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Interaction Modelling in Federated Process-Centered Environments

Piccinelli, Giacomo

HPL-98-54

Keyword(s): PSEE; SDE; workflow; process management; distributed systems

Abstract: The evolution of distributed object architectures (mainly COM, CORBA and Java) opens an unprecedented range of possibilities in terms of automatic process management and PCEs (process-centered environments) play a key role in the software process re-engineering induced by these technologies. The human factor is still the major component of the software process but, as complexity and precision requirements increase, its role is changing and so does the kind of support it needs. Process management is important within a single organization but it becomes fundamental for projects spanning over distinct organizations. Focusing on the interaction among distinct distributed PCEs (heterogeneous federation), we present a web-based process-oriented system for the definition and enactment of federated processes. The distribution and multi-organization problems are transparent to the process designer that is provided with a CSP-like definition language. The compiler and execution infrastructure exploit the interconnection capability offered by the web in order to support the cooperation among execution engines. The interface between a local PCE and the related execution engine depends on the characteristics of the PCE itself and the autonomy requirements (constraints) of each organization: some basic solutions are investigated.

15 Pages

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