With a process engine, processes are executed in a predefined sequence or workflow. A process/workflow must therefore exist for the process engine to work. The engine executes each process activity and each connector within the process one after the other and performs the corresponding work step. The activities that are performed during process execution can be performed by humans or machines. In order for the machines to be able to do their work, there must be an exchange between the process engine and the software of the machine. Processes that are executed by both humans and machines are also called human interaction workflows.
Process engines can technically be used wherever processes can be automated. But automation is best used for recurring and regularly running processes. In an SAP system, for example, it is not necessary to navigate from the screen for creating an order to the screen for creating an invoice using a menu tree or transaction numbers—a process engine can be used to automatically navigate from screen to screen for doing something like creating an invoice. This makes the navigation process much less cumbersome.
It is also possible to automate production plants, but this is usually not done with process engines. Each manufacturer uses a different interface architecture with different parameters, which would result in a very high implementation effort. By automating processes, you can reduce processing times and improve quality.
Related terms: Business Process, Workflow, Activity, Human Interaction Workflow
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