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Why clients prefer Oracle BPM over Oracle Workflow

Guest post by
Rinku Das, Technology Architect, Infosys


Now-a-days most of the Oracle clients are migrating from Oracle E-Business Suite 11i to Oracle E-Business Suite R12. This is due to the addition of new oracle modules in R12, new features in the existing modules in R12 and many more. But the most important from the integration point of view is the architectural change which gives more flexibility to integrate with other non-Oracle applications. Better integration can be achieved using Oracle Fusion Applications but as it involves high cost and requires skilled fusion resources clients prefer to migrate to Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) R12.

Oracle EBS R12 supports Oracle Workflow, a graphical modeling tool used for building business processes and connect information flows between human workers and computer applications. Like Oracle Workflow, Oracle BPMN is also a graph flow language for building business processes. Even though both perform the same job but still clients prefer Oracle BPM. Below are the two main reasons for the migration

  1. In Oracle E-Business, Oracle business interfaces like Business Events, PL/SQL and XML Gateway built using multiple technologies can be exposed as web services. This is feasible using Integrated SOA Gateway (ISG) which is an integral part of Oracle EBS R12.1.  Oracle BPM can implement such web services in a better way than Oracle Workflow as BPM is layered on Oracle SOA Suite.
  2. A business process that is implemented using Oracle Workflow can also be implemented using Oracle BPM, but the models used are different. An integrated environment is provided by Oracle BPM Suite for developing, administering and using business applications centered on business processes. In Oracle Workflow life cycle, only limited types of users can interact. But in Oracle BPM, different types of users like Process Analyst/Architect, Process Developer, Business Application User, Business Administrator and Process Owner can interact at different stages of BPM life cycle. Other advantages of Oracle BPM include better tracking and monitoring process, and easy integration with other technology through an implementation of service and process based architecture.\

Below are the few points which should be implemented for smooth migration from Oracle workflow to Oracle BPMN.

Note: BPMN which stands for Business Process Modeling Notation is a graphical notation for capturing business processes and interactions.

  • The first step is to understand the current workflow process very well including user roles & business rules and then map each object to the corresponding activity/task/object in Oracle BPMN.
  • Migration of workflow control flow to BPMN control flow.
  • Conversion of approval flow from workflow process to BPMN process.
  • Migration of workflow error handling process to BPM exception process. In BPMN, Fault Policy feature can also be used for error handling.
  • Migration of data from workflow to BPMN and the implementation of notification process.
  • Implementation of monitoring process within Oracle BPM Suite.


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