Dynamic Inter-Enterprise Workflow Management in a Constraint-Based E-Service Infrastructure

University of Florida
Electronic Commerce Research (Impact Factor: 0.97). 12/2002; 3(1):9-24. DOI: 10.1023/A:1021521209515

ABSTRACT This paper presents an infrastructure and a mechanism for achieving dynamic Inter-enterprise workflow management using e-services provided by collaborative e-business enterprises. E-services are distributed services that can be accessed programmatically on the Internet, using SOAP messages and the HTTP protocol. In this work, we categorize e-services according to their business types and manage them in a UDDI-enabled constraint-based Broker Server. E-service requests are specified in the activities of a process model according to some standardized e-service templates and are bound to the proper service providers at run-time by using a constraint-based, dynamic service binding mechanism. The workflow management system is dynamic in the sense that the actual business organizations, which take part in a business process, are not determined until run-time. We have extended the traditional workflow process modeling by including e-service requests in activity specifications and extended the Web Service Description Language (WSDL) by including constraints in both service specifications and service requests so that the selection of e-service providers can be more accurately performed.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: As the global marketplace becomes more and more competitive, business organisations often need to team up and operate as a virtual enterprise to utilise the best of their resources for achieving their common business goals. As the business environment of a virtual enterprise is highly dynamic, it is necessary to develop a workflow management technology that is capable of handling dynamic workflows across enterprise boundaries. This paper describes a Dynamic Workflow Model (DWM) and a dynamic workflow management system (DynaFlow) for modelling and controlling the execution of inter-organisational business processes. DWM enables the specification of dynamic properties associated with a business process model. It extends the underlying model of the WfMC's WPDL by adding connectors, events, triggers and rules as its modelling constructs. It also encapsulates activity definitions and allows web service (or e-service) requests to be included as a part of the activity specification. Using DWM as the underlying model, DynaFlow makes use of an Event-Trigger-Rule (ETR) server to trigger rules during the enactment of a workflow process to enforce business rules and policies and/or to modify the process model at run-time. A constraint-based, dynamic service binding mechanism is used to dynamically bind web service requests to web services that satisfy the requirements of the requests.
    International Journal of Business Process Integration and Management 01/2006; 1.
  • Source
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Workflow management systems (WfMSs) are accepted worldwide due to their ability to model and control business processes. Previously, we defined an intra-organizational workflow specification model, Process LANguage (PLAN). PLAN, with associated tools, allowed a user to describe a graph specification for processes, artifacts, and participants in an organization. PLAN has been successfully implemented in Agentflow to support workflow (Agentflow) applications. PLAN, and most current WfMSs are designed to adopt a centralized architecture so that they can be applied to a single organization. However, in such a structure, participants in Agentflow applications in different organizations cannot serve each other with workflows. In this paper, a service-oriented cooperative workflow model, Cooperative Agentflow Process LANguage (CA-PLAN) is presented. CA-PLAN proposes a workflow component model to model inter-organizational processes. In CA-PLAN, an inter-organizational process is partitioned into several intra-organizational processes. Each workflow system inside an organization is modeled as an Integrated Workflow Component (IWC). Each IWC contains a process service interface, specifying process services provided by an organization, in conjunction with a remote process interface specifying what remote processes are used to refer to remote process services provided by other organizations, and intra-organizational processes. An IWC is a workflow node and participant. An inter-organizational process is made up of connections among these process services and remote processes with respect to different IWCs. In this paper, the related service techniques and supporting tools provided in Agentflow systems are presented.
    International Journal of Automation and Computing 11/2005; 2(2):195-207.