Purpose – The paper aims to propose a web‐based “intermediation hybrid architecture” for a workflow management system that integrates services by exploiting and combining the advantages of strict centralized topologies that use workflow engines, with totally distributed systems which use agent technologies. Design/methodology/approach – The proposed operational and technical architectures define the combination of a workflow engine and a software agent platform for the appropriate management of inter‐organizational workflow processes. The proposed system is called “hybrid intermediation portal.” Findings – The hybrid system was used in e‐government cases for the management of cross‐border workflows that span across multiple European chambers of commerce and industry. That demonstrated the usefulness of the specific approach in the inter‐organizational workflow management domain. Research limitations/implications – The approach presented in this paper was implemented and validated in real e‐government cases that proved the advantages of the potential commercial use of the system. Several limitations were located due to the lack of a wide use of web services within governmental organizations. Practical implications – Concerning security issues, it would be necessary to integrate appropriate security mechanisms without constraining the technical and functional characteristics of the software agents involved. Originality/value – The contribution of the paper concerns the evolvement of the agent‐enhanced workflow management systems in order to tackle the intelligence issues and the credibility problems concerning the overall control of dispersed inter‐organizational processes.
Business Process Management Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 18, 2008
Keywords: Business environment; Communication technologies; Computer networks