In the last few years, workflow management has become a hot topic in the research community and, especially, in the commercial arena. Workflow management is multidisciplinary in nature encompassing many aspects of computing: database management, distributed client-server systems, transaction management, mobile computing, business process reengineering, integration of legacy and new applications via object oriented technology, and heterogeneity of networks, and hardware and software platforms. Many academic and industrial research projects are underway. Numerous successful products have been released. Standardization efforts are in progress under the auspices of the Workflow Management Coalition. As has happened in the RDBMS area with respect to some topics, in the workflow area also, some of the important real-life problems faced by customers and product developers are not being tackled by researchers. Based on my experience founding and leading the Exotica workflow project at IBM, and my close collaboration with the IBM FlowMark workflow product group and, more recently, with the Lotus people, I will address those problems by giving an overview of the Exotica project at IBM Almaden Research Center.