Managing Workflow Authorization Constraints through Active Database Technology

Fabio Casati, Silvana Castano, Maria Grazia Fugini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


The execution of workflow processes requires authorizations for enforcing the assignment of tasks to agents, either human or automated, according to the security policy of the organization. This paper presents a workflow authorization framework based on roles and organizational levels, and on authorization constraints. To facilitate the assignment of tasks to agents, roles and organizational levels are organized into hierarchies. Authorization constraints are introduced to specify instance-dependent, time-dependent, and history-dependent authorizations. Authorization constraints are specified in terms of active rules, used also for authorization management. The Workflow Management System determines authorized agents on the basis of the contents of an authorization base maintained through the active rules defined in the system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-338
Number of pages20
JournalInformation Systems Frontiers
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Active databases
  • Authorization constraints
  • Authorizations
  • Roles
  • Triggers
  • Workflows

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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