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From Mike Colbert <m...@mikecolbert.com>
Subject Re: [workflow] new contributor
Date Thu, 15 Jul 2004 01:08:31 GMT
Sharples, Colin wrote:

>I have used commons-workflow on a couple of projects - using it right now in fact. I'm
using it for two purposes which are I think a little beyond the original scope:
>
>  
>
I've used workflow engines for several very different purposes ... 
document management, customer relationship management, and most 
recently, enterprise application integration.  They are incredibly 
versatile.  I'm not surprised you would find applications outside the 
original scope of this project.  In fact, I would venture to guess that 
people who happen upon this project, taken as a group, have a broad 
spectrum of requirements.


>1) As a lightweight RPC mechanism, to locate and run server activities from any arbitrary
client (e.g. struts action, browser client, or any client capable of consuming XML over HTTP).
>
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>

I'd like to hear more about this.


>2) As a control framework for a Java client, allowing me to reuse presentation tier logic
across multiple channels (e.g. I can re-use non-visual logic process flows in a struts based
web app).
>
>  
>
Are you supplementing Struts here, or are you supplanting some of Struts 
traditional responsibilities?


>I'm also thinking about working on an editor for composing activity flows, rather than
having to hand edit XML files. 
>
Awesome.  This is always a plus.  With a good XSD, even XML files are 
okay to hand-edit for a lot of people.  But, I usually model a workflow 
process with a state machine diagram, anyway, so it would be nice to 
automate the XML generation part.


>I may even end up generating code so that the activities end up as compiled classes, rather
than dynamically constructed from an external definition.
>
I would still keep the ability to process the external XML definition, 
though, instead of replacing it altogether.  Are you looking for 
performance gains, here?


> I would be using Eclipse EMF for this part, so I guess this wouldn't end up in Jakarta,
but I would probably make it available through some other means.
>
>  
>
Haven't looked at EMF.  A GUI process modeler implemented as an Eclipse 
plugin is interesting.

Mike Colbert













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