developing a frame work

I have to develop a framework in such way that it has to support work flows and persistance storage in ruby on rails .for example if we take office automation system ,if the user interacts with the system,if that event results in workflow, the workflow system has to kick in and if user wants to store the data ,the persistance thing will come to picture .generally the object we want to circulate between workflows is a spread sheet can anyone supply pointers for this how to approach