Advertisement

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

  • Wil M. P. van der Aalst
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3098)

Abstract

Over the last decade there has been a shift from “data-aware” information systems to “process-aware” 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 “Lingua Franca” 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 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    van der Aalst, W.M.P.: Verification of Workflow Nets. In: Azéma, P., Balbo, G. (eds.) ICATPN 1997. LNCS, vol. 1248, Springer, Heidelberg (1997)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    van der Aalst, W.M.P.: Three Good reasons for Using a Petri-net-basedWorkflow Management System. In: Wakayama, T., Kannapan, S., Khoong, C.M., Navathe, S., Yates, J. (eds.) Information and Process Integration in Enterprises: Rethinking Documents. The Kluwer International Series in Engineering and Computer Science, vol. 428, pp. 161–182. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston (1998)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    van der Aalst, W.M.P.: The Application of Petri Nets toWorkflow Management. The Journal of Circuits, Systems and Computers 8(1), 21–66 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    van der Aalst, W.M.P.: Workflow Verification: Finding Control-Flow Errors using Petri-netbased Techniques. In: van der Aalst, W.M.P., Desel, J., Oberweis, A. (eds.) Business Process Management. LNCS, vol. 1806, pp. 161–183. Springer, Heidelberg (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    van der Aalst, W.M.P.: Making Work Flow: On the Application of Petri nets to Business Process Management. In: Esparza, J., Lakos, C.A. (eds.) ICATPN 2002. LNCS, vol. 2360, pp. 1–22. Springer, Heidelberg (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    van der Aalst, W.M.P.: Don’t go with the flow:Web services composition standards exposed. IEEE Intelligent Systems 18(1), 72–76 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    van der Aalst, W.M.P., Basten, T.: Inheritance of Workflows: An Approach to Tackling Problems Related to Change. Theoretical Computer Science 270(1-2), 125–203 (2002)zbMATHCrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    van der Aalst, W.M.P., Berens, P.J.S.: Beyond Workflow Management: Product-Driven Case Handling. In: Ellis, S., Rodden, T., Zigurs, I. (eds.) International ACM SIGGROUP Conference on Supporting Group Work (GROUP 2001), pp. 42–51. ACM Press, New York (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    van der Aalst, W.M.P., Desel, J., Kindler, E.: On the Semantics of EPCs: A Vicious Circle. In: Nüttgens, M., Rump, F.J. (eds.) Proceedings of the EPK 2002: Business Process Management using EPCs, Trier, Germany, November 2002, pp. 71–80. Gesellschaft für Informatik, Bonn (2002)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    van der Aalst, W.M.P., Desel, J., Oberweis, A. (eds.): Business Process Management. LNCS, vol. 1806. Springer, Heidelberg (2000)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    van der Aalst, W.M.P., Dumas, M., ter Hofstede, A.H.M., Wohed, P.: Pattern-Based Analysis of BPML (and WSCI). QUT Technical report, FIT-TR-2002-05, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane (2002)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    van der Aalst, W.M.P., van Hee, K.M.: Workflow Management: Models, Methods, and Systems. MIT press, Cambridge (2002)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    van der Aalst, W.M.P., ter Hofstede, A.H.M.: Workflow Patterns: On the Expressive Power of (Petri-net-based) Workflow Languages. In: Jensen, K. (ed.) Proceedings of the Fourth Workshop on the Practical Use of Coloured Petri Nets and CPN Tools (CPN 2002), Aarhus, Denmark, August 2002. DAIMI, vol. 560, pp. 1–20. University of Aarhus,Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    van der Aalst, W.M.P., ter Hofstede, A.H.M.: YAWL: Yet Another Workflow Language. QUT Technical report, FIT-TR-2002-06, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane (2002)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    van der Aalst, W.M.P., ter Hofstede, A.H.M., Kiepuszewski, B., Barros, A.P.: Workflow Patterns. Distributed and Parallel Databases 14(1), 5–51 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    van der Aalst, W.M.P., ter Hofstede, A.H.M., Weske, M. (eds.): BPM 2003. LNCS, vol. 2678, pp. 1–12. