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Thread: WorkFlow

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    Currently Occupied; Till Sunda Andrew-J2000's Avatar
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    Cool WorkFlow

    This has been on my mind for quite some time, and as such I will propose this in the .NET and PHP forum as these are the key technologies I will look to implement this type of functionality. I see the implementations varying due to the nature of the technologies; however the goal is the same; a workflow engine with a cross browser user-interface to orchestrate numerous business processes.

    What is Workflow?
    Quote Originally Posted by wfmc.org
    Workflow Management consists of the automation of business procedures or "workflows" during which documents, information or tasks are passed from one participant to another in a way that is governed by rules or procedures. Workflow software products, like other software technologies, have evolved from diverse origins. While some offerings have been developed as pure workflow software, many have evolved from image management systems, document management systems, relational or object database systems, and electronic mail systems.
    Off Topic:

    I’m looking at a little more than article workflow… I found the following diagram, however a more complete diagram would be required to account for the various aspects that maybe involved.


    Features
    • Editor (Graphical Process Designer) / Tabular

    Interfaces:
    • XML import/export, SOAP
    • SQL
    • Xml RPC
    • pop3 / smtp
    • SAP R/3 (Current project requirement)

    The front-end?

    The ideal solution is to provide a rich interface allowing end-users to design business-rules on the fly (Graphical Process Designer). This should ideally not involve a technically minded person to design the rules; however some advanced processes may not be applicable to an average end-user.

    • Flash
    • SVG
    • Graphical (GD/GD+) {Adding JavaScript/absolute positioning links, not ideal}
    • ActiveX


    There are many pitfalls for the above, however I’m envisioning Flash as being the most viable means, SVG would also be another, however this is limited by support and the others mentioned should be apparent for their headaches. Any comments or suggestions on the front-end, would be great as I don't want to be absent minded when tackling such issues?
    I have looked at a few samples listed below, although I felt these were overly complex for an average user. What’s your opinion?

    Handling large graphical workflows, how do you envision splitting it down?

    Server-side considerations?

    • Events, Time
    • Actions, Processes


    What would be the best method to apply processes that can be executed?
    What would be the best method to implement Business Rules?
    What would the best method for mapping varied SQL Queries to Events or processes to return business logic?
    What thoughts do you have on applying WfMC standards?

    [Examples]
    http://shark.objectweb.org/
    http://plflow.sourceforge.net/
    http://openwfe.sourceforge.net/
    http://www.skelta.com

    [resource]
    http://tmitwww.tm.tue.nl/research/patterns/
    http://www.tonymarston.net/php-mysql/workflow.html

    http://www.mygrid.org.uk/index.php?m..._position=30:8
    http://shark.objectweb.org/doc/1.0-b.../colorful.html
    Off Topic:


    As you can tell i'm just fleshing this out fully before I begin, so its mainly notes and considerations within... I will cross reference this post with the PHP section, so that I can get a fuller idea of the varying factors that apply to .NET & PHP.

    I will leave it as this for the time being...


    Any help or advice or even requests would be brilliant, thanks

    PHP Thread:WorkFlow
    .NET Thread:.NET
    Last edited by Andrew-J2000; Nov 30, 2004 at 00:34.


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