Practical Process Automation

Book description

In today’s IT architectures, microservices and serverless functions play an increasingly important role. But how can you create meaningful, comprehensive, and connected business solutions if the individual components are decoupled and independent by design? This book provides a framework through examples and practical advice, and reveals how you can design complex processes in such an environment to deliver true business value.

Systems that become more distributed, asynchronous, and reactive usually require state handling to deal with long-running interactions. Author Bernd Ruecker demonstrates how to use process automation technology to apply typical long-running patterns around resiliency, messaging, orchestration, or consistency without forcing your service implementation to become stateful itself.

With this guide, you’ll discover how process automation compares to business process management, service-oriented architecture, batch processing, event streaming, and data pipeline solutions.

  • Learn how to utilize process automation in cloud-scale or low-latency scenarios
  • Explore options for designing architecture that facilitates process automation
  • Learn methods for modeling processes properly to avoid potential pitfalls
  • Understand the difference between orchestration and choreography and how to balance both
  • Examine process automation use cases to learn viable solutions and appreciate the possibilities

Publisher resources

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Table of contents

  1. 1. Introduction (20)
    1. Process Automation
    2. Wild West Integrations
    3. Workfow Engines And Executable Process Models
    4. Business Processes, Processes and Workflows
    5. Business-IT Collaboration
    6. The Business Value of Process Automation
    7. Use Cases for Process Automation
    8. Levels of Automation
    9. Not Your Parents’ Process Automation Tools
    10. Conclusion
  2. I. Fundamentals (50)
  3. 2. Automating Processes With Or Without Workflow Engines(15)
    1. Technical Challenges when Automating Processes
    2. Using a Workflow Engine
    3. Executable Process Models
      1. Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN)
      2. The Token Concept: Implementing Control Flow
      3. Sequence Flows: Controlling the Flow of Execution
      4. Tasks: Units of Work
      5. Gateways: Steering Flow
      6. Events: Waiting for Something to Happen
      7. Message Events: Waiting for A Trigger From The Outside
    4. Limitations of Other Implementation Options
      1. Hard-coded Processes
      2. Batch
      3. Data-Pipelines and Streaming
      4. Actor Model
    5. Conclusion
  4. 3. Workflow Engines (15)
    1. Engine Responsibilities And Capabilities
    2. The Nature And Architecture of A Workflow Engine
      1. Applications, Processes, Workflow Engines
      2. Tokens And Threads
    3. Process Modeling Languages
      1. Required Behavior And Workflow Patterns
      2. Benefits Of Graphical Process Visualizations
      3. Textual Process Modeling Approaches
      4. Typical Concerns About Graphical Modeling
      5. Graphical vs. Textual Approaches
    4. Evaluating Your Workflow Engine
    5. Conclusion
  5. 4. Bring Your Models to Life (15)
    1. Combining Process Models and Programming Code
      1. Publish-Subscribe to a Process
      2. Referencing Code in Process Models
      3. Using Pre-Built Connectors
    2. What to Express Where
    3. Talking To A Workflow Engine
    4. Important Aspects for Executable Processes
      1. Handling Data in Processes
      2. Versioning of Process Models
      3. Testing Processes
    5. Conclusion

Product information

  • Title: Practical Process Automation
  • Author(s): Bernd Ruecker
  • Release date: March 2021
  • Publisher(s): O'Reilly Media, Inc.
  • ISBN: 9781492061458