Tim's Weblog
Tim Strehle’s links and thoughts on Web apps, software development and Digital Asset Management, since 2002.

The State of Workflow

Tom Baeyens on The State of Workflow:

"When talking about an RDBMS in a software development team most people will get the picture and shake their heads slightly up and down confirming they understand what you're saying. When using workflow terminology, the same crowds will shake their heads similarly but this time, every person will have a very different picture."

"[...] I really believe a WFMS [workflow management system] is the missing link in enterprise development. First of all, I want to state that the default way of incorporating business process logic into enterprise software is a scattered approach. This means that the logic of the business process is spread over various systems like the EJB-container, database-triggers, message broker and the likes. No need to mention that this leads to unmaintainable software. As a consequence, these organizations will think of changing their business process software only as a last resort. They often prefer to change their processes to the software. This argument also applies to a larger extent to ERP software packages. In a second attempt, suppose we are aware of this problem and really want to centralize all code related to one process. This is fine for one business process, but if you implement multiple processes, you see duplication of code that manages state and process variables. Then, in a third approach, we could extract the duplicated code and put it in a central library. Well, that is actually a WFMS so don't bother implementing it yourself and choose one from the list below."