Workflow execution in disconnected environments

Fábio Meira de Oliveira DiasMarco Antonio CasanovaMarcelo Tílio Monteiro de Carvalho

Workflow management systems are frequently used for modeling, monitoring and controlling the coordinated execution of activities performed by workgroups in a variety of contexts. With the widespread use of portable computers and their growing computational power, conventional systems have often proved to be overly restrictive, effectively limiting the level of autonomy of the users involved. This paper identifies and analyzes different flexibilization techniques and mechanisms that can be employed in a workflow management system to better support disconnected operation. In order to test the viability of the ideas discussed, a system was built whose design met the requirements presented in the text and which allows the exploration of specific features of different kinds of workflow so as to enhance execution flexibility, without compromising the predefined structure. The system was developed in Java, which allows for portable execution and, with recent advances in compact virtual machines, enables it to run in an increasing number of devices.

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