activities can initiate a business event

Workflow loosely bound to the application


Respond to and initiate Business Events

Business Event Driven Workflow


Business Events System
EVENTs are things which have occurred that might be significant to other objects in a system, or to external systems. The set of possible events is pre-determined by the applications. Business Event != Message Producing the event message may be costly and should be avoided unless an active subscription requires it. Business Event != IT Event

Event Based Subscriptions is a super set of Publish/ Subscribe


Publish Subscribe is necessary but not complete Event Based Subscription is an extension over publish/subscribe

From Control To Collaboration


The evolution from classical API driven Workflow towards business events driven Workflow
Applications raise business events Workflow consumes business events Workflow raise business events

Workflow that can react and respond to Business Events that occur outside their domain
A whole new type of Workflow

Essential for Application Integration (EAI)

Workflow Moving Down the Technology Stack


Server Side Architecture Ensures Optimal Performance

Component of Oracle database technology


Oracle Applications Oracle Oracle 9i Workflow With Workflow Oracle 9i
o7
Database Queues (Used internally by the Workflow Engine ) Database Queues ( Used for External Communication ) Security, Performance, Scalability ( Only truly achievable as part of the platform ) Database features become more tightly integrated and consistent with Workflow e.g LDAP

Workflow as a component of the Infrastructure


Provider and Consumer/driver of platform technology,
Consumes database platform (performance, scalability,security ) Consumes messaging, queuing and pushes the platform Provides business events ( drives the requirements into the platform )

Cooperates on Composite Events Shows the need for LDAP integration

Model Driven Integration

SHIPPING

Order Entry Human Resources


HUMAN RESOURCES

ORDER ENTRY

Data Warehouse

DATA WAREHOUSE

Shipping

Extends message broker model


Flexible Provides process view Simple Requires a model of the business process


ACCOUNTING

Warehouse

WAREHOUSE

Workflow
Accounting
WEB STORE

Workflow

Web Store Credit Management


22
CREDIT MANAGEMENT

Inter-Enterprise Business Processes

Bank Supplier A
Integration Hub Integration Hub

Internet
Integration Hub Integration Hub

Supplier B

Logistics

Workflow Business Event System


Event driven Workflow processes

AQ AQ AQ

Business Events New Order Update Order Cancel Order

AQ
AQ AQ

Business Events System

Workflow Engine

Business Events (XML)


Oracle Applications

Workflow Components
AQ AQ AQ AQ AQ

Directory Services Users Roles

AQ

Web Notification Worklist


Business Event System Notification Services Workflow Engine

Workflow Builder

Web Monitor

Send IAS Receive Raise

Send Respond Forward Cancel

Execution Definition Administration Monitoring Query Workflow Definition Files Workflow Loader

Web Analysis Tools

Listen Query

Query

Mail Applications

Notification Mailer

Oracle Workflow Enabled Application

Browser Client

Application Server

Oracle server

Workflow Development Client

Business Event Manager


Application

Matching Event Subscription

Raise
Local Events

Workflow Process Event Dispatcher Rule Function Send


Business Event

Listen
External Events

AQ

Workflow Agent Ping/Acknowledge


Business Event System
WF_OUT
AQ AQ AQ AQ

WF_IN
AQ AQ

AQ Propagation

AQ AQ

Listen

Event Manager

AQ
AQ

AQ
AQ

Workflow Engine

AQ AQ

AQ AQ

Event Manager

Listen

AQ AQ AQ AQ

AQ Propagation

AQ AQ AQ AQ

WF_IN

WF_OUT

Key Messages
One Oracle Workflow product
Traditional applications based Workflow
Still needed

e-business integration workflow


Business Events a welcome addition

Leverages the Oracle technology stack


9i Database Queuing