PIPER-Rx - WF Cost

Oracle E-Business Suite Resource Centre

Paper - The Hidden Cost of Workflow

Paper - The Hidden Cost of Workflow

I wrote this paper back in 2005 and first presented it at the AUSOUG in Sydney 2005
This paper was one of my favorites and I have still been presenting it more recently.

In 2008 I came across a site that was running the workflow background process clearing deferred items over 10,000 times per day! Even now in 2012+ I still find the same issues.

Workflow has continued to be such a problem area for so many sites I have now also devoted 3 full PAMtutorials to the subject of workflow so I would encourage anyone interested in better managing Workflow to check these out as well!


Because workflows are designed by functional teams but the day to day management of workflows goes to the DBA this fundamental disconnect often creates enormous system inefficiencies and excessive, unnecessary processing overheads.

The issue is that the processing resources of individual workflow items are unknown at establishment date but required on set up. The true cost can only be established when the workflow is implemented and run in a live environment as there are a number of things that can influence the processing requirements (cost) including:

Typically, the workflow set up is not revisited when the resource data becomes available.

Once a workflow has been implemented, it is left to the DBA to clear any deferred workflow Items by running one or more workflow background process. The clearance rate is often based on the number accumulating deferred processes and or user requirements to have the Items cleared immediately.

In this paper we will look at two case studies, showing the effect of this “over the wall behavior” and the failure to revisit the workflow definitions.

The paper will also explain the art of purging the workflows.

View / Download (.pps format)

Last update: May 2012