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Business Process Management Demystified: A Tutorial on Models, Systems and Standards for Workflow Management.

van der Aalst, Wil M.P.

In: Lectures on Concurrency and Petri Nets: Advances in Petri Nets, pages 1-65. Volume 3098 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science / Jörg Desel, Wolfgang Reisig, Grzegorz Rozenberg (Eds.) --- Springer-Verlag, June 2004.

Abstract: Over the last decade there has been a shift from ldquodata-awarerdquo information systems to ldquoprocess-awarerdquo information systems. To support business processes an enterprise information system needs to be aware of these processes and their organizational context. Business Process Management (BPM) includes methods, techniques, and tools to support the design, enactment, management, and analysis of such operational business processes. BPM can be considered as an extension of classical Workflow Management (WFM) systems and approaches. This tutorial introduces models, systems, and standards for the design, analysis, and enactment of workflow processes. Petri nets are used for the modeling and analysis of workflows. Using Petri nets as a formal basis, contemporary systems, languages, and standards for BPM and WFM are discussed. Although it is clear that Petri nets can serve as a solid foundation for BPM/WFM technology, in reality systems, languages, and standards are developed in an ad-hoc fashion. To illustrate this XPDL, the ldquoLingua Francardquo proposed by the Workflow Management Coalition (WfMC), is analyzed using a set of 20 basic workflow patterns. This analysis exposes some of the typical semantic problems restricting the application of BPM/WFM technology.

Keywords: Business process management; Workflow management; Workflow management systems; Workflow patterns; XML Process Definition Language(XPDL); Workflow verification.

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