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I am interested if anyone has developed a client that is intended to present tasks to people. Has anyone worked with any APIs for the presentation of tasks to business users? I am working on a workflow system that exposes a web service interface intended to support development with clients in many technologies. My current design is to implement the OASIS standard BPEL For People (BPEL4People). What I don't have is any experience developing this kind of client. I'd like some any insight into if anyone has used this interface, and if so, what were the hurdles.

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Hi Craig,

We have worked with Jira. It has a nice Java plugin API. Note: We are an Atlassian shop, so I am biased. That being said, I have done dozens of installations, and people really seem to like the task management.

Ive read about BPEL4People, but havent had a chance to work with it.
Thanks for pointing me to Jira. It looks interesting, but not much similar to the kind of API I'm working on. Jira doesn't seem to have a workflow system for orchestrating work between people and systems. Take a look at the IBM whitepapers for some more background.
I've done some work on the Kuali Financial System, which is a client of Kuali Enterprise Workflow. For UI insight, you could look at its action list.

For API insight, I suggest:
1. synchronous, because users want feedback,
2. simple for the client callback code, and
3. fast for clients and tests.

So, I recommend an API embedded with the client. Its callbacks can take advantage of second-level caching of the client database. XML binding and XPath are not as simple or fast, so I don't recommend marshaling the client data to a web service.

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