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Process Instance

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In contrast with "process definitions" such as "decision making processes," specific items performed based on these definitions are referred to as "process instances." For example, "decision making for next year's system procurement" is a "process instance" of a "decision making process."


Outline of Process instance

Chart1.Image of process instance
Chart1.Image of process instance

The process instance is a set of process activities or certain types of processes.

When the process instance is simply called the process, it means the definition of the process (the process model) or a specific operational processing project, such as the calculation of sales for the relevant month. It is therefore sometimes necessary to clarify that the word "process" means the definition or actual processing.

In BPM, the process definition or process model is used to represent the definition, and the process instance is used to represent the actual processing.

An example of use of the terms is: there were ten process instances of the estimation process used this month, but two of them stalled; the overall process model needs to be reviewed. The instance primarily means a sample, illustration, actual status, single fact, event, or example, and has developed based on the object-oriented concept. Under object orientation, abstract matters are referred to as a class, and specific matters are referred to as an instance. For example, Mr. Suzuki is an instance of the human class.

Process instance categories

  • Active process instance: The process defined has not been completed; illustrated as D, E, and F on Chart 2
  • Completed process instance: The process defined has been fully completed; the items contained in the right-hand box on Chart 2
  • Aggregation of process instance: The number of process instances is counted, and data contained in each process instance (for example, sales data) are aggregated by item. Not only completed matters, but also matters in progress may be aggregated.
Chart 2. Process instance categories
Chart 2. Process instance categories

See also

column Difficult for Japanese to comprehend
According to the dictionary, the word "instance" means a request, procedure, or example. Unfortunately, the term "process instance" does not immediately provide Japanese with a meaningful concept. The meaning of the idiom, for instance, does indeed appear to be taught, but the very concept of the word "instance" is believed never to have been taught. In the software industry, the search for an appropriate translation has been abandoned, and the word has been forced to be written in Katakana, a type of Japanese character frequently used for imported words. In the English-English dictionary, a rather disturbing example of the word's use is presented: "There have been several instances of terrorists planting bombs in the city". This is difficult to translate. ----- nana


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