Distributed and Parallel Databases

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 229–247 | Cite as

Exotica/FMDC: A workflow management system for mobile and disconnected clients

  • G. Alonso
  • R. Günthör
  • M. Kamath
  • D. Agrawal
  • A. El Abbadi
  • C. Mohan


Workflow Management Systems (WFMSs) automate the execution of business processes in environments encompassing large numbers of users distributed over a wide geographic area and using heterogeneous resources. Current implementations allow the definition and controlled execution of complex and long lived business processes as the basis for an enterprise-wide collaborative system but, in most cases, the autonomy of the users is greatly restricted due to architectural and design considerations. In particular, existing systems are built around a centralized server. As a result, users need to maintain an uninterrupted connection with the server to perform the different tasks assigned to them. This is a severe restriction, especially when considering the emergence of mobile computing, and the increase in use of laptops and small computers which are connected to the network only occasionally and which will, undoubtedly, be the tool of choice for many users. This paper addresses the problem of supporting disconnected workflow clients in large workflow management systems while still preserving the correctness of the overall execution and allowing coordinated interactions between the different users regardless of their location.

Key words

Workflow Disconnected Operation Mobile Computing 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Alonso
    • 1
  • R. Günthör
    • 2
  • M. Kamath
    • 3
  • D. Agrawal
    • 4
  • A. El Abbadi
    • 4
  • C. Mohan
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceETH-Zürich, ETH-ZentrumZürichSwitzerland
  2. 2.IBM European Networking CenterHeidelbergGermany
  3. 3.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA
  4. 4.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA
  5. 5.IBM Almaden Research CenterSan JoseUSA

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