JOURNAL OF SOFTWARE (JSW)
ISSN : 1796-217X
Volume : 4    Issue : 4    Date : June 2009

ZFlow: Workflow for Cooperative Editing System
Fei Zhu, Xiaoxu Zhu, Qiang Lv, Yiyong Shi, Yang Yang, and Qiaoming Zhu
Page(s): 339-347
Full Text:
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Abstract
Enforcement of global cooperation urges the rapid growth of cooperative work. As a typical
application of it, cooperative editing is widely used in many fields gradually, especially in knowledge
intensive application. Workflow is a kind of automation technology by predefined process rules and
tasks. It can bring us clarity in process control and management, which are two important facets in
cooperative editing. Marriage of workflow and cooperation shows us an approach to achieve
automation and convenient management as well as collaboration, thus gaining efficiency and
regularity. We summarize the editing process flow as iterative phases including initializing, editing,
coediting, reviewing and finalizing, which lays the foundation of incorporating workflow with
cooperative editing. An activity-role based access control model, which uses activity to represent the
editing task and uses role to effectively manage participants, is designed and applied in the
workflow system. To get fine control grain, section, a logic part of the document, is used. We
specially introduce the concept of subflow for section processing control and use section for
cooperative editing control. To represent the workflow, we propose a workflow description
language, which can be understood and processed by the workflow engine. As control logic in
cooperative editing is quite different from that in individual editing, we put forward a novel workflow
control algorithm, taking into account characteristics of cooperative editing. A temporal cooperative
editing system applied the workflow system, showing it can deal with cooperative editing well,
spare much human work, and offer clear process logic.

Index Terms
workflow, cooperative editing, activity, transition, flow control