Document Type

Other

Publication Date

9-1996

Abstract

A workflow management systems (WFMS) employs a workflow manager (WM) to execute and automate the various activities within a workflow. To protect the con- sistency of data, the WM encapsulates each activity with a transaction; a transaction manager (TM) then guarantees the atomicity of activities. Since workflows often group several activities together, the TM is responsible for guaranteeing the atomicity of these units. There are scalability issues, however, with centralized WFMSs. Decentralized WFMSs provide an architecture for multiple autonomous WFMSs to interoperate, thus accommodating multiple workflows and geographically-dispersed teams. When atomic units are composed of activities spread across multiple WFMSs, however, there is a conflict between global atomicity and local autonomy of each WFMS. This paper de- scribes a decentralized atomicity model that enables workflow administrators to specify the scope of multi-site atomicity based upon the desired semantics of multi-site tasks in the decentralized WFMS. We describe an architecture that realizes our model and execution paradigm.

DOI

WPI-CS-TR-96-02

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