Authored by : David Read, Oracle Product Management
Earlier today, Sushil Shukla, Yogeshwar Kuntawar, and I (David Read) delivered an OpenWorld session that covered BPM design best practices. It was well attended. We’ve varied the content over the last few years to cover both lifecycle development process as well as design topics. This year we narrowed the focus to a number of design topics that frequently come up in discussion with customers and partners.
We started with an overview of several general but important areas:
Data handling, specifically avoid selection failures a runtime
Common questions about multi-instance activities
Common questions and suggestions around conversations and correlation
Yogesh then covered importance concepts around error handling and recover. In particular:
Types of errors and suggestions for best practice in deciding when to use BPMN constructs and when to leverage the SOA fault framework
How transaction rollback impacts running processes and how to perform message recovery.
Suggestions for avoiding transaction rollbacks
Sushil closed the session with a discussion about the importance of identity service integration design. Key points included:
What happens during authentication
Which BPM features utilize LDAP
Options and suggestions for integration with external directories
Oracle OpenWorld is also the time when we celebrate success
of our customers. This is when many of our customers join us and share their
success stories and retrace the path that led to their success. There is always
so much to learn from their experience – challenges, traps to avoid, best
practices and how to measure success.
Here, I have picked some of the sessions where you can
hear directly from our customers, interact with them and gain valuable
insights. Click on the links for details on the sessions and speakers. Make sure
to add these to your schedule.
Author: Tanu Sood, Principal Product Director, Oracle
Let’s face it – our applications map in the company isn’t clean. We have
multiple applications, some homegrown, some acquired, a few other purchased.
Chances are there is some overlap in what these applications do for us. We are
in a constant state of motion with our applications. Add to that changing
business needs, technology disruption with social, mobile, analytics and big
data and the ever-evolving regulatory landscape, and we are far from achieving
Nirvana with our applications infrastructure.
The question then is how do you extend your applications and
enhance the value you provide to your application users, especially customers
without having to sneak in brittle customizations within your applications and
adding to your application development, maintenance and upgrade cycles?
5 steps! Yes, at Oracle OpenWorld next
week, we will walk you through 5 easy steps to modernizing your existing
business applications to meet your evolving business needs without having to
re-code your applications. Make sense of it all in a scalable, sustainable
To prove it, we will have Fred Stern from Flextronics joining
us on stage to discuss his very successful implementation and the business
impact of doing it the AppAdvantage
Join Fred Stern, my colleague - Ajay Khanna and I at Oracle
OpenWorld as we discuss this some more. Be sure to add this session to your Schedule Builder.
To do business
organizations depend on various kinds of enterprise applications. Over time
organizations acquire many such applications including ERP systems, CRM
systems, SCM applications, Contact Centers, Customer Service applications. They
may also have many home grown applications, and some of them are even running
in the main frame systems!
not uncommon for businesses actively pursuing mergers and acquisitions to end
up with several of applications for the same purpose. They accumulate many ERP,
CRM, HRM systems.
applications are getting dated business environment is changing, regulations
are changing, and customer needs are changing. How can we make sure that we can
keep our applications agile and equip our businesses with most advanced
technology without rip-n-replace of legacy systems?
Make processes more consistent by removing
whitespaces between applications
Eliminate the need of brittle customizations
Enhance business visibility into transactions across
Enhance customer experience
Improve end user experience
AppAdvantage strategyhelps enterprises to leverage their existing enterprise investments like
legacy applications while offering new and unique capabilities that the business requires. It is not a rip-and-replace strategy. With Oracle BPM Suite,
enterprises will be simultaneously delivering short term business value and
begin the journey to create the next generation intelligent process applications.
If you are planning to attend Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco or plan
to be in the area, we hope you will join us at our Award Ceremony for
Fusion Middleware Innovation. These awards honor customers for their
most innovative and cutting-edge solutions using Oracle Fusion
Middleware. This was a highly competitive year with record numbers of
nominations. This is their opportunity to be recognized for this great
achievement and be honored by their industry peers. You are invited to
attend and join in the celebration.
