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I don't know enough about how to define a "workflow" system, so I am asking a question. I am a support guy, so don't know software design
The place where I work, has a robust workflow system, which was build a few years ago. We have a tendency to use it for every new component added to the product. A lot of those things, which are added to workflow framework, can probably be done by using a "state" database and by keeping track of the state, if I have to write that code.
So, my question is, is "workflow" usually used for the type of work that I described above?, i.e. where an object can go through a few different states. If yes, what benefits are gained by using workflow instead of a simple state database (any database with the object id & a state).
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
I have worked on what I would call workflow systems, where you have (say) an application to open an account, or maybe print a cheque, and it goes through various stages and lots of funky rules based on residence, age, income, etc. before finally being processed.
I would assume that a workflow system is something that tries to paramaterize that sort of thing so that you can add new rules without writing code. I have seen people try to do this and it usually doesn't work very well, because the next twist that comes up invariably requires some data or calculation that the designers didn't envisage.
Workflow systems are usually based on Petri Nets, which are described in http://www.tonymarston.net/php-mysql/workflow.html
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
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