Enriching business processes with event processing

In my previous blog post, I presented the role of business rules in event processing. In this post, I discuss four possible combinations of business event processing that enrich BPM processes. The BPMN within the receiving process might be any of the receiving event shapes.

External event monitoring

In this pattern, a process reacts to the detection of a basic or complex external event. Events in these cases can be a simple straightforward event such as detecting a significant market or weather event. Event processing proceeds according to the filtering and correlation logic and prior event instances from the event repository might be required. The channel chooses among one or more process. Raw, filtered and correlated events are stored in the repository. These become input into latter processing cycles.

Figure 1, External Event Processing with multiple affected business processes.

Figure 1, External Event Processing with multiple affected business processes.

External business events in Figure 1 cause either the manual or automatic request processes to be started with the event channel. The message channel in the event processing area is shown as an end message shape.

Internal event monitoring

In this pattern, we use processes as the source of events. These patterns could be used to catch exceptions, widespread disparities across systems, and system performance issues. This pattern incorporates the first pattern. So the results of the detection can be directed to processes across multiple process platforms.

Figure 2: Internal Event Processing with multiple affected business processes.

Figure 2: Internal Event Processing with multiple affected business processes.

In the example in Figure 2, a charging spot on the E-Mobility platform is assigned to an awaiting request. Both processes are in the control of the platform yet event processing is a powerfull way to coordinate the assignment.

Event monitoring for internal process feedback

This pattern creates an environment for intelligent decisions and flexible, high-level event monitoring for the process control. This extends the internal event monitoring process.  An event, created within the related business processes, is processed and returned to the applicable processes.

Figure 3, Internal Event Processing with multiple affected business processes that provide feedback.

Figure 3, Internal Event Processing with multiple affected business processes that provide feedback.

This is where internal events from processes are combined to provide feedback to processes that are relevant to use for the current context. The event processor becomes the controlling agent for the business processes. It can aggregate the event output from multiple process and deliver the situation back into the calling process. Also, it can handle dynamic process selection.

Monitoring for internal process feedback

This pattern creates a framework for intelligent decisions and flexible, high-level event monitoring of internal and external events for the process control.

Figure 4: Event Processing, with multiple affected business processes, that incorporate external events and provide feedback.

Figure 4: Event Processing, with multiple affected business processes, that incorporate external events and provide feedback.

In Figure 4’s example, a request for contract commodity pricing is combined with external data and internal exposure to derivatives.

Conclusion

Combining event processing with process models a concise model of complex scenarios. Certainly, there are more combinations that can be envisioned. Business processes must accommodate event-driven, actionable situations. As these examples show, these include key events or combinations of events and their origin can be internal, external or combinations of these. The process model should be constructed to respond with the correct sequence of activities. Event processing empowers the awareness of these.

 

About the author

Tom Debevoise

Tom Debevoise

Tom Debevoise was a regular contributor to our blog until 2013. His interest is in building practices that empower the business analyst or expert to use a framework of software and methods to create their own process, services and managed events. Tom is the the author of several books, “The Data Warehouse Method,” “Business Process Management with a Business Rules Approach” (2006), and “A Microguide to Process Modeling in BPMN”.