Chapter 6. Status: The States of Data

With the increase in sophistication of the world of commerce, processes across enterprises have grown even more complicated. Programs or projects to provide services have become more involved and complex, and the state of these work efforts need to be managed in greater detail. Financial information, such as options prices or interest rate changes, is affected by many different bits of information that have many different states. When you add to this the proliferation of computer systems in enterprises, the need for structures to capture and manage statuses becomes crucial in modern enterprises today.

As data flows naturally through business processes, a great number of statuses may be created, updated, or deleted in many different ways. For example, imagine a large electronic retailer receives an order for 1,000 mobile phones. After this order is received, it may be submitted into the order entry system. A supervisor may validate the order. If the order has been submitted correctly, the order entry system checks if the inventory is available for the customer; if the inventory is available, the order triggers the logistics system to set up the shipment. After the order is shipped, the billing system generates a request for payment, or in other words, an invoice. In this scenario, the order for the mobile phones went through several states such as "Received," "Entered," "Confirmed," and "Pending" (waiting for an inventory check). Do "Shipped" ...

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