Friday, September 14, 2007

Meeting with Alan Fekete on 14/09/2007

Hendy and I had our weekly meeting with Alan Fekete today to discuss what was achieved during the last week and what we can in the following week.

The Workflow Management System (WfMS)

The diagram above shows the basic architecture of the WfMS for the G.H.I.M.S project. Each part is described below:

XML Schema
The XML schema describes the rules for which workflow can be instantiated in XML. The Workflow Definition Language (WFD) has been completed.

Workflow Builder
  • The Workflow Builder provide users with the ability to define their own workflow. It is based on the idea of document centric workflow system.
  • Prototype should be a simple workflow builder used to build the basic definitions of workflow but allow extensions for more complex multiple user based workflow. Simple workflow includes sequence, parallel split, synchronisation, exclusive choice and simple merge.
  • Users would be able to build basic workflows using a simple user interface. Then when the user saves the workflow, it should generate an xml output which is stored in a MySQL database.
  • The workflow builder should be able to open saved workflow documents but may not necessarily offer modifications in the prototype.

The Workflow Builder Prototype Goals

  • Design a simple user interface (possible GUI based) to allow users to construct workflow in abstract form.
  • This abstract workflow is then converted to XML in accordance with the WDL schema and stored in a MySQL database.
  • Allow read-only retrieval of workflow to show demonstrate the reconstruction of XML

Workflow Manager

  • The workflow manager takes the abstract workflow and instantiates it. Its main responsibilities include
  • Routing the workflow by delivering appropriate forms to users, requesting users to fill out forms and presenting information when requested.
  • Able to notify users at which point of the workflow they’re in.
  • Able to deliver what needs to be done
  • The workflow manager would have to obtain workflow instances from the MySQL workflow database, instantiate it and execute the workflow. In order for this to work, workflow manager must reside in the G.H.I.M.S server and interface with the Form Builder database.

Workflow Manager Prototype Goals

  • Demonstrate the construction of workflow instance from XML instance.
  • Route the appropriate forms, documents, alerts etc. to the users

Upon discussion with supervisor and the team, I have decided to attempt to build a simple Workflow Builder while Hendy will attack the Workflow Manager.

Task for the following week
For the following week, I plan to do the following:
  • Rigorously plan the design of the workflow builder - what it should ideally do, how it should do it and what resources will be needed.
  • Scope down the requirements and implement a subsection of the workflow builder. By the end of this week I hope to have the workflow builder being able to basic sequences using command prompt.

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