Managing Workflow

Description of functions and tools for managing service, contract, and policy workflow definitions.

This document serves as a technical reference for developers creating and maintaining Policy Manager workflow definitions. It includes details about the built-in workflow variables, conditions, and functions that have been defined for Policy Manager workflow. It also contains details on using command-line tools to enrich the governance automation that can be enabled with Policy Manager workflow.

Workflow Library Workflow Portlets

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Benefits
  3. Default Workflow Definitions
  4. Workflow Library
  5. Workflow Portlets
  6. Workflow Management Functions
  7. Workflow Summary
  8. Enable Workflow
  9. Update Workflow
  10. View Workflow Definition
  11. Disable Workflow

Introduction

Policy Manager Workflow functionality is part of the overall Governance that an organization needs to have over their Service Oriented Architecture Infrastructure (SOA). Workflow allows an organization to assign users to a role that provides oversight for the services that are submitted by the development community. Through the approval or rejection of service candidates and provisioning contracts, the organization can manage the quality of the services that are published in the repository. Workflow also provides an auditable record of the submission and approval of a service which is essential for corporate compliance to standardized business processes that involve lifecycle management (for example, ISO or CMM).

Workflow is supported for service publication, contract management, and policy management via the Configure > Workflow section of the Policy Manager Management Console.

  • Service publication workflow manages the process from service creation to service publication.
  • Contract management workflow manages the process from contract creation to contract activation/deactivation/archive.
  • Policy management workflow manages the process from policy creation to policy activation/archive.

Benefits

Workflow provides the following key benefits:

  • Quality of Services—Utilizing Workflow functionality improves the quality of the services in the SOA Infrastructure defined in Policy Manager and therefore its overall reusability. Administrators can now easily manage and control what services are added to the Registry and the state of the services.

    For example, controls could be in force to manage duplicate services, granularity of services, appropriateness of services based on business focus, and level of specialization. Administrators can also negotiate contracts with consumers and execute these contracts.

  • Automates the compliance processes in the organization, thereby lowering the cost of compliance and minimizing the paperwork burden.

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Default Workflow Definitions

A Workflow Definition is an XML file that defines the business processes (actions, steps, processes) for all services or contracts. The Policy Manager default installation installs three default Workflow definitions for services (default_service_workflow.xml), contracts (default_contract_workflow.xml), and policies (default_policy_workflow.xml).

  • Default Workflow Definitions are hard coded into the Policy Manager back-end to facilitate Workflow Reset and are also copied to the \config\workflow_definition_templates folder of the Policy Manager release directory.
  • Custom Workflow Definitions can also be stored in this directory.
  • The default workflow definitions provide standard workflow processes for service, contract, and policy management and serve as a tutorial for understanding the construction of a workflow definition, and the elements of the Workflow Library.

See Default Workflows for more information.

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Workflow Library

The Policy Manager Workflow Library provides a complete workflow system that includes a set of built-in functions, conditions, and variables to simplify the process of writing a workflow definition for performing service, contract, and policy management in the Policy Manager Workbench. These elements can be used along with other existing functions/conditions/variables provided by OSWorkflow.

Refer to the OSWorkflow documentation for more information on OSWorkflow concepts.

The Workflow Library is composed of the following elements:

  • Workflow Variables
  • Workflow Functions
  • Workflow Conditions

In addition, the Policy Manager 6.1/7.x Workflow Developers Reference includes information on how to use scripts in workflows, and perform workflow actions and load workflow XML definitions using command-line tools.

For more information, see Workflow Library.

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Workflow Portlets

Workflow Portlets allow you to manage service, contract, and policy workflow tasks in the globally in the root organization, or for each object on the Details page. See Workflow Portlets for more information.

Workflow Management Functions

The following workflow management functions apply to all service, contract, and policy workflow definitions in the Configure > Workflow section of the Policy Manager Management Console.

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Workflow Summary

The Workflow Administration Summary screen is the starting point for performing service, contract, and policy workflow administration. Here you can Enable Workflow, Update Workflow, and Disable Workflow.

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Enable Workflow

The first time you navigate to the Workflow Administration Summary screen for services, contracts, or policies after installing Policy Manager, the Workflow state is enabled.

  • This means that the workflow functionality is active and the default workflow definitions for services, contracts, and policies are uploaded.
  • The default workflow definition XML files are located in the config\workflow_definition_templates folder of the Policy Manager release directory. They are:
    • default_service_workflow.xml
    • default_contract_workflow.xml
    • default_policy_workflow.xml
  • Currently, Disable Workflow is only supported Services Workflow, so this option will only show on the Services Workflow Administration screen when the workflow is disabled.

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Update Workflow

You can maintain your workflow configuration using the Update Workflow function. This option is used if you have workflow functionality enabled, and would like to upload a custom workflow definition or reset your configuration to the Policy Manager default workflow definition. After you upload an XML file:

  • The workflow definition and reset option are executed by the Policy Manager Workflow engine.
  • Processes defined in the XML file are active and can be viewed in the Workflow Control Portlets (for services, contract, and policies), and on the Global Workflow Task Portlet that displays at the Root Organization and Sub Organization levels.
  • This function also provides an option for resetting your workflow definition to back to the system default.

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View Workflow Definition

The View Workflow Definition function screen launches a browser window that displays the contents of the workbench definition XML file that is currently active for services, contracts, or policies. The file header includes the workflow definition name and a brief description.

Note: The display of XML is not supported in all browsers. In these cases, click Save to download the XML file and view it locally.

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Disable Workflow

The Disable Workflow option turns off the Policy Manager workflow functionality and removes the uploaded workflow definition from the configuration.

This option removes the workflow definition from the Policy Manager data repository so it is no longer associated with the workflow configuration. It does not delete the workflow definition XML file from the disk.

After workflow is disabled, the state changes on the summary screen.

Note: This option is only supported for the services workflow.

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