Workflow Management Coalition - Press Release - 26-Feb-96

Workflow Management Coalition Advances Workflow Interoperability and Business Process Definition Interfaces

Microsoft MAPI Workflow Framework To Be One of the First Implementations of the Coalition's Workflow Interoperability Specification

BRUSSELS, Belgium (February 26, 1996) -- The Workflow Management Coalition (WfMC), the non-profit international organization of workflow vendors, customers and consultants today announced details of its Workflow Interoperability (Interface 4) and BPR Definition (Interface 1) specifications. Both specifications are aimed at increasing the value and decreasing the risks for customers implementing workflow solutions.

WfMC's Workflow Interoperability interface is designed to enable two or more workflow products to exchange and process work. By mapping into a variety of transportation mechanisms or communication protocols such as electronic mail, WWW, EDI, remote procedure calls (RPCs) or object request brokers (ORBs), the specification will enable workflow products to have a user-selectable vehicle for interoperability.

"Increasingly, corporations are going to need different workflow products to serve different needs and applications," said Ronni Marshak, vice president of the Patricia Seybold Group and editor in chief of Seybold's Workgroup Computing Report. "Interoperability will be key to successful collaboration between customers and applications."

Microsoft's MAPI Workflow Framework

In this context, Microsoft (a funding member of WfMC) and WfMC mutually agreed to align the interoperability objectives of Microsoft's Messaging Application Programming Interface Workflow Framework (MAPI-WF) and Interface 4. The results will lead to an implementation independent model of workflow interoperability where MAPI-WF is one of the first implementations of Interface 4. In addition, the Coalition is continuing its work in this area to define mappings to other transport mechanisms in line with its policy of enabling the widest applicability of its specifications.

Business Process Definition Interface Specification Draft Presented

WfMC also announced that it has presented an initial working draft of its Business Process Definition (Interface 1) specification for the analysis, modeling and description of business process workflows. Both U.S. and European workflow vendors are initially endorsing the Interface 1 specification.

Workflow vendors offer a variety of tools for the development of business processes. WfMC's process definition import/export interface provides a common interchange format for a large number of information types including:

"Our Business Process Definition interface is designed to ensure that companies developing multi-vendor workflow systems can develop their business processes with less risk," said Gerhard Wernke, vice chairman of the Coalition's working group on the process definition interface and product manager at Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme -- a Coalition member.

About the Workflow Management Coalition

Founded in 1993, the Workflow Management Coalition (WfMC) is a non-profit, international organization of workflow vendors, customers and consultants. The Coalition's mission is to promote the use of workflow through the establishment of standards for software terminology, interoperability and connectivity between workflow products.

Consisting of more than 175 members in 25 countries, the Coalition has quickly become established as the primary standards body for this rapidly expanding software market. In November 1995, the Coalition published its workflow application programming interface (Interface 2) specification designed to give users increased flexibility in implementing standards-based workflow systems.

For further information contact:

Contact: Attn. Beth Johnson, Phase Two Strategies ( or tel: 415/772-8419) or Emmy Botterman, WfMC ( or tel: +32 2 774-9633).

Workflow Management Coalition Office
Avenue Marcel Thiry 204, 1200 Brussels,Belgium;
Tel: +32 2 774 96 33. Fax: +32 2 774 96 90

Or contact one of the Country Contacts

WfMC Home Page

Last updated: Fri Mar 1 13:51:51 1996 by Austin Tate, AIAI (