Java Reference
In-Depth Information
21
Workflow management
system
Synthesis
This chapter deals with the development of a workflow management system.
Business processes can be defined using a suitable process definition lan-
guage; they can be enacted by the system. Enactment consists of assigning
the right task to the right person at the right time and ensuring it is carried
out within the required deadline. A standard interface for monitoring and
controlling processes is adopted. A proof-of-concept interface is developed
making use of web-based techniques.
Focus: the focus is on business processes that consist of long-lived trans-
actions, as opposed to the short transactions that can be found in pure
software contexts.
OO techniques: no specific technique.
Java features: XML DOM.
Used knowledge: previous chapters.
21.1
Specifications
The increasing complexity of office procedure has produced, in the last 10
years, an increasing interest in workflow management systems (WfMS) that
automate the execution of business processes requiring several participants
and a strict sequencing of activities.
We want to develop a WfMS to support the enactment of simple business
processes. The system must provide a web-based interface that enables
starting and participating in processes. The system operation will be based
on a set of process models that can be changed from time to time.
The system must be open to integration with other WfMS applications as
well with different types of user interfaces, such as graphical user interfaces
and mobile device interfaces (e.g. WAP).
21.1.1
Process models
A business process model describes what should be done in order to com-
plete a given task (e.g. to pass an examination). It can be divided into several
activities (e.g. attend courses, assign grades, record grades) that should be
performed by certain roles (e.g. student, professor, secretary).
 
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