Using SaaS Workflow for Backend of Smartphone App for Business

Monday, December 22, 2014
'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]

[Daily Report Workflow:'1. Enter Report' screen]

[Daily Report Workflow 2]

The original App assumed here is to analyze 'BEACON detection logs' and to throw the result to Workflow as Backend.

First, you make the Workflow to Start a new Issue triggered by receiving 'Attendance time' from the Smartphone App first thing in the morning. Specifically, you arrange an API Event (Message Start Event [HTTP]) at the top of the Workflow. And you make the Smartphone App to transmit REST notification such as●●&nodeNumber=●●&key=●●●●&data[1].datetime=2011-10-27+08:59&data[10]

(It is described like GET, but POST is recommended.) At the same time, send the Issue ID (Process ID) back to the Smartphone APP. When it becomes evening later,"Leave time" will be pushed. It will be received by intermediate Event of the Workflow (Catching Message Intermediate Event [HTTP]). (Although it is in the REST notification format as same as the Start, Issue ID [processInstanceId] must be added instead of operation ID [processModelInfoId].)

In this way, you will be able to incorporate a 'Time and Attendance management system' which has been highly automated into 'Daily Report system'.

By the way, the Smartphone App is specialized to machine input triggered by BEACON detection, whereas leaving human processing such as 'Comments' by the supervisor or 'Comment Check' by the reporter to the Workflow. In addition, it will be corrected manually at the Step of [3. Confirmation (Leave time/ Supervisor's Comment)], when Business trip or going straight home.

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