Introduction to Kuali Rice 2.2.2

Some of the documentation in this guide has not been updated to reflect changes for 2.2.2. If you find a problem, please report in Jira and set the component to Documentation. Indicate the guide and section that has the problem in the Jira. Thanks for your help in improving the documentation!

Table of Contents

1. What is Kuali Rice?
Overview and Benefits of Kuali Rice
Operate Securely
2. Software Architecture
Kuali Rice Implementations
Standalone Server
Software Distributions
Source Code Distribution
Binary Distribution
Server Distribution
Which Distribution to Use
Obtaining Distributions and Source Code
3. Technical Overview
Architectural Diagram
Module Architecture
KSB (Kuali Service Bus)
KEW (Kuali Enterprise Workflow)
KEN (Kuali Enterprise Notification)
KIM (Kuali Identity Management)
KNS (Kuali Nervous System)
Physical Architecture Overview
Production Platform
Development Platform

List of Figures

3.1. Kuali Rice 2.2.2 Architectural Diagram
3.2. Kuali Service Bus
3.3. Supported Service Protocols
3.4. KIM Architecture Diagram
3.5. KIM Architecture Detail
3.6. Kuali Nervous System
3.7. KIM Architecture Detail
3.8. Conceptual Production Architecture, example 1
3.9. Conceptual Production Architecture, example 1
3.10. Recommended Conceptual Production Architecture
3.11. Recommended Conceptual Production Architecture

Chapter 1. What is Kuali Rice?

Overview and Benefits of Kuali Rice

Kuali Rice (also simply known as Rice) is an open source, module-based, enterprise class, set of integrated middleware products that allow both Kuali and non-Kuali applications to be built in an agile fashion so developers can create custom end-user business applications quickly and efficiently. Services are exposed through the Kuali Service Bus (KSB) and can be consumed by other Rice applications.

Rice employs the Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) concept and is structured with both a server-side piece and a client-side piece. This framework allows end developers to build robust systems with common enterprise workflow functionality and with customizable and configurable user interfaces that have a clean and universal look and feel.

On the server side, Kuali Rice is implemented as a group of services within a Servlet container. This allows developers to design software that adds dynamic content to web servers using the Java programming language. Servlets are a server side technology that responds to web clients (typically web browsers) through a request/response paradigm.

On the client side, Kuali Rice has a flexible framework of pieces that can be included in a Rice client application.

The Rice Standalone Server is built on the client-server model and is provided as a web archive file (WAR). The Standalone version allows client applications to be configured to interface with the Rice server.

Rice is designed with a modular architecture where each module performs a specific function that offers services to applications. The Rice architecture has six major modules:

  • Kuali Service Bus (KSB)

  • Kuali Enterprise Workflow (KEW)

  • Kuali Enterprise Notification (KEN)

  • Kuali Identity Management (KIM)

  • Kuali Nervous System (KNS)

  • Kuali Rapid Application Development (KRAD, will eventually replace KNS)

  • Kuali Rules Management System (KRMS)


The Kuali Nervous System/KRAD is not administered from the Rice Standalone Server because it is a framework and not an application.

Rice provides a reusable development framework that encourages a simplified approach to developing true business functionality in modular applications.

Application and service developers can focus on solutions to solve business issues rather than on the technology. The Rice framework takes care of complex technical issues so that each application or service that adopts the framework can interoperate with little or no complexity. The framework also simplifies interoperation with services exposed by other applications.

In addition, Rice supports the sophisticated workflow processes typically required in higher education. It addresses workflow processes that involve human interaction (i.e., approval) as part of the flow.

Operate Securely

Rice has built-in security integration with support for data encryption, pluggable authentication, and pluggable authorization.


Portions of Kuali are copyrighted by other parties, who are not listed here. Refer to NOTICE.txt and the licenses directory for complete copyright and licensing information. Questions about licensing should be directed to

Kuali Rice is available from the Kuali Foundation as open source software under the Educational Community License, version 2.0.

Chapter 2. Software Architecture

Kuali Rice Implementations

Kuali Rice is available for two types of implementations, Server (also known as client-server) and Bundled (packaged with Kuali applications).

Standalone Server

The Server is the most versatile implementation of Rice. It is a web application that can provide services to multiple applications that integrate with Kuali Rice at your institution. The server distribution contains a web archive or WAR file for the Kuali Rice standalone server. The Server distribution is the one you should use when your enterprise wants to run multiple Kuali applications or when you want to integrate other applications with Rice.


When an application bundles all of the Rice functionality (including what is usually handled by the standalone server) into the client application, it’s called a Bundled Distribution. For example, Kuali Financial Systems (KFS) has done this for their past releases. In those KFS releases, you did not need to set up and install a Rice standalone server; the necessary Rice functionality was bundled with KFS.

Bundled Distributions are not recommended for enterprise implementations, but are good for quick start, testing, and demonstrations.

Software Distributions

Source Code Distribution

The Source Code Distribution is available if you want to build Rice from scratch and create the standalone or binary libraries yourself.

Binary Distribution

The Binary Distribution (also known as the client distribution) is a collection of JAR files. It is used when other applications need to use your Rice implementation and you won’t be using the Rice web application. It is designed for embedding Rice and can be used as a set of libraries for client applications.

The Binary Distribution of Kuali Rice is implemented as an application framework consisting of application programming interfaces (APIs), libraries, and the web framework. This allows you to construct a Kuali Rice application. All JARs and web content are included in this version.

Server Distribution

This is the distribution that contains the standalone server WAR.

Which Distribution to Use

In a typical enterprise deployment of Kuali Rice, a Standalone Rice server hosts numerous shared services and provides the most versatility. The composition of Rice contains an application framework — the APIs, Libraries, and web framework that are used to construct a Rice application. You can configure subsequent Rice client applications to interact with these services as needed.

Obtaining Distributions and Source Code

All three distributions, as well as the source code of the latest production release are available at here.

Chapter 3. Technical Overview

Architectural Diagram

This is a high-level picture of what an Enterprise Deployment of Rice might look like. This diagram includes representations of various client applications interacting with the Rice standalone server:

Figure 3.1. Kuali Rice 2.2.2 Architectural Diagram

Kuali Rice 2.2.2 Architectural Diagram


Kuali Rice has six core modules, linked together by the Kuali Service Bus (KSB):

  1. KSB (Kuali Service Bus )

    Kuali Service Bus is a simple service bus geared toward easy service integration in an SOA.

  2. KEW (Kuali Enterprise Workflow)

    Kuali Enterprise Workflow provides a common routing and approval engine that facilitates the automation of business processes across the enterprise. KEW was specifically designed to address the requirements of higher education, so it is particularly well suited for routing mediated transactions across departmental boundaries.

  3. KEN (Kuali Enterprise Notification)

    Kuali Enterprise Notification acts as a enabler for all university business-related communications by allowing end-users and other systems to push informative messages to the campus community in a secure and consistent manner.

  4. KIM (Kuali Identity Management)

    Kuali Identity Management provides central management features for person identity characteristics, groups, roles, permissions, and their relationships to each other. All integration with KIM is accomplished using simple and consistent service APIs (Java or Web Service). KIM is built like all of the Kuali applications with Spring at its core, so that you can implement your own Identity Management (IdM) solutions behind the Service APIs. This provides you with the option to override the reference service implementations with your own to integrate with other Identity and Access Management systems at your enterprise.

