Frank Leymann

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Frank Leymann
Frank Leymann.jpeg
Frank Leymann
Born (1957-09-25) September 25, 1957 (age 65)
Bochum, Germany
Alma materUniversity of Bochum
Known forSoftware Architecture
Large Scale Distributed Systems
Business Process Management
Service-Oriented Architecture
Cloud Computing
Pattern Languages
AwardsElected Member, IBM Academy of Technology (1996)

IBM Distinguished Engineer (2000)
Honorary Doctorate, University of Crete (2015)
Elected Member, Academia Europaea (2016)
Fellow, Center of Integrated Quantum Science and Technology (IQST) (2019)

Kurt Gödel Visiting Professor for Quantum Computing, TU Wien (2020)
Scientific career
FieldsComputer Science
InstitutionsUniversity of Stuttgart, Germany
IBM Research & Development, Germany
University of Bochum, Germany
ThesisBlätterungen von Räumen mit Singularitäten ("Foliations of Spaces with Singularities") (1984)
Doctoral advisorKarl-Heinz Spallek

Frank Leymann (25 September 1957 in Bochum) is a German computer scientist and mathematician. He is professor of computer science at the University of Stuttgart, Germany, and director and founder of the Institute of Architecture of Application Systems (IAAS).[1]


Leymann studied Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy, and received a Master of Science degree in Mathematics (i.e. Dipl.-Math.) in 1982 from University of Bochum, Germany. He worked as research staff member in the Faculty of Mathematics at University of Bochum, where he obtained his PhD in Mathematics (i.e. Dr. rer. nat.) in 1984. In his PhD thesis he studied foliations on spaces with singularities. After his PhD he went to IBM Research and Development contributing to software products like DB2, Websphere, or MQSeries. Leymann was main co-inventor and chief software architect of IBM's business process management and workflow products, and was appointed IBM Distinguished Engineer for this work. In 2004, he was appointed full professor of computer science at University of Stuttgart where he founded the Institute of Architecture of Application Systems. He holds many granted patents in the area of software.[2]


Frank Leymann's main contributions are from the domains of workflow systems, service-oriented architecture, and cloud computing. He is also active in the area of quantum computing.

Database management[edit]

His initial focus was on database technology: In order to simplify queries on relational databases with many tables, Leymann co-developed a universal relation system[3] on top of existing relational database systems. Contributions to architectural aspects of stored procedures and user defined functions followed. The latter resulted in investigating the use of object databases, especially ObjectStore, as the underpinning of other middleware. At this time, developers were quite unfamiliar with object databases, thus, Leymann helped to create tooling to ensure proper performance of corresponding applications.

Business process management & workflow systems[edit]

Workflow systems support companies in modeling, optimizing, and executing their business processes in computing environments. Several languages have been proposed for modeling business processes, out which two languages are widely supported in industry: one of which is the OASIS (organization) standard Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) that Leymann co-invented and which in turn is based on Web Services Flow Language (WSFL), a language that Leymann authored for IBM; the other language is Business Process Model and Notation 2.0 (BPMN), which Leymann co-author too. Such modeling languages support "programming in the large " and allow splitting high-level logic of control- and data flow within an overall application from low-level logic implementing elementary business functions; this way, workflow-based applications[4] can be created, that allow changing business processes without having to change the programs implementing individual steps of the process. Often, collections of such steps represent long running transactions, i.e. performed steps must succeed or - in case of an error - must be collectively undone; to support this behavior in business processes Leymann introduced compensating transactions in workflow systems[5] Based on his contributions to IBM's workflow products, Leymann co-authored the seminal book "Production Workflow[6] " that explains how to build scalable and reliable workflow systems.

Service computing[edit]

The architecture and implementation of workflow systems anticipated many aspects of service-oriented programming like the use of service interfaces, service invoker, or service listener. Consequently, from 2000 on, Leymann helped to define several of the original web service standards like WS-Addressing,[7] WS-Business Activity,[8] BPEL4People,[9] or the Web Services Resource Framework.[10] Especially, aggregation of web services has been addressed by BPEL and WSFL. How the plethora of web service standards fit into an architecture for an enterprise service bus was described in a book on the web service platform[11] co-authored by Leymann.

Cloud computing[edit]

The work on the web services resource framework had already shown that elements of a computing infrastructure like hardware, operating systems etc. can be perceived as services too - just like software functionality. Consequently, complete applications can be outsource to the cloud, which requires standards and technology to provision and manage applications in such environments: Frank Leymann was initial co-author of OASIS TOSCA[12] that allows to specify the structure of applications, their artifacts, and dependencies, as well as the associated operational semantics to automatically provision such applications. Leymann's group at University of Stuttgart built an open source implementation of this standard called OpenTOSCA.[13][14] Guidelines for building applications that fit properly into the cloud have been derived jointly with industry partners and was published as a vendor-neutral language of cloud computing patterns.[15]

Pattern languages[edit]

Leymann and his group investigated the use of pattern languages not only in the area of cloud computing[16] but in several other domains like the internet of things,[17] green business processes,[18][19] or quantum computing.[20] The use of pattern languages to (semi-)automatically rewrite the architecture of software[21] has been suggested. Patterns are abstractions of concrete working solutions, but in course of the abstraction process the knowledge about these workings solutions is lost - with the consequence that working solutions are created over and over again when a pattern is applied. To avoid this ineffectiveness, the reuse of concrete solutions has been investigated and worked out.[22][23][24] In order to show that newly developed concepts are applicable outside of computer science they are applied to the humanities,[25] especially to the domain of films[26][27] and musicology.[28]

Quantum Computing[edit]

Quantum computing has the potential to solve problems that are intractable today.[29] But programming quantum computers is very different from programming classical computers.[30] In order to support practitioners building solutions based on quantum computers, Leymann and his group proposed a platform for sharing knowledge about building corresponding applications.[31] Within the project PlanQK[32] (which Leymann leads as scientific director) this platform is built. Other work focuses on development tools supporting the creation of applications on noisy quantum computers.

