Event-driven process chains (EPC)

Event-controlled process chains (EPC) is a control-oriented modeling concept, whereby the interaction of data and functions is considered. The EPK method was developed at the Institute for Information Systems (IWi) at Saarland University in cooperation with SAP AG. EPKs also uses the latter to display SAP's own reference business processes (e.g. for customizing purposes). EPCs serve to reduce the complexity of the objects under consideration, be it small business processes or entire information systems.
The aim of this method was to develop a technology that on the one hand is very easy to understand, on the other hand is able to realistically map the technical content of business processes. With this concept, the individual business processes are brought into a chronological and logical sequence using an EPC.

In the EPC models, business events to be determined form the starting point for every process or function. Triggering events trigger a function. On the other hand, each function is completed by a final event, i.e. the result of the function, which in turn can be the new starting point for one or more functions. An event describes when something should be done on a business object. A function is a definition that shows what should be done with a business object.
Events thus represent the link between the individual functions and create their link. It should be noted that events are always time-related, while activities (functions) are defined time-related. It must also be taken into account that an event always triggers several functions in parallel and the completion of several functions can lead to one event (result). The connection between these two elements is established in the workflow system using so-called connectors. These are logical operators in the forms “and”, “or” and “exclusive or”.

With the concept of the extended EPC (eEPK), additional elements from the system or problem environment are added (symbolically) to an EPC. For example, additional organizational units that are responsible or responsible for performing the function, as well as information objects and resources, can be mapped in the workflow in order to significantly increase the informative value of the process representation. A partial section of an EPC is shown in the illustration.

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