What is a workflow?

To understand the value of workflow automation, one must first understand the term "workflow". A workflow is the process which encompasses a defined series of steps made up of events, tasks and conditions, that all link together sequentially in order to achieve a desired outcome. AutoMate BPA Server enables automation of objects and resources that form the process known as a workflow. An AutoMate workflow is a graphic representation of objects such as events, conditions and tasks, that are grouped together sequentially by flow control arrows. The workflow can be initiated manually by a user or fired automatically based on the occurrence of an event or condition. It can include conditional branches that can change its course or include objects that allow it to suspend execution at a specific point, but ultimately it progresses from the initial task or event to the final task.

Graphical workflows are the cornerstone of AutoMate BPA Server. With Workflow Designer (WFD), you can easily design workflows that describe business processes in a visual, reli­able manner by assembling intuitive logical constructs to form a workflow diagram or flowchart. It provides a number of ways to visually express and incorporate logic into automated pro­cesses. Using Workflow Designer, you create rules to be carried out by events or conditions, tasks and processes and use flow control arrows to interconnect such objects, making the workflow a cohesive unit (as illustrated below). Once you understand the basic objects in a workflow, you can quickly add logic to your processes.

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What does a workflow accomplish?

The common goal of an AutoMate BPA Server workflow is to coordinate tasks between departments or divisions and synchronize data between systems, with the definitive goal of improving collaboration, efficiency, responsiveness and profitability. A graphical workflow interface enables you to visually design, control, test and manage workflow processes and provides a means of electronically reproducing and automating such processes from start to finish. With the help of a workflow diagram it is possible to monitor tasks responsible for execution during each stage and inspect associated activities and identified resources that are required for implementation, thus, greatly improving communication and helping team members function more effectively and efficiently.

Because a workflow supports multi-machine and multi-platform execution, it can run programs or batch files that are stored remotely or launch processes that reside on non windows-based operating systems. Overall, a workflow allows processes and procedures to be more compliant, agile and visible and ensures that every stage of action is explicitly defined and optimized for maximum productivity.

What are the benefits of a workflow?

AutoMate BPA Server workflows are highly suited to solving business problems by consolidating multiple tasks into a single workflow process. Some key benefits of utilizing workflows are as follows: