Systematic Interaction Management in a workflow view based business-to-business prcoess engine

Systematic Interaction Management in a workflow view based business-to-business prcoess engine

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Systematic Interaction Management in a Workflow View Based Business-to-business Process Engine Zhe Shan 1 , Dickson K.W. Chiu 2 , S ENIOR M EMBER , IEEE , Qing Li 1 , S ENIOR M EMBER , IEEE 1 Department of Computer Engineering and Information Technology, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong. 2 Dickson Computer Systems, 7A Victory Avenue, 4 th floor, Homantin, Kowloon, Hong Kong. email: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] Abstract Workflow technology has recently been employed as a framework for implementing business-to-business (B2B) process enactment over the Internet. This typically requires collaborative enactment of workflows across multiple organizations. In this paper, we propose the use of workflow views as a fundamental support mechanism for B2B interactions. A workflow view is an external accessible subset of a private workflow. We present a methodology to show how B2B interactions can be systematically managed with the workflow view mechanism, by customizable orchestration of Web services mapping into internal existing workflows. We further present a deployment architecture for a B2B process engine and detail our implementation with contemporary Web services technologies. In addition, asynchronous events and exceptions as well as interaction monitoring can be facilitated in a unified framework. 1. Introduction After the first generation of Web-based E- commerce centered on Business-to-Customer (B2C) applications, another quieter E-commerce revolution with far more dramatic economic implications has been taking place on Business-to-Business (B2B) E- commerce. Examples of B2B applications include procurement, billing, supply chain, and manufacturing. B2B E-commerce far exceeds B2C E-commerce both in the volume of transactions and rate of growth. The ultimate goal of B2B E-commerce therefore to have inter- and intra-enterprise applications evolve independently, yet allow them to effectively and conveniently use each other's functionality. An important challenge in B2B E-commerce is interaction. Interaction is defined as consisting of interoperation and integration with both internal and external enterprise applications. This has been a central concern because B2B applications are composed of autonomous, heterogeneous, and distributed business processes. Interactions among loosely coupled and tightly coupled systems has been, over the past 20 years, an active research topic in areas such as databases, knowledge-based systems, and digital libraries. Interactions in B2B E-commerce offer unique challenges because of issues such as scalability, volatility (dynamism), autonomy, heterogeneity, and legacy systems. B2B E-commerce requires the integration and interoperation of both applications and data. Disparate data representations between partners' systems must be dealt with. Interaction is also required at a higher level for connecting (i) front-end with back- end systems, (ii) heterogeneous data sources, applications, processes, and workflows to the Web, and (iii) trading partners' systems. In addition, a B2B
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This note was uploaded on 03/23/2011 for the course COMPUTER S DIT09M1-10 taught by Professor Saman during the Spring '10 term at Sheffield Hallam.

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Systematic Interaction Management in a workflow view based business-to-business prcoess engine

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