Workflow management systems (WfMSs) are broadly used in enterprise to design, deploy, execute, monitor, and analyze automated business processes. Current state-of-the-art WfMSs evolved into platforms delivering complex service-oriented applications that need to satisfy enterprise-grade performance requirements. With the ever growing number of WfMSs that are available in the market, companies are called to choose which product is optimal for their requirements and business models. Factors that WfMS vendors use to differentiate their products are mainly related to functionality and integration with other systems and frameworks. They usually do not differentiate their systems in terms of performance in handling the workload they are subject to or in terms of hardware resource consumption. Recent trend saw WfMSs deployed on environments where performance in handling the workload really matters, because they are subject to handling millions of workflow instances per day, as does the efficiency in terms of resource consumption, e.g., if they are deployed in the Cloud. Benchmarking is an established practice to compare alternative products, which helps to drive the continuous improvement of technology by setting a clear target in measuring and assessing its performance. In particular for WfMSs, there is not yet a standard accepted benchmark, even if standard workflow modeling and execution languages such as BPMN 2.0 have recently appeared. In this chapter, we present the challenges of establishing the first standard benchmark for assessing and comparing the performance of WfMSs in a way that is compliant to the main requirements of a benchmark: portability, scalability, simplicity, vendor neutrality, repeatability, efficiency, representativeness, relevance, accessibility, and affordability. A possible solution is also discussed, together with a use case of micro-benchmarking of open-source production WfMSs. The use case demonstrates the relevance of benchmarking the performance of WfMSs by showing relevant differences in terms of performance and resource consumption among the benchmarked WfMSs.
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