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Case Management Patterns using Oracle Process Cloud Service by Jose Rodrigues

Juergen Kress
PaaS & Middleware Partner Adoption

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Hi and welcome to a new article on Oracle Process Cloud Service (PCS).

This time, we’re going to address some use patterns that may seem difficult to implement using PCS, and tackle the need for unstructured parts of the process, which is to say, parts of the process that can’t be previously modelled because, well… we don’t know how they’ll turn out.

Take for instance a complaint to your customer service department. You’ll never know, in advance, what kind of complain it will be, or if you need one, two, five or fifty interactions with the customer, or if you need to get approval from department A or B to try and compensate the customer, or even if any legal action will be needed with a supplier of yours, after they failed to compensate the complainer in due time.

So, you see, there are some elements that may render part of your process impossible to predict, at least in terms of activity sequence. You know that these may take place at some point in time in the process, but you can’t plan ahead and model the exact activity sequence (“A” will happen after “B”).

To handle this type of less structured processes (I don’t like the term “Unstructured”, because they have a structure), there’s a discipline called “Case Management” (CM). CM handles the choreography of this type of processes, called Cases, guaranteeing that the activities that are part of the process are executed at the right time and when conditions permit it.

For the remainder of the article, please consider the terms “Case” and “Process” as interchangeable, the term “Less structured Process” as equivalent to Case, and the term “Structured Process” as equivalent to a predefined flow-controlled Process (BPMN process or equivalent).

The main idea behind CM is that instead of the process model determining the next action to be taken, it’s the worker who, actually decides what should be the next best action to perform in each situation, using his experience.

This is not to say that the worker can just do any activity at any time. Typically, there are specific business rules that enable or disable a given activity based on the current data and events associated with a specific process. However, these rules can be as tight or as flexible as we may need.

Case Management Patterns

The idea of the article is to give you the tools you need to implement Case Management patterns using Oracle PCS. This is not to implement Case Management in PCS, but just some case management behavioral patterns. Parts of what is “Case Management” will not be addressed in any way, but things like Ad-hoc process/task calls will, and this is sufficient for most needs. Read the complete article here.

 

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