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Method and System for processing business processes containing complex join conditions and cycles Disclosure Number: IPCOM000200627D
Publication Date: 2010-Oct-21
Document File: 6 page(s) / 54K

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The Prior Art Database


Description of a method for detecting and skipping unnecessary steps in the control flow of a business process

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Method and System for processing business processes containing complex join conditions and cycles

This article describes a new approach for a workflow navigation algorithm which is capable of navigating business processes which contain complex join conditions and fully exploits the potential speed up in business process execution the complex join conditions offer. Join conditions are used to synchronize branches in the control flow. The approach described herein detects if there is a need to wait for outstanding branches or continue with the navigation immediately. This enables the user to gain additional performance and therefore outperform other competitors in the market.

An important use case for workflow management systems (WFMS) are business processes which require several steps to be performed in parallel for example a credit approval process. There it is required that several clerks independently from each other review the credit and approve or reject it. In real life there are lots of instances of the process running in parallel. Therefore for each step which requires a manual interaction a so called workitem is created. Each clerk has a list of work items which are assigned to them. So the clerk selects one item from the list and works on it. After they have finished their work they select the next one.

In the case of the banking process it might be required that three clerks approve the credit independently from each other and all of them have to give a positive response in order grant the credit. However if the first one already rejected the credit it would not be required for the other clerks to work on this credit anymore. However existing workflow management systems lack the ability to derivate from the predefined control logic so in this case all other clerks need to do their approval for this credit just in order so that the WFMS can continue with the navigation.

This disclosure proposes an approach which enables the WFMS to correlate the information between parallel steps in the control flow in order to cancel steps which are no longer necessary for the business process and jump over unnecessary steps in the control flow.

A simplified business process which is used to illustrate the basic steps of a credit approval

process is illustrated in figure 1. In a real life scenario there are many clerks working on

many different instances of the credit approval process. Imagine there is one specific instance of the business process mentioned above which is used to execute the credit of Mr. X.


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Figure 1: Schematic example of a business process containing several branches

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Figure 2: Example of different clerks with different work lists

There are 3 clerks and everyone has a work item on their work lists which represents one of the approval steps required for the credit request from Mr. X. Since the...