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Numerous Grid workflow engines exist, each generally specialized for a single application domain such as protein folding. Although the underlying purpose and functionality of the Grid workflow engines are similar, and they make use of a common set of Grid protocols, the implementations vary vastly, making interoperation among them nearly impossible. On the other hand, the concept of workflows of Web services is very popular in the enterprise domain and many engines exist for business workflows. These mostly revolve around the Business Process Execution Language (BPEL), an emerging standard for Web services workflow description. We study three different business workflow engines - Microsoft's BizTalk Server, Microsoft's Windows Workflow Foundation and Oracle's Business Process Manager and analyze how each of these engines can be adapted to e-science and the Grid environment. We have implemented widely-used grid workflows on each of these engines and show quantitatively and qualitatively that each business engine has positive and negative aspects for large-scale e-science.
Date of Conference: Dec. 2006