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Time-Dependent Adaptation of Workitem Properties in Workflow Management Systems Disclosure Number: IPCOM000013730D
Original Publication Date: 2000-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-18
Document File: 3 page(s) / 87K

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1 Introduction

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  Time-Dependent Adaptation of Workitem Properties in Workflow Management Systems

1 Introduction

    Workflow management systems manage the execution of business processes. In general, these business process are performed in a distributed environment.

  Workflow management, as for example implemented by MQSeries Workflow, involves the three dimensions as shown in Figure 1.

Org tazian ion

Process Logic

IT Infrastructure

Figure 1 Dimensions of Workflow

  The first dimension, the process logic dimension describes the actions to be performed, by whom they have to be performed, with which program they have to be performed, and in which sequence they have to be performed.

  The second dimension describes the organizational structure, the people, the roles the people are playing, and the server the people are assigned to.

The third dimension describes the IT infrastructure, such as


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the workflow servers, and the workstations/programs used by the users.

   The actual execution of a workflow is then a series of points in the three-dimensional workflow space. Each point represents the execution of an activity by one person at one computer using a particular program.

  When the workflow management system reaches an activity during navigation through a process graph, it performs staff resolution for the staff assignment associated with the activity. This staff resolution results in a set of persons, that will be assigned to perform the task. This assignment is indicated to each of the selected persons by assigning a workitem to them. When a user selects a workitem, the task is assigned to the user and the appropriate activity implementation is invoked.

2 State of the Art

    These workitems are typically represented as icons. The representation of the icon shows, at least to a certain extent, the type of work that must be performed. These workitems are made available to the user either upon explicit request or upon being pushed by the workflow management systems onto the user's desktop. When a user wants to work on a particular activity, she clicks on the appropria...