Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

MISSION CONTROL Launching your Success Integrating your Self Service Application Workflow with Microsoft Exchange and other Fun Stuff you could do to make.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "MISSION CONTROL Launching your Success Integrating your Self Service Application Workflow with Microsoft Exchange and other Fun Stuff you could do to make."— Presentation transcript:

1 MISSION CONTROL Launching your Success Integrating your Self Service Application Workflow with Microsoft Exchange and other Fun Stuff you could do to make it cool. Muzaffer Lakdawala

2 © PwC Consulting 2 Our Agenda What is workflow Why you need to know workflow Workflow building blocks  Components.  Features.  Capabilities. Case study: Using workflow to solve business problems.  Business problems.  Solutions.  Workflow migration. Lessons learned Q&A

3 © PwC Consulting 3 What Is Workflow? Oracle® Workflow is a complete workflow management system that supports business process definition and automation. Its technology enables automation and continuous improvement to business processes, routing information of any type according to user-defined business rules. Oracle Workflow is part of the Oracle e-business suite, a set of applications, which is designed to transform your business to an iBusiness.

4 © PwC Consulting 4 What Is Workflow? A framework and toolkit for building your processes: Define process flow logic. Route information. Define & validate business rules. F l e x i b l e D y n a m i c P o w e r f u l C u s t o m i z a b l e I n t e g r a t e d

5 © PwC Consulting 5 Why You Need to Know Workflow With Oracle’s E-business suite, Workflow becomes the foundation for most Oracle application processes. The success of future Oracle implementations will depend on thoughtful configuration and creative use of workflow features. To implement business processes in Oracle which meet your requirements and are efficient and maintainable. BUT Workflow is powerful and flexible providing opportunities to build optimal processes. BUT these characteristics also introduce complexity that can work against you if not utilized properly.

6 © PwC Consulting 6 Workflow Building Blocks Workflow is NOT one distinct application. Delivery of robust workflow solutions requires integrating the features, functionality and capabilities of many individual components. System: Mailer Oracle Workflow Components Compatible Applications (ex: Microsoft Exchange) Web Application Directory Oracle Workflow Builder

7 © PwC Consulting 7 Workflow Components FunctionsProcess AttributesMessages Notifications Lookup Types Workflow Definition Loader Workflow Background Engine Workflow Builder Monitoring & Administration Electronic Notifications PL/SQL Extendibility

8 © PwC Consulting 8 Workflow Components FunctionsProcess AttributesMessages Notifications Lookup Types Workflow Definition Loader

9 © PwC Consulting 9 Workflow Components FunctionsProcess AttributesMessages Notifications Lookup Types Workflow Builder

10 © PwC Consulting 10 Workflow Components FunctionsProcess AttributesMessages Notifications Lookup Types PL/SQL Extendibility

11 © PwC Consulting 11 Workflow Components FunctionsProcess AttributesMessages Notifications Lookup Types Monitoring & Administration

12 © PwC Consulting 12 Workflow Components FunctionsProcess AttributesMessages Notifications Lookup Types Electronic Notifications

13 © PwC Consulting 13 Workflow Components FunctionsProcess AttributesMessages Notifications Lookup Types Workflow Background Engine

14 © PwC Consulting 14 Workflow Components FunctionsProcess AttributesMessages Notifications Lookup Types

15 © PwC Consulting 15 Workflow Components FunctionsProcess AttributesMessages Notifications Lookup Types

16 © PwC Consulting 16 Workflow Components Functions Process AttributesMessages Notifications Lookup Types

17 © PwC Consulting 17 Workflow Components FunctionsProcess Attributes Messages Notifications Lookup Types

18 © PwC Consulting 18 Workflow Components FunctionsProcess Attributes Messages Notifications Lookup Types

19 © PwC Consulting 19 Workflow Components Functions Process AttributesMessages Notifications Lookup Types

20 © PwC Consulting 20 Workflow Components FunctionsProcess AttributesMessages Notifications Lookup Types Workflow Definition Loader Workflow Background Engine Workflow Builder Monitoring & Administration Electronic Notifications PL/SQL Extendibility

21 © PwC Consulting 21 What Is Workflow?

