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BizTalk Framework™ Schema Description

Schema Name: Wf-XML

Schema Type:  Document

Schema Description

This schema defines a language used to exchange information among WorkFlow Management Systems. Information marked up in compliance with this language is used to initiate, monitor and control business processes in/by remote systems. Although designed to support WorkFlow Management Systems, this language can also be used to support interactions among any generic processes. Wf-XML messages are typically used to either create a new instance of a pre-defined process template, transfer process context data, check on the status of running processes, or notify a requesting system of process completion.

Controlling Organization

Workflow Management Coalition
2436 North Federal Highway #374, 
Lighthouse Point, FL 33064, USA
email: [email protected]

Contact Information

Michael A. Rossi - WfMC Working Group 4 Technical Contact
Computer Sciences Corporation
+1 856 983 4400
[email protected]

Schema Classification Information

This schema is used to support interoperability among WorkFlow Management Systems. It can be used to enable messaging exchanges that initiate, monitor and control business process execution. This schema can also be applied to generalized process interactions, outside the scope of Workflow Management Systems. Other schemas, such as those for industry specific data interchanges, can be incorporated as part of the process context data.

Business Process Name : Workflow Management

Industry Classifications:  General

Prerequisite Setup Instructions

Organizations wishing to use Wf-XML to support interoperability among WorkFlow Management Systems must perform certain prerequisite steps to deploying an implementation. Generally, the interoperating parties will select a message transport mechanism (such as HTTP, SMTP, IIOP or a commercial middleware package), agree upon a format for context-specific data to be exchanged, and negotiate several other implementation-specific issues such as security. For further detailed information regarding setup instructions, please see the complete Wf-XML specification at: 

BizTalk Framework Envelope Data Requirements


Processing Rules

Each Wf-XML message is either a request or a response. While most requests require responses, this is not necessary in some cases. Where a response is returned that response will contain either the results of the operation requested or exception information. For further detailed information regarding processing rules, please see the complete Wf-XML specification at: 

Success Case

The results of a successful operation vary depending on the operation being performed. However, in many cases a <key></key> element will be returned containing a resource identifier. This identifier is often helpful or necessary in referencing the resource in future operations. For further detailed information regarding successful results, please see the complete Wf-XML specification at:

Error Case

In cases where an exception occurs during processing, information pertinent to that exception will be returned in the response to the requested operation. Although implementation-specific exception information may be agreed upon by interoperating parties, a matrix of supported exception identifiers and their meanings is provided in the complete Wf-XML specification available at:


Due to the extensible nature of this schema and specification, additional processing requirements may be applicable for a given implementation.

Technical Information

For detailed technical information regarding implementation of this schema please see the complete Wf-XML specification at:

Technical Assistance

Questions, problems, suggestions, etc. related to Wf-XML are addressed on the WfMC's Working Group 4 mailing list. Subscription to the mailing list is for members only, but you may email the Secretariat at [email protected]. For further information about subscribing to this list or the WfMC in general, please see: .

Copyright and Trademark Information

BizTalk™ and Biztalk Framework™ are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.

The Wf-XML specification is a copyright of the Workflow Management Coalition, the reproduction of which is freely permitted for non-commercial purposes providing acknowledgement is made to the WfMC as the original source.

© 1999 Microsoft Corporation and Workflow Management Coalition

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