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    van der Aalst, W.M.P., van Dongen, B.F., Herbst, J., Maruster, L., Schimm, G., Weijters, A.J.M.M.: Workflow Mining: A Survey of Issues and Approaches. Data and Knowledge Engineering 47(2), 237–267 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    van der Aalst, W.M.P., van Hee, K.M., van der Toorn, R.A.: Component-Based Software Architectures: A Framework Based on Inheritance of Behavior. Science of Computer Programming 42(2-3), 129–171 (2002)zbMATHCrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    van der Aalst, W.M.P., Weijters, A.J.M.M. (eds.): Process Mining, Special Issue of Computers in Industry, vol. 53(3). Elsevier Science Publishers, Amsterdam (2004)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Arkin, A., Askary, S., Fordin, S., Jekel, W., et al.: Web Service Choreography Interface (WSCI) 1.0. Standards propsal by BEA Systems, Intalio, SAP, and Sun Microsystems (2002)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Arkin, A., et al.: Business Process Modeling Language (BPML), Version 1.0 (2002)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Athena, P.: Case Handling with FLOWer: Beyond workflow. Pallas Athena BV, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands (2002)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Barkaoui, K., Couvreur, J.M., Dutheillet, C.: On liveness in Extended Non Self- Controlling Nets. In: DeMichelis, G., Díaz, M. (eds.) ICATPN 1995. LNCS, vol. 935, pp. 25–44. Springer, Heidelberg (1995)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Billington, J., et al.: The Petri Net Markup Language: Concepts, Technology, and Tools. In: van der Aalst, W.M.P., Best, E. (eds.) ICATPN 2003. LNCS, vol. 2679, pp. 483–506. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Casonato, R.: Gartner Group Research Note 00057684, Production-Class Workflow: A View of the Market (1998), http://www.gartner.com
  26. 26.
    Cheng, A., Esparza, J., Palsberg, J.: Complexity results for 1-safe nets. In: Shyamasundar, R.K. (ed.) FSTTCS 1993. LNCS, vol. 761, pp. 326–337. Springer, Heidelberg (1993)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Curbera, F., Goland, Y., Klein, J., Leymann, F., Roller, D., Thatte, S., Weerawarana, S.: Business Process Execution Language for Web Services, Version 1.0. Standards propsal by BEA Systems, International Business Machines Corporation, and Microsoft Corporation (2002)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Dehnert, J.: A Methodology for Workflow Modeling: From Business Process Modeling Towards Sound Workflow Specification. PhD thesis, TU Berlin, Berlin, Germany (2003)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Desel, J.: A proof of the Rank theorem for extended free-choice nets. In: Jensen, K. (ed.) ICATPN 1992. LNCS, vol. 616, pp. 134–153. Springer, Heidelberg (1992)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    J. Desel and J. Esparza. Free Choice Petri Nets, volume 40 of Cambridge Tracts in Theoretical Computer Science. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 1995. Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Dumas, M., ter Hofstede, A.H.M.: UML activity diagrams as a workflow specification language. In: Gogolla, M., Kobryn, C. (eds.) UML 2001. LNCS, vol. 2185, pp. 76–90. Springer, Heidelberg (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Ellis, C.A.: Information Control Nets: A Mathematical Model of Office Information Flow. In: Proceedings of the Conference on Simulation, Measurement and Modeling of Computer Systems, Boulder, Colorado, pp. 225–240. ACM Press, New York (1979)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Ellis, C.A., Nutt, G.: Workflow: The Process Spectrum. In: Sheth, A. (ed.) Proceedings of the NSF Workshop on Workflow and Process Automation in Information Systems, Athens, Georgia, May 1996, pp. 140–145 (1996)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Eshuis, R., Dehnert, J.: Reactive Petri nets for Workflow Modeling. In: van der Aalst, W.M.P., Best, E. (eds.) ICATPN 2003. LNCS, vol. 2679, pp. 295–314. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Esparza, J.: Synthesis rules for Petri nets, and how they can lead to new results. In: Baeten, J.C.M., Klop, J.W. (eds.) CONCUR 1990. LNCS, vol. 458, pp. 182–198. Springer, Heidelberg (1990)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Esparza, J., Silva, M.: Circuits, Handles, Bridges and Nets. In: Rozenberg, G. (ed.) APN 1990. LNCS, vol. 483, pp. 210–242. Springer, Heidelberg (1991)Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Fischer, L. (ed.): Workflow Handbook 2001, Workflow Management Coalition. Future Strategies, Lighthouse Point, Florida (2001)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Fischer, L. (ed.): Workflow Handbook, Workflow Management Coalition. Future Strategies, Lighthouse Point, Florida (2003)Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Gartner. Gartner’s Application Development and Maintenance Research Note M-16-8153, The BPA Market Cathes another Major Updraft (2002), http://www.gartner.com
  40. 40.
