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Method for supporting multiple devices for users of Workflow Managment Systems

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000014645D
Original Publication Date: 1999-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
Document File: 4 page(s) / 65K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Frank Leymann: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

1 Introduction Workflow management systems support the definition and execution of business processes (*). Those business processes are made up of a set of activities. The sequence in which these activities are executed is specified via control connectors. Control connectors connect one activity, the source activity, with another activity, the target activity. Each activity is associated with a staff assignment. When the activity is processed during execution, this staff assignment is resolved into a set of person. Each of the selected persons is assigned a workitem, that when selected causes the appropriate activity implementation to be invoked. 2 State of the Art

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  Method for supporting multiple devices for users of Workflow Managment Systems

1 Introduction

Workflow management systems support the definition and execution of business processes (*). Those business processes are made up of a set of activities. The sequence in which these activities are executed is specified via control connectors. Control connectors connect one activity, the source activity, with another activity, the target activity.

     Each activity is associated with a staff assignment. When the activity is processed during execution, this staff assignment is resolved into a set of person. Each of the selected persons is assigned a workitem, that when selected causes the appropriate activity implementation to be invoked.

2 State of the Art

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.

     Typically the task of viewing worklists with the respective workitems and carrying out the activity implementations is done using a standard (stationary) PC.

3 Problem Statement

However, mobile devices such as PalmPilots or Cellular Phones with built-in monitors, are becoming more and more pervasive. They are used more and more as devices by participants of business processes that are managed by workflow management systems. Several scenarios exist for this type of devices:

Delivery people, for example, collect customer information, such as the number of bottles delivered to a customer Sales people, for example, load information about the customers to visit.

An insurance sales representative could load the appropriate insurance information. When a new insurance policy needs to be written, all information is collected. When at home or when contact to the insurance company's server can be established, the appropriate insurance business process is started automatically.

Users with mobile devices typically not just use the mobile device but also a non-mobile device, such as a standard PC. Thus it must be possible to define which device should be used. In addition, it must be possible to specify the characteristics of the workstation because they determine the support that can be provided to users.

4 Proposed Solution

The problems can be solved by enriching the meta model of the workflow management system and adding new functions to support these new meta model constructs.

4.1 Definition of Workstations

Each device, such as a PC, workstation, mobile phone, or a PDA, that is used by a user in interacting with the workflow management system. A workstation has a name by which it is addressed by the workflow management...