A Workflow Management System for Coordinating Distributed Information-Based Business Processes

Diogo Ferreira and J. J. Pinto Ferreira

In its on-going effort to define, specify and build telework co-ordination system, the Telework Interest Group (GIT) at FEUP1-DEEC2 has realized the need for workflow management system that must be able to support business processes that rely on geographically distributed co-operative work. Telework is an innovative form of work organization for decentralized or information-based organizational structures whose tasks are independent of their location of execution. However, this organizational practice demands an efficient business process coordination or, to be more specific, demands a workflow management system. The initial goal of our group was to develop a prototype of a workflow enactment service for telework coordination. That prototype, however, has turned out to be a sufficiently generic tool capable of coping with broad range of distributed information-based processes. In this paper, we present the main components of the software service we have developed, we discuss its principles and its simple architecture and we offer some insight into how it may be used as a workflow management system for coordinating distributed information-based business processes.

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