Specifying Process-Oriented Hypertext for Organizational Computing

TitleSpecifying Process-Oriented Hypertext for Organizational Computing
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsNoll, J., and W. Scacchi
JournalJournal of Network and Computer Applications, Special Issue on Hypermedia Extensibility Mechanisms and Scripting Languages
Date PublishedJanuary
KeywordsAbstract model instantiation, Activity sequence, Administrative data processing, Authoring languages, Browsing, Case study, Dynamically linked process activities, Grants management process, Hypermedia, Information nodes, Intranets, Organizational computing, pml, Process enactment, Process engineering, Process Markup Language, Process scripting language, Process-oriented hypertext specification, Relevant information, Resource descriptions, Resource nodes, Seamless organizational web, US Office of Naval Research

Organizations deploy intranets to provide access to documents for those who use them, but people, tools and processes are also critical to organizational function. In particular, people may need guidance on how to perform tasks, as well as access to the information that is necessary to carry out those tasks. We present a language for describing process-oriented hypertexts (POHTs). A POHT links information, tools and activities into a seamless organizational web. Using it, the process performer can enact a process by browsing, and can receive guidance on how to perform the process activities, where to find relevant information and what tools to use. We have developed a process scripting language called PML (Process Markup Language) that provides a way for process engineers to specify process models in terms of activities and the sequence in which they should be performed. The specification can be elaborated with descriptions of the resources and tools required and provided by activities and the skills necessary to carry out an activity. The resulting models are then translated into POHTs that represent instances of the process currently being performed. PML includes features that allow the modeler to specify how the process activities should be dynamically linked to information and resource nodes at the time the process is performed. This enables processes to be described as abstract models that can be instantiated as POHTs in different organizational settings. We used PML to model processes in a case study of the grants management process at the US Office of Naval Research. We describe some of our experiences with applying PML to this study.

Alternate JournalJ. Netw. Comput. Appl. (UK)