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Path suspension in workflow management systems

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000030808D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Aug-27
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Aug-27
Document File: 2 page(s) / 6K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Workflow management systems support the definition and execution of business processes. The major constructs in drawing processes are activities and control links. The activities describe the tasks to be performed, and the control links describe the potential sequence in which the activities are to be carried out. A particular set of activities and control links is called a process model. An instance of such a process model is called a process instance. Users can control the execution of process instance via life cycle commands, such a terminate to terminate a process instance, or suspend to suspend execution of a process instance. Both life cycle commands terminate and suspend typically operate on the process instance as a whole; if the workflow management system supports the notion of scopes, then the commands may also operate on the scope. In many cases however this is not granular enough. It is proposed to add modifications of those commands that operate on particular paths within the process model.

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Path suspension in workflow management systems Path suspension in workflow management systemsPath suspension in workflow management systems Path suspension in workflow management systems

Workflow management systems support the definition and execution of business processes. The major constructs in drawing processes are activities and control links. The activities describe the tasks to be performed, and the control links describe the potential sequence in which the activities are to be carried out . A particular set of activities and control links is called a process model . The typical language to describe such a process model is Business Process Execution Language for Web Services (BPEL4WS) which is an emerging standard for business processes.

    Suppose we have a simple business process, that starts with an activity A. When A completes, two subsequent activities B and C are carried out in parallel . After B has completed, activity D is carried out. After D and C are completed, activity E is carried out. Thus, we would have five links, one from A to B, one from B to D, one from A to C, one from D to E, and one from C to E . One would model this in BPEL as follows (note that we use the generic notation activity which stands for all types of valid BPEL activities) :

<flow>

<links>

    <link name="A2B"/> <link name="A2C"/> <link name="B2D"/> <link name="C2E"/> <link name="D2E"/> </links> <activity name="A">

    <source linkName="A2B"/> <source linkName="A2C"/> </activity> <activity name="B">

    <target linkName="A2B"/> <source linkName="B2D"/> </activity> <activity name="C">

    <target linkName="A2C"/> <source linkName="C2E"/> </activity> <activity name="D">

    <target linkName="B2D"/> <source linkName="D2E"/> </activity> <activity name="E">

         <target linkName="D2E"/> <target linkName="C2E"/> </activity> </flow>

    The shown business process has two paths that are potentially being executed in...