  5. KNS (Kuali Nervous System)/KRAD

    Kuali Nervous System/KRAD is a software development framework that enables developers to quickly build business applications in an efficient and agile fashion. KNS is an abstracted layer of “glue” code that provides developers easy integration with the other Rice components.

  6. KRMS (Kuali Rules Management System)

    Kuali Rules Management System is a new module of Kuali Rice that allows business rules that were previously coded within electronic documents or applications to be externalized into a rules repository with its own set of user interfaces. Removing this critical logic from being coded into the document allows for the maintenance of rules in a fashion that does not require application deployment or development for updates. In addition to the rules, a new routing option called PeopleFlow has been introduced to provide a streamlined way to view and update routing actions without having to have a deep understanding the KEW and its user interfaces or the impact changes may incur.

Module Architecture

Kuali Rice is designed to run in a clustered environment and can be run on virtual machines.

KSB (Kuali Service Bus)

The Kuali Service Bus (KSB) is a lightweight service bus designed so developers can quickly develop and deploy services for remote and local consumption. You deploy services to the bus either using the Spring tool or programmatically. Services must be named when they are deployed to the bus. Services are acquired from the bus using their name.

At the heart of the KSB is a service registry. This registry is a listing of all services available for consumption on the bus. The registry provides the bus with the information necessary to achieve load balancing, failover, and more.

Figure 3.2. Kuali Service Bus

Kuali Service Bus

KSB Features

  • Transactional Asynchronous Messaging – Call services asynchronously to support a 'fire and forget' model of calling services. Messaging participates in any existing JTA transactions (messages are not sent until the current running transaction is committed and are not sent if the transaction is rolled back). This increases the performance of service-calling code because it does not wait for a response.

  • Synchronous Messaging - Call any service on the bus using a request-response paradigm.

  • Queue Style Messaging - Execute Java services using message queues. When a message is sent to a queue, only one of the services listening for messages on the queue is given the message.

  • Topic Style Messaging - Execute Java services using messaging topics. When a message is sent to a topic, all services listening for messages on the topic receive the message.

  • Quality of Service - This KSB feature determines how queues and topics handle messages with problems. Time-to-live is supported, giving the message a configured amount of time to be handled successfully before exception handling is invoked for that message type. Messages can be given a specified number of retry attempts before exception handling is invoked. An increasing delay separates each calling. Exception handlers can be registered with each queue and topic for custom behavior when messages fail and Quality of Service limits have been reached.

  • Discovery - Automatically discover services along the bus by service name. You do not need end-point URLs to connect to services.

  • Reliability - Should problems arise, messages sent to services via queues or synchronous calls automatically fail-over to any other services bound to the same name on the bus. Services that are not available are removed from the bus until they come back online, at which time they will be rediscovered for messaging.

  • Persisted Callback - Send callback objects with any message. These objects will be called each time a service is “requested.” This provides a mechanism to pass along a message. In this way, deployed services can communicate back to a “callback registrant,” such as an application registering a callback, with application data even as that data is moving through the system.

  • Primitive Business Activity Monitoring - If turned on, each call to every service, including the parameters passed into that service, is recorded.

  • Spring-Based Integration - KSB is designed with Spring-based integration in mind. For example, you might make an existing Spring-based POJO available for remote asynchronous calls.

  • Programmatic Integration - If you do not use Spring configuration, you can configure KSB programmatically. Services can also be added and removed from the bus programmatically at runtime.

Bean Based Services

Typically, KSB programming is centered on exposing Spring-configured beans to other calling code using a number of different protocols. Using this paradigm, the client developer and the organization can rapidly build and consume services.

Overview of Supported Service Protocols

Figure 3.3. Supported Service Protocols

Supported Service Protocols


This drawing is conceptual and not representative of true deployment architecture.

Essentially, the KSB is a registry with service-calling behavior on the client end (for Java clients). All policies and behaviors (aysnc vs. sync) are coordinated on the client.

KSB offers clients some very attractive messaging features:

  • Synchronization of message sending with currently running transaction (In other words, all messages sent during a transaction are ONLY sent if the transaction is successfully committed.)

  • Failover: If a call to a service comes back with a 404 (or various other network-related errors), the client will try to call other services of the same name on the bus. This is for both sync and async calls.

  • Load balancing: Clients will round-robin call services of the same name on the bus. Proxy instances are, however, bound to single machines. This is useful if you want to keep a line of communication open to a single machine for long periods of time

  • Topics and Queues: Used for controlling the execution of services

  • Persistent messages: When using message persistence, a message cannot be lost. It will be persisted until it is sent.

  • Message Driven Service Execution: Bind standard JavaBean services to messaging queues for message-driven beans

KEW (Kuali Enterprise Workflow)

The Kuali Enterprise Workflow (KEW) is a content-based routing engine. To enter the routing process, a user creates a document from a process definition and submits it to the workflow engine for routing. The engine then makes routing decisions based on the XML content of the document.

KEW is built for educational institutions to use for business transactions in the form of electronic documents that require approval from multiple parties. For example, these types of transactions are capably handled with KEW:

  • Transfer funds

  • Hire and terminate employees

  • Complete and approve timesheets

  • Drop a course

KEW Features

KEW is a set of services, APIs, and GUIs with these features:

  • Action List for each user, also known as a user’s work list

  • Document searching

  • Route log: Document audit trail

  • Flexible process definition: Splits, joins, parallel branches, sub-processes, dynamic process generation

  • Rules engine

  • Email notification

  • Notes and attachments

  • Wide array of pluggable components to customize routing and other pieces of the system

  • eDocLite: Framework for creating simple documents quickly

  • Plugin architecture: Packaging and deployment of application plugins or deployment of routing components to the Rice standalone server at runtime

KEN (Kuali Enterprise Notification)

Kuali Enterprise Notification (KEN) acts as a broker for all university business-related communications by allowing end-users and other systems to push informative messages to the campus community in a secure and consistent manner. All notifications process asynchronously and are delivered to a single list where other messages such as workflow-related items (KEW action items) also reside. In addition, end-users can configure their profile to have certain types of messages delivered to other end-points such as email, mobile phones, etc.

Why Use KEN?

  1. Easily leverage its functionality through the KSB or over SOAP

  2. Access a full list of archives and logs so that you can easily find messages that were sent in the past

  3. Eliminate sifting through your email inbox to find what you need

  4. It guarantees delivery of messages, even to large numbers of recipients

KEN Features

A Single List for All Notifications: Find the things you have to do, things you want to know about, and things you need to know about. This includes workflow items from KEW, all in one place.

Eliminate Email Pains: Don't sift through piles of spam to find that one thing you need to do. You control who uses KEN, so there is no spam.

Flexible Content Types: No core programming is needed to customize the fields and data for a notification. You may use XML, XSD, and XSL to dynamically extend, validate, and render new content types.

Multiple Integration Interfaces: Use KEN’s Java services and web services (exposed on the KSB) to send messages from one system to another, or use the Rice generic message-sending form (with workflow built in) to send messages by hand.

