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Oracle Workflow

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Agenda
Overview Workflow Builder

Workflow Components Create Workflow Process Item Type - Standard

Workflow Architecture Workflow Directory Services Workflow Monitor Workflow Item attributes Business Event System Workflow development Approaches Workflow Technical Architecture

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Objectives
Know what is Oracle workflow Know how business processes are modelled with workflow builder Know how workflow processes can be monitored Know architecture of Oracle workflow

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Overview
Oracle Workflow is a Business Process Management tool. It is used for modeling, automating & monitoring Business processes, during which documents, information or tasks are passed from one participant to another for action, according to a set of procedural rules. Here is a sample workflow process diagram..

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Overview (Contd.).
Oracle Workflow accomplishes these important business requirements: 1. Models Business Process with Rules :

Oracle Workflow lets you model sophisticated business processes with loop, branch, parallel flows and then decompose into subflows. Oracle Workflow can decide which path to take based on the result of a stored PL/SQL procedure. Routes information through Oracle Apps for action or notification. The attachments include self-service Web page and Application forms. Delivers electronic notifications to any Oracle Applications user. Delivers electronic notifications to any e-mail or Internet user.

2. Routes Information for necessary Action :

3. Delivers Electronic Notifications :

4. Integrating Systems

Oracle Workflow lets you set up subscriptions to business events which can launch workflows. You can communicate events among systems within your own enterprise and with external systems as well to achieve complex system integration scenarios.
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Workflow Builder

Oracle Workflow Builder is a graphical tool that lets you create, view, or modify a
business process with simple drag and drop operations.

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Workflow Components
Data Store: A database connection or flat file that holds a workflow process
definition.

Item Type: A specific business document or transaction eg. Purchase order can be

an item type. All the workflow components mentioned below are grouped together as an Item type. Item Type Attribute: A feature of the item type which stores information that can be globally referenced by any activity in a process. Also referred to as an item attribute. Process Activity: A series of actions that need to be performed to accomplish a business goal. A process is represented by a workflow diagram. A process can include function activities, notification activities, event activities, and other subprocesses. Event Activity: A business event modeled as an activity so that it can be included in a workflow process. Notification Activity: A unit of work that requires human intervention. A notification activity sends a message to a performer. Function Activity: An automated unit of work, usually defined as a PL/SQL stored procedure. A function activity can also run an external function. In the standalone version of Oracle Workflow, a function activity can also run a Java program on the middle tier. Message: The information sent by a notification activity. The message may request the performer to do some work or may simply provide information.

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Workflow Components (Contd.).


Lookup Type: A list of values that can be referenced by any activity in a workflow
process. The values in the list are called lookup codes.

Transition: The relationship that defines the completion of one activity and the
activation of another activity within a process. In a process diagram, a transition is represented as an arrow between two activities.

Item: A specific business document or transaction. For example, purchase order can
be an item type while a purchase order identified by a particular ID number is an item of that item type.

Process Instance: A unique item being managed by a process.

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Workflow Components (Contd.).


Process: F T N Y Function: PL/SQL code returns Result Result T Result F Result A

Result B

}
Result Type = Lookup Type Result Y Result N

}
RESULT Resp 1 Resp 2

Notification:
Message

FYI
Response Required

Send Attributes Send and Respond Attributes

}
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Event:
Event Message
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Receive Raise Send

(No Result)

Create Workflow Process


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Create Item Type


Open or create a data store in Navigator window. Right click and create an item type. Assign an eight character internal name in upper case without colons or spaces. Specify a persistence type of temporary or permanent. If temporary, then provide the no. of days after which its audit trail will be purged, once the workflow item instance is completed. If any workflow item type has more than one runnable processes, the selector function identifies the specific process the workflow Engine should execute when a workflow is initiated for this item type. Select the Access tab page to set the access and customization levels for this item type.

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Create Item Attribute


Create an item attribute , assign it an internal name which must be uppercase, maximum 8 characters. this is not updatable and should not have colons or spaces. It acts as a global variable that can be referenced or updated by any activity within a process.

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Create Lookup Type


A lookup type is a static list of values. These lists can be referenced as Result type by function and notification activities. A message attribute can reference a lookup type as a means of providing a list of possible responses to the performer of a notification. We can create an Approval lookup type, which will have 2 lookup codes viz: Approved & Rejected.

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Create Lookup Code


Lookup codes represent the actual values in a lookup type. The lookup codes for a lookup type are defined in the navigator tree beneath the lookup type. Right click on the lookup type and choose New lookup code to create a APPROVED lookup code.

