E C S B P I 67
business process and to manage all its relevant domain data in a unied way.
is extended model can be directly processed with current CASE tools, for
instance, to generate an implementation of the system (including its business
process) in any technological platform.
All software systems must include a formal representation of the knowledge of
the domain. In conceptual modeling, this representation is known as the concep-
tual schema of the software system . However, software development processes
for complex business applications usually require the additional denition of a
workow model to express logical precedence and process constraints among the
dierent business activities (i.e., the units of work).
Workow models are usually specied through dedicated languages (e.g.,
Business Process Management Notation–BPMN ) and implemented with the
help of specialized workow management systems (WFMSs), for example, see
[3, 4], which are heavy-weight applications focused on the control aspects of the
business process enactment. is is clearly the best option to manage large work-
ow models. However, in some cases organizations may prefer a more lightweight
approach that does not require acquiring a specic workow subsystem.
is paper tackles the problem of dening a light-weight approach to the
implementation of business processes within software applications, without the
use of specialized WFMSs, which represents a relevant issue in several application
scenarios. Indeed. alternative solutions to complete WFMSs can be preferred in
case of simple business requirements, small organizations, or when the business
process needs are going to be drowned into a larger system that is being imple-
mented ad hoc for the organization. In these cases, designing and implementing
the workow using the same methods, notations and tools used to develop the
rest of the system can be convenient and cost eective for the organization.
Along these development lines, some approaches have focused on the im-
plementation of workow models in specic technology platforms, as relational
databases (generally in the form of triggers ), Web applications (by means of
hypertextual links and buttons properly placed in Web pages, thus restricting
the user navigation ), or Web services (through transformation into Business
Process Execution Language for Web Services–BPEL4WS  specications). is
way, the workow denition becomes part of the system implementation and no
specic workow engine is required. However, these approaches can be hardly
generalized to technologies dierent from the ones for which they have been con-
ceived (e.g., to new technology platforms), make dicult a wider adoption of