Workflow systems at apnic how they help everyone
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Workflow Systems at APNIC How they help everyone. Robert Loomans <[email protected]> February 2, 2007. Contents. What is a “workflow”? What is a “workflow system”? Why care? Workflows at APNIC Workflow systems at APNIC Where to from here? Summary Resources. What is a “workflow”?. Data

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Workflow systems at apnic how they help everyone

Workflow Systems at APNICHow they help everyone

Robert Loomans <[email protected]>

February 2, 2007


Contents

Contents

  • What is a “workflow”?

  • What is a “workflow system”?

  • Why care?

  • Workflows at APNIC

  • Workflow systems at APNIC

  • Where to from here?

  • Summary

  • Resources


What is a workflow

What is a “workflow”?

  • Data

  • State or Context

  • Process

    …or Business Process


Process

Process


What is a workflow system

What is a “workflow system”?

  • Workflow model

    • Data store

    • Workflow definition

    • Programming API

  • Workflow engine

    • Execution

    • Remote API?

  • Modeling and analysis tools


Why care

Why care?

  • Structured development

    • Decouple different layers

    • More modular, reusable code

    • More definition and declaration

  • More manageable operations

    • Less random cronjobs

    • Less scary direct poking in databases or files

    • Potential for better logging, stats and audit trails

    • Privileged code running in one place

    • Access control


Really why care

Really, why care?

  • Faster responses from APNIC and much better worst case

  • Quicker fixes to broken processes

  • More automation of common tasks


Workflow systems at apnic how they help everyone

Hype

Source: The State of Workflow by Tom Baeyens


Workflows at apnic

Workflows at APNIC

  • External

    • New membership

    • Resource application

    • Help!

    • Membership renewal

    • Lame DNS delegations

    • Policy drafting

  • Internal

    • Travel and leave requests

    • Expense claims

    • Purchasing

    • Software feature requests and bugs


Workflow systems at apnic

Workflow systems at APNIC

  • Web forms  Email

    • No structure

  • Request Tracker

  • Ad-hoc applications

  • Workflow.pm


Email

Email

  • Trail of email messages

  • Spam

  • Little or no metadata


Request tracker

Request Tracker

  • Email gateway

  • Spam

  • Limited metadata

  • Difficult to impose business processes


Ad hoc applications

Ad-hoc applications

  • Slow development cycle

  • Duplicated bugs

  • Proliferation of cronjobs on multiple servers

  • Difficult to change


Workflow pm

Workflow.pm

  • Simple Perl module on CPAN

  • Not a separate WFE

  • XML workflow definition

    • States

    • Actions

    • Conditions

  • Works but immature


Billing renewal notifications

Billing renewal notifications

  • Notices to members asking them to pay up

  • Were done manually from an Excel spreadsheet


How successful

Very

Happy finance staff

Happy software staff

Happy ops staff

Found problems with existing data and processes

How successful?


Where to from here

Where to from here?

  • Extend member workflow

  • More workflows

  • Workflow engine

    • Java, .NET or PHP

    • jBPM http://www.jboss.com/products/jbpm

    • OpenWFE http://www.openwfe.org/

    • con:cern http://con-cern.org/


Resources

Resources

  • The State of Workflow - Tom Baeyens http://www.jboss.com/products/jbpm/stateofworkflow

  • Process Management Standards Overview - Michael zur Muehlen http://www.wfmc.org/standards/docs/Process_Management_Standards_files/frame.htm

  • Open Source Workflow Engines in Java http://www.java-source.net/open-source/workflow-engines


Summary

Summary

  • Useful? Yes!

  • Lots more to do, but definitely worthwhile even in a simple form


Questions

Questions?


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