Most Identity Manager tasks you perform are defined as a set of workflow processes. When you create a user in Identity Manager, for example, the corresponding workflow process defines and conducts activities that:
Check password policies
Send email to approvers
Evaluate the results of each approval
Create user accounts
Create audit records
Workflows can run automatically without any user interaction or require user interaction in the form of an approval.
Workflows are typically launched as a side effect of checking in a view. Views are checked in when you click Save on a page that implements forms and views.
Within the Identity Manager repository, a workflow exists as a configuration object, typically of Type WFProcess. (The single exception to this object definition is the Create User workflow, which is defined as a ProvisioningTask object.) The taskType is always Workflow.
Identity Manager does not lock the repository object (that is, the User) while a workflow is executing. This is because workflows can run for days, and the repository object cannot remain unlocked for that long. However, Identity Manager prevents you from launching another update workflow on the same user.