BPM standards, architecture and modeling

Thanks to David Ogren’s BPM Blog for a pointer to “What is Business Process Modeling?” Like one of the commenters on the article, I also disagree with Mike Havey’s use of the term “business process modeling” as being interchangeable with “business process management”, since modeling is typically seen as being the business-focused activity at the front end of BPM, not the entire range of activities. I also don’t make such a sharp distinction between BPM and EAI: they’re part of the same continuum of technologies, and it is common to include EAI as part of BPM functionality (or vice versa): certainly the former EAI vendors who have hopped on the BPM bandwagon would agree with me on this point. His vision of a BPM architecture is not well-grounded in the current reality of BPMS, starting with “the heart of the architecture is a runtime engine that executes processes whose source code is written in the XML-based BPEL language” (I wish) and continuing with “human participants view and execute pending manual work activities using a graphical worklist application” (not necessarily).

Other than those minor points, it’s a good look at how the current morass of overlapping and competing BPM standards fit together, and has a very clear view of how BPM components are used during the design, development, deployment and monitoring cycle. I’ve been blogging about BPM standards from the beginning, and am completely on side with anyone supporting standards over the continuation of proprietary fiefdoms of process modeling and execution.

Last, but not least, he shows some examples of and provides a reference to itp-commerce‘s Process Modeler for Microsoft Visio, which allows you to create BPMN process models and (in the professional edition) transfer them to BPEL for execution. itp-commerce’s site links to an article by Bruce Silver that reviews the product, but more importantly, talks about the use of BPMN in general, and the use of Visio as a business process modeling tool.

By the way, if you’re interested in some of the theory behind BPM, Mike Havey’s written an article on Pi Calculus and Petri nets.

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