One of the key characteristics of enterprise information systems is the fact that it consists of many interconnected subsystems with continuously changing underlying components. Applications are updated, replaced or extended with new functionality regularly; also core business processes are in the scope of continuous process improvement and business transformation initiatives to gain competitive advantage by further leveraging the enterprise’s capabilities. Maximum customer value can only be accomplished by integrating all enterprise applications and department specific workflows into an end-to-end business processes that span functions. Enabling middleware technology is a key success factor.
The goal of this thesis is to design and implement a loosely coupled, message-based integration component supporting enterprise wide workflow integration. The value proposition of this integration middleware is to enable workflow instances running on different platforms to interact with each other in a secure, reliable and asynchronous way. The integration component’s architecture is determined by one of the key business requirements saying that the integration middleware should support the usage of new message types; and the establishment of new integration connections without middleware restart. Hence, the integration component implements a generalized way of message processing where the actual processing assembly is loaded at runtime based on message type.
The integration middleware was implemented using C# programming language and Microsoft.NET 3.5 Framework. The usage scenario - presented in this thesis – comes from real integration projects but has been abstracted to meet compliance policies. The presented business process was created in K2 Blackpearl 4.5 workflow system leveraging existing Microsoft SharePoint 2010 environment to host process forms.