22 © PwC Consulting 22 Additional Components The hidden power of Oracle Workflow is its flexibility to be integrated with additional components to provide extended functionality. We will talk about three key components that were used in our recent solution.  Web Application Dictionary  System: Mailer  Microsoft Exchange

23 © PwC Consulting 23 Web Application Directory Services Oracle Workflow offers flexibility in defining workflow users and roles. If you are using the version of Oracle Workflow embedded in Oracle Applications, Oracle Workflow directory service views are automatically based on a unified Oracle Applications environment. The unified environment maps over Oracle Human Resources tables, Oracle Application Object Library tables, various Oracle Applications tables, and the WF_LOCAL tables. Unified Environment Web Application Dictionary AOL WF_LOCALVendors HRCustomers

24 © PwC Consulting 24 Web Application Directory Services The WF_LOCAL tables/views have three key components: WF_LOCAL_USER You can use this table to define users which are not included in unified Oracle Application Environment. WF_LOCAL_ROLES You can use this table to define roles which are not included in unified Oracle Application Environment. WF_LOCAL_USER_ROLES The Wf_Local_User_Roles table is an intersection of the users and roles. These tables define users and roles that are not defined in unified Oracle Application Environment.

25 © PwC Consulting 25 System: Mailer Oracle provides templates within System: Mailer workflow, to customize verbiage. Determines what s are sent out and in what format. System Mailer Template Canceled Mail Summary Mail Open FYI Mail Invalid Mail Open Mail Warning Mail Closed Mail There are 7 templates that Oracle uses for sending out notifications. Open - When expecting a response. Open FYI - When no response is expected. Summary - Used when user is expecting summary notification. Cancel - Informs previous notifications are canceled. Invalid - Informs users of invalid response. Closed - Informs users of closed notification.

26 © PwC Consulting 26 Microsoft Exchange Oracle Workflow can be integrated with Microsoft Exchange to expand functionality for your workflow solution. Public Folders Public folders allow you to collect organize and share information with others on your team or across your organization. Public folders can be used to store any type of files or Outlook items. Public folders have addresses used to post messages. Why use Public Folders? Public folders can be used as a distribution list or to define your operations staff groups. Public folders can receive Workflow Notifications. Members in these group can be managed outside Oracle Workflow world. Multiple operational staff can access the same folder and move work to their individual work folders. Provides mechanism to distribute work evenly and efficiently.

27 © PwC Consulting 27 Example Suggested Folder Structure

28 © PwC Consulting 28 Case Study: Oracle Workflow The following section illustrates how careful workflow design, thoughtful configuration and the creative use of workflow capabilities can help deliver an efficient, controlled, and low cost business process. *The solutions mentioned were developed as part of a recent implementation of Oracle i Expenses for over 10,000 employees at a Global 200 client.

29 © PwC Consulting 29 Case Study: Problems Five specific business problems addressed using Workflow:  How can operational staff efficiently monitor and control the automated process?  How to maintain dynamic business rules without constantly changing code?  How to customize workflow to meet operational needs without creating maintenance issues?  How to organize work among operational staff, to enable quick response and efficient execution?  How to reduce potentials for errors during migration of workflow?

30 © PwC Consulting 30 Operational Support Problem #1 Transition from a paper based process to eBusiness solution will introduce a number of access and control issues for support staff.

31 © PwC Consulting 31 Operational Support Problem #1 Support staff can lose visibility of events in the electronic processes.  Automated work processes are efficient, but can leave support staff feeling “out of touch” with their operation.  Staff not immediately aware when a problem occurs. Monitoring and administration of Oracle Workflow process using delivered functionality is not efficient.  Difficult to monitor the overall process  Navigation through workflow diagram environment can be intimidating for non-technical support personnel.  Tracking transactions through workflow is a one by one proposition requiring entry of the expense report number for each single transaction to view its progress Learning curve for support staff - Oracle environment is not always intuitive.

32 © PwC Consulting 32 Solution: Utilize capabilities Fully utilized the capabilities of workflow to send notification messages. Error Condition Send immediate notifications when any error condition occurs Descriptive Notification Develop clear concise Notification messages Notification to Operational Role Send notifications to specific operational staff responsible to take action Electronic Notification Manage By Exception Staff confident that notifications identify conditions to be managed Functional Staff can monitor system via s

33 © PwC Consulting 33 Operational Support Problem #2 How can modifications be made to dynamic business rules without changing and migrating workflow processes and custom code? Workflow allows validation of business rules, but rules can change often.  Business rules in workflow validation programs need to be added and modified.  Constant change and migration of the workflow file and custom codes would be costly and introduce chance for error.

