Policy-driven Reconfiguration of Service-targeted Business Processes
thesisposted on 18.11.2011, 11:18 by Stephen Mark Gorton
Workflows are a key part of Business Process Management, o ering the potential to automate a number of business activities. Workflows are though constrained to their design, i.e. workflow functionality does not extend outside its own specification. A relatively small number of solutions to this inflexibility have been proposed. However, all approaches so far are either at the orchestration level or are tightly-coupled with the workflow, whereas we consider that the problem is at the business level and needs to be loosely coupled from the workflow. Significant value can be gained from separating core functionality in a workflow from variability to that core process. Both can be defined separately and yet still corporately execute to provide a variety of execution states that match the given context. Functionality of the workflow can be supplied by Service Oriented Architecture. Thus we define StPowla as a combination of workflows, policies and Service Oriented Architecture. Workflows define the core business process, policies define the possible variability of the processes and Service Oriented Architecture provides the underlying functionality. We specifically present a set of reconfiguration functions that can be called by policies on workflows and define each of these as graph transformation rules. We provide an encoding from StPowla processes to SRML models, including core workflow descriptions and variability, in order to make precise the relationship between the constituent parts of StPowla. We apply the StPowla approach to an industrial case study, provided by an industrial partner.