These are public documents released by the Workflow Management Coalition. Scroll down for General Publications and white papers. Additional white papers can be found at e-workflow.org
Documents under review and other works in progress are available in the Members Only section of our web.
Can’t find what you want? Try searching our web or scrolling through our FAQ Database before writing for more information.
Got a question?
BPM Community Forum (BPMI.org)
WfMC Standards and Working Groups
Publications and working documents on standards still under development reside on the members-only pages. If you have a need to have an early view of standards before they are published, these can now be made available on application to the WfMC Secretariat.
To help you navigate to the documents you need, read this first
Workflow Standards and Associated Documents (One page PDF Document)
WfMC Document Index (PDF) TC-1002 Issue 5.0 March ’99 (7 pages 30KB)
Interface 1 – Process Definition Interchange
Workflow Process Definition Interface — XML Process Definition Language (XPDL)
Document Number WFMC-TC-1025: Version 1.14
Document Status – Final
October 3, 2005
WFMC-TC-1025 FINAL (PDF 923kb)
The Technical Committee adoption voting form is here
The intended audience for this document is primarily vendor organizations who seek to implement the XML Process Definition Language (XPDL) of the Workflow Management Coalition (WfMC), or using it as a file format for the Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) of the Business Process Management Initiative (BPMI). It may also be of interest to those seeking to assess conformance claims made by vendors for their products. Comments should be addressed to the Workflow Management Coalition.
XPDL version 2.0 is back-compatible with XPDL version 1.0, and is intended to be used as a file format for BPMN. The original purpose of XPDL is maintained and enhanced by this second version of the specification. The XPDL and the BPMN specifications address the same modeling problem from different perspectives. XPDL provides an XML file format that can be used to interchange process models between tools. BPMN provides a graphical notation to facilitate human communication between business users and technical users, of complex business processes.
There are a number of elements that are present in BPMN version 1.0 but were not present in XPDL version 1.0. Those had been incorporated into this version of XPDL.
The WfMC has identified five functional interfaces to a process or workflow service as part of its standardization program. This specification forms part of the documentation relating to “Interface one” – supporting Process Definition Import and Export. This interface includes a common meta-model for describing the process definition (this specification) and also a companion XML schema for the interchange of process definitions.
Historical Documents Interface 1
Workflow Process Definition Interface — XML Process Definition Language (XPDL)
Document Number WFMC-TC-1025 (PDF 499kb)
or WinWord zipped version (630kb) (October 25, 2002) Document Status – 1.0
WfMC-TC-1016-P V 1.1 Final 510Kb pdf (October ’99)
Process Definition Q & A and Examples
(WfMC-TC-1016-X) 174Kb pdf
If19807r10.pdf Process Definition Interchange Process Model TC-1016-P. 7.05 Beta. August 5, 1998.
Interface 2 – Workflow Client Application Application Programming Interface (Interface 2 & 3) Specification
(WFMC-TC-1009 – Specification) V 2.0 494Kb pdf
(WFMC-TC-1013 – Naming Conventions) V 1.4 74Kb pdf
(WfMC-TC-1009 – Specification) V 1.1 207Kb pdf
Working Group 2 – Client Application APIs
WAPI Version 2.0e Specification TC-1009 October ’97
Interface 3 – Invoked Applications. Now amalgamated into Interface 2, TC-1009.
Interface 4 – Interoperability. Learn more about the ASAP/Wf-XML 2.0
Wf-XML 2.0 (Current Draft) 441kb PDF
wfxml20.xsd (updated November 2005) 7kb
Wf-XML 2.0/ASAP (October 2003)
ASAP_WfXML_2003_10.zip (zipped 158kb)
XML Based Protocol for Run-Time Integration of Process Engines
This document will:
- Provide an executive overview
- Specify the goals of WF-XML as an extension of AWSP.
- Explain how resource (object) model works and how URIs are used to invoke methods of those resources.
- Specify preliminary details of the interface methods and parameters. The discussion forum for feedback has been set up at www.workflow-research.de/Forums.
AWSP (Asynchronous Web Services Protocol ) June 2002 (Historical Reference ONLY)(awsp-2002-04-05.zip).( zipped 497kb.)