34 © PwC Consulting 34 Operational Support Issues Examples of business requirements that call for the ability to change business rules and parameters.  Complex per diem rules with varying rates and factors.  Some Divisions want to require entry of Project numbers, others don’t use projects.  IRS rule changes, thresholds, receipts not required for certain expense types (lodging, auto mileage, per diems).  Rules that change based on new labor agreements, changes to corporate policy.  Business rules that apply only for a particular department (viz.: International division had increased receipt requirements for VAT).  Business rules by expense type and $ amount.

35 © PwC Consulting 35 Solution: Table driven Custom Business Rules Create a custom table to define dynamic business rules. Provide a custom form to allow maintenance of the parameters and attributes of the rules.  Most business rule changes can be handled by operations staff adding and changing table values.  One custom table is used to hold rules for taxation, required field specification, expense thresholds, per diem values etc.  Custom business rule validation programs don’t need to change every time a business rule is modified. Add one custom procedure to the workflow to handle all rules, instead of customizing delivered packages. Your workflow process performs validations based on the values defined in the table

36 © PwC Consulting 36 Custom Business Rules The framework of the workflow validation programs were built flexibly to validate different types of business rules using table driven parameters. Typical fields in the table structure might be: Rule_Name: Justification, Receipts, Per Diem. Rule_For: Expense Types. Cost_Centre: Cost Centre for which rule applies. Yes_No_Null: Rule applies if Amex was used or not used. Effective_Start_Date: Start date for the rule. Effective_End_Date: End date for the rule. Value1: Stores Business agreed numeric value. (Ex:Mileage Rate) Value2: Stores IRS allowed numeric value. (Max Per Diem allowance.) Value3: Stores any other numeric value. Description: Plain English meaning for the rule.

37 © PwC Consulting 37 Developing Custom Business Process Custom Business Process Front End Form End Date Business Rules PL/SQL for Business Rules Validation Define Rules as Functions Introduce Functions in Process Migrate Rules Build logic to apply rule Date parameters provides ability for historical tracking and application of date sensitive rules Build rule validation within a function that can be brought into workflow Introduce function into proper place within the workflow process Migration strategy Maintain values in the table A structured well designed approach is required to effectively implement custom business rules

38 © PwC Consulting 38 Operational Support Problem #3 Would like notifications sent to the people in specific roles. How can this be achieved without changing the workflow files for every change in operational staff and their assignments.  Support personnel and addresses change regularly.  Constant change and migration of the workflow file and procedures would be costly and introduce chance of error.

39 © PwC Consulting 39 Solutions to Operational Support Issues Utilize features of Workflow as well as it’s ability to integrate with Microsoft Exchange:  Use Workflow ability to create Roles. Defined operation roles and assigned roles to employees (using Wf_Local_User_Roles tables) Workflow notification s directed to the appropriate operational roles not individual users.  Use of Microsoft Exchange features (folders) and Roles to structure workflow so that it is independent of users. Workflow does not need to be changed for operational staff turnover.  Send notifications to appropriate operational staff role for all key events in the process. Staff can monitor process by tracking s sent to their operational folder.

40 © PwC Consulting 40 Solution: Integrate with MS Exchange Define Public Folders in Microsoft Exchange. Set default to ‘Contributor’ for the folder. Add list of people who can process the notifications. Assign necessary permissions to people allowing them to manage notifications. Re-define these folders as local users and roles in Oracle Workflow Web Application Dictionary Tables. Load users and roles from database into Oracle Workflow. Use these local users and roles as ‘Performers’ in Workflow Notifications for all generated messages.

41 © PwC Consulting 41 Operational Support Problem #4 How can notification of errors and exception be efficiently distributed and work tracked among support staff?  Want an organized approach to monitoring the system.  Notify appropriate roles of the errors and exception.  Need to make sure all issues are being worked.  Want to avoid multiple people unknowingly working the same issue.

