Workflow Management Systems (WfMSs) today act as service composition engines and service-oriented middleware to enable the execution of automated business processes.
Automation based on WfMSs promises to enable the model-driven construction of flexible and easily maintainable services with high-performance characteristics.
In the past decade, significant effort has been invested into standardizing WfMSs that compose services, with standards such as the Web Services Business Process Execution Language (WS-BPEL) or the Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN).
One of the aims of standardization is to enable users of WfMSs to compare different systems and to avoid vendor lock-in.
Despite these efforts, there are many expectations concerning portability, performance efficiency, usability, reliability and maintainability of WfMSs that are likely to be unfulfilled.
In this work, we synthesize the findings of two research initiatives that deal with WfMSs conformance and performance benchmarking to distill a set of lessons learned and best practices.
These findings provide useful advice for practitioners who plan to evaluate and use WfMSs and for WfMS vendors that would like to foster wider adoption of process-centric service composition middleware.