    Georgakopoulos, D., Hornick, M., Sheth, A.: An Overview of Workflow Management: From Process Modeling to Workflow Automation Infrastructure. Distributed and Parallel Databases 3, 119–153 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    van Glabbeek, R.J., Stork, D.G.: Query Nets: Interacting Workflow Modules that Ensure Global Termination. In: van der Aalst, W.M.P., ter Hofstede, A.H.M., Weske, M. (eds.) BPM 2003. LNCS, vol. 2678, pp. 184–199. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Object Management Group. OMG Unified Modeling Language 2.0 Proposal, Revised submission to OMG RFPs ad/00-09-01 and ad/00-09-02, Version 0.671. OMG (2002), http://www.omg.com/uml/
  43. 43.
    Hack, M.H.T.: Analysis production schemata by Petri nets. Master’s thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass (1972)Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    van Hee, K., Sidorova, N., Voorhoeve, M.: Soundness and Separability ofWorkflow Nets in the Stepwise Refinement Approach. In: van der Aalst, W.M.P., Best, E. (eds.) ICATPN 2003. LNCS, vol. 2679, pp. 335–354. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Holt, W.: Coordination Technology and Petri Nets. In: Rozenberg, G. (ed.) APN 1985. LNCS, vol. 222, Springer, Heidelberg (1986)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    IBM. IBM MQSeries Workflow - Getting Started With Buildtime. IBM Deutschland Entwicklung GmbH, Boeblingen, Germany (1999) Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    IDS Scheer. ARIS Process Performance Manager (ARIS PPM) (2002) http://www.ids-scheer.com
  48. 48.
    Jablonski, S., Bussler, C.: Workflow Management: Modeling Concepts, Architecture, and Implementation. International Thomson Computer Press, London (1996)Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Jensen, K.: Coloured Petri Nets: A High Level Language for System Design and Analysis. In: Rozenberg, G. (ed.) APN 1990. LNCS, vol. 483, pp. 342–416. Springer, Heidelberg (1991)Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Jensen, K.: Coloured Petri Nets. Basic Concepts, Analysis Methods and Practical Use. EATCS monographs on Theoretical Computer Science, vol. 1. Springer, Heidelberg (1997)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Kiepuszewski, B.: Expressiveness and Suitability of Languages for Control Flow Modelling in Workflows. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia (2003), Available via http://www.tm.tue.nl/it/research/patterns
  52. 52.
    Kiepuszewski, B., ter Hofstede, A.H.M., van der Aalst, W.M.P.: Fundamentals of Control Flow in Workflows. Acta Informatica 39(3), 143–209 (2003)zbMATHCrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Kindler, E., van der Aalst, W.M.P.: Liveness, Fairness, and Recurrence. Information Processing Letters 70(6), 269–274 (1999)zbMATHCrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Kindler, E., Martens, A., Reisig, W.: Inter-Operability of Workflow Applications: Local Criteria for Global Soundness. In: van der Aalst, W.M.P., Desel, J., Oberweis, A. (eds.) Business Process Management. LNCS, vol. 1806, pp. 235–253. Springer, Heidelberg (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Lawrence, P. (ed.): Workflow Handbook, Workflow Management Coalition. JohnWiley and Sons, New York (1997)Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    Leymann, F.: Web Services Flow Language, Version 1.0 (2001)Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    Leymann, F., Roller, D.: Production Workflow: Concepts and Techniques. Prentice-Hall PTR, Upper Saddle River (1999)Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Marinescu, D.C.: Internet-Based Workflow Management: Towards a Semantic Web. Wiley Series on Parallel and Distributed Computing, vol. 40. Wiley-Interscience, New York (2002)Google Scholar
  59. 59.
