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WfMC Wf-XML 2.0

Demonstration Scenario

Participant Information Sheet

To become a OBSERVER, please register here.

Download the Participant Information Sheet (373kb in WinWord)

1         Overview

The Workflow management Coalition (WfMC) Working Group 4 is assembling a demonstration of products that have implemented the Wf-XML protocol in March 2005. We are looking for organizations to participate in this demonstration by implementing the scenario described within this document.

Wf-XML is a web services protocol that can be used to a process engine remotely for the purpose of sending or retrieving the process definitions.  Most people are aware that various process definition languages have been developed in recent years; most famously is OASIS WS-BPEL, but equally notable is WfMC XPDL, as well as other specialized process definition languages.  The process definitions that are described by these languages are expected to be installed into a process engine for execution.  The language itself naturally does not define how to install the definition into the engine.  Instead, this is the role of Wf-XML.

The central concept is that there will be process design tools that specialize in allowing a user to edit a process definition which can consume and produce in a standard format.  There will be process engines that can execute it.  The process design tool uses Wf-XML to first list the process definitions that are loaded into the process engine, and then to retrieve a particular process definition.  Wf-XML also provides a way to update the process definition, as well as to install new process definitions.

In 2004 the WfMC staged a number of demonstrations of ASAP on top of which Wf-XML sits. The scenario used in these demonstrations was based on an example of a supply chain process where a customer orders a product from a retailer who in turn may need to order the product to be manufactured by a manufacturing organization.

The scenario for the February 2005 demonstration uses the same types of organization in the example but is centered on the exchange of business process rather than the execution of the business process. In this scenario it is assumed that the owner of the business process wants to review the business process, make a modification and then submit the business process back to the business process engine. It is assumed that the design environment for the business process is remote from the execution environment. The design environment could be a process modeling product or could be a development instance of a Workflow or Business Process Management engine.

2         Scenario

As outlined above the owner of the process wants to review a process and subsequently make a modification. The actions that the process owner initiates are:

 

         Get a list of existing processes

         Select a process to be edited

         Download the process

         Modify the process

         Upload the process to the BPM/Workflow engine

 

These actions are equally applicable to the Retailer and Manufacturer. However, since some participants support WfMC’s XDPL and others do not, the demonstration scenario will allow for this. Participants who support XPDL should interact with the Retailer whilst those who do not support XPDL should interact with a Manufacturer. Therefore, ideally all participants who support XPDL will be able to exchange process definitions with any of the other participants who support XPDL. Those participants who do not support XPDL will need to work with another participant whose product understands the same process definition language.

 

The following sections translate the above operations into the appropriate Wf-XML interactions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Modeling Tool or BPM Engine

 

 

 

 

 

BPM Engine

List Process Definitions

Download Process Definition

 

Upload Process Definition

 

 

 

2.1      Get List of Existing Process Definitions

The process owner needs to see a list of the processes that are currently hosted on the BPM/Workflow engine.

 

To obtain a list of process definitions the process owner issues a ListDefinitionsRq and in return the BPM/Workflow Engine responds with ListDefinitionsRs containing the list of available process definitions including their names, Description and Current Version.

 

The request to get a list of process definitions would look like this:

 

 


 

The response containing the list of process definitions might look like this:

 


 

2.2      Select and Download a Process Definition

The process owner selects the required process definition and retrieves the process by issuing a GetDefinitionRq. In response the BPM/Workflow Engine issues a GetDefinitionRs that includes the requested process definition.

 

The request to download a process definition might look like:

 

 

The response containing the requested process definition might look like:

 

 

2.3      Modify the Process Definition

Once downloaded from the BPM/Workflow Engine the process definition is modified by the process owner before being uploaded back to the BPM/Workflow Engine.

 

2.4      Upload the Modified Process

To upload the modified process definition the process owner issues a SetDefinitionRq the body of which contains the process definition. In response the BPM/Workflow Engine issues a SetDefinitionRs.

 

The request to upload the modified process definition might look like:

 

 


 

The BPM/Workflow Engine’s response to the process definition upload might look like:

 

2.5      New process Definitions

In some cases it may be more appropriate for the process owner to supply a completely new process definition rather than download an existing process definition, modify it and upload it again to the BPM/Workflow Engine.

In this case the process owner will issue a NewDefinitionRq the body of which will contain the new process definition. The BPM/Engine will respond with a NewDefinitionRs.

The request to upload a new process definition light look like:

The BPM/Workflow Engine’s response to the new process definition upload would be:

 

 

3         References

The following web page on the WfMC web site (http://www.wfmc.org) is a good source of information to assist in implementing ASAP and Wf-XML 2.0:

http://www.wfmc.org/standards/wfxml_demo.htm

 This page contains a number of resources:

  1. Current draft of the Wf-XML 2.0 specification.
  1. Demonstration scenario that was used for the June 2004 ASAP demonstration.
  1. ASAP/Wf-XML 2.0 Cookbook (in Workflow Handbook 2004)
  1. A copy of the current committee draft of the ASAP specification along with supporting schemas and WSDL files. These files are formally located on the ASAP section of the OASIS Web site (http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/asap).
  1. The OASIS site also has a good overview of Wf-XML (http://xml.coverpages.org/wf-xml.html).

If you are interested in being included as an participant (not simply an observer) of this demonstration, please complete this form and submit. We will contact you contact shortly with additional information.

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I want to be a PARTICIPANT in this important Wf-XML demonstration:
(complete this signup form by May 15, and read carefully all the guidelines below).
 
Name:
Title:
Company:
Country:
Email: (is email address accurate?)


Select the scenario/role in which you want to participate.
Any one or more of the following may be chosen:
 

Yes a. client role (Customer) for either test scenario
Yes b.   server role for ASAP test (Retailer)
Yes c. server/client role for Wf-XML test (Retailer)
Yes d. server role for Wf-XML test (Manufacturer)


Note: Improper entries will be discarded

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To become a OBSERVER, please register here.

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More information on Wf-XML and ASAP can be found at:
 http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/asap
 

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A good resource is the OASIS Cover Page on the subject:
http://xml.coverpages.org/wf-xml.html
 

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Wf-XML 2.0 (October 2003)
ASAP_WfXML_2003_10.zip (zipped 158kb)
XML Based Protocol for Run-Time Integration of Process Engines
This document will:
bullet

Provide an executive overview

bullet

Specify the goals of WF-XML as an extension of AWSP.

bullet

Explain how resource (object) model works and how URIs are used to invoke methods of those resources.

bullet

Specify preliminary details of the interface methods and parameters
The discussion forum for feedback has been set up
at
www.workflow-research.de/Forums.
 

bullet

AWSP (Asynchronous Web Services Protocol )  June 2002
(awsp-2002-04-05.zip).( zipped 53kb.)
At the San Francisco meeting, AWSP (Asynchronous Web Services Protocol -  http://www.awsp.info/) was presented and found to meet all the goals that had been identified at the Muenster meeting.  These goals specifically were:
bullet

Layer on top of SOAP

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Use XML Schema representation

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Multiple Observers

bullet

Subscribe/Unsubscribe

bullet

Set process instance data

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