Audit Trail: Track exactly who received a notification and when they received it.

Multiple Ways to Notify: All messages are sent to a user's notification list; however, users can also choose to have "ticklers" sent to their email inboxes, their mobile phones, and more. You can also build pluggable "ticklers" using the KEN framework.

Robust Searching and List Capabilities: Search for notifications by multiple fields such as priority, type, senders, and more. Save searches for later, and take actions on your notifications right from your list.

Security: Basic authorization comes out of the box along with single-sign-on. In addition, web service calls support SSL transport encryption and digital signing using X.509 certificates. KEN also allows you to build your own security plugins.

User and Group Management: Basic user and group management are provided, along with hooks for customizing KEN to point at other identity management systems, such as LDAP.

KIM (Kuali Identity Management)

The Kuali Identity Management (KIM) provides identity and access management services to Rice and other applications. All KIM services are available on the service bus with both SOAP and Java serialization endpoints. KIM provides a service layer and a set of GUIs that you can use to maintain identity information.

Figure 3.4. KIM Architecture Diagram

KIM Architecture Diagram

KIM Features

KIM provides a reference implementation of services. It also allows customization and/or replacement to facilitate integration with institutional services or other third-party identity management solutions. This allows the core KIM services to be overridden piecemeal. For example, you can override the Identity Service, but keep the Role Service.

KIM consists of these services, which encompass its API:

  • services:

    • IdentityService

    • GroupService

    • PermissionService

    • RoleService

    • ResponsibilityService

    • AuthenticationService

  • A permission service that evaluates permissions: KIM provides plug points for implementing custom logic for permission checking, such as permission checks based on hierarchical data.

A more detailed visual of the KIM architecture:

Figure 3.5. KIM Architecture Detail

KIM Architecture Detail

KNS (Kuali Nervous System)

The Kuali Nervous System (KNS) is the core of the Kuali Rice system. It embraces a document- centric (business process) model that uses workflow as a central concept. It is also the web application development framework for Rice and is the core technical module in Rice, leveraging reusable code components to provide functionality.

Figure 3.6. Kuali Nervous System

Kuali Nervous System

What is KNS?

The Kuali Nervous System is a:

  • Framework to enforce consistency

  • Means to adhere to development standards and architectural principles

  • Stable core for efficient development

  • Means of reducing the amount of code written through code re-use

KNS Architectural Diagram

The KNS architecture provides a number of important services that are vital to the overall operation and effectiveness of the system.

Figure 3.7. KIM Architecture Detail

KIM Architecture Detail

Physical Architecture Overview

Production Platform

Since the builders of the Rice platform constructed it on open source technologies, your scale and use of Rice software determine the layout of the logical and physical hardware you need to support your implementation. Below are several conceptual models for implementation of Rice that are certainly not end solutions. Your solution depends on your implementation scale and budget.

Production Platform

The production platform that you deploy for your implementation can vary quite widely. The first example, the most basic platform structure, would be the most economical solution in terms of hardware. The Tomcat server can serve up all web service and HTTP requests and store all content. (Of course, you could load-balance multiple Tomcat servers across machines.) A picture of the logical structure:

Figure 3.8. Conceptual Production Architecture, example 1

Conceptual Production Architecture, example 1

For this architecture, we recommend this minimum:

  • Server running Tomcat container: Minimum 2 GB main memory

The next example has you offload the web requests and content to an Apache HTTP server in front of the Tomcat server:

Figure 3.9. Conceptual Production Architecture, example 1

Conceptual Production Architecture, example 1

For this architecture, we recommend this minimum:

  • Server running Apache: Minimum 1 GB main memory

  • Server running Tomcat container: Minimum 2 GB main memory

And finally, the recommended solution, where the focus of the environment structure is based upon maximal scaling for the Rice application:

Figure 3.10. Recommended Conceptual Production Architecture

Recommended Conceptual Production Architecture

For this architecture, we recommend this minimum:

  • Load Balancer

  • Each server running Apache: Minimum 1 GB main memory

  • Each server running Tomcat container: Minimum 2 GB main memory

Development Platform

The most basic platform for development has the Tomcat container and a MySQL server running on the same machine as your development tools:

Figure 3.11. Recommended Conceptual Production Architecture

Recommended Conceptual Production Architecture

The best option is to use the Tomcat container to serve up web service and HTTP requests. This has the least number of software layers between your development/debugging/IDE environment and the Tomcat container.



Action List

A list of the user's notification and workflow items. Also called the user's Notification List. Clicking an item in the Action List displays details about that notification, if the item is a notification, or displays that document, if it is a workflow item. The user will usually load the document from their Action List in order to take the requested action against it, such as approving or acknowledging the document.

Action List Type

This tells you if the Action List item is a notification or a more specific workflow request item. When the Action List item is a notification, the Action List Type is "Notification."

Action Request

A request to a user or Workgroup to take action on a document. It designates the type of action that is requested, which includes:

  • Approve: requests an approve or disapprove action.

  • Complete: requests a completion of the contents of a document. This action request is displayed in the Action List after the user saves an incomplete document.

  • Acknowledge: requests an acknowledgment by the user that the document has been opened - the doc will not leave the Action List until acknowledgment has occurred; however, the document routing will not be held up and the document will be permitted to transaction into the processed state if neccessary.

  • FYI: a notification to the user regarding the document. Documents requesting FYI can be cleared directly from the Action List. Even if a document has FYI requests remaining, it will still be permitted to transition into the FINAL state.

Action Request Hierarchy

Action requests are hierarchical in nature and can have one parent and multiple children.

Action Requested

The action one needs to take on a document; also the type of action that is requested by an Action Request. Actions that may be requested of a user are:

  • Acknowledge: requests that the users states he or she has reviewed the document.

  • Approve: requests that the user either Approve or Disapprove a document.

  • Complete: requests the user to enter additional information in a document so that the content of the document is complete.

  • FYI: intended to simply makes a user aware of the document.

Action Taken

An action taken on a document by a Reviewer in response to an Action Request. The Action Taken may be:

  • Acknowledged: Reviewer has viewed and acknowledged document.

  • Approved: Reviewer has approved the action requested on document.

  • Blanket Approved: Reviewer has requested a blanket approval up to a specified point in the route path on the document.

  • Canceled: Reviewer has canceled the document. The document will not be routed to any more reviewers.

  • Cleared FYI: Reviewer has viewed the document and cleared all of his or her pending FYI(s) on this document.

  • Completed: Reviewer has completed and supplied all data requested on document.

  • Created Document: User has created a document

  • Disapproved: Reviewer has disapproved the document. The document will not being routed to any subsequent reviewers for approval. Acknowledge Requests are sent to previous approvers to inform them of the disapproval.

  • Logged Document: Reviewer has added a message to the Route Log of the document.

  • Moved Document: Reviewer has moved the document either backward or forward in its routing path.

  • Returned to Previous Node: Reviewer has returned the document to a previous routing node. When a Reviewer does this, all the actions taken between the current node and the return node are removed and all the pending requests on the document are deactivated.

  • Routed Document: Reviewer has submitted the document to the workflow engine for routing.

