A workflow (English: workflow ) is a defined sequence of activities in a working system of an organization.

Various complexities according to the granularity of their description can be distinguished. Usually, a workflow is designed as a type in the model and supplied to run the instance with current data.

  • A workflow is a content completed, time and proper logically contiguous string of functions or services that are necessary to process a relevant business entity and their transitions, for example, supplied by an information system or even controlled.
  • A work order (English: job ) is a section of a workflow with one or several steps or chores (English: task ) of a job, this is every step by an actor (English: worker or actor ) in a workplace (English: work position ) and with resources alone or cooperatively done.
  • A step (English: task ) is a single closed performing such chores within a chain or in a work order that is described individually, but is mostly engaged in connection of a job and done by an actor alone or cooperatively.

The workflow emphasizes the operational - technical view of the specific processes with associated resources, while related to the definition of business process emphasizes the abstraction with economic factors such as costs and revenues.

Here, a workflow management system to support the process in multiple context it with the necessary data (temporal, modal, final) and provide support him in accordance with a stored in the system default or a dedicated algorithm. International industrial bodies such as the WfMC have developed standards like BPML.

The goals of flow control are among others:

  • Firstly, a clear specification
  • Avoid waiting times
  • Avoid temporal or modal overload
  • Assignment of resources when they are needed
  • Steadying the exposure of workers involved
  • Stabilization of emissions of products
  • Possible (partial) automation of the execution
  • Less a documentary for an organization or its employees,

In contrast the business process is thereby made ​​in detail to the operational level by the workflow description ( workflow definition) the process is divided into components that are unique to the IT level and are available in a deterministic relationship.

Workflow models are intended to help utilize the support through various applications and databases and ensure the work processes of the organization. For this purpose, a workflow management system is used: This is a software system that enables the design and application of models for workflows, by controlling the workflow instances according to a predetermined, mapped in the application schema and required for this purpose provides data or other applications starts.

A workflow management system also coordinates consecutive or concurrent processes. In the workflow are involved

  • Roles ( who),
  • Tasks (what),
  • Conditions (such as )
  • Times ( when)
  • Relationships ( what) and
  • Environments where

Contiguous set.

Analysis and definition of workflows are first performed in steps manually. Complex relationships are better supported with appropriate frameworks.