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Mobility in the virtual office - a document-centric workflow approach

: Carbon, Ralf; Johann, Gregor; Keuler, Thorsten; Muthig, Dirk; Naab, Matthias; Zilch, Stefan


Association for Computing Machinery -ACM-:
1st International Workshop on Software Architectures and Mobility, SAM 2008. Proceedings : In conjunction with the 30th International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE 2008, Leipzig, Germany, 10 - 18 May 2008
New York: ACM Press, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-60558-022-7
ISBN: 1-60558-022-8
International Workshop on Software Architectures and Mobility (SAM) <1, 2008, Leipzig>
International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) <30, 2008, Leipzig>
Fraunhofer IESE ()
mobility; VOF; workflow; Workflow-Management-System; domain-specific software architecture; peer-to-peer style

In today's global business, office workers conducting their business have a high demand for mobility. Nevertheless, the software support for workflows and the induced collaboration with other office workers is weak in mobile situations, for instance, while people are traveling. In some situations, no access to centrally provided services is possible; in other situations, this access is difficult to achieve due to security reasons and other technical constraints. Thus, the existing workflow management systems are mostly inappropriate to support mobile office workers and their specific needs. In this paper, we present a document-centric solution to tackle the existing deficiencies in the support of mobile workflow processing. These deficiencies are made explicit in six typical scenarios from the domain of office environments. The core of the solution is a reference architecture dominated by the peer-to-peer style. Hence, the overall office environment is fully decentralized into computational nodes. The documents processed by office workers are packaged together with workflow information in so-called VOF documents and transmitted among the nodes of respective users to execute the overall workflow. In a prototypical implementation, we showed that the concepts introduced are applicable.