Posts Tagged ‘Rules’

BPM / Workflow Escalation in Aras

May 8, 2012

MarcL: PLM solutions must be able to define escalation rules for workflow notification so that when a notification has not been responded to for a specific period of time, another pre-define user or group is notified.

Peter Schroer:

The Aras Innovator workflow web service supports a variety of escalation structures out of the box, and the escalation structure of a specific workflow process can depend on the item’s classification or other business rule.

The Aras Innovator workflow at the platform level has 2 levels of Escalation as a standard out-of-the-box Web service.

The first level is an escalation at the Activity level (there is an administrator defined escalation identity for each Activity).

The second level escalation is a notification of the process owner when the Activity fails to be completed on time by the first level escalation.

Additional escalation rules can be configured as well.

We provide training on how to implement, customize, and optimize these for self-sufficient operation of your PLM environment.

For additional information on workflow see the posts ‘BPM / Workflow Voting and Promotion Authorization in Aras’ and ‘Lifecycle, Workflow and Other Types of Process Management in Aras’ or check out the Posts Tagged ‘Workflow’.

BPM / Workflow Voting and Promotion Authorization in Aras

May 7, 2012

MarcL: PLM solutions should provide the capability of assigning multiple reviewers and voting schemes at each approval level, and be able to support different approval voting schemes such as majority, chairman override, etc., with each release level having different pre-defined approvers. Also, PLM should provide the capability to enforce second level passwords.

Peter Schroer:

Aras Innovator includes all of these workflow capabilities out-of-the-box and they are the basis for the Enterprise Change Management functionality in our solution as well as other process-based applications in the suite.

Inside the SOA framework the Aras Innovator workflow service is a full BPM (business process management) application that is integrated at the platform-level within our PLM environment.

Aras Innovator’s BPM supports advanced capabilities such as hierarchical workflow maps and dynamic assignments based on role and / or classification and can include other business rules as well.

aras workflow process map

Aras Innovator Workflow Process Map Provides Branching, Parallel Paths, Many Different Voting Capabilities and more

The browser-based solution studio uses a Graphic drag-and-drop design that power users that have the appropriate permissions can do without IT / programming skills to provide serial paths, rules-based branching, parallel paths, voting (linear, weighted, veto), tasks for users, tasks for automation, and electronic signatures (either the session password, or a 2nd level “signature” password for compliance requirements such as the FDA’s 21 CFR Part 11).

The Aras workflow web service supports varied voting schemes out-of-the-box including the majority, override (Aras calls this a Veto), individual/chairman executive override, and the specific workflow process (Map) that is executed can depend on the lifecycle status, product classification, or other business rule.

We provide training on how to implement, customize, and optimize the use of these Aras Innovator process capabilities.

For additional information on workflow see the previous post ‘Lifecycle, Workflow and Other Types of Process Management in Aras’ or check out the Posts Tagged ‘Workflow’.

Information Release and Data Vault Management in Aras

April 20, 2012

MarcL: When a document or any other type of data is formally released through the PLM solution, the vault must then recognize the file as released as a result of the workflow completion, and provide appropriate control of the document. This should also set the release baseline, and do notification of the change to the designated access group.

Peter Schroer:

The Aras Innovator platform’s Lifecycle and Workflow services are normally used together to coordinate the Enterprise Change and Release processes.

Lifecycle ensures that baselines of configurations are created and frozen (against future changes), and Lifecycle drives the automatic changes in access control rights that your company will need for release processes.

Notifications are handled by Lifecycle (one-way distribution list) and Workflow (certified response required) as required.

The default process templates with the downloaded version of Aras Innovator are the CMII standard processes.

These can of course be modified by your company, and we provide training so you can customize these processes yourself.

For more info on this see posts like ‘Version & Revision Release Levels in Aras’ or check out the Posts Tagged ‘Revision & Version’.

Versioning of Items & Files in Aras

April 19, 2012

MarcL: PLM solutions at a minimum should provide Version tracking for the most recent released revision and previous revs with date/time stamps. A new version should be based on an update of the PLM database which should occur whenever an item is checked into the PLM solution, and also should occur when the user initiates an update, but typically does not need to coincide with the user saving changes on their local disk.