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Create Message
A message is what a notification activity sends to a role in a workflow process. A message can prompt a user for a reply or an action to take that determines what the next activity in the process should be. The recipient of a workflow message is called the performer, which is defined in Notification node.

The subject can include message attributes that get token replaced with runtime values. To include a message attribute, use an ampersand (&) followed by the message attributes internal name. You can enter plain text or html formatted message in the body.

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Create Message Result and Attributes


Specify a display name and description for Message Result. Select a lookup type from the poplist field. The lookup type you select should be identical to the lookup type specified for the notification activitys result type.

Enter message attribute internal name. Specify Send or Respond in the Source field to indicate whether this attribute should send information or prompt a recipient for a response. The Display Name appears as the response prompt, If this is a Respond message attribute.

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Create Notification Activity


The message sent by a notification activity can simply convey information or it can require a response. If the message requires a response, then create Send message attributes that provide enough information for the recipient to respond, and also create Respond message attributes that prompt a response. If you plan to assign this notification to a role consisting of multiple users and you want to send an individual copy of this notification to each user in the role, then check Expand Roles. If you uncheck Expand Roles, then only one copy of the notification is delivered to the role as a whole. If you provide a PL/SQL procedure as Function, then it lets you add processing logic to the notification activity and also known as a post-notification function.

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Create Function Activity


The PL/SQL procedure for a function activity can return some result that determines the next transition the Workflow Engine takes. That result should be defined as a code in a lookup type.

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Create Event Activity


An event activity can either receive, raise, or send a business event from the Business Event System. An event activity does not have a result, but you can branch on the contents of an event message using comparison activities provided in the Standard item type.

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Create Process Activity

You can drag and drop activities from the navigator tree into the process window or create activities directly in the process window by right-click and choosing the option. You define transitions between activities by drawing arrows from one node to the next by clicking the right mouse button and drawing it to the next activity while keeping it pressed. Notification, function, event, and process activities make up the nodes of a process. 20

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Workflow Technical Architecture


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Master Table List


WF_PROCESS_ACTIVITIES WF_ACTIVITIES WF_ACTIVITY_ATTRIBUTES WF_ITEM_TYPES WF_ITEM_ATTRIBUTES WF_MESSAGES WF_MESSAGE_ATTRIBUTES WF_ROUTING_RULES WF_ROUTING_RULE_ATTRIBUTES

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Transaction Table List


WF_ACTIVITY_ATTR_VALUES WF_ACTIVITY_TRANSITIONS WF_ITEM_ACTIVITY_STATUSES WF_ITEM_ACTIVITY_STATUSES_H WF_ITEMS WF_ITEM_ATTRIBUTE_VALUES WF_NOTIFICATION_ATTRIBUTES

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Views used in Workflow


Workflow uses views for effective querying of data. These views are de-normalized so as to provide a faster access to data over networks. Some of the important views are: WF_ITEMS_V WF_ITEM_ACTIVITY_STATUSES_V WF_NOTIFICATIONS_VIEWS WF_ROLES WF_USERS WF_USER_ROLES

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APIs used in Workflow


Various PL/SQL APIs exist for the working of Oracle Workflow. WF_ENGINE WF_CORE WF_PURGE WF_MONITOR WF_QUEUE WF_NOTIFICATIONS

These APIs can be used to create WF processes, send notifications, purge etc. These can essentially be used by the developer while developing any WF components (either customizing or creating new WF item types).

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Workflow Transitions

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Workflow Transitions
Activity-Each activity is a node, a logical step that contributes toward the completion of a process. Transitions-Transitions appear as arrows in your diagram and represent the completion of one activity and the activation of another.

Different Types of Transitions:-

a. b. c.

Self-looping Transitions <Default> Transitions <Any> Transitions

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Self-looping Transitions

Activity loops back to itself on Timeout

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<Default> Transitions

The Workflow Engine follows a <Default> transition if no other transition matching the completion result exists.
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<Any> Transitions
Ap p ro ve Do c ume nt Ap p ro ve d End (Ap p ro ve )

S ta rt

R e vie w Do c ume nt R e je c t

Ye s No

<Any>

Do c ume nt R e je c te d

End (R e je c t)

Lo g R e vie w

The Workflow Engine follows an <Any> transition regardless of what completion result the activity returns. This allows you to include a generic activity in the process that the Workflow Engine executes in parallel with the resultspecific activity.
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Workflow Item Type - Standard


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Item Type - Standard


The seeded item type Standard includes function and notification activities provided by Oracle Workflow that can be included in your process diagrams. These activities include: And/Or : In a process diagram where multiple branches transition to a single node, use this logic can be to progress further. Compare Date/Number/Text : Use this to compare an item attribute with a constant value or another attribute. Wait : You can wait until a time period after this activity is encountered or until a specific date or until a day of the week/month. Block : The Block activity lets you pause a process until some external program or manual step completes and makes a call to the CompleteActivity Workflow Engine API. Launch Process : This lets you launch another workflow process from the current process. Noop : Use this activity in the workflow process, where you want to place a node without performing an action.

