Workflow Definitions

[bok-callout]Workflow Definition
Workflow consists of an orchestrated and repeatable pattern of Data Governance execution and monitoring activities. It can be depicted (e.g., using the Business Process Modelling Notation) as a sequence of user-performed tasks and system-performed tasks.
For example:
Simple Approval Workflow is a sequence of user tasks on an Asset including ‘providing a comment’ and ‘voting for acceptance of the Asset’ and system-performed tasks that changes the status of the Asset. 

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In this sense, Workflows form an essential component of the Data Governance Operating Model. That is, where Asset-, Role-Status-Relation-, and Attribute-types form the  structural component of the Operating Model, the Workflows define the execution and monitoring component. 

Workflow is defined by a sequence of connected steps where each step follows without delay or gap and ends just before the subsequent step may begin. Every step can be either a Task, Gatewayor an Event. Tasks can be either :

  • User Tasks, performed by either a User or User Group
  • Service Tasks, being expressions or API calls;
  • Script Tasks, consisting of a more complex script of conditioned or looping API calls; or
  • Call Activities calling other Workflows to start. 

For example, consider the out-of-the-box “Simple Approval” Workflow. This Workflow can be instantiated on any Business Asset page (e.g., a Business Term “Customer”) by clicking the corresponding button “Simple Approval”, as shown below.

Workflow definitions can be browsed in Settings>Workflows>Definitions. The diagram below in the Business Process Modelling Notation version 2.0 illustrates the semantics of the “Simple Approval” Workflow as a sequence of 5 Tasks to be performed by 3 different Roles, the latter illustrated by 3 swimlanes in a Pool.

  1. Start User does not refer to a role but the individial User who initiated the Workflow on this Asset (see related article: Who can start a workflow?);
  2. Steward(s) of the Asset;
  3. Stakeholder(s) of the Asset.

When the start User initiates the Workflow (shown by a hollow circle that indicates the start event), the Stewards are requested to vote for approval of the Business Term. The diamond-shape with the cross indicates anExclusive Gateway denoting an decision on a future path of the Workflow, i.e., either:

  1. the Asset is being rejected: this triggers a Service Task to “notify start user” and consequently leads to the end Event illustrated by a bold-lined circle.
  2. the Asset is being accepted: this triggers a Service Task that changes the State of the Asset to “Accepted”, and consequently triggers two Service Tasks to notify stakeholders and start User,  before it also leads to theEnd Event of the Workflow.

The different elements of BPMN2.0 will become more clear through the tutorial.

Workflow Definition Types

We distinguish between two types of Workflow Definition

  1. A item-based Workflow Definition
    • acts on an Business Item such as an Asset, Domain, or Community;
    • can be initiated from the page of an Asset or Domain.
  2. A global workflow definition.
    • runs independently;
    • is usually started from the Dashboard.

Both are treated separately. Note, an item will refer to a Java Bean, that is the variable on which every task of the Workflow acts on.

Workflows that run on business items

DGC provides 8 out-of-the-box workflows that run on a Business Item, such as AssetDomain, or Community:

  1. Approval
  2. Asset Approval
  3. Cancel
  4. Escalation
  5. Issue Management
  6. Issue Move
  7. Simple Approval
  8. Voting Sub Process

On the page of the Asset, only those Workflow definitions that can be applied are shown in terms of buttons under the name and type of the Asset. E.g., consider following image which shows “Claim Date Validation”, an instance of a Data Profiling Rule.

Workflows that run globally

For the fourth – global – case, there is no existing item the workflow is associated with. A global workflow is intended to propose the creation of a new object based on User input.
Typically, global Workflows appear on a Dashboard and are intended for end-users to propose a new Asset of a certain type.
DGC provides 9 out-of-the-box global Workflow definitions:

  1. Propose Business Term;
  2. Propose Code Value;
  3. Propose Governance Asset;
  4. Propose Business Asset;
  5. Propose Data Asset;
  6. Propose Technology Asset;
  7. Log Issue.

A screenshot from a dashboard with the corresponding buttons looks like this.

Note that the labels, positioning, and function of these buttons can be customized.

Packaged Workflow Definitions

Collibra DGc is packaged with more than a dozen of Workflow definition types. For a broader introduction to the design and implementation of Workflows we refer to OMDP Step 7 – Design and Implement Execution and Monitoring Workflows. The User and Admin guide also has sections on Managing Workflows and Developing Workflows.

In the following pages, we provide a walk-through for the Workflows that come out of the box. For each out-of-the-box Workflow, we provide:

  1. a description;
  2. a step-by-step guide through every task and decision node;
  3. the configuration requirements.

The list is here:

For more details on the design and implementation of these Workflows, we refer to Packaged Workflows Design and Implementation Revisited:

The root page Packaged Workflows Design and Implementation Revisited could not be found in space Body of Knowledge.