In April 2002 at the San Francisco meeting of wfmc, the AWSP (Asynchronous Web Services Protocol was presented, discussed, and found to meet all the goals that had been identified at the Muenster meeting. These goals specifically were (Layer on top of SOAP, Use XML Schema representation, Multiple Observers, Subscribe/Unsubscribe,Set process instance data). Since that time: this work has evolved into the ASAP technical committee of OASIS, and has been entirely subsumed by that other work. Please use this document only for historical reference, and refer instead to the ASAP working group (http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/tc_home.php?wg_abbrev=asap) for current implementation information.
The XML language described herein, Wf-XML, can be used to implement the three models of interoperability defined in the Interoperability Abstract specification. Specifically, chained workflows, nested workflows and parallel-synchronized workflows are supported. Wf-XML supports these three types of interchanges both synchronously and asynchronously, and allows messages to be exchanged individually or in batch operations. Furthermore, this specification describes a language that is independent of any particular implementation mechanism, such as programming language, data transport mechanism, OS/hardware platform, etc. However, because HTTP is expected to be the most prevalent data transport mechanism used for interchanging Wf-XML messages, this specification provides a description of how Wf-XML messages are to be interchanged using this protocol.
This document represents a specification for a language based on the eXtensible Markup Language (XML) designed to model the data transfer requirements set forth in the Workflow Management Coalition (WfMC)’s Interoperability Abstract specification. This language will be used as the basis for concrete implementations of the functionality described in the Interoperability Abstract supporting the WfMC’s Interface 4, as defined by the Workflow Reference Model.
This version (1.1) of the Wf-XML specification is fully backward compatible with its previous version (1.0). For the sake of clarity, the term “backward-compatible” is used here to mean that all changes made to the specification in this version have been additive, making it is a superset of version 1.0. For a more detailed explanation of conformance implications, see section 6 Conformance.
Working Group 4 – Workflow Interoperability
Abstract Specification (WFMC-TC-1012, 20-Oct-96, 1.0) 147Kb pdf
Internet e-mail MIME Binding
(WFMC-TC-1018, 7-Jan-2000, Version 1.2) 373Kb pdf
Proposal for an Asynchronous HTTP binding of Wf-XML June 1, 2000
This document represents a workflow protocol that aims for interoperable, reliable and practical interactions between services using HTTP protocol. This protocol is based on Wf-XML and extended for the sake of enterprise EDI applications.
Interoperability Wf-XML Binding (May 8, 2000)
This document represents a specification for an XML language designed to model the data transfer requirements set forth in the Workflow Management Coalition’s Interoperability Abstract specification (WFMC-TC-1012) . This language will be used as the basis for concrete implementations of the functionality described in the abstract in order to support WfMC’s Interface 4 (as defined by the workflow reference model ).
Interface 5 – Audit Data Specification
Interface 5 – Issues and Directions (876 kb, zip) (April 2003)
PDF Version (4MB)
Presented at TC meeting by Michael zur Muehlen, Wesley J. Howe School of Technology Management, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ
A discussion thread on the new audit trail format in the TC section of has been set up at www.workflow-research.de/Forums.
(WFMC-TC-1015, 22-Sep-98, 1.1) 211Kb pdf
Working Group 5 – Administration & Monitoring
IF5 Version 1.1 Beta
Interface 6 –
Working Group 6 – OMG
Working Group 7 – Conformance
The discussion of technical and organizational issues relating to standards conformance has been moved to a web-based forum, kindly hosted by Michael zur Muehlen. Access the forum at www.workflow-research.de/Forums. Once you register for the forum, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and Michael will immediately add you to the group WfMC Members, which gives you full access right to the members-only discussion groups.
Working Group 8 – Reference Model
English: 198Kb pdf (Revised)
French: (of Version 2.0) : 68Kb pdf
WfMC General Publications
Please ensure that you have the most recent version of Adobe Acrobat when downloading these documents, otherwise, you may encounter font and other format errors.
The Workflow Reference Model: 10 Years On (570kb PDF) February 2004
David Hollingsworth, Fujitsu Services, United Kingdom; Chair, Technical Committee, WfMC. extracted from Workflow Handbook 2004
Last year saw the 10th anniversary of the Workflow Reference Model. This short paper reassesses the relevance of the Model in the current context of Business Process Management. It discusses the principles behind the Model, its strengths and weakness, and examines how it remains relevant to the industry today. It concludes by introducing a number of considerations required to establish a “BPM Reference Model” and discusses how the various overlapping standards in this space may be categorized.
