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Oracle Self-Service Human Resources Deploy Self-Service Capability Guide
Release 12.1
Part Number E13507-08
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SSHR and Workflow

Workflow Overview

Oracle Self-Service Web Applications utilize the capabilities of Oracle Workflow to manage transaction flows. The workflows are embedded within SSHR and control the flow of information between the HR professional, the manager, the employee or worker, and the applicant.

See: Overview of Oracle Workflow for Users, Oracle Workflow Guide

SSHR uses workflow processes to combine related functions into a single transaction (for example, to add Special Information Types to Change Assignment or to Personal Information). and to control the transaction flow between the initiating user and other users such as a manager, an HR professional, or an applicant.

You use the Workflow Builder to look at the delivered processes which have been designed to support typical business processes. If necessary, you can configure different versions of the workflow processes to suit your business processes. You link a workflow process to one or more functions using the Form Functions window. When you have linked the workflow process to the function, you can include or hide the function in your user menus.

See: Defining Functions for SSHR

Setting Up Workflow for SSHR

How does Oracle Workflow increase the flexibility of SSHR?

In addition to configuring self-service functions and menus, you can also configure the underlying workflow processes on which SSHR functions are based. You can configure the workflow attributes and process flows to suit the particular requirements of your enterprise.

Can I change the delivered workflow processes for SSHR?

Although Oracle provides a set of workflow processes for SSHR, we recommend that you leave these processes intact and create your own processes if any process changes are required. The Oracle Workflow Builder enables you to copy the delivered processes and modify them to suit your requirements. The delivered workflow processes are within the HRSSA item type. Although you can make changes within this item type, for example, you can create new processes within this item type, the access level security provided by the Workflow Builder ensures that delivered processes are not modified.

How can I use the Workflow Builder to create new processes?

You can use the Workflow Builder to create new processes by chaining together separate modules. For example, the Manage Employment Events modules can be chained together as required to create a custom workflow process.

Workflow processes often create redundant transaction information. Are there any cleanup procedures?

Yes. Oracle provides a workflow cleanup process which clears any redundant transaction data from temporary tables. Such data is created if the system crashes, or if a user ID is removed or disabled, for example.

Does Workflow generate automatic notifications?

Yes. When Oracle Workflow executes specific events, it generates workflow notifications for specified users, or roles. For example, a manager may receive notification of a training enrollment or salary increase, where the manager must approve the event. Alternatively, a user may receive a notification purely for information purposes, for example, as confirmation that a change to personal details has been submitted to the database.

SSHR and Workflows

Self-Service Workflows

This chapter describes how to use the Workflow Builder to review the delivered process flows and to configure alternative flows if desired.

For more information on the Workflow Builder, see Overview of Oracle Workflow for Users, Oracle Workflow Users Guide

Approvals Processes

You also use the Workflow Builder to configure your approvals processes. For more information, see: Approvals

Access Roles and Workflow

You use access roles to determine whether a user has permission to update and approve self-service transactions. If a function is marked for approval in the Workflow Builder, SSHR submits the transaction to the automated approval process (AME or Dynamic Approvals). The approvers then receive a notification in their Worklist with a link to open the action. The permissions and privileges defined by the access roles determine whether they can edit, change the effective date, or attach supporting documents to these transactions.

For more information on Access Roles, see Access Roles for Self-Service Actions

Workflow Objects and Item Types

In Oracle Workflow, all processes are associated with an item type. An item type can include one or more processes and related objects, such as item attributes, functions, and messages. Oracle SSHR delivers a number of predefined workflow item types containing workflow processes that you can work with.

Previous versions of this implementation guide advised customers to make their configuration change to a copy of the delivered item type. Workflow processes that have been implemented using this approach will still be supported, however, for new configurations, you should make your changes to the delivered item type using the approach described below. The new approach utilizes Oracle Workflow's access level features for preserving customizations.

You update the workflow item type in the Workflow Builder.

Note: We recommend that you do not change the item type directly in the database. Instead, download the item type to a .wft file which you then source control. Make the changes to this file and then upload it to the server.

See: Opening and Saving Item Types, Oracle Workflow Guide

Workflow Access Levels:

The access protection levels ensure that your customizations are preserved during an upgrade. As long as you set your own access level to 100 or (higher) while working on changes, the access protection ensures that when an upgrade takes place, the "read-only" objects are updated and that customizations made to the "customizable" objects are preserved.

