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Business Suitability Principles for Workflow Modelling

by   Alistair P. Barros, et al.

By incorporating aspects of coordination and collaboration, workflow implementations of information systems require a sound conceptualisation of business processing semantics. Traditionally, the success of conceptual modelling techniques has depended largely on the adequacy of conceptualisation, expressive power, comprehensibility and formal foundation. An equally important requirement, particularly with the increased conceptualisation of business aspects, is business suitability. In this paper, the focus is on the business suitability of workflow modelling for a commonly encountered class of (operational) business processing, e.g. those of insurance claims, bank loans and land conveyancing. A general assessment is first conducted on some integrated techniques characterising well-known paradigms - structured process modelling, object-oriented modelling, behavioural process modelling and business-oriented modelling. Through this, an insight into business suitability within the broader perspective of technique adequacy, is gained. A specific business suitability diagnosis then follows using a particular characterisation of business processing, i.e. one where the intuitive semantics and inter-relationship of business services and business processes are nuanced. As a result, five business suitability principles are elicited. These are proposed for a more detailed understanding and (synthetic) development of workflow modelling techniques. Accordingly, further insight into workflow specification languages and workflow globalisation in open distributed architectures may also be gained.


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