WfMC Wf-XML 2.0
Participant Information Sheet
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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.
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: