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(operating system)
The scheduling of independent jobs on a computer.

See also time-sharing, WFL.


The set of relationships between all the activities in a project, from start to finish. Activities are related by different types of trigger relation. Activities may be triggered by external events or by other activities.


The movement of documents around an organisation for purposes including sign-off, evaluation, performing activities in a process and co-writing.

[Stef Joosten "An empirical study about the practice of workflow management", WA-12 report, 1994].


(1) Any series of processing steps in an organization, whether manual, automated or both.

(2) The automatic routing of documents to the users responsible for working on them. Workflow is concerned with providing the information required to support each step of the business cycle. The documents may be physically moved over the network or maintained in a single database with the appropriate users given access to the data at the required times. Triggers can be implemented in the system to alert managers when operations are overdue.

Workflow Keeps Documents Moving
The manual flow of documents in an organization is prone to errors. Documents can get lost or be constantly shuffled to the bottom of the in-basket. Automating workflow sets timers that ensure that documents move along at a prescribed pace and that the appropriate person processes them in the correct order.

Workflow Integration
Integrating workflow into existing software applications may require extensive reprogramming, because although independent workflow software can launch a whole application, a workflow system must be able to invoke individual routines within the application. As a result, vendors of application software have teamed up with workflow vendors to provide the appropriate interfaces and/or they have developed their own workflow capability. Workflow standards developed by the Workflow Management Coalition ( provide interoperability between workflow software and applications as well as between different workflow systems (see Wf-XML).

Workflow Vs. Workgroup
Workflow software is not the same as workgroup software, otherwise known as groupware. Workflow deals with the step-by-step processes, whereas workgroup systems are concerned with information sharing and threaded discussions among users.

Workflow Vs. Workgroup
Workflow manages the sequential tasks required in a transaction, whereas the workgroup (groupware) focus is sharing information. (Illustration courtesy of Delphi Consulting Group, Inc.)
References in periodicals archive ?
Enhancements that have been added in syngo Workflow Version 28.
The customer selected Facets e2 Workflow in part because of its ability to integrate smoothly with its Facets core administrative system.
Opsware Orchestrator, which integrates iConclude's RBA platform, addresses this complexity with workflow and orchestration capabilities that add yet another level of automation to the data center.
The newest version offers "Dynamic WorkFlow," a critical enhancement for CNG-SAFE, allows users to define rules that will route documents electronically based on a wide range of variables.
Ensuring accurate job information and tracking through all parts of the workflow and providing better overall visibility of the entire workflow, the EFI Fiery JDF Connector optimizes customers' technology investment.
As they enter the Canon booth (#1253), attendees will step right into an actual digital production environment, following a production job throughout the workflow from its creation and submission through to the communication with the business management system on to pre-lighting, to the printing, coating and final finishing stages of production.
Some of the exhibited workflows include showing how a printer can streamline their business and production through the integration of the imagePRESS C7000VP workflow with EFI's LOGIC MIS system.
The PMG Service Process Engine, the new workflow engine component of the Service Catalog, enables IT professionals to take requests for IT services and make them more actionable.
Using Soarian, which integrates the TIBCO iProcess Engine into its core workflow functionality, TCCH's information technology (IT) staff created workflows to address the specific clinical and business challenges in their healthcare organization.
As with previous versions of the product, the workflow engine provides a 100% web-based interface that enables users to graphically model and build their processes, enables documents, forms and tasks to be automatically routed in accordance with defined business processes, provides automated notification and due date management, as well as both pre-determined and dynamic routing, workflow administration and reporting and graphical views of workflows in progress.
The power, simplicity, and automation of the Apago Cluster Workflow enable staffers to accomplish more instead of tending to mundane production work," comments Dwight Kelly, president of Apago Inc.
Its impact was so significant that the hospital extended the Workflow to cover Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus (VRE) and will incorporate additional infections.

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