42 © PwC Consulting 42 Solution 4 Using Microsoft Exchange Folders we can have all the system generated s send to central folders. Microsoft displays to individuals numbers of s that have not been processed yet. Microsoft Exchange is not the complete solution for tracking issues. It has limited capabilities for recording status and resolutions.

43 © PwC Consulting 43 Operational Support Problem #5 Migration of Workflow components from development to production instances can be tricky and introduce potential for error  Need to follow a structured approach for migrating workflow which minimizes risk of error  Changes to the workflow should be minimized

44 © PwC Consulting 44 Migration Methodology Migration from Development to Production : Local user and roles tables. Change the script to point to the right public folders to Oracle Workflow Chain Link is not an available option. Check-in Oracle Workflow into external version control programs for future modifications and upgrades. Using Oracle Workflow Builder open the workflow file from TEST and save it back in PRODUCTION. It requires APPS password. Using concurrent program to upload file. UNIX level access is required. Microsoft Exchange Public Folders. Allow the Production Folders to accept s.

45 © PwC Consulting 45 Migration Methodology Refresh from Production to Development : Local user and roles tables. Using the update script change the local user and roles table to point to the right public folders to Workflow It is migrated from Production to Test instance during the refresh, as Oracle Workflow is stored in tables.

46 © PwC Consulting 46 Case Study Review: Workflow Solution Following actions were thoughtfully applied to address business issues and avoid workflow pitfalls.  Fully utilized Notifications and capabilities.  Careful approach to customizing the workflow process.  Intelligent Use of Roles.  Integration with Microsoft Exchange and .  Minimized the need for on-going changes to workflow.  Implemented a structured methodology for migration.

47 © PwC Consulting 47 Case Study Review: Result Operational staff remains fully in control of the process Benefits of automated process achieved without losing touch. Operations staff obtain required business process information without being a workflow experts. Workflow changes are not necessary for most changes to business rules and staff turnover. Lower operational cost and overhead from improved streamlined business process. Work items are organized and divided efficiently to the proper operation roles. Changes to workflow occur in a structured manner.

48 © PwC Consulting 48 Lesson Learned Give very focused attention to the design of workflow - it is the glue that will hold the pieces of your process together. Be careful assuming you can get full benefits from your process just dropping in the vanilla workflow process. Remember that it’s the little things that will kill you. Recurring costs and issues with a process can be reduced without a great deal of cost through expertise for Workflow. It’s tempting to go into Workflow Builder and start moving things around, but you need to understand how things work first - a lot of hidden consequences. Be creative, but within the confines of the workflow Prototype your workflow design then Test, Test, Test and Test again.

49 © PwC Consulting 49 Lesson Learned  Strong Mail Server Network is required. A simple Expense Report can generate up to 5 s.  Reply-To functionality is great but has to be implemented with caution: No signatures allowed. Responses split into more than one line must be in quotes. Can’t be removed without modifications to standard workflow packages.  Keep messages simple! - People don’t read carefully Custom Business Rules  Keep all customizations confined to one PL/SQL Package  Complex rules require complex coding and complex testing procedures - there should be good business reason.  Not all rules can be table driven.

50 © PwC Consulting 50 Lesson Learned Migration  Frequent changes and migration of workflow file is costly and introduces chance of error- Minimize them!  In process transactions will use OLD workflow process but NEW code.  Always remember MURPHY lives on. Any change or migration can introduce error.

51 © PwC Consulting 51 Purging Workflow ProcedureParametersDescription WF_PURGE.ITEMSItemtype Itemkey Enddate Removes all run-time data associated with completed items. WF_PURGE.ACTIVITIESItemtype Enddate Removes obsolete activities versions. These are versions of activities that are no longer used by any item. WF_PURGE.NOTIFICATIONSItemtype Enddate Removes old notifications. These are notifications that are no longer used by any item. WF_PURGE.TOTALItemtype Itemkey Enddate Purges both item and activity data. WF_PURGE.TOTALPERMItemtype Itemkey Enddate Deletes all eligible obsolete run-time data that has a persistence type of Permanent. WF_PURGE.ADHOCDIRECTORYEnddatePurges all ad hoc users and roles that are not associated with a notification.

52 © PwC Consulting 52 Q&A Questions ?


Download ppt "MISSION CONTROL Launching your Success Integrating your Self Service Application Workflow with Microsoft Exchange and other Fun Stuff you could do to make."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google