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The OCoN approach to workflow modeling in object-oriented systems

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The OCoN Approach to Workflow Modeling in Object-Oriented Systems Information Systems Frontiers 3:3, 357–376, 2001 C© 2001 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Manufactured in The Netherlands. The OCoN Approach to Workflow Modeling in Object-Oriented Systems G. Wirtz Arbeitsgruppe Verteilte Systeme, Institut fu¨r Informatik, Westfa¨lische Wilhelms-Universita¨t Einsteinstrasse 62, D-48149 Mu¨nster, Germany E-mail: M. Weske Department of Information and Technology, Technical University, PO Box 513, NL-5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands E-mail: H. Giese Arbeitsgruppe Software Engineering, Fachbereich 17 Praktische Informatik, Universita¨t-Gesamthochschule-Paderborn, Warburger Str.100, D-33098 Paderborn, Germany E-mail: Abstract. Workflow management aims at modeling and executing application processes in complex technical and organizational environments. Modern information systems are often based on object-oriented design techniques, for instance, the Unified Mod- eling Language (UML). These systems consist of application ob- jects which collaborate to achieve a common goal. Although application objects collaborate in the context of business pro- cesses that can be supported by workflow technology, workflow modeling is typically done with proprietary workflow languages. Hence, two separate formalisms are present for modeling ap- plication objects and workflows. In this paper we try to remedy this situation by proposing the use of Object Coordination Nets (OCoN) for workflow modeling. OCoN nets provide a seamless integration with UML structure diagrams. The OCoN formalism also helps to deal with all relevant aspects of modeling complex workflow systems in a scalable and consistent manner. Key Words. workflow modeling, workflow design strategies, object-orientation, Petri nets 1. Introduction Workflow management is an important technology for modeling and controlling the execution of busi- ness processes in commercial applications (Ley

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