AUTOMATIC REARRANGEMENT OF PROCESS FLOWS IN A DATABASE SYSTEM
1. An apparatus comprising:
- one or more processors to process data for database operation; and
a database storage;
wherein the apparatus is configurable to cause;
receiving one or more process flows, wherein each process flow includes a plurality of nodes, one or more flows, and a flow between each of the plurality of nodes and at least one other node of the plurality of nodes;
receiving a request to update a first process flow; and
automatically rearranging the first process flow by;
evaluating the first process flow including traversing of each node of the first process flow,establishing a level and coordinate position for each node of the first process flow,establishing a logical direction for each flow between the plurality of nodes of the first process flow, andgenerating a rearranged process flow based on the level and coordinate position for each node and the logical direction for each flow between the plurality of nodes of the first process flow.
Embodiments regard transfer of data streaming services to provide continuous data flow. An embodiment of an apparatus includes one or more processors to process data for database operation and a database storage, wherein the system is to: receive one or more process flows, each process flow including a plurality of nodes and including one or more flows between each of the plurality of nodes and another node of the plurality of nodes; and upon receipt of a request, automatically rearrange the one or more process flows, including the apparatus to evaluate a first process flow including traversing of each node of the first process flow, and generate a rearranged process flow based on the first process flow, including establishing a level and coordinate position for each node of first process flow, and establishing a logical direction for each flow between the plurality of nodes of the first process flow.
- 1. An apparatus comprising:
one or more processors to process data for database operation; and a database storage; wherein the apparatus is configurable to cause; receiving one or more process flows, wherein each process flow includes a plurality of nodes, one or more flows, and a flow between each of the plurality of nodes and at least one other node of the plurality of nodes; receiving a request to update a first process flow; and automatically rearranging the first process flow by; evaluating the first process flow including traversing of each node of the first process flow, establishing a level and coordinate position for each node of the first process flow, establishing a logical direction for each flow between the plurality of nodes of the first process flow, and generating a rearranged process flow based on the level and coordinate position for each node and the logical direction for each flow between the plurality of nodes of the first process flow.
- View Dependent Claims (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
- 9. A non-transitory computer-readable storage medium having stored thereon data representing sequences of instructions that, when executed by a processor, cause the processor to perform operations comprising:
receiving a request to update a first process flow; and evaluating the first process flow including traversing of each node of the first process flow, establishing a level and coordinate position for each node of the first process flow,
- View Dependent Claims (10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16)
- 17. A system comprising:
data storage for system data and tenant data; a processor system to process data for streaming to one or more organizations; and a network interface to provide connection with one or more user systems; and wherein the apparatus is configurable to cause; receiving one or more process flows from a user system, wherein each process flow includes a plurality of nodes, one or more flows, and a flow between each of the plurality of nodes and at least one other node of the plurality of nodes; receiving a request to update a first process flow; and evaluating the first process flow including traversing of each node of the first process flow, establishing a level and coordinate position for each node of the first process flow,
- View Dependent Claims (18, 19, 20, 21)
Embodiments relate to techniques for computer database operations. More particularly, embodiments relate to automatic rearrangement of process flows in a database system.
Process flows for a database may be illustrated in a tree structure to enable a user to visualize the various flows through multiple nodes. Each flow may then be seen as, for example, a flow from a particular start point to one or more end points through various branches. In a particular example, a database system may allow for unstructured or freeform entry of process flows into a canvas.
However, in a structure in which there are numerous processes, it is possible that errors and inconsistencies may be introduced into a process flow. Further, process flows may include inefficiencies, such as repetitive process flows that could more efficiently be served with a single combined process flow structure.
While a database system may illustrate the numerous process flows present in a complex system, an illustration will include many flow paths, and it may be extremely difficult for user to detect potential problems in the process flows because of the resulting complexity of the illustration.
Embodiments are illustrated by way of example, and not by way of limitation, in the figures of the accompanying drawings in which like reference numerals refer to similar elements.