  • Saved: Reviewer has saved the document for later completion and routing.

  • Superuser Approved Document: Superuser has approved the entire document, any remaining routing is cancelled.

  • Superuser Approved Node: Superuser has approved the document through all nodes up to (but not including) a specific node. When the document gets to that node, the normal Action Requests will be created.

  • Superuser Approved Request: Superuser has approved a single pending Approve or Complete Action Request. The document then goes to the next routing node.

  • Superuser Cancelled: Superuser has canceled the document. A Superuser can cancel a document without a pending Action Request to him/her on the document.

  • Superuser Disapproved: Superuser has disapproved the document. A Superuser can disapprove a document without a pending Action Request to him/her on the document.

  • Superuser Returned to Previous Node: Superuser has returned the document to a previous routing node. A Superuser can do this without a pending Action Request to him/her on the document.


The state of an action request when it is has been sent to a user’s Action List.


The process by which requests appear in a user's Action List

Activation Type

Defines how a route node handles activation of Action Requests. There are two standard activation types:

  • Sequential: Action Requests are activated one at a time based on routing priority. The next Action Request isn't activated until the previous request is satisfied.

  • Parallel: All Action Requests at the route node are activated immediately, regardless of priority

Active Indicator

An indicator specifying whether an object in the system is active or not. Used as an alternative to complete removal of an object.

Ad Hoc Routing

A type of routing used to route a document to users or groups that are not in the Routing path for that Document Type. When the Ad Hoc Routing is complete, the routing returns to its normal path.


Optional comments added by a Reviewer when taking action. Intended to explain or clarify the action taken or to advise subsequent Reviewers.


A type of workflow action button. Signifies that the document represents a valid business transaction in accordance with institutional needs and policies in the user's judgment. A single document may require approval from several users, at multiple route levels, before it moves to final status.


The user who approves the document. As a document moves through Workflow, it moves one route level at a time. An Approver operates at a particular route level of the document.


The pathname of a related file to attach to a Note. Use the "Browse..." button to open the file dialog, select the file and automatically fill in the pathname.

Attribute Type

Used to strongly type or categorize the values that can be stored for the various attributes in the system (e.g., the value of the arbitrary key/value pairs that can be defined and associated with a given parent object in the system).


The act of logging into the system. The Out of the box (OOTB) authenticaton implementation in Rice does not require a password as it is intended for testing puposes only. This is something that must be enabled as part of an implementation. Various authentication solutions exist, such as CAS or Shibboleth, that an implementer may want to use depending on their needs.


Authorization is the permissions that an authenticated user has for performing actions in the system.

Author Universal ID

A free-form text field for the full name of the Author of the Note, expressed as "Lastname, Firstname Initial"


Base Rule Attribute

The standard fields that are defined and collected for every Routing Rule These include:

  • Active: A true/false flag to indicate if the Routing Rule is active. If false, then the rule will not be evaluated during routing.

  • Document Type: The Document Type to which the Routing Rule applies.

  • From Date: The inclusive start date from which the Routing Rule will be considered for a match.

  • Force Action: a true/false flag to indicate if the review should be forced to take action again for the requests generated by this rule, even if they had taken action on the document previously.

  • Name: the name of the rule, this serves as a unique identifier for the rule. If one is not specified when the rule is created, then it will be generated.

  • Rule Template: The Rule Template used to create the Routing Rule.

  • To Date: The inclusive end date to which the Routing Rule will be considered for a match.

Blanket Approval

Authority that is given to designated Reviewers who can approve a document to a chosen route point. A Blanket Approval bypasses approvals that would otherwise be required in the Routing For an authorized Reviewer, the Doc Handler typically displays the Blanket Approval button along with the other options. When a Blanket Approval is used, the Reviewers who are skipped are sent Acknowledge requests to notify them that they were bypassed.

Blanket Approve Workgroup

A workgroup that has the authority to Blanket Approve a document.


A path containing one or more Route Nodes that a document traverses during routing. When a document enters a Split Node multiple branches can be created. A Join Node joins multiple branches together.

Business Rule
  1. Describes the operations, definitions and constraints that apply to an organization in achieving its goals.

  2. A restriction to a function for a business reason (such as making a specific object code unavailable for a particular type of disbursement). Customizable business rules are controlled by Parameters.



Identifies the different fiscal and physical operating entities of an institution.

Campus Type

Designates a campus as physical only, fiscal only or both.


A workflow action available to document initiators on documents that have not yet been routed for approval. Denotes that the document is void and should be disregarded. Canceled documents cannot be modified in any way and do not route for approval.


A routing status. The document is denoted as void and should be disregarded.

CAS - Central Authentication Service - An open source authentication framework. Kuali Rice provides support for integrating with CAS as an authentication provider (among other authentication solutions) and also provides an implementation of a CAS server that integrates with Kuali Identity Management.


A Java Application Program Interface (API) for interfacing with the Kuali Enterprise Workflow Engine.


The use of one computer to request the services of another computer over a network. The workstation in an organization will be used to initiate a business transaction (e.g., a budget transfer). This workstation needs to gather information from a remote database to process the transaction, and will eventually be used to post new or changed information back onto that remote database. The workstation is thus a Client and the remote computer that houses the database is the Server.


A workflow action available on documents in most statuses. Signifies that the user wishes to exit the document. No changes to Action Requests, Route Logs or document status occur as a result of a Close action. If you initiate a document and close it without saving, it is the same as canceling that document.

Comma-separated value

A file format using commas as delimiters utilized in import and export functionality.


A pending action request to a user to submit a saved document.


The action taken by a user or group in response to a request in order to finish populating a document with information, as evidenced in the Document Route Log.

Country Restricted Indicator

Field used to indicate if a country is restricted from use in procurement. If there is no value then there is no restriction.

Creation Date

The date on which a document is created.


See comma-separated value


Date Approved

The date on which a document was most recently approved.

Date Finalized

The date on which a document enters the FINAL state. At this point, all approvals and acknowledgments are complete for the document.


The process by which requests are removed from a user's Action List


A user who has been registered to act on behalf of another user. The Delegate acts with the full authority of the Delegator. Delegation may be either Primary Delegation or Secondary Delegation.

Delegate Action List

A separate Action List for Delegate actions. When a Delegate selects a Delegator for whom to act, an Action List of all documents sent to the Delegator is displayed.

For both Primary and Secondary Delegation the Delegate may act on any of the entries with the full authority of the Delegator.


A workflow action that allows a user to indicate that a document does not represent a valid business transaction in that user's judgment. The initiator and previous approvers will receive Acknowledgment requests indicating the document was disapproved.


A status that indicates the document has been disapproved by an approver as a valid transaction and it will not generate the originally intended transaction.

Doc Handler

The Doc Handler is a web interface that a Client uses for the appropriate display of a document. When a user opens a document from the Action List or Document Search, the Doc Handler manages access permissions, content format, and user options according to the requirements of the Client.

Doc Handler URL

The URL for the Doc Handler.

Doc Nbr

See Document Number.


Also see E-Doc.

An electronic document containing information for a business transaction that is routed for Actions in KEW. It includes information such as Document ID, Type, Title, Route Status, Initiator, Date Created, etc. In KEW, a document typically has XML content attached to it that is used to make routing decisions.

