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Workflow on intelligent distributed database environment


The main objective of the WIDE project is to extend the technology of distributed and active databases, in order to provide added value to advanced, application-oriented software products implementing workflow techniques.

WIDE is inspired by a coherent, component-oriented vision. Modern software systems should be built by composing, enhancing, and integrating software. Thus, flexible and extensible active rules and enhanced transactional models will be developed on top of existing database kernels, with a kernel-independent approach that warrants maximum portability and inter-operability. In particular, compliance towards the CORBA standard will be enforced.

The technology developed in WIDE will be directly exploited for the enhancement of FORO, an existing workflow management system supporting the management of enterprise-wide processes and their constraints in a co-operative, distributed environment, developed by Sema Group sae.

From a technical standpoint, WIDE will provide innovative, tightly integrated features concerned with advanced transactions (supporting distributed and asynchronous processing in the context of long-running and co-operative activities) and with reactive processing (supporting a rich event language as well as enhanced, flexible coupling to transactions).

These features will be used to improve the services offered by FORO, in particular for what concerns distribution and flexibility, two strategically essential features for the next generation of workflow management systems. Access to a variety of heterogeneous sources (with some support for multimedia features) and inter-operability will also be considered within the scope of WIDE.

The following results are expected:

- an advanced workflow model, including innovative aspects such as alarms and time management, exception handling, advanced task assignment models, multitask, and so on, increasing the required level of flexibility;
- an advanced workflow system, as an evolution of FORO, on top of the facilities developed within WIDE based on long transactions and active rules; some intermediate prototype versions will be available during the life of the project;
- an improved workflow methodology, including the different aspects covered in the WIDE workflow model, and
- widespread knowledge of workflow culture, in close co-ordination with the Sema commercial activities around FORO.

The WIDE consortium, led by SEMA Group, a software integrator aiming at enhancement and exploitation of FORO, includes universities (Politecnico di Milano and the University of Twente) with complementary background in the two technical dimensions of the WIDE project and two users, ING Bank and the Manresa Hospital. The relevant applications are:

- health care insurance processing by ING Bank, stressing the issues of generic description of the business process and of the organisational model and emphasising the need for a proper work distribution between the organisational units involved in processing the insurance application form;
- 24-Hour surgery service by Manresa Hospital, whose main objective is to identify and treat patients whose pathology is susceptible to surgery in such a way to allow them to enter and leave the hospital within a 24 hour period. The application focuses on minimising risks for patients by reducing waiting times and duration of hospital stay, optimising use of hospital resources, including professional staff, operating theatres, and beds, as well as achieving the above while maintaining a safe and high quality service.


Sema Group, S.a.e.
Albarracin 25
28037 Madrid

Participants (4)

Hospital General de Manresa
La Culla S/n
08240 Manresa
Ing Bank
Hoekenrode 8
1102BR Amsterdam
Piazza Leonardo Da Vinci 32
20133 Milano
University of Twente

7500 AE Enschede