Conceptual framework and architecture for service mediating workflow management

Jinmin Hu, Paul Grefen
2003 Information and Software Technology  
Electronic service outsourcing creates a new paradigm for automated enterprise collaboration. The service-oriented paradigm requires a high level of flexibility of current workflow management systems and support for Business-to-Business (B2B) collaboration to realize collaborative enterprises. This report proposes an three-layer workflow concept framework to realize enactment flexibility by dynamically binding activities to their implementations at run time. A service mediating layer is added
more » ... bridge business process definition and its implementation. Enactment specification is the major element of the service mediating layer, which combines an activity implementation specification, service descriptions and service selection policies. Different from other proposals that extend the workflow process model to obtain flexibility at run time, our approach is to separate the enactment specification from the workflow model through late binding of activities to their implementation. Based on this framework, we propose an extended WFMS architecture, in which service contracting layer, service binding layer and service invocation layer are extensions to support the proposed service-mediating concept. According to an enactment specification, external services or internal applications are dynamically invoked through coordinators to execute the activities. The conceptual framework and architecture together provide a comprehensive approach to flexible service enactment in B2B collaborative settings.
doi:10.1016/s0950-5849(03)00092-2 fatcat:w7bfuq2tjfcarnmndahe5l3udm