Peter Schroer:

Aras internally used the terms Major_Rev, Minor_Rev and Generation.

The “Version” and “Revision” are just labels that do not impact the underlying web services behaviors.  In our experience, everyone calls it something different;  it’s the defined behaviors that are important. 

CMII revision behaviors are supported by the standard out-of-the-box Aras configuration.

All edits, whether work-in-process or formal releases are tracked in Aras Innovator (these are the Generations), and your company decides which of the increments are exposed to which users.

Once a File is checked-out,   a Generation is reserved,    and that user can make multiple edits which are saved to disk without bumping the Generation.

This Generation behavior is configurable and for security intensive scenarios can be set-up to log every save, but the default settings allow local saves that are not recognized by the PLM system.

For more info on this see posts like ‘Version & Revision Release Levels in Aras’ and ‘Data Relationships and Fixed / Float Rules in Aras

Or check out the Posts Tagged ‘Revision & Version’.

Version & Revision Release Levels in Aras

April 17, 2012

MarcL: PLM solutions must provide support for user-defined multiple release and revision levels, and should be able to assign default release levels based on object types or other attributes, as well as, be able to reset release levels for specific items at check-in by users with appropriate assigned authority.

Peter Schroer:

The out-of-the-box Aras Innovator data model has 3 levels of versioning control on all business items (Major, Minor, and Generation).

Your company can use the three levels to implement just Revisions, or      Revisions + Versions, or    Versions + Revisions + Baselines,    etc.

The exact terminology belongs to you / your company, and you can make it whatever you need. The underlying platform handles the 3 revision levels, and you can use the OOTB setup or configure them however you need.

Our out-of-the-box installation implements the standard CMII processes as defined by the Institute of Configuration Management.

Out-of-the-box Aras supports the ability to assign default release levels based on object types or other attributes as well as the ability to reset release levels for specific items at check-in, and this is easily extended or modified over time as needed.

Each ItemType is linked to a defined Revision sequence (and these can be different for different ItemTypes),  and the standard methodology would be to use the Lifecycle engine to trigger revision changes.  This behavior is driven by CMII standards in the OOTB Aras solutions, and can be easily tailored as needed or applied to add-on solutions or custom solutions that your company develops.

You can quickly enable special scenarios for manual revision changes, over-rides, executive decisions, and other behaviors which occur in the real world – or any combination of these.

Learning how to configure the revisioning rules is covered in the Aras introductory class “Configuring Solutions”, and we provide training on how to customize Aras Innovator for self-sufficient operation to satisfy your company’s on-going requirements.

Document & File Management Check-in / Check-out, Lifecycle and Security in Aras

April 10, 2012

MarcL: PLM solutions must be able to store, manage, archive, and retrieve digital data at the file level. PLM should enable check-in / check-out which are authorized by the security schemes, and should also allow checkouts to be cancelled if needed. Please describe how this is supported.

Peter Schroer:

Check-in / Check-out and Security

Any digital data in file form can be vaulted and managed by the Aras Innovator vault server, and out-of-the-box Aras supports Check-in and Check-out according to established / authorized security permissions.

All actions and data are controlled by platform-level rights management infrastructure in Aras Innovator for document & file management.

Check-outs can be cancelled by the end-user or an Administrator can override a check-out by clearing the reservation flag.  Additional capabilities can be easily added if needed.

Also, the Aras Innovator security model enforces update and delete actions (CRUD) by user by business object providing the ability for approved users with appropriate security credentials to make changes / delete any incorrect data in the vault as required which further simplifies administration while ensuring that security is enforced.

Lifecycles and Security

The Aras Innovator Lifecycle web service is often used to implement access controls that are based on Status.

Lifecycle status security is a default behavior of Aras solutions.

As business items / objects move through a lifecycle,  the access rights are modified automatically to patterns (sets of permissions for users/roles/groups) appropriate for that state in the lifecycle.

The permission structures and user access can be configured to support multiple, simultaneous company-specific security control structures for work-in-process business items and files.

You can set-up, administer and modify/customize these capabilities yourself and we’ll train you how.

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