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Inheritance of Business Processes: Four Problems - One Solution.

van der Aalst, W.M.P.

In: Weber, H.; Ehrig, H.; Reisig, W.: Proceedings of the Colloquium on Petri Net Technologies for Modelling Communication Based Systems, pages 1-28. Berlin, Germany: Fraunhofer-Institute for Software and Systems Engineering (ISST), October 1999.

Also in: Cummins, F.: Proceedings of the Second OOPSLA Workshop on the Implementation and Application of Object-Oriented Workflow Management Systems, pages 1-22. Denver, Colorado, 1999. Available at

Also in: Colloquium on Petri Net Technologies for Modelling Communication Based Systems, October 21-22, 1999, pages 1-27. 1999.

Abstract: The new millennium is characterized by speed and distribution in every aspect of most business and organization undertaking. Organizations are challenged to bring ideas and concepts to products and services in an ever-increasing pace. Companies distributed by space, time and capabilities come together to deliver products and solutions for which there is any need in the global marketplace. This creates new opportunities but also poses new problems. In this paper we will address four problems directly related to changing business processes in the networked economy. Two of the problems addressed surface when existing workflow specifications are changed: the dynamic change problem and the management information problem. The third problem refers to coordination problems in inter-organizational workflows. The fourth problem becomes relevant when predefined workflow specifications are customized for a particular business situation. This paper will show that these problems have common characteristics. Moreover, we will point out that an approach based on inheritance of dynamic behavior provides a partial solution for each of the problems.

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