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Process Overview

PegaRULES Process Commander (PRPC) enables you develop and deliver business applications in a completely model-driven environment. This approach makes it easy to directly capture, assess, refine, and put into production process flows that precisely meet your business needs. At the core of these modeling capabilities is the flow rule. In it, you use an easy-to-use diagram editor that provides a set of modeling shapes, letting you graphically capture a business process and its components. The shapes contain PegaRULES Process Commander business rules that define automated routing logic, declarative and decision instructions, user work form and interface presentations, system and data source integration, and other process elements. When you first build the model, you gain detailed insight into the current process. As you research and analyze the model, you will likely discover tasks and processing nodes that are impeding efficiency and productivity. As your team experiments with a number of hypothetical configurations, you arrive at a process design that best meets your business goals and resources. These modifications may include redirecting work paths, adding or removing processing steps, or automating manual tasks. Because the process model is rule-based, you can automatically implement the new design in your production environment and refine as necessary. Going forward, you can make iterative updates to meet ever-changing business conditions and requirements.

What is a business process? | Key Features & Attributes | Terminology | Additional Information

What is a PegaRULES Process Commander business process?

A business process defines how a unit of work (a work item) moves until it is completed (resolved). In PegaRULES Process Commander, a business process corresponds to a flow rule, which is associated with a work item. A flow may define many optional detours, side trips, and branches reflecting decisions reached along the way. The path that one item follows through the flow depends on its own requirements, automatic decisions in rules, and on available resources. For example:

  • One home insurance application that fails to meet the automatic credit approval rules may require special research, while others are handled automatically
  • An arriving customer service call in Mary’s territory may be routed to Tom, if Mary is unavailable
  • A request that is in a foreign language may be routed to a manager who can decide who among his or her team is best qualified to handle the request.


Flows represent the fundamental business processes; they identify how work items are created, who works on them, in what sequence, what decisions and processing occur automatically, and how the items are resolved. Process Commander processes are represented by a flow within the Process Modeler or a Microsoft Visio diagram. It contains a network of task shapes such as Assignment, Decision, and Utilities, and connectors. These are associated with rules, parameters, or property values that precisely specify how the shapes and connectors act upon the work object. Collectively, the components define the process from the time a work object enters the flow until it is resolved. To modify the process you edit the flow diagram. You can use the flow rule to run the process and to test the results of your modifications.

Work items

A work item in a PegaRULES Process Commander flow is an electronic representation of a paper work form. When an item is created, the system generates a unique work item ID and enters basic information such as who created the item and when. As the work item (an insurance application, for instance) moves through the process, operators or automated procedures add information to it. This data is accumulated and stored on a system database for use in the current or subsequent assignments. Operators can enrich the item's information content by attaching text files, screen shot images, URLs or PDFs as the item moves through the process flow. PegaRULES Process Commander automatically keeps a history of the item's progress, identifying operators that have worked on the item and when, and what automated tasks were performed on it.

Flow example

This example below represents a purchase order request process. The employee enters purchase requests for office supplies or equipment. Operators collect information about the the employee and the items. Certain criteria must be met to continue processing. If not met, the request may be rejected. If accepted, the item is submitted to an operator in the accounting group, where it is routed with through the accounting process. When completed, the item returns to the purchase order process. Based on data in the work item, an automatic procedure routes it either to a manager for approval or it is rejected. When a request is approved or rejected, it is resolved and no further processing occurs.


sample Process Commander flow diagram w/ subflow shape


When the processes starts, the system generates a unique work object ID for the new item. The following processes can occur:

