Intended workflows

This reference architecture was designed based on a specific set of intended workflows that users of such a system would be completing on a regular basis. A workflow in this case refers to the series of tasks that are performed by a user (or users) of the system to achieve a specific business process or objective. For example, a “create a feature” workflow performed on a gas utility network would include tasks like zooming to an Area of Interest (AOI), creating a service pipe on the network, validating topology, and reconciling and posting. Workflows can vary significantly from deployment to deployment and the workflows used in this reference architecture are intended to represent common versions that are straightforward and general enough to represent many different potential deployments.

Workflows are an integral part of the reference architecture definition – they help define the requirements that the architecture needs to meet. Additionally, clear, and specific workflow definition helps to:

  • Define the necessary capabilities and the appropriate applications that end-users will interact with.
  • Inform system requirements around architecture pillars like performance and scalability, reliability, and security.
  • Inform physical system requirements such as CPU, memory, storage, and networking, which directly impact machine types, sizes, and hardware configurations.

To ensure that workflows are useful for system design purposes, they need to represent real user experiences. This reference architecture was designed with a focus on the Editor persona along with use cases for a general user persona. With these audiences identified, the following workflows were selected and developed:

Editor persona

  1. Create a feature – such as a new gas service endpoint
  2. Remove a feature – such as abandoning a customer gas pipe
  3. Replace a feature - such as modifying terminal connections for gas pipes
  4. Extend a feature - such as adding a distribution pipe to the network
  5. Analyze network connectivity - such as running upstream / downstream traces against the network
  6. Modify a feature - such as editing key attributes of features or modifying the geometry of an existing feature

General user

  1. Query features - such as running queries, performing traces, and viewing results through feature services
  2. View and interact with the network - for example, searching for and viewing devices by ID or viewing different geographic areas and combinations of layers and features.

An implementation of this Network Management System reference architecture may include other types of workflows not listed here, such as mobile data collection, which would introduce additional architectural considerations. See related system patterns to the data editing and management system pattern for more information.

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