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Understanding the Workflow Policies Module

The Workflow Policies module allows you to define policies that can act as triggers to execute a workflow process.

NOTE:  The name Workflow Policies replaces the name Workflow Manager, which was used to refer to the Siebel Business Process automation tool in earlier releases.

A policy consists of one or more policy conditions. When the policy conditions are met, the policy action is executed.

NOTE:  A number of the functions available with Workflow Policies can be supported using Workflow Processes. It is recommended that Workflow Policies be used to define conditions for invoking workflow processes. Use Workflow Processes for defining the actions.

Workflow Policies Structure

The basic underlying construct of Workflow Policies is the rule. The structure of a rule is: if all conditions are true, then an action occurs. The rule contains a policy condition and a policy action. This means when the conditions of the workflow policy are met, an action occurs.

A workflow policy represents the rules the database monitors. A workflow policy, based on the Workflow Policies rule structure, is composed of conditions and actions. A workflow policy condition is a trigger—a circumstance or situation that causes something to happen. A workflow policy action is an action invoked by a policy condition being fulfilled. You can also have a duration, which is the period of time for which all policy conditions exist for the conditions of the policy to be met.

Workflow Policy Conditions

A policy condition expresses an object/attribute relationship to a value. For example, a policy condition may target data such as Service Request Severity. The policy condition compares that data to a value, such as 1-Critical. The combination of the data element (Service Request Severity), a comparison operation (=), and the value (1-Critical) make up the policy condition.

The fact that a Service Request Severity is 1-Critical may be an issue only if the policy condition remains valid for some extended period of time, such as two hours. If this is the case, a duration can be set for two hours on the workflow policy. The duration becomes part of the policy condition. The policy actions are not executed until the policy conditions are met for the specified duration.

Policy actions can also occur when time duration is not set. For example, email is automatically sent to a sales manager each time a sales representative quotes a discount rate exceeding 25 percent on revenue less than $100,000.

Policies frequently have more than one condition. All the conditions of the policy must be met before an action can occur. A service request with a severity of 1-High and a duration of two hours may be important only if another comparison is also valid, such as the Service Request Status is Open. The policy condition becomes the combination of these two comparison operations:

SR Severity = 1-Critical AND SR Status = Open

Siebel Workflow Policies supports only AND linkages between policy conditions, not OR linkages. If you need to monitor the SR Severity to be 1-Critical or 2-High and the SR Status is Open, you can use the IN operand to evaluate the OR of the SR Severity Condition.

SR Severity IN ('1-Critical', '2-High') AND SR Status = Open

Alternatively, OR linkages can be simulated by creating multiple policies for each key policy condition. The combination of workflow policies will act like an OR linkage. For more discussion on comparisons, see Using Comparison Values in the Conditions Applet.

Workflow Policy Actions

A workflow policy action contains two parts: the action and the action parameters. An action is a type of request, such as "Send an Urgent Page." Action parameters are the arguments, such as the name of the recipient of the page and the alphanumeric text transmitted with the page.

You can specify several actions for one workflow policy, such as sending a page to one person and an email to another. You can reuse actions in multiple workflow policies. See About Customizing Workflow Policies with Siebel Tools for a discussion of actions and their parameters.

NOTE:  In most cases, use workflow policy actions to run a workflow process.

Workflow Policy Action Program Types

Workflow policy actions are based on underlying predefined programs in Siebel Tools and inherit all the arguments of the program. Workflow policy programs can be one of the following types:

  • Send Message. A program of this type sends an email to one or more recipients.
  • Send Page. A program of this type sends a page to one or more recipients.
  • Send Message Broadcast. A program of this type inserts a message broadcast for one or more recipients.
  • DB Operation. A program of this type either inserts or updates the data records of a Siebel database table for selected workflow policy components.
  • External Program. A program of this type allows you to run an executable.
  • Assignment Request. For internal use only.
  • Generic Request Server. A program of this type submits a server request to a designated server component.

NOTE:  Most functionality included in workflow policy action programs can be executed using Workflow Processes.

You can use programs in multiple action definitions and you can use action definitions in multiple workflow policies. Predefined Programs contains a list of the predefined programs.

Workflow Policy Groups

Workflow policies are organized into groups. A workflow policy group is a collection of workflow policies to facilitate load balancing on the servers. Workflow policy groups allow you to manage and optimize Workflow Agent process performance by grouping similar policies to run under one Workflow Agent process.

Workflow Policies Administration Overview

The key elements of the Workflow Policies module are workflow policy object creation in Siebel Tools, workflow policy creation in Siebel Business Process Designer, and policy execution by the Siebel Server Workflow Components.

The Workflow Policies module is administered through the Siebel Business Process Designer in the Siebel client. Instructions for accessing and using the Workflow Policies views are in About Customizing Workflow Policies with Siebel Tools.

Siebel Business Process Designer Administration Guide