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Item Type Standard (Contd.).



Loop Counter : Use this to limit the no. of times workflow engine transitions through a particular path. Start/End : These activities mark the start or end of a process and does not perform any action. Vote Yes/No :This activity lets you send a notification to a group of users in a role and tally the Yes/No responses from those users. The results of the tally determine the activity that the process transitions to next. Continue Flow/Wait for Flow : One activity lets you pause a process and the other signals the halted process to continue. To use these activities, you place one activity in the master process and the other in each detail process. Assign : Lets you assign a value to an item attribute.

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Workflow Directory Services

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Directory Services
The directory service for Oracle Workflow is implemented as a set of views that are mapped across the user tables of the underlying application. Create Roles: Adhoc roles can be created using User Management Responsibility or through PL/SQL in database. If you use PL/SQL to create roles make sure you give all user names and role names in UPPER case to avoid some problems


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Script to Create a Adhoc Role


Script to Add user to existing Adhoc Role Script to Remove user from existing Adhoc Role Using Adhoc roles in workflow notifications Adhoc Roles Tables
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Script to Create a Adhoc Role


DECLARE lv_role varchar2(100) := 'DEMO_ROLE'; lv_role_desc varchar2(100) := 'DEMO_ROLE';

BEGIN wf_directory.CreateAdHocRole(lv_role, lv_role_desc, NULL, NULL, 'Role Demo for erpschool users', 'MAILHTML', 'NAME1 NAME2', --USER NAME SHOULD BE IN CAPS NULL, NULL, 'ACTIVE', NULL);
dbms_output.put_line('Created Role' ||' '||lv_role); End; /

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Script to Add user to already existing Adhoc Role


DECLARE v_role_name varchar2(100); v_user_name varchar2(100); BEGIN v_role_name := 'DEMO_ROLE'; v_user_name := 'NAME3'; WF_DIRECTORY.AddUsersToAdHocRole(v_role_name, v_user_name); --USER NAMES SHOULD BE in CAPS END;

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Script to Remove user from existing Adhoc Role


DECLARE v_role_name varchar2(100); v_user_name varchar2(100); BEGIN v_role_name := 'ERPSCHOOLS_DEMO_ROLE'; v_user_name := 'NAME3'; WF_DIRECTORY.RemoveUsersFromAdHocRole(v_role_name, v_user_name); --USER NAMES in CAPS END;

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Using Adhoc roles in workflow notifications


Navigation: File > Load Roles from Database Select roles you want to use and then click OK. Open the notification properties and then navigate to node tab, select performer as the role you just created and loaded from database.

WF_USERS: Contains information on user names, display names, notification preferences and e-mail addresses WF_ROLES: Contains information on the roles of which users can be members WF_USER_ROLES: Contains information on the association of users with roles WF_LOCAL_ROLES WF_USER_ROLE_ASSIGNMENTS
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Oracle Workflow Monitor

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Oracle Workflow Monitor

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 browse. The Self-Service Monitor in Oracle Applications lets you view and administer workflows that you own. You can use the monitor to review the notifications sent by a workflow, check the progress of the workflow by viewing the status diagram, and examine participant responses to notifications sent by the workflow.
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Oracle Workflow Monitor


The Workflow Monitor displays an annotated view of the process diagram for a particular instance of a workflow process 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.

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Oracle Workflow Architecture

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Workflow Architecture
Web Notification Worklist
Web Monitor Web Analysis Tools Mail Applications Notification Mailer Oracle HTTP Server Advanced Queuing Directory Services Users Roles Workflow XML Loader Workflow Builder Workflow Engine Workflow Definitions Loader Workflow Definition Files Workflow Development Client
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Business Event System

Notification System
Oracle Workflow Enabled Application

End-User Client
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Application Server

Oracle Server

Workflow Architecture (Contd.).


