Business Process Library Q Business Process Management

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WfMC is one of the non-profit international standardizing organizations of workflow management systems. It stands for Workflow Management Coalition.



WfMC is a non-profit international standardizing organization that is working on the standardization related to workflow through the international collaboration with OMG and OASIS. Its primary activities include "standardization of the language," "standardization of the terminology of workflow-related products," "standardization of interfaces for interconnection," etc. The standardizing activities by WfMC provide us with the following benefits, which result in invigoration of the workflow-related market.

  • Because it is the non-profit international organization, proposed standards tend to become international standards.
  • Cost to use products can be reduced.

The biggest achievement of standardization related to BPM is the release of XPDL (XML Process Definition Language). XPDL is one of Process Definition Language standards that are defined for the sake of interconversion of data files used in BPM-related products, and all graphic objects can be saved in XML format, which is text information. In October, 2005, "XPDL2.0," which adds the specification of mapping between BPMN and XPDL so that graphic objects in BPMN can be represented, was released.

Organization of WfMC

Over 300 member organizations are registered as representatives of wide range of concerned parties in workflow area, including vendors, users, researchers, and consultants. From Japan, NTT, Hitachi, Fujitsu, NEC, and Nihon Unisys participate in WfMC.


WfMC consists of three special committees. Committees are divided into three regions (Europe and Africa, North and South America, and Asia and Pacific).

  • The Technical Committee
  • The External Relations Committee
  • The Steering Committee

Primary committees have three-day conferences three times a year in North America and Europe alternately.

Working Group

What is Interoperability?
A property referring to the ability to work correctly when connected to different database, software, or network.

Each committee has 9 working groups.

  • Process Definition Interchange Model & APIs
  • Client/Application APIs
  • Workflow Interoperability
  • Administration & Monitoring
  • Participation in OMG
  • Participation in OASIS
  • Reference Model
  • Resource Model
Working groups are held for three days a year when needed.
What is API?
API is the acronym of Application Program Interface and is an interface that is used when an application uses features provided by other hardware or software.

Actvities of WfMC

Each working group defines its own activity goals and acts based on them. Concrete activity goals are shown below.

  • Definition of workflow terminology
  • Interoperability
  • Consistent workflow standard
  • Coordination of various users' needs
  • Support for distribution of information shown above to workflow user communities

Regulations etc. defined so far are shown below.

  • Conformance
  • Reference Model
  • Public Documents
  • XPDL
  • Wf-XML

Goals of WfMC

WfMC aims to achieve the following goals.

  • Enhance the investment value of customers by using business process techniques
  • Reduce risks when using BPM products and workflow products through the standardization of interoperability
  • Develop and expand the BPM market by focusing intensively on the commercial values of process management

Movement of WfMC

  • August, 1993: Founded as Workflow Management Coalition
  • 1995: Published Workflow Reference Model definition
  • November, 1998: Released WPDL (Workflow Process Definition Language)
  • October, 2002: Released the process definition language, XPDL1.0
  • 2004: Announced to support BPMN
  • October, 2005: Released the process definition language, XPDL2.0
  • April, 2008: Adopted the process definition language, XPDL2.1
Movement of Standardizing Organizations
Movement of Standardizing Organizations

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Workflow Sample:Hints on Defining Workflows for Business Analysts and Managers.

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