Document Id

See Document Number.

Document Number

A unique, sequential, system-assigned number for a document

Document Operation

A workflow screen that provides an interface for authorized users to manipulate the XML and other data that defines a document in workflow. It allows you to access and open a document by Document ID for the purpose of performing operations on the document.

Document Search

A web interface in which users can search for documents. Users may search by a combination of document properties such as Document Type or Document ID, or by more specialized properties using the Detailed Search. Search results are displayed in a list similar to an Action List.

Document Status

See also Route Status.

Document Title

The title given to the document when it was created. Depending on the Document Type, this title may have been assigned by the Initiator or built automatically based on the contents of the document. The Document Title is displayed in both the Action List and Document Search.

Document Type

The Document Type defines the routing definition and other properties for a set of documents. Each document is an instance of a Document Type and conducts the same type of business transaction as other instances of that Document Type.

Document Types have the following characteristics:

  • They are specifications for a document that can be created in KEW

  • They contain identifying information as well as policies and other attributes

  • They defines the Route Path executed for a document of that type (Process Definition)

  • They are hierarchical in nature may be part of a hierarchy of Document Types, each of which inherits certain properties of its Parent Document Type.

  • They are typically defined in XML, but certain properties can be maintained from a graphical interface

Document Type Hierarchy

A hierarchy of Document Type definitions. Document Types inherit certain attributes from their parent Document Types. This hierarchy is also leveraged by various pieces of the system, including the Rules engine when evaluating rule sets and KIM when evaluating certain Document Type-based permissions.

Document Type Label

The human-readable label assigned to a Document Type.

Document Type Name

The assigned name of the document type. It must be unique.

Document Type Policy

These advise various checks and authorizations for instances of a Document Type during the routing process.


A link that allows a user to access more detailed information about the current data. These links typically take the user through a series of inquiries on different business objects.

Dynamic Node

An advanced type of Route Node that can be used to generate complex routing paths on the fly. Typically used whenever the route path of a document cannot be statically defined and must be completely derived from document data.


  1. An acronym for Educational Community License.

  2. All Kuali software and material is available under the Educational Community License and may be adopted by colleges and universities without licensing fees. The open licensing approach also provides opportunities for support and implementation assistance from commercial affiliates.


An abbreviation for electronic documents, also a shorthand reference to documents created with eDocLite.


A framework for quickly building workflow-enabled documents. Allows you to define document screens in XML and render them using XSL style sheets.

Embedded Client

A type of client that runs an embedded workflow engine.

Employee Status

Found on the Person Document; defines the employee's current employment classification (for example, "A" for Active).

Employee Type

Found on the Person Document; defines the employee's position classification (for example, "P" for Professional).


An Entity record houses identity information for a given Person, Process, System, etc. Each Entity is categorized by its association with an Entity Type.

Entity Attribute

Entities have directory-like information called Entity Attributes that are associated with them

Entity Attributes make up the identity information for an Entity record.

Entity Type

Provides categorization to Entities. For example, a “System” could be considered an Entity Type because something like a batch process may need to interfact with the application.


A workflow routing status indicating that the document routed to an exception queue because workflow has encountered a system error when trying to process the document.

Exception Messaging

The set of services and configuration options that are responsible for handling messages when they cannot be successfully delivered. Exception Messaging is set up when you configure KSB using the properties outlined in KSB Module Configuration.

Exception Routing

A type of routing used to handle error conditions that occur during the routing of a document. A document goes into Exception Routing when the workflow engine encounters an error or a situation where it cannot proceed, such as a violation of a Document Type Policy or an error contacting external services. When this occurs, the document is routed to the parties responsible for handling these exception cases. This can be a group configured on the document or a responsibility configured in KIM. Once one of these responsible parties has reviewed the situation and approved the document, it will be resubmitted to the workflow engine to attempt the processing again.

Extended Attributes

Custom, table-driven business object attributes that can be established by implementing institutions.

Extension Rule Attribute

One of the rule attributes added in the definition of a rule template that extends beyond the base rule attributes to differentiate the routing rule. A Required Extension Attribute has its "Required" field set to True in the rule template. Otherwise, it is an Optional Extension Attribute. Extension attributes are typically used to add additional fields that can be collected on a rule. They also define the logic for how those fields will be processed during rule evaluation.


Field Lookup

The round magnifying glass icon found next to fields throughout the GUI that allow the user to look up reference table information and display (and select from) a list of valid values for that field.


A workflow routing status indicating that the document has been routed and has no pending approval or acknowledgement requests.

Flexible Route Management

A standard KEW routing scheme based on rules rather than dedicated table-based routing.

FlexRM (Flexible Route Module)

The Route Module that performs the Routing for any Routing Rule is defined through FlexRM. FlexRM generates Action Requests when a Rule matches the data value contained in a document. An abbreviation of "Flexible Route Module." A standard KEW routing scheme that is based on rules rather than dedicated table-based routing.

Force Action

A true/false flag that indicates if previous Routing for approval will be ignored when an Action Request is generated. The flag is used in multiple contexts where requests are generated (e.g., rules, ad hoc routing). If Force Action is False, then prior Actions taken by a user can satisfy newly generated requests. If it is True, then the user needs to take another Action to satisfy the request.


A workflow action request that can be cleared from a user's Action List with or without opening and viewing the document. A document with no pending approval requests but with pending Acknowledge requests is in Processed status. A document with no pending approval requests but with pending FYI requests is in Final status. See also Ad Hoc Routing and Action Request.



A Group has members that can be either Principals or other Groups (nested). Groups essentially become a way to organize Entities (via Principal relationships) and other Groups within logical categories.

Groups can be given authorization to perform actions within applications by assigning them as members of Roles.

Groups can also have arbitrary identity information (i.e., Group Attributes hanging from them. Group Attributes might be values for "Office Address," "Group Leader," etc.

Groups can be maintained at runtime through a user interface that is capable of workflow.

Group Attribute

Groups have directory-like information called Group Attributes hanging from them. "Group Phone Number" and "Team Leader" are examples of Group Attributes.

Group Attributes make up the identity information for a Group record.

Group Attributes can be maintained at runtime through a user interface that is capable of workflow.


Hierarchical Tree Structure

A hierarchical representation of data in a graphical form.



The state of an Action Request when it is first created but has not yet been Activated (sent to a user’s Action List).


A workflow routing status indicating a document has been created but has not yet been saved or routed. A Document Number is automatically assigned by the system.


A user role for a person who creates (initiates or authors) a new document for routing. Depending on the permissions associated with the Document Type, only certain users may be able to initiate documents of that type.


A screen that allows a user to view information about a business object.


Join Node

The point in the routing path where multiple branches are joined together. A Join Node typically has a corresponding Split Node for which it joins the branches.


KC - Kuali Coeus


KCA - Kuali Commercial Affiliates

A designation provided to commercial affiliates who become part of the Kuali Partners Program to provide for-fee guidance, support, implementation, and integration services related to the Kuali software. Affiliates hold no ownership of Kuali intellectual property, but are full KPP participants. Affiliates may provide packaged versions of Kuali that provide value for installation or integration beyond the basic Kuali software. Affiliates may also offer other types of training, documentation, or hosting services.

