Best Practices from Oracle Development's A‑Team

BPM 11g - Case Management Part 1: An Introduction

Mark Foster

With the release of PS6 on 1st April 2013, Case Management made its appearance. In this series of blogs I intend to....

  • introduce the concept of case management
  • explain the anatomy of a case management project in BPM 11g
  • explain the lifecycle of a typical case management project at runtime
  • give pointers as to best practices in the design of a case management project

Case Management Defined

There is a wealth of information out there on Case Management in it's various guises.... "Case Management", "Dynamic Case Management", "Adaptive Case Management" etc.... In my opinion the differences in these terms are mainly academic, but if pushed I would say....

    • Case Management - a generic term probably signifying BPMN processes + ad-hoc tasks + content management + some kind of social capability
    • Dynamic Case Management - I would bow to the following definition from Forrester...."A semi-structured but also collaborative, dynamic, human and information-intensive process that is driven by outside events and requires incremental and progressive responses from the business domain handling the case".

  • Adaptive Case Management - This is where it starts getting a little grey. First let me state that there are small niche vendors out there that have tried to appropriate the term "Adaptive Case Management" and believe that to be truly adaptive you must be wholly non-BPM (to the point of being zealously opposed to it) & that you must follow a Guard-Stage-Milestone approach as far as policies/rules are concerned. I would argue that this is pure dogma, and that the terms Adaptive and Dynamic can be used more or less interchangeably.

Oracle refers to its offering as "Adaptive Case Management", but in my opinion it could be equally termed "Dynamic Case Management". Is Case Management in BPM 11g PS6 "adaptive" ? Absolutely. What makes it adaptive ? Well, it implements the following requirements...

  • ability to create and change stakeholders at runtime on an instance basis
  • users can create and/or enable activities
  • has case rules/policies to activate/de-activate case activities
  • ability to respond to events from event processing engine
  • ability to assign work based on historic context
  • real-time decision making capability for next-best-action

But do keep in mind, if you read a hundred articles out there on Case Management you'll probably get a hundred vehemently argued opinions.

Case Management Categories

Case management can be sub-divided into three broad categories....


... if your project fits somewhere in this then it will likely benefit from using Case Management.

Case Management Spectrum

Case Management is a broad term with a broad spectrum of use cases, from the predominantly structured and prescriptive cases such as "Employee Off-Boarding" where the majority of the case can be modeled as BPMN processes and only a small part is dynamic, to the predominantly unstructured, knowledge-worker driven cases such as "Criminal Investigation" or "Medical Trials" where very little can be modelled as BPMN processes and most is truly dymamic and on-the-fly....

Case Management in Oracle BPM 11g PS6 onwards can handle all of these cases

Coming Next

Now that you know what Case Management is (and isn't) and you've identified that your project fits the Case Management paradigm, in the next part of this blog we'll look at the anatomy of a Case Management project inside of BPM Studio in Oracle BPM 11g PS6.


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