In the following description, numerous specific details are set forth. However, embodiments may be practiced without these specific details. In other instances, well-known circuits, structures and techniques have not been shown in detail in order not to obscure the understanding of this description.
In some embodiments, an apparatus, system or process is to provide automatic rearrangement of process flows in a database system. In some embodiments, the automatic rearrangement is utilized to enable a user to visualize any number of process flows in a complex database system.
In some embodiments, an apparatus, system, or process is to generate a rearranged process flow utilizing a search that is made through each process flow. In some embodiments, the search includes the application of a Depth First Search (DFS), wherein each branch of the process flow is searched through to an end. However, in a system in which there are numerous data flows, a conventional DFS operation may not be capable of processing all process flows.
In some embodiments, an apparatus, system, or process programmatically rearranges any given flow in a top down (or other logical direction) tree structure. The rearrangement of the process flow is to modify the flow alignment and structure, with the resulting flow being much simpler to work with or to debug. Auto-rearranging the flow further allows a user to input a process flow in a freeform or unstructured style, without any requirement for ensuring all the nodes of the process flow are being placed at the right grid and are aligned, etc. (As used herein, the component elements of a process flow may interchangeably be referred to as nodes, elements, modules, or other similar terminology.)
In some embodiments, an apparatus, system, or process further includes the capability of limiting the movement of process flow nodes to a given grid. This limitation assists a user in maintaining the right structure and alignment post auto-rearranging, thereby further improving the visualization of the multiple process flows in a complex system.
In some embodiments, the database system 130 further includes an automatic rearrangement of the entered process flows subsystem or service 140. In some embodiments, upon receipt of a command, such as process flow rearrangement request 110 from a user, the entered process flows are provided for process flow evaluation 142, wherein the evaluation may include a modified depth first search (DFS). In some embodiments, rearrangement request 110 may be a simple command without requiring specification of the rearrangement to be made of the existing process flows. The process flow evaluation 142 may include a process as illustrated in one or both of
Based on the determined root nodes, the algorithm proceeds down (away from the root) to the leaves of each root, and then proceeds bottom-up (from the leaves to the roots), placing nodes at the particular levels and at x-y coordinates in order to align the nodes properly. The levels for the nodes are dependent upon each node'"'"'s respective parent and child nodes. Each node'"'"'s x-y coordinate is then established based on the number of nodes for each process flow at each level, such as at an average point for the positions of each child of the node. After recursively positioning all the nodes on the canvas, the algorithm then completes the generation of tree structures for the process flows in the complex system.
A challenging component in the rearrangement of process flows is addressing the cyclic dependency (also referred to circular dependency) case in which two or more nodes directly or indirectly depend on each other. In some embodiments, automatic rearrangement of a process flow including one or more cyclic dependencies is provided by structuring the algorithm to keep track of the parent(s) that are currently being traversed. Each time the process starts proceeding down a parent'"'"'s subtree, the isTraversing property for the parent node is set to be true. Once the entire subtree has been visited, the isTraversing property is set to be false. This portion of the algorithm assists in identifying any cycles in a process flow, i.e. whenever the process comes across a child that has an isTraversing property set to true, this indicates that the child node is a cycle. The algorithm can then move on to the next child without re-calculating the previously traversed element'"'"'s level or position.
In some embodiments, the automatic rearrangement of process flow 500, such as utilizing the algorithm illustrated in
Details of the automatic rearrangement of the process flow 500 to generate the rearranged process flow 550 are illustrated in
In some embodiments, the automatic rearrangement of process flow 600 will generate rearranged process flow 650 as shown in
In some embodiments, the automatic rearrangement of process flow 700 will generate rearranged process flow 750 as shown in
It is noted that the particular processes illustrated in
The examples illustrating the use of technology disclosed herein should not be taken as limiting or preferred. This example sufficiently illustrates the technology disclosed without being overly complicated. It is not intended to illustrate all of the technologies disclosed. A person having ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that there are many potential applications for one or more implementations of this disclosure and hence, the implementations disclosed herein are not intended to limit this disclosure in any fashion.
