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Hybrid specifications: looking at workflows from a run-time perspective.

Desel, J.; Erwin, T.

In: Computer Systems Science and Engineering, Vol. 15, No. 5, pages 291-302. 2000.

Abstract: Once expected to be one of the key enabling technologies of the 1990s, workflow managements systems (WFMS) have yet failed to become a major success story. One of the most significant deficiencies is the difficulty to capture flexibility of real business processes and workflows in models that are the basis for the enactment of workflow systems. In this paper we describe an approach that looks at building models for workflow systems from a run-time perspective. Instead of trying to capture the whole business process by construction of a model including all or the most common alternatives and exceptions we use a combination of constructive and declarative elements which results in clear and readable models of manageable size. We introduce the concept of hybrid specifications which allows the design of workflow systems where the user has maximum freedom in deciding how to get the work done. The approach is based on Petri nets.

Keywords: Petri nets, hybrid specifications, workflow management.

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