Oracle Fusion Middleware: Meet This Year's Most Impressive Customer Projects 2013 Oracle Excellence Award Ceremony for Fusion Middleware Innovation.
Oracle OpenWorld Badges are required to attend this event. You can register for this event through the Schedule Builder on the Oracle OpenWorld website or if you are not attending but will be in the area and would like to join the celebration – please RSVP HERE
and we will provide a complementary Discovery Pass code that you can
use to register, pick up your badge and attend the Award Ceremony
is the first Oracle BPM 11g book that got published and it provides
comprehensive coverage from modeling to implementation to work management and
monitoring. It is written by Oracle BPM Product Management team and built around
an iterative tutorial, using a real-life scenario to illustrate all the key
features. It is a handy book to refer to build your first BPM application using
the Oracle BPM Suite 11g.
2.Oracle Business Process Management Suite 11g
by Oracle Business Process Management experts, this book covers best practices,
in-depth look at usage of BPMN constructs, exception management, event
handling, business rules and a detailed look in to all the powerful features and
functionality of the Oracle BPM Suite 11g. Additionally, this book lays out the
BPM Methodology and best practices that lead to a successful project and how to
scale to enterprise wide BPM adoption.
by Oracle consultants who have deep expertise in Oracle BPM, this book covers
advanced topics such as inter-process communication, working with collections and
handling of exceptions in practice that are not addressed by the official
Oracle BPM 11g documentation.
help our valued BPM customers and partners make the most of their time at
Oracle Open World 2013, we are pleased to present this Focus On BPMdocument. This document provides an excellent roadmap
to must-attend sessions, demos, partner exhibits, and networking events during
many of these sessions, you can hear directly
from Oracle BPM users and learn from their experience. With more than 20
sessions and demo facilities, we are confident that you will find the lineup compelling,stimulating
strongly recommend attending the following sessions:
Not attending the show? Some of the general
and key sessions will be available online - so please stay tuned for those
announcements. Also, we will be posting summary of various BPM sessions on this
blog so do check back.
More and more business users are taking the driver’s seat in business process management (BPM) initiatives. To ensure flexibility, productivity, and success, their BPM suites must make it easy to design, manage, improve, and control business processes—even unstructured ones.
In this webcast, leading industry analyst Bruce Silver will discuss what the term business-driven means and how case management and support for unstructured processes help organizations better serve their customers.
Organizations in the public sector today continually strive to be more efficient, to modernize their operations, and to offer more consistent, personalized services to citizens. Achieving these goals is often difficult in the wake of pervasive budget cuts. Many government agencies have to adjust to an economic climate where revenue is curtailed, forcing them to simplify manual processes and find ways to do more with less. Two common ways to deal with budget cuts are to eliminate services and reduce head count. While these tactics can free up funds, they can also cripple an organization if lost employee knowledge isn’t preserved in some form. Forward- looking organizations in this sector have embarked on modernization projects designed to capture knowledge in information systems and to reduce manual effort by automating business processes.
Organizations in the public sector turn to BPM for improving efficiency, compliance and visibility. Oracle Process Accelerators are-built end-to-end implementations for common and critical business processes such as Incident Reporting and the newly released Electronic Forms Management, which provide an opportunity for these organizations to get a taste for BPM and address common issues pertaining to these business processes.
The following resource kit has case studies, white papers, and other valuable BPM resources for Public Sector that will help you:
Deliver new and more efficient services to citizens
Leverage end-to-end implementations of incident reporting and electronic forms management business processes out-of-the-box
Minimize risk of failure with domain expertise in government processes and compliance
Speed up process adoption with best practices in BPM
Easily extend and tailor Oracle Process Accelerators for BPM
One of the challenges faced by organizations is the standardization of processes around the creation and generation of financial reports. The variability of these processes is high since formats, peridocity, purpose, content, and organizational workflows change among organizations. Having a pre-built business process that can be extended and customized provides a significant advantage to kick-start the standardization and adoption of the business process. This can eliminate use of email and paper based flows, reduces errors, improves visibility and accountability, and speeds-up the timely execution of the process.