You can change objects if your access level is less than or equal to the object's protection level and greater than or equal to the object's customization level.

Note: If you copy workflow objects and change the access level to 100, the copied objects are displayed without a red tag on the icon. The original objects have a red tag. The absence of the red tag indicates that you can customize the objects.

The following table shows typical settings for workflow objects within the HRSSA item type. The customization level of a customizable object is set to the user's access level at the time when the user customized the object.

  Most Objects (Default) Customizable Objects (as delivered) Customizable Objects (after changes)
Protection level 20 1000 1000
Lock at this level Yes No No
Customization level 20 20 100
Preserve customizations No Yes Yes

Notifications

Oracle Workflow generates a workflow notification for a user when the Workflow Engine executes a specific activity within a workflow process. For example, workflow may generate a notification for a manager if a direct report requests leave or enrolls on a training course. This notification may be for information purposes only or may require that the recipient perform an activity, for example, approve a transaction.

For more information on workflow notifications, see: Overview of Notification Handling, Oracle Workflow User's Guide.

All the required information appears in the notification message, regardless of how the user receives the information (for example, in an E-mail or using SSHR). The information includes details of the transaction along with personal information and approval information. In addition, changed information is highlighted with a blue dot, enabling you to easily see which information has changed in the self-service transaction. The format and content of the workflow notifications are essentially the same as the Review page.

Note: A self-service user can receive notifications as e-mails by setting the Notification Preferences in the User Preferences web page. To enable E-mail delivery of notifications, the workflow administrator must set up a notification mailer.

For more information, see Reviewing Notifications via Electronic Mail, Oracle Workflow User's Guide

From the notification you can select the Printable Page button to display the information in a format suitable for printing. If enabled, you can use the Generate Document link in the Related Applications region to generate a pdf version of the document.

See: Document Management

Note: The Generate Document link is not available from E-mail notifications.

Accessing Workflow Notifications

SSHR users access their notifications using one of the following methods:

Note: The worklist may also contain additional system-generated notifications.

Personalizing Notifications

You can use the Personalization Framework to configure the notifications to suit your requirements. All of the standard Personalization Framework functionality is available to you including the ability to rearrange fields, to insert and edit instructions, and to hide and display fields and regions.

For more information, see:

If you personalize your notification regions by selecting the Personalize Page link and setting the scope of the personalization to the appropriate page value, the changes are only applicable to the specific Notification page and E-mail page. If you select a shared region as the personalization scope, the personalizations are replicated in the other pages that use this shared region.

Notification Messages

The following table provides a list of messages used within workflow notifications.

Message Name Workflow Message Name Workflow Display Name
HR_TRANSFER_TO_APPRAISEE_MSG HR_EMBED_APPR_TRANSFER_MSG Notify Appraisee on Appraisal Transfer
HR_APPRAISAL_COM_APPRAISEE_MSG HR_EMBED_APPRAISEE_MSG Notify Appraisee of Appraisal Complete (New)
HR_APPRAISER_MSG HR_EMBED_APPRAISER_MSG Notify Appraiser (New)
HR_MAIN_APPRAISER_MSG HR_EMBED_MAIN_APPRAISER_MSG Notify Main Appraiser (New)
HR_NEW_MAIN_APPRAISER_MSG HR_EMBED_NEW_MA_MSG Notify New Main Appraiser (New)
HR_APPRAISAL_OTHER_PARTIC_MSG HR_EMBED_OP_MSG Notify Other Participant (New)
HR_PART_TO_MAIN_APPRAISER_MSG HR_EMBED_PART_TO_MA_MSG Notify Main Appraiser on Participation Completion
HR_APPRAISAL_REVIEWER_MSG HR_EMBED_REVIEWER_MSG Notify Reviewer (New)
HR_NOTIFY_PAYROLL_CONTACT_MSG HR_EMBED_NTF_PAY_CONTACT_MSG Notify Payroll Contact of Salary Basis Change (Embedded)
HR_NOTFY_APPROVER_MSG HR_EMBED_RN_NTF_APPR_MSG Notify Approver (Embedded)
HR_ON_APPROVAL_NOTIFY_HR_REP HR_EMBED_ON_APPR_NTFY_HR_REP On Approval Notify HR Representative (Embedded)
HR_V5_RFC_INITIATOR HR_EMBED_V5_RFC_INITIATOR Return for correction (Initiator- Embedded)
HR_V5_RFC_OTHER HR_EMBED_V5_RFC_OTHER Return for correction (Other than Initiator - Embedded
HR_TXN_ERROR_MSG HR_EMBED_TXN_ERROR_MSG Transaction Error Message (Embedded)
HR_NOTIFY_ONSUBMIT_FWD_MSG1 HR_EMBED_NTF_ONSUBMIT_FWD_MSG1 Notify Reviewer Onsubmit (Embedded)
HR_V5_SFL_INITIATOR HR_EMBED_SFL_INITIATOR V5.0 Saved for Later (Initiator - Embedded)
HR_V5_SFL_OTHER HR_EMBED_SFL_OTHER V5.0 Saved for Later (Other than Initiator - Embedded)
HR_CREATOR_COMMAPPLERR_V4_MSG HR_EMBED_INIT_COMMAPPLERR_MSG Commit Application Error To Creator V4.0 Embedded
HR_CREATOR_COMMSYSERR_V4_MSG HR_EMBED_INIT_SYSAPPLERR_MSG Commit System Error To Creator V4.0 Embedded
HR_DEPART_COMMAPPLERR_V4_MSG HR_EMBED_DEPT_COMMAPPLERR_MSG Commit Application Error To Department V4.0 Embedded
HR_DEPART_COMMSYSERR_V4_MSG HR_EMBED_DEPT_SYSAPPLERR_MSG Commit System Error To Department V4.0 Embedded

