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A cross-domain workflow application may be constructed using a standard reference model such as the one by the Workflow Management Coalition (WfMC)  but the requirements for this type of application are inherently different from one organization to another. The existing models and systems built around them meet some but not all the requirements from all the organizations involved in a collaborative process. Furthermore the requirements change over time. This makes the applications difficult to develop and distribute. Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) based approaches such as the BPET (Business Process Execution Language) intend to provide a solution but fail to address the problems sufficiently, especially in the situations where the expectations and level of skills of the users (e.g. the participants of the processes) in different organisations are likely to be different. In this paper, we discuss a design pattern that provides a novel approach towards a solution. In the solution, business users can design the applications at a high level of abstraction: the use cases and user interactions; the designs are documented and used, together with the data and events captured later that represents the user interactions with the systems, to feed an intermediate component local to the users -the IFM (InterFace Mapper) -which bridges the gaps between the users and the systems. We discuss the main issues faced in the design and prototyping. The approach alleviates the need for re-programming with the APIs to any back-end service thus easing the development and distribution of the applications.
Date of Conference: 13-15 Aug. 2007