Change Support in Process-Aware Information Systems - A Pattern-Based Analysis

B. Weber, S. Rinderle and M. Reichert

Technical Report TR-CTIT-07-76. Centre for Telematics and Information Technology, University of Twente, 2007.

Abstract. In today's dynamic business world the economic success of an enterprise increasingly depends on its ability to react to changes in its environment in a quick and flexible way. Process-aware information systems (PAIS) offer promising perspectives in this respect and are increasingly employed for operationally supporting business processes. To provide effective business process support, flexible PAIS are neededwhich do not freeze existing business processes, but allow for loosely specified processes, which can be detailed during run-time. In addition, PAIS should enable authorized users to flexibly deviate from the predefined processes if required (e.g., by allowing them to dynamically add, delete, or move process activities) and to evolve business processes over time. At the same time PAIS must ensure consistency and robustness. The emergence of different process support paradigms and the lack of methods for comparing existing change approaches have made it difficult for PAIS engineers to choose the adequate technology. In this paper we suggest a set of changes patterns and change support features to foster the systematic comparison of existing process management technology with respect to process change support. Based on these change patterns and features, we provide a detailed analysis and evaluation of selected systems from both academia and industry. The identified change patterns and change support features facilitate the comparison of change support frameworks, and consequently will support PAIS engineers in selecting the right technology for realizing flexible PAIS. In addition, this work can be used as a reference for implementing more flexible PAIS.

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Barbara Weber