|Oracle Workflow Developer's Guide|
Part Number B10284-02
Before using Oracle Workflow Builder, you should plan what your process needs to accomplish. In particular, determine what activities need to occur, the order of the activities, what results dictate the different branches of the process, who needs to be informed and what they need to know. Oracle Workflow provides several demonstration workflow examples.
See: Sample Workflow Processes.
There are several ways you can go about creating a workflow process definition:
The Quick Start Wizard helps you build a process definition from scratch using a process definition template. The Quick Start Wizard creates a new item type for your process, prompting you for the minimum required information. It then creates an outline process diagram from which you can flesh out with more activities. Once the Quick Start Wizard sets up the template, you can use either the top-down or bottom-up approach to complete the design. See: To Use the Quick Start Wizard.
Oracle Workflow Builder assigns a version number to each new activity that you create. It also updates the version number whenever you make changes to an existing activity. It saves the new version of the activity to the database without overwriting older versions of the activity. In Oracle Workflow, activities also have dates of effectivity so that at any point in time, only one version of the activity is "in effect". If a process is running, Oracle Workflow uses the version of the activity that was in effect when the process was initiated. It does not switch versions of the activity mid-way through the process. Note that a process itself is an activity, so a process definition always remains constant until the process instance completes.
Oracle Workflow Builder also supports the concept of saving and loading process definitions according to an effective date. For example, you can load a definition into Oracle Workflow Builder that was effective at an earlier point in time. You can also save a definition to the database to be effective at some future time.
Note that Oracle Workflow Builder does not maintain version information for objects that are considered constant, such as item types, item type attributes, messages and lookup types. For these objects, their latest definition always apply, so you should always consider whether a change to any of these objects is backwards compatible. If the modification affects existing processes, you should create a new object rather than edit the existing object.
To create an object in Oracle Workflow Builder, you enter information in the object's property page. Some of the information you provide can be selected from a list of values. If a poplist field yields values that are themselves defined from some other property pages in Oracle Workflow Builder, an Edit button appears to the right of that poplist. When you select a value from a poplist, you can choose the adjacent Edit button to display and edit the source property page(s) of the value. When you are done with the source property page(s) and choose OK or Cancel, you return to the original property page you were working on.
For example, if you create a notification activity, you must specify a Result Type for the activity. The Result Type poplist field lets you select the value <None> or some predefined lookup type. If you select a lookup type, you can then choose the adjacent Edit button to display the property page for that lookup type. When you finish viewing or editing the property page for that lookup type, you can choose OK or Cancel to return to the notification activity property page.