Many work operations performed in MBMS applications are triggered by externally supplied information that is frequently delivered in the form of structured data (XML, Excel, and text files). These operations may include multiple steps, some of which can be automated. A well-formed process that can be partially or fully automated can reduce labor content, accelerate the completion of steps, add capacity to the business, and possibly improve controls. Many processes are performed with strongly typed patterns such as 1) initiate a request 2) validate the request 3) perform action 4) generate a report 5) notify requestor of result and 6) update one or more databases with results.
The MBMS Automation Package is an application installed on a web server, and when installed is fully integrated into the MBMS .NET platform. It is configured using the MBMS Admin Toolkit. The The Automation Package is run as a Windows Service that can be started, and stopped.
The Automation Package enables customers to configure business processes into a workflow for performing transactions, running reports, and sending notifications. Each workflow consists of a workflow schedule, steps, possible outcomes, handling rules for each type of outcome, and various settings for each step. The Automation Package is MBMS-application-aware and exists to automatically execute system actions that are otherwise available to end users to perform manually.
Available workflow step types can be chained together, and in conjunction with the Secure File Exchange capabilities, will produce an end to end business process with or without intentional intervention points. The Automation Package aims to provide capabilities for customers to implement straight through processing objectives using the following types of embedded functions:
- Inbound File: monitors a storage location (Secure File Exchange or network fileshare) for inbound files
- File Mover: moving files between virtual folders in the Secure File Exchange or on a network fileshare
- Perform Import: Transferring data stored in the Secure File Exchange to the MBMS System of Record Job Manager
- Run Report: executing an MBMS or user defined report registered in an MBMS application
- Mail: notifying email recipients of workflow outcomes
- Perform Job: scheduling job execution
- Perform Task: scheduling task execution
- Job Control: organizing tasks into a processing order
- Workflow Control: monitoring and tracing of automation workflow steps
Use Case Scenarios
- Handling intra-day batch processes that involve inbound and outbound routing of files uploaded by customers or other systems, processing, and executing MBMS application tasks against data contained in inbound files.
- Generating and distributing end of day reports on a scheduled basis
- Performing end of day administrative or global update tasks
- Notifying customers or others by email of the completion of a business process