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Saturday, January 10, 2004

RSS workflow and application integration 

I have been trying to figure out how various XML standards might play in an application/workflow integration project. My initial take is that each application expose a set of channels (that I am calling topics) where each user gets a homepage topic were only they can add resources. They may then create shared topics where resources created by different users can be accumulated. Each shared topic has a unique name within the scope of the application. A user is automatically subscriped to a topic that they create, and can manually subscribe to topics that were created by others. For a workflow engine/application, the topic represents a workflow instance. This workflow instance may have been created from scratch or have been copied from the structure of one or more other workflow instances. Each item in the channel represents a workflow activity, that can store workflow state, and have pre and post conditions on what state information can be controlled and activity status set. Unbound state would then be filled in by inline behavior (code) or delegated to an external agent/application. This might happen through a built in notification system (another RSS channel). There would then be a cross application aggregator ( like an RSS aggregator) that would allow users to suscribe to a collection of channels and organize then into a hirerarchical structure of folders (see bloglines.com). Users should be able to establish folders for filtered views of a channel based on Xpath expressions. More later

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