This digital document is a journal article from Decision Support Systems, published by Elsevier in 2005. The article is delivered in HTML format and is available in your Amazon.com Media Library immediately after purchase. You can view it with any web browser.
A higher level control and coordination mechanism is required for exception handling in workflow systems. This paper describes such a framework based on events, states, and a new kind of process called a meta workflow. Meta workflows have five kinds of meta activities and facilitate control over base workflows. We describe the framework and illustrate it with examples to show its features. The paper gives an architecture for incorporating it into existing workflows and also provides a formal semantics of execution. This framework can be used in Web services, supply chains, and inter-organizational applications where coordination requirements are complex, and flexible and adaptable workflows are needed. It is also useful for handling not just failure recovery but also various kinds of special situations, which arise frequently in web-based applications.