Oracle Workflow Architecture Workflow Development Client The development client is a PC running on Windows. This platform is used to create and modify Oracle Workflow process definitions using Workflow Builder. Workflow Definitions Loader lets you transfer process definitions between a database and a flat file. This allows to source-control the processes as flat file. Workflow XML Loader lets you transfer XML definitions for Business Event System objects between a database and a flat file. Oracle Server The Oracle Server platform is the Oracle RDBMS. This platform hosts the business applications such as the Workflow Engine, Business Event System, Notification System, and directory services. Application Server The application server is the environment outside of the RDBMS. This environment includes ancillary services such as the Oracle9i Application Server (Oracle9iAS) as the web server, and the Notification Mailer. End-User Client The end-user client is the PC that an end user uses to perform daily tasks. This client includes browser support for reviewing and responding to notifications in the Notification Worklist, the Oracle Workflow Monitor and e-mail applications.

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Workflow Item Attributes

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Attribute Data Types

You can assign the following data types to attributes:

Text Number Date Lookup Role Attribute URL Form Document Event

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URL Attributes
URL Attributes : When you create an item attribute of type URL, specify a frame target for the attribute. If you reference this item attribute as the default value of a message attribute in a message, the URL frame opens according to what you specified as the frame target. The value of a URL attribute can be a text string or can be token substituted. A URL value is specified in the format: http://<location>

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URL Attributes
The Notification Details web page supports message attributes of type URL. These attributes appear in a notification message body as a hypertext link or below the message as an attachment icon. When you open your notification, you can click the link or attachment icon to display the URL according to the frame target specified for the attribute. Click the attachment icon to launch an attached URL in the Web browser

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Form Attributes
Form Attribute Values : The value for an attribute of type form must be the internal function name of an Oracle EBusiness Suite form function, together with any optional form parameters. The default value for the form attribute must be entered using the following format: function_name:parameter1=value1 parameter2=value2 ...parameterN=valueN The value of a form parameter can be a text string enclosed in quotes ( ) or can be token substituted with another predefined item type attribute in either of the following ways: parameterN = &item_type_attribute parameterN = Value &item_type_attribute, where &item_type_attribute represents the rest of the value
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Form Attributes
Form Attributes : The Notification Details web page supports message attributes of type form. These attributes appear in a notification message as a form icon. When you open your notification, you can click the attached form icon to drill down to the referenced form. Form attributes cannot be attached to e-mail notifications. To view form attachments, you must view the notification in the Notification Details web page.

Click the form icon to launch an attached Oracle E-Business Suite form

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Document Attributes
Document attribute: The value for a document attribute should be a PL/SQL document ie. a document representing data from the database as a character string, generated from a PL/SQL procedure. A PL/SQL document value is specified in the format: PLSQL:<procedure>/<docume nt_identifier>

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Document Attributes
The Notification Details web page supports message attributes of type document. These attributes appear in a notification message as an inline link or as an attachment icon. When you open your notification, you can click a link or an attachment icon to open the referenced document.

Click the attachment icon to open an attached document

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Business Event System

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Business Event System


An Event is a business activity that takes place in your system viz: A Purchase Order is approved A Sales Order is Booked When an event occurs, you may want to do some processing by means of calling a Workflow or by executing some PL/SQL Function. Such a workflow or a PL/SQL is called subscription. eg: Booking an Order is an event and Sending an Acknowledgement to the Customer is a subscription.

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Create Event and Subscription

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Name the pl/sql function which we are attaching to the event. You may even attach a workflow type and process to the event.

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Raise Business Event


Raise the Business event using wf_event.RAISE function from anonymous block or from a trigger when a Business transaction happens. As per the event subscription the pl/sql function will be executed or the workflow process will be executed.

wf_event.RAISE(p_event_name => x_event_name

,p_event_key => x_event_key ,p_parameters => x_event_parameter_list );

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Workflow Development Approaches

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Workflow Approaches
Two approaches for creating work flow: -

1.
2.

Bottom Up Approach

Top Down Approach

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Bottom Up Approach
1. 2. 3. Define the item type of the process. Define the item type attributes for the process. Define lookup types and lookup codes.

4.
5. 6. 7.

Define messages.
Define message attributes. Define the activities in the process as Function, Notification or Process. Diagram the relationship of the activities.

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Top Down Approach


1. 2. 3. Use the Quick Start Wizard to create the process framework. Define activities without underlying dependencies. Diagram the relationship of the activities.

4.
5. 6. 7.

Define item type attributes for the process.


Define lookup types and lookup codes. Define messages. Define message attributes.

8. Update processes, functions, and notifications with underlying components.

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References
1. Oracle Applications Documentation library - Oracle workflow Developer's Guide, http://downloaduk.oracle.com/docs/cd/B25516_08/current/html/docset.html

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