It's a beautiful weekend in here Southern California. As I write this, I'm sitting on the deck in my backyard: shorts, t-shirt, barefoot, clear blue skies, 80 degrees with a light breeze from the West, some trop-rock playing on the iPod (just discoverd Jimmy Parrish and the Ocean Waves Band...good stuff). It just doesn't get any better than this, especially in February - this is why I live here. There just one thing I need to get off my chest before I can fire up the BBQ and cap off a perfect afternoon, so let's get to it...
Ever hear the phrase "no pain, no gain"? I'm convinced that Oracle Apps customers will realize some significant gain with the uptake of Fusion Applications: integration based on industry-standards, a richer user experience, more flexible reporting and business intelligence all come to mind. However, make no mistake, we'll need to experience some pain to get that gain. A good chunk of that pain involves Oracle Workflow.
It seems like everyone in the Oracle world is aware of the upcoming demise of Oracle Workflow. The 11g database does not ship with the Workflow engine. Workflow has been desupported, with one big whopping exception for E-Business users. Even the EBS folks will have to adjust to life without Workflow after Release 12.
Conventional wisdom says that BPEL Orchestration will replace Workflow. While that's partially true, it's really a bit more complex than that. The lastest knowledge I have indicates that numerous Fusion technololgy components will replace Workflow in more of a piecemeal fashion:
- Process Navigator Flows and Page Flows will migrate to Applications Development Framework ("ADF") Task Flows
- Simple Deferred Activities will be handled as database events
- Business Processes will be implemented through BPEL Orchestration of system services and human-based tasks.
It's not a straight-forward migration from Workflow to BPEL, as the two technologies are very different. While the standard Workflow processes provided with EBS will be upgraded to BPEL as part of the upgrade process, most Oracle Workflow customers (EBS users or not) will need to manually recreate their Workflow processes as orchestrated business processes. There will be some guidelines for this effort, but those guidelines are still in the works within Oracle.
So, here is the upshot: the move forward from Workflow is not a simple, straight-forward task. It's complex. Nothing to be afraid of, but like most complex tasks, the key is good preparation. To get started:
- Identify your Workflow processes, especially your custom Workflow processes
- Consider replacing those customizations with "vanilla" functionality where possible
- Where you absolutely must stick with your custom Workflow processes, start working out a strategy for moving forward with those processes after Workflow's demise.
Well, there you have it. Got the Workflow thing off my chest. The sun is setting in the west and the BBQ is calling my name - chicken thighs marinated in lemon juice and olive oil with a few seasonings, smoked over apple wood. The perfect end to a beautiful day...later folks.