User and Data-Centric Processes

With ’Decisions’, the workflow goes well beyond orchestrating users and teams. While user-oriented workflow is common, ‘Decisions’ was built to support high volume and data-intensive usage cases as well. About 40% of ‘Decisions’ customers use it for processes that are purely backend and not user centric (Yes, most people use it for user processes - we love users!!)
Workflow For Data

Workflow For Data

Non-user workflows are typically focused on tasks like

  • System and data monitoring
  • Event processing
  • Batch processing data

When your processes are automated and work behind the scenes, sometimes it can be hard to know when there are problems. The Decisions Platform focuses on fixing the relationships between processes and users, so it’s easy to leverage our user tasking (assigned forms) to help with this. If something goes wrong or there is some unexpected condition – even in the middle of a primary data-oriented use case – a user can be involved to make decisions, change data, or intervene in some other way.

Engaging Users In Workflow

Engaging Users In Workflow

In addition to a user being able to start a workflow, users (or groups of users) can be involved in the process as it is being run. While the most common pattern for this is to assign a form, users can also be engaged via email, telephone, and other mechanisms. When a workflow has an assignment for a user, it pauses and waits for the user to complete the interaction.

Monitoring Systems In Workflow

Monitoring Systems In Workflow

In a similar pattern of waiting for a user to interact, the workflow can also wait for a system to interact. This waiting can be either passive (waiting for the system to make an API call to tell workflow it’s done/give needed data) or active (the workflow checking an external system, file, FTP site, email account, database) for a change. Both user-based and system-based ‘tasks’ are managed by the assignment system – where they can be reported on, managed, or even overridden.

How Workflow Processes Start

Form Interaction

Some workflows start with a form interactions. This could be a form created using Workflow.com designers and published on a company intranet. These interactions can also occur on an external form in another application or on a website.

On a Schedule

Workflows can be scheduled to start running on a given date, a computed date, or on defined intervals. You can also create a workflow to figure out when the start date should be.

Trigger Event

Trigger events can be any number of things that happen in other systems, workflows, or monitored data sources.