KCB – Kuali Communications Broker

KCB is logically related to KEN. It handles dispatching messages based on user preferences (email, SMS, etc.).

KEN - Kuali Enterprise Notification

A key component of the Enterprise Integration layer of the architecture framework. Its features include:

  • Automatic Message Generation and Logging

  • Message integrity and delivery standards

  • Delivery of notifications to a user’s Action List

KEW – Kuali Enterprise Workflow

Kuali Enterprise Workflow is a general-purpose electronic routing infrastructure, or workflow engine. It manages the creation, routing, and processing of electronic documents (eDocs) necessary to complete a transaction. Other applications can also use Kuali Enterprise Workflow to automate and regulate the approval process for the transactions or documents they create.

KFS – Kuali Financial System

Delivers a comprehensive suite of functionality to serve the financial system needs of all Carnegie-Class institutions. An enhancement of the proven functionality of Indiana University's Financial Information System (FIS), KFS meets GASB and FASB standards while providing a strong control environment to keep pace with advances in both technology and business. Modules include financial transactions, general ledger, chart of accounts, contracts and grants, purchasing/accounts payable, labor distribution, budget, accounts receivable and capital assets.

KIM – Kuali Identity Management

A Kuali Rice module, Kuali Identity Management provides a standard API for persons, groups, roles and permissions that can be implemented by an institution. It also provdies an out of the box reference implementation that allows for a university to use Kuali as their Identity Management solution.

KNS – Kuali Nervous System

A core technical module composed of reusable code components that provide the common, underlying infrastructure code and functionality that any module may employ to perform its functions (for example, creating custom attributes, attaching electronic images, uploading data from desktop applications, lookup/search routines, and database interaction).

KPP - Kuali Partners Program

The Kuali Partners Program (KPP) is the means for organizations to get involved in the Kuali software community and influence its future through voting rights to determine software development priorities. Membership dues pay staff to perform Quality Assurance (QA) work, release engineering, packaging, documentation, and other work to coordinate the timely enhancement and release of quality software and other services valuable to the members. Partners are also encouraged to tender functional, technical, support or administrative staff members to the Kuali Foundation for specific periods of time.

KRAD - Kuali Rapid Application Development


KRMS - Kuali Rules Management System


KS - Kuali Student

Delivers a means to support students and other users with a student-centric system that provides real-time, cost-effective, scalable support to help them identify and achieve their goals while simplifying or eliminating administrative tasks. The high-level entities of person (evolving roles-student, instructor, etc.), time (nested units of time - semesters, terms, classes), learning unit (assigned to any learning activity), learning result (grades, assessments, evaluations), learning plan (intentions, activities, major, degree), and learning resources (instructors, classrooms, equipment). The concierge function is a self-service information sharing system that aligns information with needs and tasks to accomplish goals. The support for integration of locally-developed processes provides flexibility for any institution's needs.

KSB – Kuali Service Bus

Provides an out-of-the-box service architecture and runtime environment for Kuali Applications. It is the cornerstone of the Service Oriented Architecture layer of the architectural reference framework. The Kuali Service Bus consists of:

  • A services registry and repository for identifying and instantiating services

  • Run time monitoring of messages

  • Support for synchronous and asynchronous service and message paradigms

  1. Pronounced "ku-wah-lee". A partnership organization that produces a suite of community-source, modular administrative software for Carnegie-class higher education institutions. See also Kuali Foundation

  2. (n.) A humble kitchen wok that plays an important role in a successful kitchen.

Kuali Foundation

Employs staff to coordinate partner efforts and to manage and protect the Foundation's intellectual property. The Kuali Foundation manages a growing portfolio of enterprise software applications for colleges and universities. A lightweight Foundation staff coordinates the activities of Foundation members for critical software development and coordination activities such as source code control, release engineering, packaging, documentation, project management, software testing and quality assurance, conference planning, and educating and assisting members of the Kuali Partners program.

Kuali Rice

Provides an enterprise-class middleware suite of integrated products that allow both Kuali and non-Kuali applications to be built in an agile fashion, such that developers are able to react to end-user business requirements in an efficient manner to produce high-quality business applications. Built with Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) concepts in mind, KR enables developers to build robust systems with common enterprise workflow functionality, customizable and configurable user interfaces with a clean and universal look and feel, and general notification features to allow for a consolidated list of work "action items." All of this adds up to providing a re-usable development framework that encourages a simplified approach to developing true business functionality as modular applications.


Last Modified Date

The date on which the document was last modified (e.g., the date of the last action taken, the last action request generated, the last status changed, etc.).


Maintenance Document

An e-doc used to establish and maintain a table record.


The full description of a notification message. This is a specific field that can be filled out as part of the Simple Message or Event Message form. This can also be set by the programmatic interfaces when sending notifications from a client system.

Message Queue

Allows administrators to monitor messages that are flowing through the Service Bus. Messages can be edited, deleted or forwarded to other machines for processing from this screen.



A Namespace is a way to scope both Permissions and Entity Attributes Each Namespace instance is one level of scoping and is one record in the system. For example, "KRA" or "KC" or "KFS" could be a Namespace. Or you could further break those up into finer-grained Namespaces such that they would roughly correlate to functional modules within each application. Examples could be "KRA Rolodex", "KC Grants", "KFS Chart of Accounts".

Out of the box, the system is bootstrapped with numerous Rice namespaces which correspond to the different modules. There is also a default namespace of “KUALI”.

Namespaces can be maintained at runtime through a maintenance document.

Note Text

A free-form text field for the text of a Note

Notification Content

This section of a notification message which displays the actual full message for the notification along with any other content-type-specific fields.

Notification Message

The overall Notification item or Notification Message that a user sees when she views the details of a notification in her Action List. A Notification Message contains not only common elements such as Sender, Channel, and Title, but also content-type-specific fields.



Stands for "out of the box" and refers to the base deliverable of a given feature in the system.

Optimistic Locking

A type of “locking” that is placed on a database row by a process to prevent other processes from updating that row before the first process is complete. A characteristic of this locking technique is that another user who wants to make modifications at the same time as another user is permitted to, but the first one who submits their changes will have them applied. Any subsequent changes will result in the user being notified of the optimistic lock and their changes will not be applied. This technique assumes that another update is unlikely.

Optional Rule Extension Attribute

An Extension Attribute that is not required in a Rule Template. It may or may not be present in a Routing Rule created from the Template. It can be used as a conditional element to aid in deciding if a Rule matches. These Attributes are simply additional criteria for the Rule matching process.

Org Doc #

The originating document number.


Refers to a unit within the institution such as department, responsibility center, campus, etc.

Organization Code

Represents a unique identifier assigned to units at many different levels within the institution (for example, department, responsibility center, and campus).


Parameter Component Code

Code identifying the parameter Component.

Parameter Description

This field houses the purpose of this parameter.

Parameter Name

This will be used as the identifier for the parameter. Parameter values will be accessed using this field and the namespace as the key.

Parameter Type Code

Code identifying the parameter type. Parameter Type Code is the primary key for its’ table.