Honors and awards[edit]

  • Appointment, Kurt Gödel Visiting Professor for Quantum Computing, TU Wien (2020)[33]
  • Appointment, Member of the Expert Council for Quantum Computing of the German Government (2020)[34]
  • Fellow, Center of Integrated Quantum Science and Technology (IQST)[35] (2019)
  • Elected Member, Academia Europaea (2016)
  • Honorary Doctorate, University of Crete (2015)
  • Appointment to IBM Distinguished Engineer (2000)
  • Honorary Professor, University of Stuttgart (1999)
  • Elected Member, IBM Academy of Technology (1996)


  1. ^ "Institute of Architecture of Application Systems (IAAS)". Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  2. ^ "Espacenet Patent Search". Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  3. ^ "Universal Relation System". Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  4. ^ Leymann, F.; Roller, D. (1997). "Workflow-Based Applications". IBM Systems Journal. 36: 102–123. doi:10.1147/sj.361.0102. S2CID 376168.
  5. ^ F. Leymann: Supporting Business Transactions Via Partial Backward Recovery in Workflow Management Systems. In: Proc. BTW'95, 1995.
  6. ^ F. Leymann, D. Roller: Production Workflow: Concepts and Techniques. PTR Prentice Hall, 2000.
  7. ^ "WS-Addressing". Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  8. ^ "WS-Business Activity". Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  9. ^ "BPEL4People". Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  10. ^ "WSResourceProperties" (PDF). Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  11. ^ S. Weerawarana, P. Curbera, F. Leymann, T. Storey, D.F. Ferguson: Web Services Platform Architecture. Prentice Hall, 2005.
  12. ^ "TOSCA". Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  13. ^ "OpenTOSCA Overview". Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  14. ^ "OpenTOSCA Repository". Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  15. ^ Ch. Fehling, F. Leymann, R. Retter, W, Schupeck, P. Arbitter: Cloud Computing Patterns, Springer Wien, 2014. Abstract.
  16. ^ "Cloud Computing Patterns". Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  17. ^ "IoT Patterns". Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  18. ^ A. Nowak, F. Leymann, D. Schleicher, D. Schumm, S. Wagner: Green Business Process Patterns. In: Proceedings of the 18th Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs, PLoP 2011
  19. ^ A. Nowak, F. Leymann: Green Business Process Patterns - Part II. In: Proceedings of the 6th IEEE International Conference on Service Oriented Computing & Applications (SOCA 2013)
  20. ^ F. Leymann: Towards a Pattern Language for Quantum Algorithms. In: Proc. QTOP 2019 Abstract.
  21. ^ J. Guth, F. Leymann: Pattern-based rewrite and refinement of architectures using graph theory. In: Software-Intensive Cyber-Physical Systems (SICS), Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2019
  22. ^ M. Falkenthal, J. Barzen, U. Breitenbücher, Ch. Fehling, F. Leymann: Efficient Pattern Application: Validating the Concept of Solution Implementations in Different Domains. In: International Journal on Advances in Software Vol. 7 (3&4), Xpert Publishing Services, 2014
  23. ^ M. Falkenthal, F. Leymann: Easing Pattern Application by Means of Solution Languages. In: Proceedings of the 9th International Conferences on Pervasive Patterns and Applications (PATTERNS), 2017
  24. ^ M. Falkenthal, U. Breitenbücher, J. Barzen, F. Leymann: On the algebraic properties of concrete solution aggregation. In: SICS Software-Intensive Cyber-Physical Systems, Springer, 2019
  25. ^ J. Barzen, F. Leymann: Patterns as Formulas: Patterns in the Digital Humanities. In: Proceedings of the Ninth International Conferences on Pervasive Patterns and Applications (PATTERNS), 2017
  26. ^ J. Barzen, F. Leymann: Costume Languages As Pattern Languages. In: Proceedings of Pursuit of Pattern Languages for Societal Change - Preparatory Workshop 2014
  27. ^ M. Falkenthal, J. Barzen, U. Breitenbücher, S. Brügmann, D. Joos, F. Leymann, M. Wurster: Pattern Research in the Digital Humanities: How Data Mining Techniques Support the Identification of Costume Patterns. In: Computer Science - Research and Development Vol. 32 (3-4), Heidelberg: Springer, 2016
  28. ^ J. Barzen, U. Breitenbücher, L. Eusterbrock, M. Falkenthal, F. Hentschel, F. Leymann: The vision for MUSE4Music. Applying the MUSE method in musicology. In: Computer Science - Research and Development Vol. 32 (3-4), Heidelberg: Springer, 2016
  29. ^ National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine: Quantum Computing: Progress and Prospects. The National Academies Press, Washington, DC. 2019
  30. ^ Jack D. Hidary: Quantum Computing: An Applied Approach. Springer 2019.
  31. ^ F. Leymann, J. Barzen, M. Falkenthal: Towards a Platform for Sharing Quantum Software. Proceedings of the 13th Advanced Summer School on Service Oriented Computing (2019).
  32. ^ "The PlanQK Project". Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  33. ^ "Frank Leymann Appointed First Kurt Gödel Visiting Professor". Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  34. ^ "Roadmap Quantencomputing" (PDF). Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  35. ^ "IQST: Fellows". Retrieved 18 December 2019.

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