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Method for Improving the Performance of Container Access in A Workflow Management System Disclosure Number: IPCOM000013976D
Original Publication Date: 2000-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-19
Document File: 4 page(s) / 64K

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1 Introduction

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  Method for Improving the Performance of Container Access in A Workflow Management System

1 Introduction

   Workflow management, as for example implemented by MQSeries Workflow , involves the three dimensions as shown in figure1.

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

Figure 1: Dimensions of Workflow

   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.

   When an activity is carried out, the proper implementation is invoked. Figure 2 shows the typical execution of a program activity. It is assumed that the activity is a manual activity, that is it must be started by a user.


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 Worklist .......Workitem



5Input OutputContainerContainer

2 3



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WFMS Activity Implementation


API Call

Container Manager

Access Module

Figure 3: First Method of Implementation

Figure 4 shows a method where the access module is invoked by the workflow management system as the result of a request from the activity implementation.

WFMS Activity Implementation

Figure 4: Second Method of Implementation

   Many more methods are conceivable as variations of these basic methods. In addition, several implementations of the access module are conceivable. Besides being an executable that can be invoked directly, it could be in a form that needs interpretation.

   In both case however, the original API call needs to be replaced by some other API call that either calls the access module directly or indirectly via the workflow management system. Parameters in...