Parameter Value

This field houses the actual value associated with the parameter.

Parent Document Type

A Document Type from which another Document Type derives. The child type can inherit certain properties of the parent type, any of which it may override. A Parent Document Type may have a parent as part of a hierarchy of document types.

Parent Rule

A Routing Rule in KEW from which another Routing Rule derives. The child Rule can inherit certain properties of the parent Rule, any of which it may override. A Parent Rule may have a parent as part of a hierarchy of Rules.


Permissions represent fine grained actions that can be mapped to functionality within a given system. Permissions are scoped to Namespace which roughly correlate to modules or sections of functionality within a given system.

A developer would code authorization checks in their application against these permissions.

Some examples would be: "canSave", "canView", "canEdit", etc.

Permissions are aggregated by Roles.

Permissions can be maintained at runtime through a user interface that is capable of workflow; however, developers still need to code authorization checks against them in their code, once they are set up in the system.


  1. Id - a system generated unique identifier that is the primary key for any Permission record in the system

  2. Name - the name of the permission; also a human understandable unique identifier

  3. Description - a full description of the purpose of the Permission record

  4. Namespace - the reference to the associated Namespace


  1. Permission to Role - many to many; this relationship ties a Permission record to a Role that is authorized for the Permission

  2. Permission to Namespace - many to one; this relationship allows for scoping of a Permission to a Namespace that contains functionality which keys its authorization checking off of said

Person Identifier

The username of an individual user who receives the document ad hoc for the Action Requested

Person Role

Creates or maintains the list used in selection of personnel when preparing the Routing Form document.

Pessimistic Locking

A type of lock placed on a database row by a process to prevent other processes from reading or updating that row until the first process is finished. This technique assumes that another update is likely.


A plugin is a packaged set of code providing essential services that can be deployed into the Rice standalone server. Plugins usually contains only classes used in routing such as custom rules or searchable attributes, but can contain client application specific services. They are usually used only by clients being implemented by the ‘Thin Client’ method

Post Processor

A routing component that is notified by the workflow engine about various events pertaining to the routing of a specific document (e.g., node transition, status change, action taken). The implementation of a Post Processor is typically specific to a particular set of Document Types. When all required approvals are completed, the engine notifies the Post Processor accordingly. At this point, the Post Processor is responsible for completing the business transaction in the manner appropriate to its Document Type.

Posted Date/Time Stamp

A free-form text field that identifies the time and date at which the Notes is posted.

Postal Code

Defines zip code to city and state cross-references.


User options in an Action List for displaying the list of documents. Users can click the Preferences button in the top margin of the Action List to display the Action List Preferences screen. On the Preferences screen, users may change the columns displayed, the background colors by Route Status, and the number of documents displayed per page.

Primary Delegation

The Delegator turns over full authority to the Delegate. The Action Requests for the Delegator only appear in the Action List of the Primary Delegate. The Delegation must be registered in KEW or KIM to be in effect.


A Principal represents an Entity that can authenticate into the system. One can roughly correlate a Principal to a login username. Entities can exist in KIM without having permissions or authorization to do anything; therefore, a Principal must exist and must be associated with an Entity in order for it to have access privileges. All authorization that is not specific to Groups is tied to a Principal.

In other words, an Entity is for identity while a Principal is for access management.

Also note that an Entity is allowed to have multiple Principals associated with it. The use case typically given here is that a person may apply to a school and receive one log in for the application system; however, once accepted, they may receive their official login, but use the same identity information set up for their Entity record.


A routing status indicating that the document has no pending approval requests but still has one or more pending acknowledgement requests.


Recipient Type

The type of entity that is receiving an Action Request. Can be a user, workgroup, or role.

Required Rule Extension Attribute

An Extension Attribute that is required in a Rule Template. It will be present in every Routing Rule created from the Template.


See Responsible Party.

Responsibility Id

A unique identifier representing a particular responsibility on a rule (or from a route module This identifier stays the same for a particular responsibility no matter how many times a rule is modified.

Responsible Party

The Reviewer defined on a routing rule that receives requests when the rule is successfully executed. Each routing rule has one or more responsible parties defined.


A user acting on a document in his/her Action List and who has received an Action Request for the document.


An abbreviation for Kuali Rice.


Roles aggregate Permissions When Roles are given to Entities (via their relationship with Principals) or Groups an authorization for all associated Permissions is granted.

Route Header Id

Another name for the Document Id.

Route Log

Displays information about the routing of a document. The Route Log is usually accessed from either the Action List or a Document Search. It displays general document information about the document and a detailed list of Actions Taken and pending Action Requests for the document. The Route Log can be considered an audit trail for a document.

Route Module

A routing component that the engine uses to generate action requests at a particular Route Node. FlexRM (Flexible Route Module) is a general Route Module that is rule-based. Clients can define their own Route Modules that can conduct specialized Routing based on routing tables or any other desired implementation.

Route Node

Represents a step in the routing process of a document type. Route node "instances" are created dynamically as a document goes through its routing process and can be defined to perform any function. The most common functions are to generate Action Requests or to split or join the route path.

  • Simple: do some arbitrary work

  • Requests: generate action requests using a Route Module or the Rules engine

  • Split: split the route path into one or more parallel branches

  • Join: join one or more branches back together

  • Sub Process: execute another route path inline

  • Dynamic: generate a dynamic route path

Route Path

The path a document follows during the routing process. Consists of a set of route nodes and branches. The route path is defined as part of the document type definition.

Route Status

The status of a document in the course of its routing:

  • Approved: These documents have been approved by all required reviewers and are waiting additional postprocessing.

  • Cancelled: These documents have been stopped. The document’s initiator can ‘Cancel’ it before routing begins or a reviewer of the document can cancel it after routing begins. When a document is cancelled, routing stops; it is not sent to another Action List.

  • Disapproved: These documents have been disapproved by at least one reviewer. Routing has stopped for these documents.

  • Enroute: Routing is in progress on these documents and an action request is waiting for someone to take action.

  • Exception: A routing exception has occurred on this document. Someone from the Exception Workgroup for this Document Type must take action on this document, and it has been sent to the Action List of this workgroup.

  • Final: All required approvals and all acknowledgements have been received on these documents. No changes are allowed to a document that is in Final status.

  • Initiated: A user or a process has created this document, but it has not yet been routed to anyone’s Action List.

  • Processed: These documents have been approved by all required users, and is completed on them. They may be waiting for Acknowledgements. No further action is needed on these documents.

  • Saved: These documents have been saved for later work. An author (initiator) can save a document before routing begins or a reviewer can save a document before he or she takes action on it. When someone saves a document, the document goes on that person’s Action List.

Routed By User

The user who submits the document into routing. This is often the same as the Initiator. However, for some types of documents they may be different.


The process of moving a document through its route path as defined in its Document Type. Routing is executed and administered by the workflow engine. This process will typically include generating Action Requests and processing actions from the users who receive those requests. In addition, the Routing process includes callbacks to the Post Processor when there are changes in document state.

Routing Priority

A number that indicates the routing priority; a smaller number has a higher routing priority. Routing priority is used to determine the order that requests are activated on a route node with sequential activation type.

