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