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Achieving dynamic inter-organizational workflow management by integrating business processes, events and rules

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Abstract

In the competitive global marketplace, business organizations often need to team up and operate as a virtual enterprise to achieve common business goals. Since the business environment of a virtual enterprise is highly dynamic, it is necessary to develop a workflow technology that is capable of handling dynamic workflows across enterprise boundaries. The paper describes a dynamic workflow model and a dynamic workflow management system for modeling and controlling the execution of inter-organizational business processes. The model extends the underlying model of WfMC's WPDL by adding connectors, events, triggers and rules as its modeling constructs, encapsulating activity definitions, and allowing e-service requests as a part of the activity specification. The workflow management system makes use of an event and rule server to trigger business rules during the enactment of workflow processes to enforce business constraints and policies and/or to modify the process model at run-time. It also provides a mechanism to dynamically bind e-service requests to e-services. © 2002 IEEE.