A Framework for Selecting Workflow Tools in the Context of Composite Information Systems
When an organization faces the need of integrating some workflow-related activities in its information system, it becomes necessary to have at hand some well-defined informational model to be used as a framework for determining the selection criteria onto which the requirements of the organization can be mapped. Some proposals exist that provide such a framework, remarkably the WfMC reference model, but they are designed to be appl icable when workflow tools are selected independently from other software, and departing from a set of well-known requirements. Often this is not the case: workflow facilities are needed as a part of the procurement of a larger, composite information syste m and therefore the general goals of the system have to be analyzed, assigned to its individual components and further detailed. We propose in this paper the MULTSEC method in charge of analyzing the initial goals of the system, determining the types of components that form the system architecture, building quality models for each type and then mapping the goals into detailed requirements which can be measured using quality criteria. We develop in some detail the quality model (compliant with the ISO/IEC 9126-1 quality standard) for the workflow type of tools; we show how the quality model can be used to refine and clarify the requirements in order to guarantee a highly reliable selection result; and we use it to evaluate two particular workflow solutions a- ailable in the market (kept anonymous in the paper). We develop our proposal using a particular selection experience we have recently been involved in, namely the procurement of a document management subsystem to be integrated in an academic data management information system for our university.
KeywordsQuality Attribute Quality Model Requirement Elicitation System Goal Document Management
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