Encyclopedia of Database Systems

Living Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

Workflow Management

  • Nathaniel Palmer
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4899-7993-3_1549-2



The automation of a business process, in whole or part, during which documents, information or tasks are passed from one participant to another for action, according to a set of procedural rules.

Key Points

The automation of a business process is defined within a Process Definition, which identifies the various process activities, procedural rules and associated control data used to manage the workflow during process enactment.

Many individual process instances may be operational during process enactment, each associated with a specific set of data relevant to that individual process instance (or workflow “Case”). A loose distinction is sometimes drawn between production workflow, in which most of the procedural rules are defined in advance, and ad-hoc workflow, in which the procedural rules may be modified or created during the operation of the process.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Workflow Management CoalitionHinghamUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Barbara Pernici
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. di Elettronica e InformazionePolitecnico di MilanoMilanItaly