Distributed Data Management in Workflow Environments.
||Distributed Data Management in Workflow Environments.
||G. Alonso, B. Reinwald, C. Mohan
||7th Int. Workshop on Research Issues in Data Engineering (RIDE'97) Birmingham, England
||Institute for Information Systems, ETH Zürich
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 it 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 data flow. 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
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