If required, you could use the Workflow Builder to replace the new message with a custom message.

See: Messages, Oracle Workflow Developer's Guide

Configuring Workflow Objects

Before you make changes to workflow objects

  1. Open WorkFlow Builder.

  2. On the File Menu select Help/About Workflow Builder.

  3. Ensure that you are using a version of Workflow Builder that is compatible with the version of Oracle Workflow installed on your server.

  4. Set the Access Level to 100.

    See: Workflow Objects and Item Types

  5. Deselect the Allow Modifications of Customized Objects check box.

  6. Select and display the Human Resources Self-Service Applications item type. Save it to a local file for backup.

    Note: We recommend that you maintain source control for the .wft files so that you can track changes to the original objects, move definitions to other database instances using the Workflow Loader, and revert to previous versions if necessary.

To modify delivered workflow objects

  1. Open WorkFlow Builder.

  2. Select and display the Human Resources Self-Service Applications item type or the HR Self-Service Benefits item type.

  3. If required, change any configurable item attributes.

    Note: Some item attributes can be customized and other objects, such as processes, notifications, messages, and lookup types, are "read-only". You can change the "customizable" attributes directly in the workflow process. In SSHR item types, the only directly configurable objects are item-level attributes (including enterprise e-mail addresses) and dynamic approval levels.

    See: Defining Your Enterprise's Email Addresses

    See: Configuring Approvals with the Workflow Builder

  4. If required, create copies of the read-only objects.

    See: Copying Workflow Processes

  5. Save your work.

Copying Workflow Processes

To copy a workflow process:

  1. Copy the object and rename it.

    For example, you can copy the FYI Notification Process (FYI_NOTIFICATION_PRC) for use with Self-Service Benefits Enrollments. Make sure the new process has the same item type as the original process.

    Note: Prefix your copies with a consistent code, for example, a consistent numeral or a four-letter acronym for the company.

  2. You may have to copy multiple levels of the process, for example, to make changes to the Basic Details subprocess within the Personal Information process, you would have to copy the overall process (Personal Information) and the subprocesses (Process Basic Details and Process Personal Information).

  3. If you have copied (and modified) a subprocess, you will have to insert your copy of the subprocess into your copy of the higher level process in place of the original subprocess.

  4. Save your work.

  5. Create at least one function to point to the new process.

    See: Defining Functions for SSHR

After applying a patch

During the application of an SSHR patch, the workflow loader utility ensures that your server has the latest versions of any delivered workflow objects. This upload overwrites any "read-only" objects but preserves any customizations that have been made to "customizable" objects.

If a patch includes new features or bug fixes for delivered objects that you have copied, you need to apply the same changes to your copied objects. Refer to the patch readme file for instructions. You may have to compare your copied object with the original read-only object.

Configuring Workflow Attribute Values

Workflow attribute values are the values for item types. They are variables that can be set by the application that maintains the item.

You configure workflow attributes in the Workflow Builder.

