Thursday, November 11, 2004

BPEL Usage Patterns

I am currently writing a series of articles on BPEL for the CBDI Journal. In the first of these articles, Orchestration Patterns Using BPEL, I discuss the following six ways in which a company can get benefits from BPEL.

Usage Pattern Description
Process Separation
(e.g. EAI/Workflow)
Process flow logic is contained in a separate layer, which is developed and maintained separately. This may correspond to a technical architecture in which the workflow is executed by a separate software engine.
Process Instrumentation
(e.g. Business Activity Management)
An interface is provided into the orchestration layer, exposing it for direct monitoring and intervention. Now the process flow can be defined and managed by the process manager, often without IT involvement.
Process Componentization
(e.g. grid-like solutions)
BPEL can be used for the orchestration of informal processes, where process components can be assembled rapidly or dynamically as required. This might also support a form of grid-like solution, where process components provide elementary integration scripts.
Process Generalization
(e.g. Application Packages)
BPEL is used to increase the flexibility of an application package, thus allowing it to be implemented in a wider range of organizations with greatly reduced customization.
Process Standardization
(e.g. External Services & Exchanges)
Service-based interfaces using BPEL processes
Process Flexibility
(e.g. Dynamic Outsourcing)
A BPEL-based process allows dynamic changes to orchestration. For example late binding with your service providers, allowing process steps to be easily moved to and fro across the organizational boundary. See also Urgent Process Change.

The full article was published in the CBDI Journal October 2004.

The second article on Tools and Trends is currently in production. Please send me any contributions for the third article. I'm particularly keen to get more detailed process patterns or case studies.

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