Inside Worklist Tasks
By Richard Bingham-Oracle on Aug 11, 2014
Let's first get a simple perspective of how this feature fits into the Fusion Applications technology stack.
Worklist Tasks are a feature of the BPM Worklist, itself one of the user-interaction capabilities from the underlying Human Workflow component of Oracle SOA Suite. It essentially provides a channel for notifications to end users, supporting both outbound information-only alerts, along with a variety of response actions inbound, such as accept, reject, approve, or reassign.
The following diagram taken from the Developers Guide for SOA Suite summarizes the overall architecture.
Use in Fusion Applications
The worklist region is implemented as a portlet, and most commonly seen embedded in the standard Fusion Application homepage. Also the notifications 'bell' icon in the top-right of the global area provides user alerts and access to the underlying tasks. There is also a generic BPM Worklist administration interface, where you commonly configure your SOA-based approval rules, as illustrated in this video. In addition, some products have simpler interfaces for approval setups, such as the HCM setup screens as shown in this video, however the underlying components all remain the same.
In Oracle Sales Cloud and other Fusion Applications-based CRM products the Worklist Tasks functionality has been extended to offer a broad set of features for use with basic transactions. This includes the ability to add calendar appointments, create to-do tasks, record interactions (like phone calls), and append general notes to data CRM records such as leads, opportunities, and customers. These are then exposed in the related pages for use by business users. As per the example screenshot, the standard Tasks functionality and fields are available but with extensions that include context data, such as the link to the related opportunity, to contacts and resources, and the customer record.
Use in Customization
Whilst not commonly discussed as part of the standard customization and extension features, there are some options which may fit well with certain types of requirement. Let's run through four of these briefly so you have a starting point from which they can be tested and assessed for suitability in your own projects.
Firstly, as a reuseable ADF component the BPM Worklist portlet can be added to any workarea page using the Content Catalog screen available in Page Composer. You can seen this in most of our related videos.
You can also use web services to create BPM Worklist items, such as tasks and appointments. Prior to Release 8 there was a collection of web services deployed to the CRM Common application server for use, whereas they are now combined in a single universal ActivityService available for all product families and which supporst creation of all action types. Worklist items can also be administered using the various operations available, such as create, update, process, and delete, and attachments can also be added. For example the ActivityService operation createActivity() has the SDO attribute ActivityTypeCode which sets exactly what will be created, task, appointment etc. You can read more in its documentation in OER. The service URL's are given below, along with a brief video showing a Release 7 example:
- https://<domainname>/appCmmnCompActivitiesActivityManagement/ActivityService (for Release 8 onward)
The third way to customize using worklist tasks is to use Object Workflows available in Applications Composer. Here the triggering event and condition controls when the worklist task will be created and the predefined configuration controls the content. For examples and useful information on getting the most from object workflows please review last weeks related blog post.
Finally use could be made of the native BPM Worklist Application itself, as it is exposed for use with Fusion Applications. You'll find access to it using the following URL with an administrator type job role:
As per the screenshot below, this provides the options to not only access, review and action the pending tasks, it also allows for task creation, creation of customizable views (pages), setup of analytics and reports, and other features not in the simple worklist portlet. Again depending on your requirements this more powerful UI could be used to support more complex extended worklist items, for example as part of an enitrely new BPM process.
In addition to the links provided, here are some more useful resources for details on the features discussed:
- Overview of tasks and the BPM Worklist from the Common User Guide
- Create tasks from Object Workflows in the Extending Sales Guide.
- Oracle Enterprise Repository for information on the web services available.
- Documentation on the features of the BPM Worlist App