If you want to modify a predefined process, first make a copy of the process.

See: Self-Service Workflows

To configure workflow attributes

  1. Open Workflow Builder.

  2. If necessary, create a copy of the workflow process you want to modify.

  3. Open the Human Resources Self-Service Applications Item Type or the HR Self-Service Benefits Item Type depending on which Item Type you want to modify.

    See: Workflow Objects and Item Types

  4. Double-click the process you want to modify. This opens the Process window.

  5. Double-click an activity in the Process window to open the Control Properties window.

  6. Choose the Node Attributes Tab and select a value name. For information on the attributes that are relevant for each process, see the function-specific documentation.

  7. Edit any values defined in a procedure in the Value drop down list.

  8. Click OK and save your work.

Configuring Workflow Error Processes

Every workflow-enabled function has an error process. The process runs when a system error occurs. The process sends a notification and a description to the System Administrator's ID.

To configure a workflow error process

  1. Edit the workflow error process:

  2. Change the text of the error message by editing the Self-Service HR System Error Message:

  3. Save your work.

Defining Your Enterprise's Email Addresses

E-mail addresses of key people in your enterprise may be displayed in various pages or error messages throughout SSHR.

You set up the e-mail addresses for your enterprise in the Workflow Builder.

To change email addresses

  1. Open the Oracle Workflow Builder.

  2. Open your configured HR item type (HRSSA).

  3. Select Attributes.

  4. Select the following attribute and enter the appropriate email address in the Default Value field:

    Note: You configure the Training Administrator ID (if using Enroll in a Class or Cancel Enrollment) and the Recruitment Supervisor ID (if using Candidate Offers) in the Professional Forms Interface.

  5. Save your work.

Running the Workflow Cleanup Process

The workflow cleanup process enables you to remove workflow processes that are left running if a system crashes or a user ID is disabled or removed. The process cleans up temporary tables by removing redundant transaction information. You can specify which transactions are queried by the process by setting the Transaction Status parameter.

You run the cleanup process by running the concurrent program Complete Defunct HR Workflow Processes from the Submit Request Set window.

Before you run the cleanup process, you must define a request set that runs the Purge Obsolete Workflow Runtime Data (FNDWFPR) concurrent program before the Complete Defunct HR Workflow Resources (HRWFDFCT) concurrent program.

Note: From SSHR 4.1, the Complete Defunct Workflow Processes concurrent process is registered under Oracle Human Resources instead of Oracle Self-Service Web Applications. If you previously scheduled this concurrent process to run when still registered under Oracle Self-Service Web Applications, you must cancel the process and resubmit it using the new Complete Defunct HR Workflow Processes registered under Oracle Human Resources.

See:Concurrent Programs Window, Oracle E-Business Suite Developer's Guide

See: Overview of Concurrent Programs and Requests, Oracle E-Business Suite System Administrator's Guide - Security

To run the request set

  1. In the Request Set field, enter the name of your request set.

  2. Place your cursor on the Parameters field in the row for the Purge Obsolete Workflow Runtime Data process to open the Parameters window.

  3. Select the item type for which you want to remove obsolete workflow runtime data. If you leave the field blank, the process will purge obsolete data for all item types.

  4. If applicable, enter an item key.

  5. Enter the number of days for which you want to run the process. For example, if you want to purge obsolete data for the last 7 days, enter 7.

  6. Select the persistence type of the data to be purged (Temporary or Permanent).

  7. Choose OK to close the Parameters window.

  8. Place your cursor on the Parameters field in the row for the Complete Defunct HR Workflow Processes process to open the Parameters window.

  9. Select the item type to be included in the process.

  10. Enter the number of days for which you want to run the process. For example, if you want to run the cleanup process for the last 7 days, enter 7.

  11. Select the transaction statuses to be queried in the program. The permitted values for the transaction status parameter are as follows:

    Transaction Status Values
    Parameter Value Description
    ALL All transaction statuses are queried in the program.
    C Transaction returned for correction (in modules with SSHR V4.x and earlier)
    RO Transactions returned to approver for correction
    ROS Transactions returned to approver for correction and saved for later
    RI Transactions returned to initiator for correction
    RIS Transactions returned to initiator for correction and saved for later
    D Deleted transactions
    E Transactions with errors
    N Transactions initiated but not submitted for approval
    S Transactions saved for later
    W Transactions in progress
  12. Choose the Submit button.