Oracle Process Accelerator for Financial Reports Approval is an end-to-end implementation of this business process. It is ready to use and extensible and built on top of Oracle BPM Suite, and available for free today. The figure below shows a high-level overview of the business flow.
This accelerator is designed so that it can be adapted as easily and quickly as possible to various financial reporting processes within different organizations. Financial Reports Approval controls the process as needed, from step-by-step guidance to straight-through processing when no business exceptions and amendments are necessary. You can get started here: Financial Reports Approval Process Accelerator.
To learn more about our solutions with BPM for common and critical business problems in Financial Services such as Business Account Opening and Loan Origination, download the BPM Financial Services Resource Kit.
The U.S. health care industry is in a period of rapid transition as both public and private organizations respond to the far-reaching implications of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). This progressive legislation brings sweeping changes to payers and providers at the federal, state, and municipal levels, with a consequent impact on the fundamental business processes that these organizations depend on to provide services to patients. Among other things, the legislation requires each state in the U.S. to build or adopt a health insurance exchange (HIX) to broker and manage insurance plans, measure eligibility, automate enrollment, and transfer health care information electronically among participating organizations. Each HIX must integrate with a number of existing social services systems and handle myriad details related to billing, collections, reconciliation, taxation, reporting, and customer service.
Coordinating all of these processes and information is an ongoing challenge—and there are significant monetary incentives associated with doing it properly. For example, health plans can reduce costs by simplifying the claims approval process by automating the workflow.
Figure: Automating Claims Approval Process
BPM for Big Data Management in Health Care: BPM technology helps health care organizations to synchronize and improve their big data processes. For example, public health officials can study trends in flu vaccinations by monitoring citizen compliance on a national scale, and combine that insight with aggregate claims data to monitor the impact of various vaccines on that years most troublesome strains of influenza. This knowledge can help officials predict future needs for additional vaccines based on population health statistics. Big data analytics can also help individual patients who have agreed to let disease management companies closely monitor their chronic conditions on a constant,real time basis.
BPM for Apps in Health Care: One of the key values of BPM is to forge links among critical information systems, fill process white spaces and make the entire business more efficient. The idea is not to replace existing systems or applications but to leverage those systems to define end to end processes that fill the gaps between applications.Any activity that is performed in a BPM application is auditable, efficient and enhances visibility across the continuum of care. In health care this becomes particularly valuable as several applications emerge and are accepted to fasten the process of complying with the new health care imperatives. Filling in the white spaces with BPM can save costs, improve operational efficiency and provide visibility.
The new Oracle Process Accelerators (PA) Release (126.96.36.199.0) delivers key functionality in many dimensions: new PAs across industries, new functionality in preexisting PAs, and an improved installation process.
All PAs in Release 188.8.131.52.0 run on the latest Oracle BPM Suite and SOA Suite, 184.108.40.206.
New PAs include:
Financial Reports Approval (FRA): end-to-end solution for efficient and controlled Financial Report review and approval process, enabling financial analysts and decision makers to collaborate around Excel.
Electronic Forms Management (EFM): supports the process to design and expose eForms with the ability to quickly design eForms and associate approval processes to them, and to then enable users to select, fill, and submit eForms for approval
Mobile Data Offloading (MDO): enables telecommunications providers to reduce congestion on cellular networks and lower cost of operations by using Oracle Event Processing (OEP) and BAM to switch devices from cellular networks to Wi-Fi.
By adopting the latest PA release , customers will also be able to better identify and kick-start smart extension of their processes where business steps are supported by Apps: PA 220.127.116.11.0 includes out-of-the-box business process extension scenarios with Oracle Apps such as Siebel (FSLO) and PeopleSoft (EOB).
