Distributed and Parallel Databases

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 119-153

An overview of workflow management: From process modeling to workflow automation infrastructure

  • Diimitrios GeorgakopoulosAffiliated withGTE Laboratories Incorporated
  • , Mark HornickAffiliated withGTE Laboratories Incorporated
  • , Amit ShethAffiliated withLSDIS Lab, Department of C.S., University of Georgia

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Today's business enterprises must deal with global competition, reduce the cost of doing business, and rapidly develop new services and products. To address these requirements enterprises must constantly reconsider and optimize the way they do business and change their information systems and applications to support evolving business processes. Workflow technology facilitates these by providing methodologies and software to support (i) business process modeling to capture business processes as workflow specifications, (ii) business process reengineering to optimize specified processes, and (iii) workflow automation to generate workflow implementations from workflow specifications. This paper provides a high-level overview of the current workflow management methodologies and software products. In addition, we discuss the infrastructure technologies that can address the limitations of current commercial workflow technology and extend the scope and mission of workflow management systems to support increased workflow automation in complex real-world environments involving heterogeneous, autonomous, and distributed information systems. In particular, we discuss how distributed object management and customized transaction management can support further advances in the commercial state of the art in this area.


Business Process Re-engineering Workflow Systems Customized Transaction Management