One or more implementations may be implemented in numerous ways, including as a process, an apparatus, a system, a device, a method, a computer readable medium such as a computer readable storage medium containing computer readable instructions or computer program code, or as a computer program product comprising a computer usable medium having a computer readable program code embodied therein.
Other implementations may include a non-transitory computer readable storage medium storing instructions executable by a processor to perform a method as described above. Yet another implementation may include a system including memory and one or more processors operable to execute instructions, stored in the memory, to perform a method as described above.
Implementations may include:
In some embodiments, an apparatus includes a processor to process data for database operation; and a memory to store data for the database, wherein the apparatus is to perform automatic rearrangement of process flows in a database system.
In some embodiments, a non-transitory computer-readable storage medium having stored thereon data representing sequences of instructions that, when executed by a processor, cause the processor to perform operations comprising: performing automatic rearrangement of process flows in a database system.
In some embodiments, a method includes performing automatic rearrangement of process flows in a database system.
In some embodiments, a system includes: data storage for database operations, wherein the system is to perform automatic rearrangement of process flows in a database system.
Environment 910 is an environment in which an on-demand database service exists. User system 912 may be any machine or system that is used by a user to access a database user system. For example, any of user systems 912 can be a handheld computing device, a smart phone, a laptop or tablet computer, a work station, and/or a network of computing devices. As illustrated in herein
An on-demand database service, such as system 916, is a database system that is made available to outside users that do not need to necessarily be concerned with building and/or maintaining the database system, but instead may be available for their use when the users need the database system (e.g., on the demand of the users). Some on-demand database services may store information from one or more tenants stored into tables of a common database image to form a multi-tenant database system (MTS). Accordingly, “on-demand database service 916” and “system 916” may be used interchangeably herein. A database image may include one or more database objects. A relational database management system (RDMS) or the equivalent may execute storage and retrieval of information against the database object(s). Application platform 918 may be a framework that allows the applications of system 916 to run, such as the hardware and/or software, e.g., the operating system. In an embodiment, on-demand database service 916 may include an application platform 918 that enables creation, managing and executing one or more applications developed by the provider of the on-demand database service, users accessing the on-demand database service via user systems 912, or third-party application developers accessing the on-demand database service via user systems 912.
The users of user systems 912 may differ in their respective capacities, and the capacity of a particular user system 912 might be entirely determined by permissions (permission levels) for the current user. For example, where a salesperson is using a particular user system 912 to interact with system 916, that user system has the capacities allotted to that salesperson. However, while an administrator is using that user system to interact with system 916, that user system has the capacities allotted to that administrator. In systems with a hierarchical role model, users at one permission level may have access to applications, data, and database information accessible by a lower permission level user, but may not have access to certain applications, database information, and data accessible by a user at a higher permission level. Thus, different users will have different capabilities with regard to accessing and modifying application and database information, depending on a user'"'"'s security or permission level.
Network 914 is any network or combination of networks of devices that communicate with one another. For example, network 914 can be any one or any combination of a LAN (local area network), WAN (wide area network), telephone network, wireless network, point-to-point network, star network, token ring network, hub network, or other appropriate configuration. As the most common type of computer network in current use is a TCP/IP (Transfer Control Protocol and Internet Protocol) network, such as the global internetwork of networks often referred to as the “Internet” with a capital “I,” that network will be used in many of the examples herein. However, it should be understood that the networks that one or more implementations might use are not so limited, although TCP/IP is a frequently implemented protocol.