  • Users perform assignments, in Process Modeler, or in Visio, which reflect the need for research, analysis, decision making, and data entry. Before the item arrives at its assignment, the system performs automatic processes such as computing the goal time and destination time, identifies any skills required or requested for routing, and determines the individual operator or group of operators that is to receive the assignment. Rules within the assignment promote compliance with deadlines or raises the urgency value when processing does not meet these goals. When the operator's work is complete, the system saves the item to the database, and may send email notifications to other individuals within the organization. The work progresses to the next task in the flow.
  • A process may comprise multiple flows. To keep the diagram easy to follow, this flow is represented by a Subprocess shape in Process Modeler, or a Flow shape in Visio , which contains its own flow rule and diagram. In this example, the request is processed in the accounting department before it returns to the purchase order process.
  • Some tasks are performed automatically. For instance, decision logic to either route work to the manager or to reject it is represented by a Decision shape or . The Utility shape or uses a rule that automatically updates the work item's history with a message indicating that the item has been fully processed and ends at the End shape in Process Modeler or the FlowEnd shape in Visio.

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Key Features & Attributes of a PRPC process

Flexible and adaptable rules built into each process help designers automatically adjust to new information and criteria, eliminating manual interventions and workarounds. Because you can understand how manual decisions have been executed and the conditions that apply to those decisions, you can add rules to your process flow that automate the decision-making process.

Application Designers can evolve the process in small iterative-based parts at the individual rule level. Java code is compiled and executed by the system at run-time, giving designers immediate feedback on the effects of their changes. New configurations can be tested in real-time, even on production systems without affecting other users or processes.

An intuitive graphical design tool provides insight to all members of the design team regardless of technical expertise. The tool helps your team conceptualize and consolidate complex multi-stream flows into one process. Because Process Commander modeling is rule-based, your design team can quickly convert high-level designs into fully functional business processes that can be analyzed, refined, and put into production with minimal IT support.

Using service connectors (such as SOAP, MQ, active file listening) you can connect your process to existing enterprise applications, and pass data between systems that can be parsed, extracted, and interpreted.

Rich work item information and automated tracking enable users and managers to dynamically monitor work and take corrective action based on events to make sure work is processed on time and is running optimally.

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Important Terminology

Assignment — A point in the business process that requires human judgment and input. Flow processing of a work item normally pauses when it reaches an assignment shape until a user completes the assignment. The assignment normally appears on the worklist of the user who starts the flow.

Flow — A flow rule is the fundamental representation of a business process in Process Commander. The rule defines the sequence of processing that your application applies to work objects. It contains a network of shapes and connectors. They are associated with rules, parameters, or property values that precisely specify how the shapes and connectors act upon the work object.

Straight-through processing — Business processes that can usually or often be performed completely automatically, with no human intervention. A flow rule that contains no assignment tasks by definition implements straight through processing. This represents a process with the greatest potential to maximize efficiency and return on investment.

Screen flow — A flow rule that presents a user with a sequence of forms to complete. A screen flow provides an effective way to simplify input processing and present questions or input fields in a series of related forms. Users can change an answer to an earlier question by backing up in the flow; and, in some situations, can complete steps in any order.

Shapes — Each shape in Process Modeler represents an Assignment, a Utility, a Decision, a Start or End, and so on. (The Microsoft Visio presentation of a flow are informally known as a tasks.)

Work item — The primary unit of work completed by an application, and the primary collection of data that a flow operates on. Operators using an application create, update, and eventually resolve and close work items.

Worklist — A list of outstanding (not complete) assignments waiting for a user to perform them. The list appears in a portal that supports application users that create, update, route, and resolve work objects.

Workbasket — A queue of open assignments that are not associated with an individual operator. Managers can review the assignments placed in a workbasket and distribute them one-by-one to appropriate users for processing. Alternatively, the system can automatically reassign assignments from the workbasket periodically to a user's worklist.

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Additional information

Article Introduction to Process Definition | November, 2008

Article Running flow models | March, 2008

help Flows - Concepts and terms | September, 2011

Article How to drag rules from the Application Explorer into shapes on a Visio flow diagram | November, 2008

Article How to perform bulk processing for a large number of assignments V6.1 | May, 2010

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