The last day at the Gartner conference was a short one for me: I skipped the vendor sessions in the morning, so only attended Daryl Plummer’s session “BPM in the Service Oriented Architecture” and the Andrew Spanyi talk at lunch before I had to leave for the airport.
Plummer’s session description started with the phrase “Is BPM in my SOA or is SOA in my BPM?” — where have I heard that before — then asked the questions “Where do BPM and SOA cross paths? How can SOA be leveraged for the business process? How can BPM be leveraged for an SOA?” There was quite a bit of recycled material in here, or maybe I was just getting conferenced-out by that point, but he did introduce a new (to me) acronym: ISE, or integrated service environment, which is apparently the process developer view of composite applications as opposed to BPMS, which is the business view of composite applications. He made a strong point that ISE is not just an IDE plus BPM, but is the following:
- A development environment that enables creation, assembly, orchestration, deployment, automation and maintenance of composite applications based on services from the perspective of a process-centric developer.
- Automates and manages the productivity of developers through frameworks, process flow, page flow and service invocations.
- Provides the development work environment for an application platform suite to assemble services into processes and composite applications.
- Supports SOA principles and XML Web services standards, as well as traditional component and modular code mechanisms.
First of all, it’s not clear to me why this isn’t just BPM plus some array of development tools. Second, it’s also not clear to me that a BPMS is the business view of composite applications: that’s one aspect of a BPMS, but most of them also provide a huge part of the process developer’s view as well. Is ISE a valid distinction in this ever-changing SOA environment, or just the buzzword du jour?
Spanyi’s talk at lunch was a bit lost in the hub-bub of a room full of people eating and — in the case of two people at my table — carrying on completely unrelated conversations, but I did pick up a copy of his latest book so can presumably get the gist of it from that.
One last note to Matt, who I sat with at lunch on Monday: send me your contact info, I want to hear more about your open source workflow project and I want to connect you to someone who is doing something similar.