Routing Rule

A record that contains the data for the Rule Attributes specified in a Rule Template It is an instance of a Rule Template populated to determine the appropriate Routing. The Rule includes the Base Attributes, Required Extension Attributes, Responsible Party Attributes, and any Optional Extension Attributes that are declared in the Rule Template. Rules are evaluated at certain points in the routing process and, when they fire, can generate Action Requests to the responsible parties that are defined on them.

Technical considerations for a Routing Rules are:

  • Configured via a GUI (or imported from XML)

  • Created against a Rule Template and a Document Type

  • The Rule Template and it’s list of Rule Attributes define what fields will be collected in the Rule GUI

  • Rules define the users, groups and/or roles who should receive action requests

  • Available Action Request Types that Rules can route

    • Complete

    • Approve

    • Acknowledge

    • FYI

  • During routing, Rule Evaluation Sets are “selected” at each node. Default is to select by Document Type and Rule Template defined on the Route Node

  • Rules match (or ‘fire’) based on the evaluation of data on the document and data contained on the individual rule

  • Examples

    • If dollar amount is greater than $10,000 then send an Approval request to Joe.

    • If department is “HR” request an Acknowledgment from the HR.Acknowledgers workgroup.

Rule Attribute

Rule attributes are a core KEW data element contained in a document that controls its Routing. It participates in routing as part of a Rule Template and is responsible for defining custom fields that can be rendered on a routing rule. It also defines the logic for how rules that contain the attribute data are evaluated.

Technical considerations for a Rule Attribute are:

  • They might be backed by a Java class to provide lookups and validations of appropriate values.

  • Define how a Routing Rule evaluates document data to determine whether or not the rule data matches the document data.

  • Define what data is collected on a rule.

  • An attribute typically corresponds to one piece of data on a document (i.e dollar amount, department, organization, account, etc.).

  • Can be written in Java or defined using XML (with matching done by XPath).

  • Can have multiple GUI fields defined in a single attribute.

Rule QuickLinks

A list of document groups with their document hierarchies and actions that can be selected. For specific document types, you can create the rule delegate.

Rule Template

A Rule Template serves as a pattern or design for the routing rules. All of the Rule Attributes that include both Required and _Optional_ are contained in the Rule Template; it defines the structure of the routing rule of FlexRM. The Rule Template is also used to associate certain Route Nodes on a document type to routing rules.

Technical considerations for a Rule Templates are:

  • They are a composition of Rule Attributes

  • Adding a ‘Role’ attribute to a template allows for the use of the Role on any rules created against the template

  • When rule attributes are used for matching on rules, each attribute is associated with the other attributes on the template using an implicit ‘and’ logic attributes

  • Can be used to define various other aspects to be used by the rule creation GUI such as rule data defaults (effective dates, ignore previous, available request types, etc)



A workflow action button that allows the Initiator of a document to save their work and close the document. The document may be retrieved from the initiator's Action List for completion and routing at a later time.


A routing status indicating the document has been started but not yet completed or routed. The Save action allows the initiator of a document to save their work and close the document. The document may be retrieved from the initiator's action list for completion and routing at a later time.

Searchable Attributes

Attributes that can be defined to index certain pieces of data on a document so that it can be searched from the Document Search screen.

Technical considerations for a Searchable Attributes are:

  • They are responsible for extracting and indexing document data for searching

  • They allow for custom fields to be added to Document Search for documents of a particular type

  • They are configured as an attribute of a Document Type

  • They can be written in Java or defined in XML by using Xpath to facilitate matching

Secondary Delegation

The Secondary Delegate acts as a temporary backup Delegator who acts with the same authority as the primary Approver/the Delegator when the Delegator is not available. Documents appear in the Action Lists of both the Delegator and the Delegate. When either acts on the document, it disappears from both Action Lists.

Secondary Delegation is often configured for a range of dates and it must be registered in KEW or KIM to be in effect.

Service Registry

Displays a read-only view of all of the services that are exposed on the Service Bus and includes information about them (for example, IP Address, or Endpoint URL).

Simple Node

A type of node that can perform any function desired by the implementer. An example implementation of a simple node is the node that generates Action Requests from route modules.


An acronym for Service Oriented Architecture.

Special Condition Routing

This is a generic term for additional route levels that might be triggered by various attributes of a transaction. They can be based on the type of document, attributes of the accounts being used, or other attributes of the transaction. They often represent special administrative approvals that may be required.

Split Node

A node in the routing path that can split the route path into multiple branches.


The Spring Framework is an open source application framework for the Java platform.


Defines U.S. Postal Service codes used to identify states.


On an Action List; also known as Route Status. The current location of the document in its routing path.


A workflow action button used by the initiator of a document to begin workflow routing for that transaction. It moves the document (through workflow) to the next level of approval. Once a document is submitted, it remains in 'ENROUTE' status until all approvals have taken place.


A user who has been given special permission to perform Superuser Approvals and other Superuser actions on documents of a certain Document Type.

Superuser Approval

Authority given Superusers to approve a document of a chosen Route Node. A Superuser Approval action bypasses approvals that would otherwise be required in the Routing. It is available in Superuser Document Search. In most cases, reviewers who are skipped are not sent Acknowledge Action Requests.

Superuser Document Search

A special mode of Document Search that allows Superusers to access documents in a special Superuser mode and perform administrative functions on those documents. Access to these documents is governed by the user's membership in the Superuser Workgroup as defined on a particular Document Type.


Thread pool

A technique that improves overall system performance by creating a pool of threads to execute multiple tasks at the same time. A task can execute immediately if a thread in the pool is available or else the task waits for a thread to become available from the pool before executing.


A short summary of the notification message. This field can be filled out as part of the Simple Message or Event Message form. In addition, this can be set by the programmatic interfaces when sending notifications from a client system.

This field is equivalent to the "Subject" field in an email.



An acronym for Uniform Resource Locator.


A person who can log in and use the application. This term is synonymous with “Principal” in KIM. "Whereas Entity Id represents a unique Person, Principal Id represents a set of login information for that Person."



A user(s) who views a document during the routing process. This includes users who have action requests generated to them on a document.


Web Service Client

A type of client that connects to a standalone KEW server using Web Services.


A character that may be substituted for any of a defined subset of all possible characters.


Electronic document routing, approval and tracking. Also known as Workflow Services or Kuali Enterprise Workflow (KEW). The Kuali infrastructure service that electronically routes an e-doc to its approvers in a prescribed sequence, according to established business rules based on the e-doc content. See also Kuali Enterprise Workflow.

Workflow Engine

The component of KEW that handles initiating and executing the route path of a document.

Workflow QuickLinks

A web interface that provides quick navigation to various functions in KEW. These include:

  • Quick EDoc Watch: The last five Actions taken by this user. The user can select and repeat these actions.

  • Quick EDoc Search: The last five EDocs searched for by this user. The user can select one and repeat that search.

  • Quick Action List: The last five document types the user took action with. The user can select one and repeat that action.



See also XML Ingester.

  1. An acronym for Extensible Markup Language.

  2. Used for data import/export.

XML Ingester

A workflow function that allows you to browse for and upload XML data.

XML RuleAttribute

Similar in functionality to a RuleAttribute but built using XML only