participant == service
When I started OpenWFE, I chose the term participant for users / automata taking part into a process.
(‘automaton’ is a nice shortcut for ‘automatic participant’, isn’t it ?)
SOA is the current craze (“mashup”, “web2.0”, pick your favourite)… POA ‘participant oriented architecture’… Using OpenWFE for orchestrating (in the wide sense) participants in the [meta-]organization processes.
OpenWFE reads the enumeration of potential participants from something it calls a ‘participant map’. This is usually a static XML document found as a local file or on a [intranet] web server. This XML document could be generated on the fly, constantly adapting, or OpenWFE could use its LdapParticipantMap implementation to enumerate the participants from a LDAP server.
Engines are participants, worklists are participants, APRE are participants.
There’s also a webservice invocation participant : an OpenWFE participant could thus be a plain webservice.
We have a POA architecture. Just a small reflection.
(alternative step, yet not too difficult : embed OpenWFE within an ESB)