    Ajmone Marsan, M., Balbo, G., Conte, G., et al.: Modelling with Generalized Stochastic Petri Nets. Wiley series in parallel computing. Wiley, New York (1995)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Martens, A.: On Compatibility of Web Services. Petri Net Newsletter 65, 12–20 (2003)Google Scholar
  61. 61.
    Zur Muehlen, M.: Workflow-based Process Controlling: Foundation, Design and Application of workflow-driven Process Information Systems, Logos, Berlin (2004)Google Scholar
  62. 62.
    Reisig, W.: Petri Nets: An Introduction, volume 4 of EATCSMonographs in Theoretical Computer Science. Springer, Berlin (1985)Google Scholar
  63. 63.
    Reisig, W., Rozenberg, G. (eds.): APN 1998. LNCS, vol. 1491. Springer, Heidelberg (1998)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  64. 64.
    Sadiq, W., Orlowska, M.E.: Analyzing Process Models using Graph Reduction Techniques. Information Systems 25(2), 117–134 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. 65.
    Shapiro, R.: A Comparison of XPDL, BPML and BPEL4WS, Version 1.4 (2002), http://xml.coverpages.org/Shapiro-XPDL.pdf
  66. 66.
    Software-Ley. COSA User Manual. Software-Ley GmbH. Pullheim, Germany (1998)Google Scholar
  67. 67.
    Software-Ley. COSA 3.0 User Manual. Software-Ley GmbH, Pullheim, Germany (1999)Google Scholar
  68. 68.
    Staab, S., van der Aalst, W., Benjamins, V.R., Sheth, A., Miller, J., Bussler, C., Maedche, A., Fensel, D., Gannon, D.: Web Services: Been There, Done That (Trends and Controversies). IEEE Intelligent Systems 18(1), 72–85 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. 69.
    Staffware. Staffware 2000 / GWD User Manual. Staffware plc, Berkshire, United Kingdom (2000)Google Scholar
  70. 70.
    Thatte, S.: XLANG Web Services for Business Process Design (2001)Google Scholar
  71. 71.
    van der Toorn, R.: Component-Based Software Design with Petri nets: An Approach Based on Inheritance of Behavior. PhD thesis, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands (2004)Google Scholar
  72. 72.
    Verbeek, H.M.W.: Verification and Enactment of Workflow Management Systems (submitted). PhD thesis, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands (2004)Google Scholar
  73. 73.
    Verbeek, H.M.W., Basten, T., van der Aalst, W.M.P.: Diagnosing Workflow Processes using Woflan. The Computer Journal 44(4), 246–279 (2001)zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. 74.
    WFMC. Workflow Management Coalition Workflow Standard: Interface 1 – Process Definition Interchange Process Model (WFMC-TC-1016). Technical report, Workflow Management Coalition, Lighthouse Point, Florida, USA (1999)Google Scholar
  75. 75.
    WFMC.WorkflowManagement CoalitionWorkflow Standard:Workflow Process Definition Interface – XML Process Definition Language (XPDL) (WFMC-TC-1025). Technical report, Workflow Management Coalition, Lighthouse Point, Florida, USA (2002)Google Scholar
  76. 76.
    Wohed, P., van der Aalst, W.M.P., Dumas, M., ter Hofstede, A.H.M.: Pattern-Based Analysis of BPEL4WS. QUT Technical report, FIT-TR-2002-04, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane (2002)Google Scholar
  77. 77.
    Wohed, P., van der Aalst, W.M.P., Dumas, M., ter Hofstede, A.H.M.: Analysis of Web Services Composition Languages: The Case of BPEL4WS. In: Song, I.-Y., Liddle, S.W., Ling, T.-W., Scheuermann, P. (eds.) ER 2003. LNCS, vol. 2813, pp. 200–215. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. 78.
    Zisman, M.D.: Representation, Specification and Automation of Office Procedures. PhD thesis, University of Pennsylvania, Warton School of Business (1977)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wil M. P. van der Aalst
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Technology ManagementEindhoven University of TechnologyEindhovenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations