Business Process Flow Complexity
A business process can flow as a simple linear configuration or contain one or more decision points requiring human or system determination of the next steps in the process, subflows or nested activities, or loops (repeating activities).
A business process can flow as a simple linear configuration or contain one or more:
- Decision points requiring human or system determination of the next steps in the process
- Subflows or nested activities
- Loops (repeating activities)
An example of a simple business process is fire-and-forget publishing of a business event to a group of interested participants. The steps in the process would be triggering the process and the subsequent publishing of the event to the interested parties.
A complex business process might require multiple interactions among many applications in a start-and-stop, request-response mode, along with human interaction, occurring over a long period of time
The following figure illustrates the tasks in a simple process containing a decision point (a diamond represents a decision point):
In this figure, the business process may include the following activities:
- Receive a purchase order (PO). In a likely usage scenario, Sterling B2B Integrator receives the document through an adapter configured to operate outside the context of a business process. According to the content of the document, Sterling B2B Integrator determines which business process to start and starts the first service in the process by placing the message or document and other appropriate process state information on a queue for the appropriate service in the selected business process.
- The appropriate service retrieves the initial business process state information from the queue (PO Received, in the figure depicted above) and processes the next step in the business process.
- A service, according to rules assigned to a Choice activity in the business process model, reviews the PO amount to determine whether the PO is more than or less than $500.
- If the amount is less than $500, an adapter sends the modified business process state information, with the data, to a specific application for PO request processing (this likely involves initiating another process).
- If the amount is greater than $500, an adapter sends the modified business process state information, with the data, to a specific application or human interaction service for a manager to further review the request.
For more information about structuring business process models, see Organizing Your Business Process ModelsOrganizing Your Business Process Models.