What do Flows look like in Pega?
In business computing, solutions for work flow eventually became executable Business Process Models, which in turn led to Case Management. Ever wondered what Pegasystems has to offer when it comes of ordinary work flows?
Every now and then the obvious and logical question "Does Pega support BPMN?" is asked. In the strict sense the Pega platform – an application server previously marketed as PegaRULES Process Commander (PRPC) – does not try to implement the specific standard "Business Process Model and Notation". Pega has been developed with a different mindset regarding modeling and its notation. As such it offers much more than just the Flow "type of" business rule, which somewhat resembles this common purpose.
Fun Fact: OMG is located in Massachusetts; the same state as Pegasystems HQ.
The Pega platform is the brainchild of CEO and founder Alan Trefler who was convinced systems could be way better than we had 30-something years ago. Personally, I´m glad he had that insight and took that risk early on. To put things in perspective: the Object Management Group (OMG) consortium (founded by several companies including HP, IBM, Sun and Apple) only published their first formal specification of BPMN by May 2005 — still of great value, but rather late for the industry.
Drawing understandable flows is at the very heart of implementing Case Management. Ultimately businesses should become self-sufficient by maintaining such process flows. The Pega concepts like defining processes into Stages & Steps where each step can represent a Flow help to keep things practical. Honestly, nothing worries me more in a development project than stumbling on some unreadable flow diagrams created by an architect who is too swamped to update or explain it — or any other outdated documentation for that matter. In Pega such flow diagrams are an integral part of the system for everyone to see or even update (when holding appropriate rights).
To add more color to this alternative to standard BPM let me show what kind of Shapes are actually available in Pega´s modeler tool called Flow Designer. Of course you could also define your own utility shapes with Activity rules. Note that the Pega platform actually runs these configured flow diagrams. In that sense PRPC also functions as BPEL engine just like any other Java EE-based framework; though not importing or exporting this specific language. [Edgar] (4/28/2017 5:40:29 PM)
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Edgar is a software engineer with experience in TIBCO Middleware and Pega Case Managemement. He holds a master's degree in Computer Science with a specialization in Data Visualization & Computer Graphics.