Tutorial for Designer/2000
and Developer/2000

Lesson 3

In this lesson, you will learn how to create Process Diagrams using the Process Modeller. Specifically, this will involve the following:

What is a Process?

A process is a set of input and output activities, that helps a firm create value for its customers.

What are Process Diagrams?

Process Diagrams are graphical representations of all the firm's processes and includes the storage, manipulation and exchange of data between the firm and some external entity and also between the various units of the firm. Process models are considered to provide an alternative to data flow diagrams, which have been around for a long time. In recent times, with the large number of organizations involved in business process reengineering (BPR), process modeling has become increasingly popular.

Process Modeling Constructs

In order to create a process diagram successfully, you will need to be clear about some its core components; namely, organizational units, process steps, externals, process flows and data stores.

An organizational unit is the unit of the firm that is responsible for performing the processes. Each unit is assigned a certain area where the process steps that are created by this particular unit reside. These areas are referred to as the "Swimming Lanes." Oracle always includes a generic organizational unit by the name of "Unspecified" which refers to a unit that performs certain activities but is outside the scope of your consideration. You are however free to create as many organizational units as you may feel necessary and name them accordingly.

A process step is a process or a function associated with any particular organizational unit.

A process flow is the flowing of data (input or output) from one process step to another or to a store.

A data store is a collection of data that is stored somewhere. A Data Store does not move with the flow but is stored somewhere in a particular organizational unit.

An external is outside the scope of your hierarchy that has data flowing to and from it. It is usually stored in the "Swimming Lane" of the Unspecified organizational unit.

See Figure 3.1 for a graphical representation of the above mentioned components.

Figure 3.1

Figure 3.1: A Graphical Representation of the Components of the Process Diagram

A Narrative of the Process to be modeled

In this lesson, we will decompose the process SRS3 (Maintain Course Enrollment) which we had created in Lesson 2 as part of the Student Registration System. Note that we could have decomposed it using the Dataflow Diagrammer also, as we did in Lesson 2 when we created the Level 1 diagram for the process Maintain Course Enrollment. However, in this lesson we will focus on the use of another tool, the Process Modeller, to decompose a process. We therefore use different process from the one we used to decompose using the Dataflow Diagrammer.

The external entity "Student" sends a "Request for enrollment" to the Registrar's office. Let us assume that processing at the Registrar's office involves the following steps:

  1. The student status is checked using information about the student from the STUD database resident in the "Admissions" office.
  2. The next step involves checking if the requested course is a valid course (this information is available in the Course database resident in the Registrar's office).
  3. Next, a clerk checks whether the student has satisfactorily completed the prerequisites for the requested course.
  4. The next step involves checking if the course is full.
  5. Finally, the enrollment database has to be updated to reflect the fact that this student has been registered for the requested course, and appropriate notification (acceptance/rejection) notification is sent to the student.
Please note that this narrative does not necessarily describe an efficient (or a "real") process. It is being used merely to illustrate the use of the Process Modeller.

The above mentioned process model may be created using the following steps:

  1. In order to go to the Process Modeller, select Process Modeller from the Tools menu in the RON

  2. In the Process Modeller, select File->New to create a new diagram. The window for the New Diagram will pop up (See Figure 3.2). You will see 'Student Registration System' in the list of the processes. This is because we have previously created a main process using the Dataflow Diagrammer.

    Figure 3.2

    Figure 3.2: New Diagram Window

  3. Now check off the Root Processes Only box. You will now see a list of the child functions that we created under the main function in Lesson 2. (See Figure 3.3).

    Figure 3.3

    Figure 3.3: The New diagram Window with the list of the main process and the child processes

  4. Next, we will decompose the process SRS3, Maintain Course Enrollment. So, select it, and click OK. (See Figure 3.4).

    Figure 3.4

    Figure 3.4: The window for creating the main process based on a child function

  5. You will now see Figure 3.5 on your screen. (Note, Oracle has created a default organizational unit called Unspecified).

    Figure 3.5

    Figure 3.5: Window with an Unspecified Organizational Unit

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