Microflows: Automated Planning and Enactment of Dynamic Workflows Comprising Semantically-Annotated Microservices

  • Roy OberhauserEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 275)


Businesses are under increasing pressure to quickly and flexibly adapt their business processes to external and internal software and other changes. Furthermore, to address the rapid change and deployment of software functionality, microservices have emerged as a popular architectural style for partitioning business logic into small services accessible with lightweight mechanisms, resulting in a higher degree of dynamic integration of information services with processes. Current process-aware information systems tend to rely on manually pre-configured static process models and during process enactment exhibit challenges in reacting to unforeseen dynamic changes. This paper presents Microflows, an automatic lightweight declarative approach for the workflow-centric orchestration of semantically-annotated microservices using agent-based clients, graph-based methods, and the lightweight semantic vocabularies JSON-LD and Hydra. A case study shows approach’s advantages for automating workflow modeling and enactment in a dynamic microservice environment.


Workflow management systems Microservices Service orchestration Agent systems Semantic technology 



The author thanks Florian Sorg and Sebastian Stigler for their assistance with the design, implementation, evaluation, and diagrams.


  1. Alpers, S., Becker, C., Oberweis, A., Schuster, T.: Microservice based tool support for business process modelling. In: 2015 IEEE 19th International Enterprise Distributed Object Computing Workshop (EDOCW), pp. 71–78. IEEE (2015)Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, C., Suarez, I., Xu, Y., David, K.: An ontology-based reasoning framework for context-aware applications. In: Christiansen, H., Stojanovic, I., Papadopoulos, George A. (eds.) CONTEXT 2015. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 9405, pp. 471–476. Springer, Cham (2015). doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-25591-0_34 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bouguettaya, A., Sheng, Q.Z., Daniel, F.: Web Services Foundations. Springer, New York (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bratman, M.E., Israel, D.J., Pollack, M.E.: Plans and resource-bounded practical reasoning. Comput. Intell. 4(3), 349–355 (1988)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Eureka. Retrieved 20 April 2016
  6. Fielding, R.T.: Architectural Styles and the Design of Network-based Software Architectures. Doctoral dissertation, University of California, Irvine (2000)Google Scholar
  7. Florio, L.: Decentralized self-adaptation in large-scale distributed systems. In: Proceedings of the 2015 10th Joint Meeting on Foundations of Software Engineering, pp. 1022–1025. ACM (2015)Google Scholar
  8. Fowler, M., Lewis, J.: Microservices a definition of this new architectural term (2014). Retrieved 15 April 2016
  9. Gartner: Gartner Says Spending on Business Process Management Suites to Reach $2.7 Billion in 2015 as Organizations Digitalize Processes (2015). Retrieved 15 April 2016
  10. Heitmann, B., Cyganiak, R., Hayes, C., Decker, S.: An empirically grounded conceptual architecture for applications on the web of data. IEEE Trans. Syst. Man Cybern. Part C: Appl. Rev. 42(1), 51–60 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. IBM: IBM Business Process Manager V8.5.6 documentation (2015). Retrieved 2 May 2016
  12. Karagiannis, G., Jamakovic, A., Edmonds, A., Parada, C., Metsch, T., Pichon, D., Bohnert, T.M.: Mobile cloud networking: virtualisation of cellular networks. In: 2014 21st International Conference on Telecommunications (ICT), pp. 410–415. IEEE (2014)Google Scholar
  13. Lanthaler, M.: Creating 3rd generation web APIs with hydra. In: Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on World Wide Web Companion. International World Wide Web Conferences Steering Committee, pp. 35–38 (2013)Google Scholar
  14. Lanthaler, M., Gütl, C.: On using JSON-LD to create evolvable RESTful services. In: Proceedings of the Third International Workshop on RESTful Design, pp. 25–32. ACM (2012)Google Scholar
  15. Lanthaler, M., Gütl, C.: Hydra: A vocabulary for hypermedia-driven web APIs. In: Proceedings of the 6th Workshop on Linked Data on the Web (LDOW2013) at the 22nd International World Wide Web Conference (WWW 2013), vol. 996 (2013)Google Scholar
  16. Martin, D., et al.: OWL-S: Semantic markup for web services. W3C (2004). Retrieved 24 March 2017
  17. Oberhauser, R.: Microflows: Lightweight automated planning and enactment of workflows comprising semantically-annotated microservices. In: Proceedings of the Sixth International Symposium on Business Modeling and Software Design (BMSD 2016), pp. 134–143. SCITEPRESS (2016)Google Scholar
  18. Pesic, M., Schonenberg, H., van der Aalst, W.M.: Declare: Full support for loosely-structured processes. In: 2007 11th IEEE International Enterprise Distributed Object Computing Conference, EDOC 2007, pp. 287–287. IEEE (2007)Google Scholar
  19. Pokahr, A., Braubach, L., Lamersdorf, W.: Jadex: A BDI reasoning engine. In: Bordini, R.H., Dastani, M., Dix, J., El Fallah Seghrouchni, A. (eds.) Multi-agent Programming. Multiagent Systems, Artificial Societies, and Simulated Organizations, vol. 15, pp. 149–174. Springer, Heidelberg (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Rajasekar, A., Wan, M., Moore, R., Schroeder, W.: Micro-Services: A service-oriented paradigm for. data intensive distributed computing. In: Challenges and Solutions for Large-scale Information Management, pp. 74–93. IGI Global (2012)Google Scholar
  21. Rao, J., Su, X.: A survey of automated web service composition methods. In: Cardoso, J., Sheth, A. (eds.) SWSWPC 2004. LNCS, vol. 3387, pp. 43–54. Springer, Heidelberg (2005). doi: 10.1007/978-3-540-30581-1_5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Sheng, Q.Z., et al.: Web services composition: A decade’s overview. Inf. Sci. 280, 218–238 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Toffetti, G., Brunner, S., Blöchlinger, M., Dudouet, F., Edmonds, A.: An architecture for self-managing microservices. In: Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Automated Incident Management in Cloud, pp. 19–24. ACM (2015)Google Scholar
  24. WfMC: Workflow Management Coalition: Terminology & Glossary. WFMC-TC-1011, Issue 3.0 (1999)Google Scholar
  25. Wooldridge, M.: An Introduction to Multiagent Systems. Wiley, New York (2009)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Computer Science DepartmentAalen UniversityAalenGermany

Personalised recommendations