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From "Craig R. McClanahan" <craig...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Workflow
Date Fri, 08 Feb 2002 02:53:10 GMT


On Thu, 7 Feb 2002, Viraf Bankwalla wrote:

> Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2002 15:31:38 -0800 (PST)
> From: Viraf Bankwalla <viraf_bankwalla@yahoo.com>
> Reply-To: Jakarta Commons Developers List <commons-dev@jakarta.apache.org>
> To: Jakarta Commons Developers List <commons-dev@jakarta.apache.org>
> Subject: Re: Workflow
>
> Hi,
>
> I am still not clear on the distinction being made
> between the Process and Workflow engines.

I'm actually distinguishing between the
org.apache.commons.workflow.Process interface (which doesn't exist yet)
and the org.apache.commons.workflow.Activity interface (which does, and
has a couple of different implementations available.

>  I was also
> wondering you are referring to
> jakarta-commons-sandbox\workflow\PROPOSAL.html when
> you refer to Proposal (as I did not see a reference to
> process).  If not, could you please refer me to the
> correct Workflow and Process proposals.
>

A more in depth background discussion is available at:

  http://jakarta.apache.org/struts/proposal-workflow.html

because being able to script a series of Struts Actions was one of my
primary motivations.

> Based on my understanding of WfMC, a Workflow is made
> up of Activities.  An activity may be "manual" or
> "automatic".  Manual activities are synchronous - i.e.
> they involve users.  Both should be part of a
> workflow.
>
> So in a sense a WorkFlow definition (XML) is the
> script that ties the processes.  In addition, there is
> noting to prevent an Activity to be a script itself.
>
> I am interested in what you call Wizards and how you
> see them working.
>

If you download the source of the Workflow package, you can use the
"compile.wizard" and "deploy.wizard" targets to create a very simple demo
of this approach, in a way that only relies on servlet and JSP APIs (it is
not specific to Struts).

This demo was written before the introduction of conditional steps, so it
uses "goto" for flow control -- but you can get a feel for where I've been
thinking from this.

> Thanks.
>
> - viraf
>

Craig


>
>
>
> --- "Craig R. McClanahan" <craigmcc@apache.org> wrote:
> >
> >
> > On Thu, 7 Feb 2002, Viraf Bankwalla wrote:
> >
> > > Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2002 14:37:36 -0800 (PST)
> > > From: Viraf Bankwalla <viraf_bankwalla@yahoo.com>
> > > Reply-To: Jakarta Commons Developers List
> > <commons-dev@jakarta.apache.org>
> > > To: Jakarta Commons Developers List
> > <commons-dev@jakarta.apache.org>
> > > Subject: Workflow
> > >
> > > Hi,
> > >
> > > I noticed that there was a workflow component in
> > the
> > > commons sandbox.  I have read the proposal, and
> > was
> > > inquiring to see if there were more details.
> > >
> > > Are we leveraging any existing work for this ?
> > Are we
> > > basing it on any standards such as the WFMC ?
> > >
> >
> > Hello Viraf,
> >
> > I looked at WFMC and a couple of the other "high
> > level" standards for this
> > sort of thing before designing the Workflow
> > component.  They didn't really
> > address the sort of "low level" things that I was
> > interested in scripting,
> > which tend to be synchronous, short duration, and
> > executed by a single
> > individual.  In particular, I wanted to be able to
> > script things like a
> > "wizard" dialog in web applications, where you had
> > to interact with the
> > user across multiple HTTP requests, which required
> > the ability to suspend
> > and resume execution of the script.
> >
> > WFMC and friends are more appropriately used at what
> > the Commons Workflow
> > proposal calls the "Process" concept (which hasn't
> > been fleshed out at all
> > yet) than the "Activity" concept (which is focused
> > on the lower level
> > things).
> >
> > > Thanks.
> > >
> > > - viraf
> >
> > Craig
> >
> >
> > --
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> >
>
>
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