User systems 912 might communicate with system 916 using TCP/IP and, at a higher network level, use other common Internet protocols to communicate, such as HTTP, FTP, AFS, WAP, etc. In an example where HTTP is used, user system 912 might include an HTTP client commonly referred to as a “browser” for sending and receiving HTTP messages to and from an HTTP server at system 916. Such an HTTP server might be implemented as the sole network interface between system 916 and network 914, but other techniques might be used as well or instead. In some implementations, the interface between system 916 and network 914 includes load sharing functionality, such as round-robin HTTP request distributors to balance loads and distribute incoming HTTP requests evenly over a plurality of servers. At least as for the users that are accessing that server, each of the plurality of servers has access to the MTS'"'"' data; however, other alternative configurations may be used instead.
In one embodiment, system 916, shown in
One arrangement for elements of system 916 is shown in
Several elements in the system shown in
According to one embodiment, each system 916 is configured to provide webpages, forms, applications, data and media content to user (client) systems 912 to support the access by user systems 912 as tenants of system 916. As such, system 916 provides security mechanisms to keep each tenant'"'"'s data separate unless the data is shared. If more than one MTS is used, they may be located in close proximity to one another (e.g., in a server farm located in a single building or campus), or they may be distributed at locations remote from one another (e.g., one or more servers located in city A and one or more servers located in city B). As used herein, each MTS could include one or more logically and/or physically connected servers distributed locally or across one or more geographic locations. Additionally, the term “server” is meant to include a computer system, including processing hardware and process space(s), and an associated storage system and database application (e.g., OODBMS or RDBMS) as is well known in the art. It should also be understood that “server system” and “server” are often used interchangeably herein. Similarly, the database object described herein can be implemented as single databases, a distributed database, a collection of distributed databases, a database with redundant online or offline backups or other redundancies, etc., and might include a distributed database or storage network and associated processing intelligence.
User system 912, network 914, system 916, tenant data storage 922, and system data storage 924 were discussed above in
Application platform 918 includes an application setup mechanism 1038 that supports application developers'"'"' creation and management of applications, which may be saved as metadata into tenant data storage 922 by save routines 1036 for execution by subscribers as one or more tenant process spaces 1004 managed by tenant management process 1010 for example. Invocations to such applications may be coded using PL/SOQL 1034 that provides a programming language style interface extension to API 1032. A detailed description of some PL/SOQL language embodiments is discussed in commonly owned U.S. Pat. No. 7,730,478 entitled, “Method and System for Allowing Access to Developed Applicants via a Multi-Tenant Database On-Demand Database Service”, issued Jun. 1, 2010 to Craig Weissman, which is incorporated in its entirety herein for all purposes. Invocations to applications may be detected by one or more system processes, which manage retrieving application metadata 1016 for the subscriber making the invocation and executing the metadata as an application in a virtual machine.
Each application server 1000 may be communicably coupled to database systems, e.g., having access to system data 925 and tenant data 923, via a different network connection. For example, one application server 10001 might be coupled via the network 914 (e.g., the Internet), another application server 1000N-1 might be coupled via a direct network link, and another application server 1000N might be coupled by yet a different network connection. Transfer Control Protocol and Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) are typical protocols for communicating between application servers 1000 and the database system. However, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that other transport protocols may be used to optimize the system depending on the network interconnect used.
In certain embodiments, each application server 1000 is configured to handle requests for any user associated with any organization that is a tenant. Because it is desirable to be able to add and remove application servers from the server pool at any time for any reason, there is preferably no server affinity for a user and/or organization to a specific application server 1000. In one embodiment, therefore, an interface system implementing a load balancing function (e.g., an F5 BIG-IP load balancer) is communicably coupled between the application servers 1000 and the user systems 912 to distribute requests to the application servers 1000. In one embodiment, the load balancer uses a least connections algorithm to route user requests to the application servers 1000. Other examples of load balancing algorithms, such as round robin and observed response time, also can be used. For example, in certain embodiments, three consecutive requests from the same user could hit three different application servers 1000, and three requests from different users could hit the same application server 1000. In this manner, system 916 is multi-tenant, wherein system 916 handles storage of, and access to, different objects, data and applications across disparate users and organizations.
