WEBFLOW: DECENTRALIZED WORKFLOW MANAGEMENT IN THE WORLD WIDE WEB
MICHAEL WEBER, TORSTEN ILLMANN, ALBRECHT SCHMIDT
Department for Distributed Systems
University of Ulm, Germany
In this paper we introduce a workflow management
system, called WebFlow, which is based on the world wide
web and Java as its basic technologies. Java is used as the
build time (modeling) language to define workflows as
well as the implementation language for the run time
workflow enactment. Due to the object-orientation of Java
modular and extendible workflow types are possible.
Modification of workflows is supported even at run time.
Using WWW and Java eases the implementation effort of
the workflow engine, since HTTP and the Java API already
include functionality which needs not to be implemented
anew. This is uploading and downloading of workflow
applets and documents, authentication of clients, digital
signing and especially the execution of workflows at the
client site by the Java virtual machine. Thus, a very simple
control server is sufficient, since the applets constituting
the workflow coordinate themselves to a large extent.
Webflow aims at application scenarios requiring flexible
and modifiable workflows. It supports workflows which
cross organizational boundaries, since it only relies on
standard WWW mechanisms.
workflow management, decentralization, self-coordination
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