Oracle Workflow - E-Business Suite vs Standalone
By Vijay Shanmugam-Oracle on Jan 17, 2013
Oracle Workflow has following components that together provide business process management capabilities.
- Workflow Builder - Windows desktop tool to create and customize workflow processes
- Workflow Loader - Commandline tool to load workflow definition to database
- Workflow Engine - PLSQL engine to execute workflow processes definitions
- Workflow Notification Mailer - Background program to send e-mail notifications
- Workflow Business Event System - PLSQL and Java based engine to process business events
- Workflow Agent Listeners - Background program to process business events
Oracle Workflow has been available in two flavors until about 2007.
- Workflow Embedded in E-Business Suite
- Workflow Standalone
This post is aimed at clarifying how Oracle Workflow in E-Business Suite and Standalone were versioned and the current status of these two flavors.
Workflow Embedded in E-Business Suite
In E-Business Suite, Oracle Workflow is an integral part of foundation modules (FND) alongside Profiles, Concurrent Programs, OA Framework and so on and is shipped in ATG patchsets. For example, Workflow's Java classes are available under $JAVA_TOP like any other FND module, it's PLSQL packages are compiled into APPS schema, datamodel is available under APPLSYS schema and so on. This flavor is also called Embedded Workflow, meaning it was embedded in E-Business Suite.
Embedded Workflow's packaging, release, installation and configuration follows standard E-Business suite's processes. Embedded Workflow is not identified with it's own version in E-Business Suite, instead it's codelevel is always identified using the current ATG Patchset level.
For example, if a Customer is on E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3, then their Workflow codelevel is R12.ATG_PF.B.Delta.3 (in addition to any Workflow specific one-offs that may have applied on the baseline) which is a standard way of identifying any FND module.
Oracle Workflow embedded in E-Business Suite has the same lifetime as the ATG Patchset in that Oracle E-Business Suite. For example, if a Customer is on Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1.3, the workflow module being integral part of Oracle E-Business Suite installation, has no different lifetime or support policy than the R12.ATG_PF.B Patchset. When looking at Oracle Workflow module from E-Business Suite standpoint, it should not be viewed as a separate product rather at the ATG Patchset level.
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All of Oracle Workflow's sub-components and the underlying data model were packaged, released, installed and configured completely independent of E-Business Suite until about late 2007. A Workflow Standalone installation results in a special database schema like OWF_MGR specific to workflow alone unlike the standard APPS and APPLSYS schemas of E-Business Suite.
Oracle Workflow Standalone however was not shipped on it's own but using following release vehicles.
- Oracle Database - Upto 10gR2
- Oracle iAS - Upto 10.1.2
- Oracle Warehouse Builder - Still packaged with OWB 11g
Oracle Workflow standalone product was available as part of above product offerings which helped non-E-Business Suite Customers to have Workflow (Business Process Management) capabilities such as implementing custom approval flows, document approval routing, sending notifications and so on.
Workflow Standalone had it's own versioning mechanism that was completely unrelated to E-Business Suite's. For example, following were some of the recent verisons.
- Oracle Database 10gR2 - Oracle Workflow 2.6.4
- Oracle iAS 10.1.2 - Oracle Workflow 18.104.22.168
- Oracle iAS 9.0.4 - Oracle Workflow 2.6.3
With the advent of better Business Process Execution standards and tools, Oracle Workflow was ceased to be shipped with Oracle Database and Oracle iAS. Oracle BPEL Process Manager (in Oracle SOA Suite 10g) and Oracle SOA Suite 11g are the recommended technologies to be considered by Customers who were using Oracle Workflow Standalone to implement their business processes.
To this effect, MOS Doc 391546.1 was published to announce obsolescence of Workflow Standalone with Oracle Database 10gR2 as the terminal release vehicle for the product. This note applies only to Workflow as a standalone product and does not affect Workflow embedded in E-Business Suite.
Workflow Standalone Obsolescence Notice
MOS Doc 391546.1 clarifies that Workflow as a standalone product will not be shipped in Oracle Database 11g and above. Since Oracle Database 10gR2 is the last release Workflow Standalone was shipped in, existing Oracle Database 10gR2 Customers who also use Workflow Standalone will continue to receive support as per Oracle Database 10gR2 support policies. This obsolescence notice should not be confused with support for Workflow embedded in E-Business Suite.
Oracle Workflow embedded in E-Business Suite is being actively maintained and enhancements implemented based on Customer
requirements. We have some exciting days ahead of us for Oracle Workflow embedded in E-Business Suite.