In fast changing business environment, it becomes crucial to identify business opportunities and business issues as soon as possible. If identified at the right time, business managers can address issues before they escalate to serious problems and can take advantage of the new opportunities before the competition does. Moreover, they have to be efficient to do this at the right cost.
Success depends on how responsive organization is to emerging events and changing environment. These events can be customer issues, competition moves, changes in regulations, or changes in company policies.
In order to be responsive in such situations, organizations need to first identify and track these situations. They can do that via business activity monitoring (BAM) and complex event processing (CEP). A unified monitoring dashboard helps put together a comprehensive picture of the situation in hand and provides deep insight to take proper actions. With CEP, businesses can connect all the relevant events, detect event patterns and take immediate actions using Business Process Management system.
So to be responsive we need:
Real-Time Visibility with Business Activity Monitoring
You can use BAM technology to monitor progress, track performance, meet service-level agreements (SLAs), manage exceptions, and issue alerts to an employee or application when a process is not functioning properly—all in real time. A unified monitoring dashboard helps you maintain a complete picture of each situation so you can take action effectively. BAM works hand in hand with BPM software to discover the significant activities that drive business success.
Real-Time Sense and Respond
An event-driven BPM solution enables each step in a business process to be informed not only by the previous step, but also by any other step, data, and pattern of behavior deemed relevant to that step. This gives the company the ability to “sense and respond.” You can describe interesting event patterns and event correlations and monitor the business in real-time. Whenever a pre-defined pattern emerges you can take actions like raising alerts, notifications, or kicking off another business process.
This synergy possible by integrating activity monitoring, event processing, and BPM makes it possible for managers to keep a finger on the pulse of their business. Business managers can now respond to customers faster, respond to competition faster, reduce fraud and do more cross-selling.
Now I have seen this too many times. Organizations spent months
evaluating and procuring a commercial application and then bring in business consultants
to “customize” the application to fit their “unique” business needs. Ok, I give
you that; you have truly unique business needs. Following is what typically happens.
The application implementation project starts with requirements
gathering. Business consultants capture business needs, as-is processes, to-be
processes and generate volumes of documentation, for which rain forests will
never forgive them. Finally, every one signs off the design documents, in
triplet. Generally this is followed by a small kick-off party. How do I know,
you ask? Because I’ve been to those parties.
Now that we have all the requirements, the development
starts. The “unique” needs of organization require 124 new forms, UI with
corporate look and feel, new data objects, new data model, new roles, new
state-transitions, new status, different priority types, new rules, new functionality
and of course integration with 9 other applications. Let the coding begin.
Eight months down the line, testing commences, user training happens, and we are
ready to go to production. Of course, only after another well-deserved go-live
All is well for few months but then the new version of the
application arrives. IT decides to skip that version, after all we just went
live after a yearlong implementation. Moreover, we should wait for the next
stable version. IT waits for a couple of years, beyond that they start getting too
much pressure from business to “upgrade”. The evaluation starts again, and to
everyone’s surprise the upgrade does not seem that easy. Initial estimate is six
months and essentially most of the customizations need to be re-done.
Consultants come in and discover the implemented application now is not even
close to out-of-box version that was purchased. Over time, the company has
created a totally different application with all new UI, rules, code and barely
recognizable data model. Migration tools will not quite work. We need additional
scripts to move to the new version.
Sounds familiar? This happen more often than we would like
to think. So what is the alternative for companies which want to use functionality
and domain best practice that applications provide but creating their own
unique value on top of it?
The answer is BPM suite. Use the application for what it does
best. Configure the application to your business needs but move all
customizations to BPM layer. New UI, new processes, rules, integrations can be
moved to BPM layer. This considerably reduces your requirement gathering time,
customization time, and time-to-solution. Your processes become agile, and you
can change those as frequently as business demands. You can have go-live
parties every other week, if you want to. Importantly, when the time comes, you
can easily upgrade your applications.
See why University of Adelaide uses Oracle BPM Suite to manage customizations to PeopleSoft application.