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Integrating Groupware Activities into Workflow Management Systems

Ben-Shaul, Israel Z.; Kaiser, Gail E.

Computer supported cooperative work (CSCW) has been recognized as a crucial enabling technology for multi-user computer-based systems, particularly in cases where synchronous human-human interaction is required between geographically dispersed users. Workflow is an emerging technology that supports complex business processes in modern corporations by allowing to explicitly define the process, and by supporting its execution in a workflow management system (WFMS). Since workflow inherently involves humans carrying out parts of the process, it is only natural to explore how to synergize these two technologies. We analyze the relationships between groupware and workflow management, present our general approach to integrating synchronous groupware tools into a WFMS, and conclude with an example process that was implemented in the Oz WFMS and integrated such tools. Our main contribution lies in the integration and synchronization of individual groupware activities into modeled workflow processes, as opposed to being a built-in part of the workflow WFMS.

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Academic Units
Computer Science
Publisher
Department of Computer Science, Columbia University
Series
Columbia University Computer Science Technical Reports, CUCS-002-95
Published Here
February 3, 2012