|Oracle Workflow Guide
Part Number A95265-03
Major Features and Definitions
Oracle Workflow Builder
Oracle Workflow Builder lets you create, view, or modify a business process with simple drag and drop operations. Using the Workflow Builder, you can create and modify all workflow objects, including activities, item types, and messages. See: Workflow Processes
At any time you can add, remove, or change workflow activities, or set up new prerequisite relationships among activities. You can easily work with a summary-level model of your workflow, expanding activities within the workflow as needed to greater levels of detail. And, you can operate Oracle Workflow Builder from a desktop PC or from a disconnected laptop PC.
The Workflow Engine embedded in the Oracle database server monitors workflow states and coordinates the routing of activities for a process. Changes in workflow state, such as the completion of workflow activities, are signaled to the engine via a PL/SQL API or a Java API. Based on flexibly-defined workflow rules, the engine determines which activities are eligible to run, and then runs them. The Workflow Engine supports sophisticated workflow rules, including looping, branching, parallel flows, and subflows.
Business Event System
The Business Event System is an application service that uses the Oracle Advanced Queuing (AQ) infrastructure to communicate business events between systems. The Business Event System consists of the Event Manager, which lets you register subscriptions to significant events, and event activities, which let you model business events within workflow processes.
When a local event occurs, the subscribing code is executed in the same transaction as the code that raised the event. Subscription processing can include executing custom code on the event information, sending event information to a workflow process, and sending event information to other queues or systems.
Workflow Definitions Loader
The Workflow Definitions Loader is a utility program that moves workflow definitions between database and corresponding flat file representations. You can use it to move workflow definitions from a development to a production database, or to apply upgrades to existing definitions. In addition to being a standalone server program, the Workflow Definitions Loader is also integrated into Oracle Workflow Builder, allowing you to open and save workflow definitions in both a database and file.
Complete Programmatic Extensibility
Oracle Workflow lets you include your own PL/SQL procedures or external functions as activities in your workflows. Without modifying your application code, you can have your own program run whenever the Workflow Engine detects that your program's prerequisites are satisfied.
Oracle Workflow lets you include users in your workflows to handle activities that cannot be automated, such as approvals for requisitions or sales orders. Electronic notifications are routed to a role, which can be an individual user or a group of users. Any user associated with that role can act on the notification.
Each notification includes a message that contains all the information a user needs to make a decision. The information may be embedded in the message body or attached as a separate document. Oracle Workflow interprets each notification activity response to decide how to move on to the next workflow activity.
Electronic Mail Integration
Electronic mail (e-mail) users can receive notifications of outstanding work items and can respond to those notifications using their e-mail application of choice. An e-mail notification can include an attachment that provides another means of responding to the notification.
Any user with access to a standard Web browser can be included in a workflow. Web users can access a Notification Web page to see their outstanding work items, then navigate to additional pages to see more details or provide a response.
Monitoring and Administration
Workflow administrators and users can view the progress of a work item in a workflow process by connecting to the Workflow Monitor using a standard Web browser that supports Java. The Workflow Monitor displays an annotated view of the process diagram for a particular instance of a workflow process, so that users can get a graphical depiction of their work item status. The Workflow Monitor also displays a separate status summary for the work item, the process, and each activity in the process.
If you are using the version of Oracle Workflow embedded in Oracle Applications and you have implemented Oracle Applications Manager, you can also use the Oracle Workflow Manager component of Oracle Applications Manager as an additional administration tool for Oracle Workflow. Oracle Applications Manager is a tool that provides administrative and diagnostic capabilities for concurrent processing, Oracle Workflow, and other functionality in Oracle Applications. For more information, please refer to the Oracle Applications Manager online help.
Also, if you are using the standalone version of Oracle Workflow available with Oracle9i Release 2, you can use the standalone Oracle Workflow Manager component available through Oracle Enterprise Manager as an additional administration tool for Oracle Workflow. For more information, please refer to the Oracle Workflow Manager online help.
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