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Note: Many topics at this site are reduced versions of the text in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications." Search results will not be as extensive as a search of the book's CD-ROM.
The purpose of workflow management is to automate and coordinate document procedures in an organization by replacing paper systems with electronic documents. The network provides the routing system that moves documents to and from storage, and among users who need to view and make changes to documents or sign, validate, and authenticate documents. Workflow applications encourage workgroup collaboration by automating processes and eliminating footwork.
The WfMC (Workflow Management Coalition) is an organization that promotes electronic workflow and work management applications. It has helped to establish industry standards that promote interoperability and connectivity among workflow products. The WfMC states that "workflow is concerned with the automation of procedures where documents, information or tasks are passed between participants according to a defined set of rules to achieve, or contribute to, an overall business goal." The WfMC notes that workflow is often associated with business process reengineering, which is concerned with the assessment, analysis, modeling, definition, and subsequent operational implementation of the core business processes of an organization.
Workflow may also occur between organizations across extranet connections using EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) or newer applications based on XML (Extensible Markup Language).
This topic continues in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications."
Copyright (c) 2001 Tom Sheldon and Big Sur Multimedia.