What is a Branch?

Updated: Jun 22

Train tracks crossroads

Last month we learned about how tasks in a workflow are different from regular work. In a Workflow Management System (WfMS) like Effecs®, tasks don't have to just happen one after another, one at a time, and in a straight line. Sometimes you need two or more tasks to be performed at the same time. This is handled using branches. When a workflow follows a branch, it executes all of the tasks along that branch. But that workflow can also have other tasks on a different branch that are being executed at the same time. If fact those branches can themselves have branches, and so on, and so on. Often these branches will merge back together at a later point. You might ask "why would anyone do anything like this?" Well, imagine that you have a strict schedule to get some work done and two or more portions of that work can be done in parallel because they aren't dependent on each other. Working in parallel can get a lot of work done a lot faster. In a workflow, branching is the way to accomplish that.

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