Active Roles provides a rich workflow system for directory data management automation and integration. Based on Microsoft’s Windows Workflow Foundation technology, this workflow system enables IT to define, automate, and enforce management rules quickly and easily. Workflows extend the capabilities of Active Roles by delivering a framework that combines versatile management rules such as provisioning and de-provisioning of identity information in the directory, enforcement of policy rules on changes to identity data, routing data changes for approval, email notifications of particular events and conditions, as well as the ability to implement custom actions using script technologies such as Microsoft Windows PowerShell or VBScript.
Suppose you need to provision user accounts based on data from external systems. The data is retrieved and then conveyed to the directory by using feed services that work in conjunction with Active Roles. A workflow can be created to coordinate the operations in account provisioning. For example, different rules can be applied for creating or updating accounts held in different containers.
Workflows may also include approval rules that require certain changes to be authorized by designated persons (approvers). When designing an approval workflow, the administrator specifies which kind of operation causes the workflow to start, and adds approval rules to the workflow. The approval rules determine who is authorized to approve the operation, the required sequence of approvals, and who needs to be notified of approval tasks or decisions.
By delivering email notifications, workflows extend the reach of management process automation throughout the enterprise. Notification activities in a workflow notify people via email about events, conditions, or tasks awaiting their attention. For example, approval rules can notify of change requests pending approval, or separate notification rules can be applied to inform about data changes in the directory. Notification messages include all necessary supporting information, and provide hyperlinks allowing message recipients to take actions using a standard Web browser.