Few days until the end of 2014...

Thanks to you reader's support, I could achieve "Weekly posts" somehow. This entry will be 52nd in 2014, 411th in total proposing Business process.(*) Taking this opportunity, please allow me to express my sincerest gratitude to the readers of Workflow Samples, especially who gave me requests to write specific Processes, and who gave me comments and impressions on my posting.

*) 51 titles in 2014, 52 in 2013, 53 in 2012, 186 in 2011, 68 in 2010
*) One or two business samples [QAR] attached to each article, so the total number of the samples has become approximately 700.

Looking back, people talk about me that 'I'll be a quitter soon', especially the very beginning of this blog. Well, indeed, there is some proposition of Business Process which are 'no big deal' among them. But I'm willing to continue writing articles. So please help me by giving me 'pep talk' and 'straightforward feedback'

Articles Most Read in Japanese in 2014

Articles Most Read in English in 2014]

Well, now,

The following is the last introducing of Business examples in 2014, which is a very simple 'Blog Entry flow'.

[Blog Entry flow]

'I leave the rest to you!'

In the article before, I introduced several patterns about 'Postal Matter system' as Backend. These were mechanisms which "Postal matter file and Addressee" are conveyed through
  • An employee makes a request in the 'Input screen' at upstream Step
  • Another Workflow transmits via API

On the Backend side, tasks of 'Printing out documents, Signature, Enclosement and post' are carried out systematically.

It will never depend on the circumstances like 'tough negotiation on descriptions in agreement'. It's a mission of a backend that sending by post, solemnly without mistakes without delay. (Truly a 'Behind the scenes role')

Well today, we often see or hear the word "Backend" in a phrase of 'Backend as a Service'. That is, focusing on development of Smartphone App which End Users face directly, and leave the processing on the Backend side to 'Backend as a Service'. That is, focusing on development of Smartphone App which End Users face directly, and leave the processing on the Backend side to 'Backend as a Service'. Therefore, the development period of the whole system becomes shorter.

There are a lot of needs for Smartphone App Development in the world of Business Apps.

For example, implement a BEACON transmitter in the office. A smartphone throws the time that detect for the first time of the day towards Backend as 'Attendance time'. Also, when it doesn't detect the signal more than two hours, it will send the time that beginning of not detecting towards Backend as 'Leaving time'. There are enterprises which actively utilizing the Apps that adopted Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology for their Business improvement.

Then, into the following Workflow for 'Daily Report', what kind of APIs should we add to automatically incorporate these 'Attendance time' and ' Leave time'?

[Daily Report Workflow]
'Enhance the BPMS as backend!' (Business Process Management System)

What the hell is this? A spell or what?? Actually, this seems a 'remark not uncommon' for the people in IT industry. The point is, they are simply calling computers which are;
  • far side from human as 'Backend'
  • near side to human as 'Frontend'
among the IT system that consists of a lot of computers.

To be more specific, a mechanism (computer) which corresponds User Management, Database Management, File Management, etc. is called Backend, whereas PC applications or mobile applications are called Frontend. Recently, there exist terms of 'Backend as a Service' or 'mobile Backend as a Service', and focusing on 'Frontend development' for more convenience is becoming the trend.


Here in this world where Information Communication has well evolved, humans are always on the network also. A mechanism of Backend is not always must be composed only with computers. Business process management (BPMS) is the back-end systems, including humans. (It would not be called a 'Cloud computing' anymore, though...)

For example, humans may be interposed in a 'Billing system'. Rather, it could be better for the improvement of deliverable's quality by human interposition... So, I tried to think about a Backend, which is 'Postal matter Shipping Request system'. In this Workflow, although the cover sheet will be automatically generated, enclosing and posting will be done by humans.

Hum, if adding APIs more to it, the more automated 'Backend-system' it might become...

[Postal Matter Sending system]
General public to cooperate in the "power saving".

'Consumers' thoughtfully suppress 'purchasing', understanding the circumstance of the service provider (power firms). What a humble story... Contrary to the "economic rationality". However, now in Japan, many citizens are cooperating, recognizing the necessity of it. Especially the local government and public institutions, they must attempt the power saving initiatively. (Innovations for 'energy saving' and 'cost down for renewable energy' are being desired.)

In the previous article, we studied a mechanism of auto-detection, in which
  • 1) a Workflow is launched in the morning on weekdays
  • 2) it records the power supply and demand hourly (utilizing APIs)
  • 3) it alerts if the usage rate exceeded '89%'
  • and when it exceeds '94%', human will perform 'power saving procedure'.
This can be said that 'systemizing the crisis management manual'. If you use a cloud-based workflow, it will be built in three-four hours.

Yet, in this setting, we did not assume the business scenario, i.e. 'case that suddenly raising of power usage, 88% to 96% within an hour'. Realistically, it won't happen. (rare case) However, If it requires only few changes, we want to incorporate it into the setting. Now, how should we do?

[Power Saving Procedure flow] (Previously shown)

'Checking every an hour... 10 times a day...' (Loop)

It is really annoying though, I have to do... Since we are a public institution, so we must take the initiative to perform "Power saving". The checking operation I mentioned before, is about "power usage" which the electric power firm announces. Alert when the actual value of 1 hour average exceeds 89%, and if it exceeds 94%, 1) Turn off MFP and the shredder, 2) Turn off the hot water supply machine, 3) Turn off the office lighting, 4) Stop the elevator, etc..

Since '3.11' in 2011 (Earthquake & nuclear accident), power firms in Japan are publishing 'power usage' every 3 minutes (or 5). Despite in autumn or winter other than midsummer, the usage exceeds 90% once or twice a month.

Indeed, 'People who are really need the power' should be priority, but frankly, it is an annoying job. Even though I'm using Twitter and Email notification service, they don't totally fit our business. I wonder if I could manage, using APIs?

[Power Saving Procedure flow]