about processes and engines

workflows and webservices

OpenWFE cares about process definitions, about instantiating them and enacting them… Regulating the flow of the work.
Atomic unit of works are performed by participants, usually outside of the engine[‘s JVM]. It’s handy to have participants that are webservices.

Lukas Eder is now working on ‘OpenWFE IDE’. That’s his master project. His ambitions are to provide a process definition editor and a participant map editor. The focal point of the latter editor is binding a webservice to a participant, mapping fields of the incoming workitem to parameters of the webservice operation and back.

We currently have a rather dynamic webservice invoker, based on Axis 1.x. It was written by another student, Christelle Héritier. It unfortunately only outputs a String as invocation result, if the result is complex, it will store the raw XML in the String. The new IDE should benefit from a smarter webservice invoker.

It’s my turf to take care of providing Lukas with a consistent API, so
I’ve had a look at Axis2 and Xfire this afternoon. My impression : Xfire is easier to grasp.

For the process definition editor, Lukas focussed on leveraging OpenWFE’s XSD to have an always up to date set of expressions to build definitions from.
To make this new IDE even better, we’re adding expression documentation as xsd annotations directly in the schema. Thanks to Lukas, OpenWFE will have a very elegant process definition solution (on Eclipse RCP).

Ah, ‘workflow’ is back.

Written by John Mettraux

May 6, 2006 at 10:01 pm

Posted in openwfe, technical, workflow

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