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Faculty of Mathematics, Physics & Computer Science

Chair for Databases and Information Systems – Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stefan Jablonski

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The Dpex-Framework: Towards Full WFMS Support for Decentralized Process Execution


The paper "The Dpex-Framework: Towards Full WFMS Support for Decentralized Process Execution" authored by Christian Sturm and Stefan Jablonski has been accepted and presented at the 21st International Conference on Business Process Management (BPM Forum).

The paper presents a framework, how existing workflow management systems for process execution can be extended and connected to various synchronization protocols like blockchains in a very flexible way to streamline the decentralized execution of inter-organizational processes.

In decentralized process execution, each organization (three boxes, middle) agrees upon an interorganizational process model (blue box, left), which is implemented and interpreted locally in a BPM module (blue box within each organization). To allow each organization to update the process status, all user actions (red, bottom) must be communicated through an communication protocol (brown cloud, right). All organizations agree upon and connect to such a secure communication infrastructure (SCI, brown box within each organization). In a distributed environment, concurrent user actions might occur almost simultaneously, hence, the communication protocol or SCI also care for ordering all events in a way that all organization agree upon that global order.

During process execution, when a user of an organization claims a task in the user interface, the event is first sent via the SCI Connector to the respective communication protocol to notify the participants. Eventually, the local SCI components are triggered when user action can be assumed accepted by the network. In that case, the internal communication bus forwards this message to the local BPM Connector that is responsible to finally update the local process state in the BPM component.

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