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Article
Publication date: 26 July 2011

Xiaoping Qiu, Gangqiao Shi, Changlin Song and Yang Xu

This paper aims to discuss in detail a feasible realization method of workflow engine for enterprise information management on the basis of database technology.

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1035

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to discuss in detail a feasible realization method of workflow engine for enterprise information management on the basis of database technology.

Design/methodology/approach

Under the guidance of workflow management coalition (WfMC), the data model of the workflow engine is first presented based on the given process model, in which the attributes of process, activity and its relationships with role, application, workflow relation data and transfer condition are marked out. Then the basic control principles of the workflow engine are designed based on the necessary tables of process instances and activity instances, in which the control method of process instance and activity instance are discussed in detail including the creation, startup, management or status evolvement of the instance.

Findings

In the research, the workflow engine is successfully programmed as this realization method on the development platform of SQL server 2000 and Visual Studio 2005 and the results show the effectiveness of the workflow engine for inventory information management.

Originality/value

The paper gives a feasible realization method for business process management in enterprises using the advanced workflow technology, which can assign flexibility to the information management and improve the whole performance of an enterprise while facing changing market requirements.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

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Article
Publication date: 20 April 2010

Richard Cull and Tillal Eldabi

The increase in business process management projects in the past decade has seen an increase in demand for business process modelling (BPM) techniques. A rapidly growing…

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1158

Abstract

Purpose

The increase in business process management projects in the past decade has seen an increase in demand for business process modelling (BPM) techniques. A rapidly growing aspect of BPM is the use of workflow management systems to automate routine and sequential processes. Workflows tend to move away from traditional definitions of business processes that can often be forced to fit a model that does not suit its nature. Existing process modelling tools tend to be biased to either the informational, behavioural or object‐oriented aspect of the workflow. Because of this, models can often miss important aspects of a workflow. As well as managing the relationship between the types of model it is important to consider who will be using it, as process models are useful in various ways. The paper aims to address these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reports on a case study in a manufacturing company, where users were surveyed to see which are the notations that are most common in modelling based on two main categories (i.e. behavioural and informational).

Findings

The research outcomes showed that there is no prevailing set of standards used for either of these categories, while most users feel the need to use more than one approach to model their system at any given time. Many companies face problems when trying to model the behaviour of human workers in the business processes. Existing techniques are mostly designed at modelling information systems or business processes, and rarely attempt to integrate the two.

Originality/value

This paper proposes the use of a new hybrid modelling methodology, which is an original idea, on existing tools and methodologies. Key authors in the literature recommend against the trend of developing a brand new methodology, so existing tools from each end of the scale were combined to provide a solution which is capable of modelling IS and BP.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1998

Christoph von Uthmann and Mario Speck

The existing, and still evolving, Internet technologies have, up to now, only been used for paper‐free distribution and hypermedia presentation of electronic documents…

Abstract

The existing, and still evolving, Internet technologies have, up to now, only been used for paper‐free distribution and hypermedia presentation of electronic documents. But today’s business and research often require more ‐ the compilation of knowledge worked out asynchronously by different distributed knowledge holders. This is in general connected with diverse review and revise processes. Owing to awkward paper‐based information flows lacking in control, this task is often characterized by exceptionally lengthy, spontaneous, unsystematic work, high error frequency and lack of transparency, which results in a lack of quality. Coming from the initial goal of supporting a process‐oriented management of distributed editorial work in the publishing sector ‐ which is analogous to the problem outlined above ‐ INTERFYS is an innovative Internet‐based system concept for making such processes more efficient by applying the concepts of workflow management using Web technologies only. With INTERFYS not only the distribution and presentation, but also the creation process of documents is supported using Internet technologies only. The paper explains and evaluates the conceptual and technical aspects of the System INTERFYS 1.0 which has just been realized and was presented on the CeBIT 1998 in Hanover.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 8 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2010

Jun Li, Yingyi Bu, Shaxun Chen, Xianping Tao and Jian Lu

Pervasive computing enhances the environment by embedding many computers that are gracefully integrated with human users. The purpose of this paper is to describe the…

Abstract

Purpose

Pervasive computing enhances the environment by embedding many computers that are gracefully integrated with human users. The purpose of this paper is to describe the creation of a smart context‐aware environment in which computation follows people and serves them everywhere. Building such smart environments is still difficult and complex due to lacking a uniform infrastructure that can adapt to diverse smart domains.

