@mire has developed a new workflow framework for the DSpace XMLUI. This new workflow framework (called the XmlWorkflow), the different workflow steps are configured in a workflow xml configuration file and by using Spring configuration files. Because of this approach, adding new workflow steps or modifying existing workflow steps is very easy. Besides the configuration of the different steps, the actual workflow is also configurable to allow different flows.
In order to support both the new XML based workflow and the original DSpace workflow, different aspects and one configuration option have been added to enable/disable a workflow framework.
To be backwards compatible with the original DSpace workflow, the default XML based workflow will contain the same steps as the original workflow. Besides these, some additional workflow steps will be made available in to serve as examples on how to further customize the workflow and to improve the existing functionality.
In case a repository manager would like to start using the new XML based workflow, migration scripts to move all the existing workflowitems and workflow groups to the new framework (using the default configuration with the same steps as the original workflow) will be provided.
In case a custom version of the out of the box original DSpace workflow is used, the migration script might not work. Therefore, an additional script will be available that sends all existing workflowitems back to the start of the workflow process.
Some of the major benefits of the XML based workflow are listed below:
The steps of the workflow can switch positions, new steps can be added, with the possibility of creating fully automated steps.
Workflow groups should no longer be defined for each individual collection. It is possible to define workflow groups at the level of the entire repository, collections and even for one specific item. The latter can be useful in case e.g. a reviewer will be selected based on a previous evaluation of the item.
There is also the possibility of add alternative outcomes. These can be used to send items back to a previous workflow step or to a different branch of the workflow.
Multiple users can also be assigned to the same step to allow e.g. a multiple reviewer evaluation system where the item requires e.g. 3 reviews and based on these reviews a decision is made.
Steps can contain multiple actions. This makes it possible to create workflow steps with containing multiple (sequential) tasks.
At the moment the XmlWorkflow does not support the curation framework. However, future updates to the workflow framework allow for the inclusion of the curation tasks as well.
More information on the configuration and design of the workflow framework can be found on the following page (work in progress): https://wiki.duraspace.org/display/DSPACE/DSpace+1.8+Configurable+Reviewer+Workflow