Browse Prior Art Database

Improved Restart Processing in WFMS

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000013408D
Original Publication Date: 2000-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-18
Document File: 2 page(s) / 57K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

1 Introduction

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Improved Restart Processing in WFMS

1 Introduction

    Workflow management systems support the definition and execution of business processes. Those business processes are made up of a set of activities. Each activity is carried out by executing the associated activity implementation.

    Activity implementations may terminate abnormally. If the activity implementation is carried out as a safe application, as described in Production Workflow: Concepts and Techniques, all changes are undone and the activity implementation is restarted. If the activity implementation is not carried out as a safe application, the actions taken by the workflow management system depend on which mechanism has been used to invoke the activity implementation. If the workflow management system recognizes the abnormal termination and puts the activity into an inError state with an appropriate indicator. If the workflow management system can not recognize an abnormal termination, the activity stays in the running state. If a time-out value has been provided, the workflow management system puts the activity into an inError state, when the specified value has been exceeded.

2 Problem Statement

    If the workflow management system itself terminates abnormally (or even the operating system), the workflow management system is brought up again and continues operation. All activity implementations that are carried out as transactions are undone automatically by the transaction manager. They are restarted automatically. Activity implementations that are not carried out as transactions are processed as usual. If, for example, the activity is in the running state and no time-out value is specified, the activity continues to stay in the running state. If a time-out value is specified, the activity eventually reaches the inError state, if none is specified, the activity will stay forever in the running state.

    It has been proposed in a previous technical disclosure Advanced Restart Processing in Workflow Management Systems to flag activities that have a non- safe activity implementation when the workflow management system is restarted. This would then allow a process administrator to check out the status of the activity and take...