ASAP/Wf-XML 2.0 Cookbook in Workflow Handbook 2004
Keith D. Swenson, Fujitsu Software Corporation
This paper is for those who have a process engine of some sort, and wish to implement a Wf-XML interface. At first, this may seem like a daunting task because the specifications are thick and formal. But, as you will see, the basic capability can be implemented quickly and easily. This paper will take you through the basics of what you need to know in order to quickly set up a foundation and demonstrate the most essential functions. The rest of the functionality can rest on this foundation. The approach is to do a small part of the implementation in order to understand how your particular process engine will fit with the protocol.
Does Better Math Lead to Better Business Processes? (November 2003)
Why Business Process Management and its predecessor, workflow management, are not simply an extension to the theory of pi-calculus and why pi-calculus is not the only answer to the BPM debate.
by Jon Pyke and Roger Whitehead
Process Management Standards Overview (April 2003)
Dr. Michael zur Muehlen, Wesley J. Howe School of Technology Management, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ
BPM Booming in Asia Pacific
By Linus Chow, HandySoft, Pacific Rim
The Workflow Reference Model: 10 Years On (570 kb PDF)
David Hollingsworth, Fujitsu Services, United Kingdom; Chair, Technical Committee, WfMC. Extracted from Workflow Handbook 2004
Workflow and Process Management (25-page PDF extracted from the Workflow Handbook 2003) by Carol Prior, Maestro BPE Pty Limited, Australia
An Introduction to Workflow (20 pages PDF)
by Charles Plesums (Fellow, USA) extracted from the Workflow Handbook 2002
Workflow: An Introduction by Rob Allen, (Fellow, UK)
Extracted from the Workflow Handbook 2001 (24 pages PDF)
Workflow BizTalk Framework™ 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.
The Key to e-Commerce and to Process Scalability
Article by Working Group 4 (PDF 12 pages, 73 kb)
White paper: Stand-alone and embedded workflow management systems.
8 pages, PDF format
Michael Zur Muehlen and Rob Allen. March 10, 2000
This paper distinguishes, at a high level, the differences between workflow engines and simple trigger routines. Its main function is to clarify the segmentation between autonomous and embedded workflow deployment.
White Paper – Events
David Hollingsworth, ICL A&TC. 11 pages, WinWord. April 99.
This document contains a proposed approach for classifying and handling the processing associated with Events. It includes proposals for extensions to I/Fs 1, 2/3, and 4 (and potentially audit data that may be associated with particular event occurrences). It builds upon the proposals originally made by Steve Dworkin (May 1998) and earlier draft notes from Klaus Dieter Kreplin, Dave Hollingsworth, and Mike Anderson.
Document Number – WfMC-TC-1023, by David Hollingsworth, ICL A&TC. March 99. 16 pages, WinWord.
This document describes the current status of the WfMC standardization program and identifies the current work on object-related standards which include interface bindings for both OLE Automation and OMG/IDL objects. The scope of the current Reference Model is discussed, plus possible extensions to support a lower granularity component architecture, internal to the workflow enactment service, as a complement to existing work focused on the service functions provided at the boundary of a workflow enactment service. This is postulated on the basis of defining a common underlying object model which can be mapped to the two important component architectures emerging in the industry, the OMG object architecture and services and the ActiveX/DCOM architecture.
Workflow Interoperability – Enabling E-Commerce
April 1, 1999 WfMC White Paper 83kb pdf
Workflow and the Internet: Catalysts for Radical Change
June 11, 1998. WfMC announces major White Paper.
JSA Interworkflow Definition
Feb 1997 (WfMC TC 2102) 98kb pdf
Presentation by Kanagawa Institute of Technology
on Interworkflow Management System (Tokyo, Dec 3, 1999) 193kb
Reference Model – The Workflow Reference Model
(WFMC-TC-1003, 19-Jan-95, 1.1) 211Kb pdf
Terminology & Glossary
Workflow Security Considerations
White Paper 54Kb pdf