The SPE Component coordinates the routing of all messages related to the business logic embodied by a virtual factory. It deals with the enactment of the control flow (waiting for messages, sending messages, decisions, parallel execution, script tasks) realizing certain aspects of the business logic and provides a flexible and extensible way of monitoring and manipulating the enactment of the business logic. In order to allow for simple and continuous improvement and innovation of a Virtual Factory environment, five design decisions have been taken: • Reduced core: deal only with execution, not with data source/user/rule management. • Service-oriented, supervisor based design. • Process description language agnostic execution. • Explicit instance spawning. • Attached Script Tasks. All these design decision have been taken independent of the selection of a particular process engine, with the intention of allowing for the replacement of core components, e.g. the process engine itself, to provide a sustainable framework for companies / researchers to adapt the system to their own needs or preferences.
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