Coordination in workflow management systems — A rule-based approach

  • G. Kappel
  • S. Rausch-Schott
  • W. Retschitzegger
Workflow and Coordination
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1364)


Coordination is a key requirement of software systems where different parts have to be adjusted in order to reach a common goal. A prominent example thereof are workflow management systems (WFMS). They in particular require flexible mechanisms to realize different kinds of coordination, which are called coordination policies. This need for flexibility emerges from the fact that coordination policies in WFMS are subject to frequent changes caused by the business environment. Flexibility is required in different directions, ranging from a dynamic evolution of existing policies to proper reactions to unpredictable situations. Active object-oriented database systems (AOODBS) along with their basic mechanism in terms of Event/Condition/Action (ECA) rules seem to be a promising technology in order to cope with these requirements. ECA rules allow for an event-driven realization of context- and time-dependent behavior which constitutes a major property of coordination policies. By encapsulating coordination policies within ECA rules, general knowledge can be represented independently from specific business processes. This both eases modification of coordination policies and enhances their reusability. To demonstrate the power of this approach, the paper identifies various coordination policies required within different areas of WFMS and outlines their mapping to ECA rules.


Business Process Human Agent Temporal Constraint Software Agent Successor Activity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Kappel
    • 1
  • S. Rausch-Schott
    • 1
  • W. Retschitzegger
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Information SystemsUniversity of LinzLinzAustria

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