Design/methodology/approach

To address this problem, the paper proposes an agent‐based pluggable infrastructure which integrates a mobile agent system named pvMogent, establishes an ontology‐based context model and introduces a workflow‐based application model with the open services gateway initiative (OSGi) framework. By plugging corresponding domain context in ontology model and different applications, the infrastructure can be customized to various domains.

Findings

Through the implementation of several context‐aware applications, it was found that the infrastructure can largely reduce the development complexity as well as keep the domain extensibility by plugging corresponding domain context in ontology model.

Originality/value

In this paper, a number of key techniques are explored which are suitable for building context‐awareness. The experiences and lessons learned from the system development could further facilitate and inspire the research in this direction.

Details

International Journal of Pervasive Computing and Communications, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-7371

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Article
Publication date: 30 May 2008

Soha Maad and Brian Coghlan

The purpose of this paper is to overview key features of grid portals and e‐government portals and assess the potential for using features of the former in the latter. In…

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1000

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to overview key features of grid portals and e‐government portals and assess the potential for using features of the former in the latter. In the context of this paper, grid portals are defined as graphical user interfaces that a user employs to interact with one or more grid infrastructural resources.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper classifies grid portals in five categories and two development frameworks and based on this classification overviews ten existing grid portals. The overview covers, where possible, the developers, the objective, the implementation, and the features of the considered grid portals. For e‐government, the paper focuses on the overview of a typical e‐government portal and best design practices. Based on the overview of grid portals and the typical e‐government portal, the paper assesses the potential benefit of grid portals in meeting the critical success factors for e‐government identified as: integration, knowledge management, personalization, and customer engagement. The results are tabulated, analysed, and discussed.

Findings

Many of the features of existing grid portals have the potential to be used within an e‐government portal, but the lack of any in‐depth study of the nature of the e‐government application domain (from a technical and social perspective) in‐line with grid development makes this potential far from reachable at this stage. This is disappointing but does highlight opportunities.

Practical implications

This paper motivates a greater in‐depth analysis and study of the potential use of the grid for e‐government. The grid infrastructure promises solutions to various applications domains including e‐government.

Originality/value

This paper explored the potential of a technology infrastructure for e‐government. This exploration is based on a novel dual overview and evaluation of the technology and the application domain. The paper can be a basis and a reference for further research in different areas including, among others: technology infrastructures for e‐government, grid development for various application domains, benchmarking of grid utility and usability for various application domains, grid gateways, and emerging technologies to meet the critical success factors for e‐government.

Details

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6166

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Article
Publication date: 29 August 2008

Juha Puustjärvi

This paper aims to report work on achieving semantic interoperability in electronic auctions. In particular, it considers the advantages and drawbacks of using hard‐coding…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to report work on achieving semantic interoperability in electronic auctions. In particular, it considers the advantages and drawbacks of using hard‐coding and using semantic messages in the communication between the auction system and the participants of the auction.

Design/methodology/approach

It is demonstrated that although XML‐documents are commonly used for information exchange they do not provide any means of talking about the semantics (i.e. meaning) data. It is also shown that by expressing exchanged documents by resource description framework (RDF) the semantics of the messages can be captured in the message.

Findings

It is recognized that hard‐coding is proven to be a valuable and powerful way for an exchange of structured and persistent business documents (messages). However, if we use hard‐coding in the case of non‐persistent documents and non‐static markets we will encounter problems in deploying new auction policies and extending the system by new participants.

Practical implications

The introduction of the RDF‐technology in message exchange is challenging as it incorporates Semantic web technologies into many parts of the auction system, e.g. on data stores and query languages. The introduction of this technology is also an investment. The investment on new Semantic web technology includes a variety of costs including software, hardware and training costs.

Originality/value

By automating electronic auctions both buyers and sellers can benefit as they can achieve cost reductions and shorten the duration of the auction processes. Also new auction formats can be easily deployed.

Details

International Journal of Web Information Systems, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-0084

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 31 July 2007

Peter Küng and Claus Hagen

This paper aims to describe how process reengineering, combined with the use of modern process‐oriented information technology, can lead to substantial improvements in…

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4176

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to describe how process reengineering, combined with the use of modern process‐oriented information technology, can lead to substantial improvements in terms of overall process quality.

Design/methodology/approach

A real‐life case study from the financial industry is used to show how process management can take place in a competitive business area. Four processes (each with a different characteristic) are used to explain the approaches implemented.

Findings

Through the combination of process restructuring and the application of modern IT, processes can be improved significantly. First of all, cycle times of the restructured business processes have been reduced. Second, reliability of processes has been improved. Third, process‐related performance has become more visible, which in turn is a good basis for further enhanced performance.