As an example of storage, one tenant might be a company that employs a sales force where each salesperson uses system 916 to manage their sales process. Thus, a user might maintain contact data, leads data, customer follow-up data, performance data, goals and progress data, etc., all applicable to that user'"'"'s personal sales process (e.g., in tenant data storage 922). In an example of a MTS arrangement, since all of the data and the applications to access, view, modify, report, transmit, calculate, etc., can be maintained and accessed by a user system having nothing more than network access, the user can manage his or her sales efforts and cycles from any of many different user systems. For example, if a salesperson is visiting a customer and the customer has Internet access in their lobby, the salesperson can obtain critical updates as to that customer while waiting for the customer to arrive in the lobby.
While each user'"'"'s data might be separate from other users'"'"' data regardless of the employers of each user, some data might be organization-wide data shared or accessible by a plurality of users or all of the users for a given organization that is a tenant. Thus, there might be some data structures managed by system 916 that are allocated at the tenant level while other data structures might be managed at the user level. Because an MTS might support multiple tenants including possible competitors, the MTS should have security protocols that keep data, applications, and application use separate. Also, because many tenants may opt for access to an MTS rather than maintain their own system, redundancy, up-time, and backup are additional functions that may be implemented in the MTS. In addition to user-specific data and tenant specific data, system 916 might also maintain system level data usable by multiple tenants or other data. Such system level data might include industry reports, news, postings, and the like that are sharable among tenants.
In certain embodiments, user systems 912 (which may be client systems) communicate with application servers 1000 to request and update system-level and tenant-level data from system 916 that may require sending one or more queries to tenant data storage 922 and/or system data storage 924. System 916 (e.g., an application server 1000 in system 916) automatically generates one or more SQL statements (e.g., one or more SQL queries) that are designed to access the desired information. System data storage 924 may generate query plans to access the requested data from the database.
Each database can generally be viewed as a collection of objects, such as a set of logical tables, containing data fitted into predefined categories. A “table” is one representation of a data object, and may be used herein to simplify the conceptual description of objects and custom objects. It should be understood that “table” and “object” may be used interchangeably herein. Each table generally contains one or more data categories logically arranged as columns or fields in a viewable schema. Each row or record of a table contains an instance of data for each category defined by the fields. For example, a CRM database may include a table that describes a customer with fields for basic contact information such as name, address, phone number, fax number, etc. Another table might describe a purchase order, including fields for information such as customer, product, sale price, date, etc. In some multi-tenant database systems, standard entity tables might be provided for use by all tenants. For CRM database applications, such standard entities might include tables for Account, Contact, Lead, and Opportunity data, each containing pre-defined fields. It should be understood that the word “entity” may also be used interchangeably herein with “object” and “table”.
In some multi-tenant database systems, tenants may be allowed to create and store custom objects, or they may be allowed to customize standard entities or objects, for example by creating custom fields for standard objects, including custom index fields. U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/817,161, filed Apr. 2, 2004, entitled “Custom Entities and Fields in a Multi-Tenant Database System”, and which is hereby incorporated herein by reference, teaches systems and methods for creating custom objects as well as customizing standard objects in a multi-tenant database system. In certain embodiments, for example, all custom entity data rows are stored in a single multi-tenant physical table, which may contain multiple logical tables per organization. It is transparent to customers that their multiple “tables” are in fact stored in one large table or that their data may be stored in the same table as the data of other customers.
Reference in the specification to “one embodiment” or “an embodiment” means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment. The appearances of the phrase “in one embodiment” in various places in the specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment.
While concepts been described in terms of several embodiments, those skilled in the art will recognize that embodiments not limited to the embodiments described, but can be practiced with modification and alteration within the spirit and scope of the appended claims. The description is thus to be regarded as illustrative instead of limiting.