Digital electronics helped too. Former analogue-based instrumentation was replaced by digital equivalents which can be more accurate and flexible, and offer greater scope for more sophisticated configuration, parametrization and operation. This was accompanied by the fieldbus revolution which provided a networked (i.e. a single cable) means of communicating between control systems and field level instrumentation, eliminating hard-wiring.
Cohn refers to the middle layer of the pyramid as the service layer, but it's also known as the layer for automated API tests, automated component tests, or acceptance tests. You use this automation layer to test the business logic without involving the user interface (UI). By testing outside the UI, you can test the inputs and outputs of the APIs or services without all the complications the UI introduces.
"Smart home" is a very broad term, covering a huge number of connected gadgets, systems and appliances that do a wide variety of different things. "Home automation" is slightly less broad, referring specifically to things in your home that can be programmed to function automatically. In years past, those automations were pretty basic -- lamp timers, programmable thermostats and so on -- but that's fast been changing thanks to the recent sprawl of smart home tech aimed at mainstream consumers.
“For example, one process automation involved a distribution company that sold primarily to big-box retailers. In its old state, the organization had no window into what customers were ordering until after the warehouse fulfilled it. In addition, they would get a report once a week, which required someone to manually manipulate the data and import the data into the accounting software.
BPA can be applied in different departments within an organization, such as operations, IT, sales, marketing, business development, human resources, legal, financial and administration departments. All old paper processes that use to entail extra time to deliver a message or a file inbetween teams can now be simplified and streamlined. Imagine processes that steps are executed automatically or with much less human intervention: that’s BPA!
An early development of sequential control was relay logic, by which electrical relays engage electrical contacts which either start or interrupt power to a device. Relays were first used in telegraph networks before being developed for controlling other devices, such as when starting and stopping industrial-sized electric motors or opening and closing solenoid valves. Using relays for control purposes allowed event-driven control, where actions could be triggered out of sequence, in response to external events. These were more flexible in their response than the rigid single-sequence cam timers. More complicated examples involved maintaining safe sequences for devices such as swing bridge controls, where a lock bolt needed to be disengaged before the bridge could be moved, and the lock bolt could not be released until the safety gates had already been closed.
A business process is often started by a trigger, such as the filing of an expense report, which initiates a set of predefined workflow steps, or processes, that conclude with the employee receiving reimbursement. The goal of BPA is to not only automate business processes, but to simplify and improve business workflows as well. BPA can be a standalone initiative or part of a larger, overarching business process management (BPM) strategy.