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Workflow Description Language and Workflow Patterns . Yi Wang. Outline. What is Workflow? Workflow Management System Workflow Reference Models Workflow Description Language Workflow Patterns. Workflow Definition. The automation of a business process, in whole or part.

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Workflow Description Language and Workflow Patterns

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  • What is Workflow?
  • Workflow Management System
  • Workflow Reference Models
  • Workflow Description Language
  • Workflow Patterns
workflow definition
Workflow Definition
  • The automation of a business process, in whole or part.
  • Information or tasks are passed from one participant to another for action, according to a set of procedural rules.
  • A number of logical steps, each of which is known as an activity.
workflow management system definition
Workflow Management System--Definition
  • A system that completely defines, manages and executes “workflows” through the execution of software whose order of execution is driven by a computer representation of the workflow logic.
three function areas supporting wfm
Three function areas --Supporting WFM
  • The Build-time functions, concerned with defining, and possibly modeling, the workflow process and its constituent activities
  • The Run-time control functions concerned with managing the workflow processes in an operational environment and sequencing the various activities to be handled as part of each process
  • The Run-time interactions with human users and IT application tools for processing the various activity steps
types of workflow product
Types of Workflow Product
  • FlowMark (IBM)
  • Lotus Notes(IBM/Lotus)
  • Ad hoc
  • WorkMAN (Reach Software)
workflow reference model
Workflow Reference Model
  • A reference model for workflow management systems has been defined by the WfMC(Workflow Management Coalition).
  • Specify a framework for workflow systems, identifying their characteristics, functions and interfaces.
  • Workflow Application Programming Interface
  • The interface around the workflow enactment
  • A service interface which is to support workflow management functions across the 5 functional areas.
workflow enactment services
Workflow Enactment Services
  • A software service
  • Consist of one or more workflow engines in order to create, manage and execute workflow instances.
  • Applications may interface to this service via the WAPI.
workflow engine
Workflow Engine
  • A workflow enactment service consists of mutiple workflow engines.
  • A software service or "engine"
  • Execute environment for a workflow instance
  • Responsible for the part or all of the runtime control environment within an enactment service.
process and activity state transitions
Process and Activity State Transitions
  • The workflow enactment service may be considered as a state transition machine,
  • Individual process or activity instances change states in response to external events(eg completion of an activity)
  • Specific control decisions taken by a workflow engine(eg navigation to the next activity step within a process)
process definition tools
Process Definition Tools
  • To create model, describe and document a business process.
  • Based on
    • Process definition language
    • Object relationship model
    • A set of routing commands to transfer information between participating users
a basic meta model
A Basic Meta-Model
  • WFMCis developing a meta-model for the process definition
  • Meta-Languages is a superset of constructs that is in process modeling languages
workflow description language
Workflow Description Language
  • A process description, is a structure describing the tasks or activities to be executed and the order of their execution.
  • The process description can be provided in Workflow Description Language.
meta language for workflow and process modeling
Meta-Language for Workflow and Process Modeling
  • WPDL(Workflow Process Definition Language)
  • PIF(Process Interchange Framework)
  • PSL(Process Specification Language)
  • GPSG(Generalized Process Structure Grammars)
  • Unified Modeling Language
workflow process definition language wpdl
Workflow Process Definition Language(WPDL)
  • Defining the actions to be carried out in each possible state
  • Pre- and post-conditions of states
  • Transitions between states
  • Defining the sequencing of tasks / states
  • Defining automated states and states requiring user input
  • Processes are presented at various levels of abstraction.
  • Object-Oriented concept of inheritance.
  • Hierarchy structure.
psl process specification language
PSL(Process Specification Language)
  • To support communication between different applications based on a common understanding of their environment.
  • Develop a common exchange format for different modeling description.
a brief summary
A brief summary
  • WPDL, PIF, PSL represent IPO-based process modeling languages.
  • IPO(Input-Process-Output)
  • IPO-based languages describe a workflow as a directed graph of activities, denoting the sequence of their execution.
  • Generalized Process Structure Grammars.
  • A constraint-based approach to process modeling.
gpsg example
GPSG example
  • For IPO-based language the sequence of two activities is denoted as
    • B.start :=A.end
  • For GPSG, contain following constraints
    • B.start = A.end
    • B.end < deadline
    • B.start = B.end – B.average_duration
unified modeling language
Unified Modeling Language
  • Defines different diagram types for the design object-oriented software systems
  • Helps you specify, visualize, and document models.
  • Offers graphical notations for workflow models.
workflow patterns
Workflow Patterns
  • A process requires the activation of multiple tasks.
  • Refers to the relationship among the tasks of a process.
  • The workflow description languages and the mechanisms to control the enactment of a case must have provisions to support these temporal relationships.
  • Internet-Based Workflow Management: Towards a Semantics Web. Dan.C.Marinescu. Wiley, 2002
  • Workflow:An Introduction. Rob Allen, Open Image Systems Inc., United Kingdom Chair, WFMC External Relations Committee
  • Using Web Services and Workflow Ontology in Multi-Agent Systems. Jarmo Korhonen, Lasse Pajunen, and Juha Puustjärvi
  • Workflow: An Introduction. Rob Allen, Open Image Systems Inc., United Kingdom. Chair, WfMC External Relations Committee.
  • Workflow Process Definition Language-Development and Directions of a Meta-Language for Workflow Processes. Michael zur Mühlen, Jörg Becker
  • Workflow Management Coalition The Workflow Reference Model Document Number TC00-1003 Document Status - Issue 1.1 19-Jan-95 Author:David Hollingsworth