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In enterprise-wide distributed workflow, multiple users cooperate towards some common goal following predefined task specifications. This paper presents an approach for constructing a distributed workflow system starting from its XML specification in terms of various participants' roles, access rights based on roles, shared objects, operations, and workflow constraints. The specifications are integrated with an agent-based distributed middleware for workflow implementation. This middleware enforces coordination and security constraints specified in the XML description of the plan. Moreover, shared objects in the workflow environment are distributed to the participants according to the role-specific views of the plan. They illustrate the approach through an example workflow system for collaborative authoring.
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