The patent's inventors are Hebert, Cedric R. J. (Mougins, FR); Gomez, Laurent Y. (Le Cannet, FR); Montagut, Frederic (Antibes, FR); Plate, Henrik (Nice, FR); Ulmer, Cedric S. P. (Nice, FR).
This patent was filed on
From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "In the last years the field of electronic data processing has seen a rapid development. As a part of the development, more and more processes in enterprises or organizations have been automated. This includes processes that involve a participation of different partners or entities such as enterprises. Such processes can be described as collaborative processes. A description of a collaborative process at a business level is called a collaborative workflow. A collaborative workflow can be described by using a set of tasks that may be related to each other.
"Participants in a collaborative workflow may have a supplier-customer relationship or may be competitors. Therefore, each participant of a collaborative workflow may have certain conditions for participating in the collaborative workflow. The conditions may relate for example to keeping certain internal process details private or to complying with general security requirements."
Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "An execution of a collaborative workflow may be checked for different reasons. A prototype of the collaborative workflow may be set up for a proof of concept. For this, tracing of an instance of the collaborative workflow that may be a prototype may be used. Furthermore, an established collaborative workflow may be checked for a proof of execution or for monitoring the progress. Results of such a check may be used to improve or optimize the workflow. Furthermore, tracing instances of an established workflow may be used to audit collaborative processes and to identify failures of participating entities.
"Embodiments may be used for tracing a collaborative workflow across different participants complying with conditions of the different participants relating to privacy and security requirements.
"One embodiment is a system for tracing a collaborative workflow. The system reflects a distributed architecture to trace a collaborative workflow and to comply with the conditions. A participant of the collaborative workflow may use the system inside its secure domain and trace a collaborative workflow according to local criteria and according to global criteria. The local criteria are defined by a local model of the collaborative workflow and may include process details that are considered as private by the participant. As the system is inside the secure domain and may be authorized to access such private details. The global criteria are defined by a global model of the collaborative workflow that is known by the participants of the collaborative workflow. Events relating to the global model are received from other participants from outside the secure domain of the participant using the system. From the perspective of the other participants, the system may be an outside system and have no access to private data of the other participants, thus protecting also the data of the other participants.
"The system allows for a tracing of the collaborative workflow that is detailed and at the same time complying with privacy and security requirements. The system is efficient with respect to data communication resources and data processing resources compared to a centralized system that would receive and process data from all participants. Furthermore, using the system may not necessarily require a trusted further party to which the participants would have to send private data. This leads to an increase of security. Furthermore, using a local model of the collaborative workflow may prevent any leak of information about internal processes to other participants of the collaborative workflow. The system may be protected by highly developed standard security means. This increases the security of a participant using the system. The global model may be used to discuss and define the collaborative workflow with the other participants as far as the other participants are concerned.
"A further embodiment is a method for tracing a collaborative workflow. The method may be used by a participant of a collaborative workflow to trace the collaborative workflow and to comply with privacy and security requirements. Using the method the participant may have complete access to its own data, may protect its own data by keeping its data private, and may protect private data of other participants by not accessing them. Data processing involves a local model of the collaborative workflow and a global model of the collaborative workflow.
"Therefore, the method is secure and efficient with respect to data exchange and data processing.
"A further embodiment is a computer program product for tracing a collaborative workflow that shares characterizing features with the method for tracing a collaborative workflow."
For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Hebert, Cedric R. J.; Gomez, Laurent Y.; Montagut, Frederic; Plate, Henrik; Ulmer, Cedric S. P.. Tracing of Collaborative Workflows. U.S. Patent Number 8819131, filed
Keywords for this news article include: Information Technology, Information and Data Processing,
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