Originality/value

This experience report illustrates that the concept of process reengineering is applicable, and that the potential of many processes is still considerable. It shows how competitiveness in the service industry can be improved.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

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Article
Publication date: 26 August 2014

Alessandro Margherita

Business process management (BPM) is still mostly associated with methods and software tools for process modeling, automation and redesign/performance analysis, with…

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4026

Abstract

Purpose

Business process management (BPM) is still mostly associated with methods and software tools for process modeling, automation and redesign/performance analysis, with limited effort toward building and applying interdisciplinary approaches which capture the real complexity of business processes. The purpose of this paper is to elaborate a system view of BPM and presents an actionable body of knowledge to enhance process-related decisions and actions within organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

A design science approach is used to build a conceptual contribution based on extended process management literature and a multi-year author experience in the area of business process engineering in both research and education contexts.

Findings

A business process management system includes strategy, model, execution and performance dimensions whereas the management of a process involves activities related to scope, structure, resource, systems, dependency, exception, performance and external integration.

Research limitations/implications

The frameworks and related definitions need further theoretical development and refinement in terms of the components and reciprocal relations among system and activity elements. In this vein, the study would also benefit from real-life applications and empirical analysis.

Practical implications

The paper can support process implementation, maturity assessment and competence development efforts within organizations as well as be a foundational work to advance the creation of a global body of knowledge on process management.

Originality/value

The paper proposes a holistic perspective on BPM as a system of components and a bundle of activities, thus providing a twofold strategic and operational tool for process analysts and managers at different levels.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 20 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

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Article
Publication date: 18 April 2008

Yiannis Verginadis and Gregoris Mentzas

The paper aims to propose a web‐based “intermediation hybrid architecture” for a workflow management system that integrates services by exploiting and combining the…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to propose a web‐based “intermediation hybrid architecture” for a workflow management system that integrates services by exploiting and combining the advantages of strict centralized topologies that use workflow engines, with totally distributed systems which use agent technologies.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed operational and technical architectures define the combination of a workflow engine and a software agent platform for the appropriate management of inter‐organizational workflow processes. The proposed system is called “hybrid intermediation portal.”

Findings

The hybrid system was used in e‐government cases for the management of cross‐border workflows that span across multiple European chambers of commerce and industry. That demonstrated the usefulness of the specific approach in the inter‐organizational workflow management domain.

Research limitations/implications

The approach presented in this paper was implemented and validated in real e‐government cases that proved the advantages of the potential commercial use of the system. Several limitations were located due to the lack of a wide use of web services within governmental organizations.

Practical implications

Concerning security issues, it would be necessary to integrate appropriate security mechanisms without constraining the technical and functional characteristics of the software agents involved.

Originality/value

The contribution of the paper concerns the evolvement of the agent‐enhanced workflow management systems in order to tackle the intelligence issues and the credibility problems concerning the overall control of dispersed inter‐organizational processes.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2005

Ralf Klischewski and Ingrid Wetzel

Aims to show that workflow management needs to rethink its basis of discussion in order to meet today's challenges and to provide adequate IT support for heterogeneous…

Abstract

Purpose

Aims to show that workflow management needs to rethink its basis of discussion in order to meet today's challenges and to provide adequate IT support for heterogeneous workflow networks.

Design/methodology/approach

First, the need for flexibility in relating resources in workflow management is examined in more detail. Second, some approaches to managing workflows in heterogeneous networks are inspected and it is found that all of these improve flexibility on the basis of contracting services. Third, it is elaborated how processing by contract supports decentralized resource management through dynamically interrelating social and technical services driven by a cycle (“wheel”) of execution and monitoring, evaluation and demand, as well as selecting and contracting.

Findings

Conclusions are drawn for systems architecture and implementation to guide the design of internet‐enabled workflow support.

Research limitations/implications

Important questions for the research agenda are: how can one enrich application‐oriented workflow modelling languages in order to describe processes as consisting of heterogeneous services? How should one design and implement workflow engines which enable the turning of the “wheel” with the support of integrating human activities and technical agency as workflow process services?

Practical implications

The idea of processing by contract may lead to new workflow concepts and technology to meet the challenges of an internet economy based on the “pay as you go” principle.

Originality/value

Whereas the workflow paradigm of the past may be phrased as processing by definition, i.e. process execution according to predefined process patterns and resource relations, the idea of processing by contract is suggested, i.e. a mode of process execution driven by recurrent process evaluation and service contracting.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

Keywords

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