An Environment for Modeling Workflow Components
An important goal of workflow engines is to simplify the way in which the interaction of workflows and software components (or services) is described and implemented. The vision of the AristaFlow project is to support a "plug and play" approach in which workflow designers can describe interactions with components simply by "dragging" them from a repository and "dropping" them into appropriate points of a new workflow. However, to support such an approach in a practical and dependable way it is necessary to have semantically rich descriptions of components (or services) which can be used to perform automated compatibility checks and can be easily understood by human workflow designers. This, in turn, requires a modeling environment which supports multiple views on components and allows these to be easily generated and navigated around. In this paper we describe the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) developed in the AristaFlow project to support these requirements. After outlining the characteristics of the "plug and play" workflow development model, the paper describes one of the main innovations within the IDE -the multi-dimensional navigation over views.
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