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Distributed data management in workflow environments

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3 Author(s)
Alonso, G. ; Inst. of Inf. Syst., Eidgenossische Tech. Hochschule, Zurich, Switzerland ; Reinwald, B. ; Mohan, C.

Most existing workflow management systems (WFMSs) are based on a client/server architecture. This architecture simplifies the overall design but it does not match the distributed nature of workflow applications and imposes severe limitations in terms of scalability and reliability. Moreover workflow engines are not very sophisticated in terms of data management. Forgetting the fact that workflow is, to a great extent, data flow. In this paper we propose a novel architecture to address the issue of data management in a WFMS. This architecture is based on a fully distributed workflow engine for control flow, plus a set of loosely synchronized replicated databases for dataflow. The resulting system offers greater robustness and reliability as well as much better data handling capabilities than existing approaches. To better illustrate this novel architecture and its implications, two commercial systems are employed in this paper: FlowMark, as the workflow engine, and the replication capabilities of Lotus Notes, as the support system for distributed data management

Published in:

Research Issues in Data Engineering, 1997. Proceedings. Seventh International Workshop on

Date of Conference:

7-8 Apr 1997