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PeopleSoft AWE (Approval Workflow Engine) - Part 1

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I am trying to learn about AWE, as I am fairly new to this concept; there is a Red Paper on AWE which I would like to go through and understand some of its concepts. However, before that, I would like to setup some example to make it in a simplified fashion and understand it better.
PeopleSoft provides Red Papers for certain toolsets, which can be used as a practical guide to implement it (i.e. gives an overview and walks through the steps needed to build it.)
As per the Red Paper, you can use Standard Workflow   , which requires advanced technical skills in PeopleSoft PeopleTools to create and maintain or use AWE which is easier to create, configure, and maintain; there are some process within PeopleSoft HCM 9 and 9.1 which still use the Standard Workflow.
Instead of going and understanding the Red Paper, What I would like to do is, look at some delivered examples that uses AWE feature and work on similar example and then look at all different features of AWE and go back to the Red Paper; I want to act as a Functional user and I want to see how easy is it to use and setup AWE; But before that, let's try to understand some of the basic concepts of Workflow Process.
What is PeopleSoft Workflow or why it is used?
PeopleSoft Workflow can be defined as getting the right work to the right people at the right time;
PeopleSoft Workflow consists of a powerful set of tools that enables to automate time-consuming business processes and deliver the right information to the right people at the right time.

Some of the Workflow Terminology:
  • Business Process
  • Activities
  • Steps
  • Roles and Rules.
What is Business Process?
A Business Process includes all of the tasks (or activities) and people that are involved to complete a unit a work. Example would be Hire new employees or Order supplies. So if you look at Hire Business Process, they are numerous task within it such as entering employee info, enroll them in time and labor or benefits, getting emergency contact info or direct deposit info and other tasks.
What are Activities?
An Activity represents specific transaction that you might need to perform. It would consists of Steps that are used to perform a transaction Example would be entering Emergency Info of an Employee or Hire an Employee.
What are Steps?
Steps are the Individual actions that you perform on specific PeopleSoft Pages.
What are Rules?
Rules are your organization’s business practices captured in software. Rules determine when a business event triggers Workflow.
What are Roles?
Roles describe how people fit into the Workflow. A Role is a class of users who performs the same type of work, such as clerks or managers.
An example of business rule would be:
If a member requests leave and it is approved/denied by their supervisor then the member must be notified by email
What is the Approval Workflow Engine (AWE)?
The PeopleSoft Approval Framework is a specialized application used for defining and configuring approvals. Approval Framework enables you to configure approval processes using existing components without writing code; i.e. it uses a series of database objects combined with application component configuration settings to determine how to process approvals using workflow and it is delivered as part of the PeopleSoft Enterprise Components.
AWE is newer concept which comes with latest releases which is much easier to create, configure and maintain and older PeopleSoft Applications used traditional workflow process and some of the Challenges were:
  • Requires development in Application Designer (creating Business Process, Activities, Steps and PeopleCode etc.)
  • Not configurable online
 AWE can be configured online for different transactions; when user submits a transaction that has approval process, AWE comes into play and finds the appropriate approval process definition and launches the approval workflow.  
In next blog, we will go through an example from Time and Labor i.e. when user submits time which needs approval, and look at all the relevant AWE setups for this transaction.


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