Improved Workflow Management System based on XPDL

F. Puente, A. Rivero, J.D. Sandoval, P. Hernández, and C.J. Molina (Spain)


Workflow, Workflow Engine, graphical editor, process definition.


Workflow applications are rapidly becoming a key tool in companies all over the world. These tools provide automation of common processes inside our information system allowing us to specify the actions to accomplish for each case. Through this paper we will describe our own implementation which tries to solve some deficiencies that can be found in most workflow applications at the present time. One of these deficiencies in most workflow applications is the use of propietary protocols, forcing the user to create or use special interfaces to communicate with other applications. This could be avoided using a standard such as XPDL [1][2] which is available since October 2002. Also, these applications tend to be complicated for non experts, lacking a simple and intuitive graphical interface for the definition and edition of processes. We have not only taken care of the user interface and the use of standards that provide compatibility with other workflow applications. Other parts have been worked out to improve the productivity, such as an optimized workflow kernel, statistical reports and logs, and even connectivity with any other application. In sum, we have developed a powerful and flexible open workflow architecture that can be used for any kind of company, no matter the size or activity they have. Through this paper we will try to give a general overview of our workflow tool and the XPDL standard that has been used for its implementation.

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