BPM & SOA for Small Business Enterprises (ICIME 2009)


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Imran Sarwar Bajwa, S. Mumtaz, A. Samad, R. Kazmi, A. Choudhary [2009], "BPM meeting with SOA: A Customized Solution for Small Business Enterprises", in proceedings of IEEE- International Conference on Information management & Engineering 2009, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, Apr 2009, pp:677-682

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BPM & SOA for Small Business Enterprises (ICIME 2009)

  1. 1. 2009 International Conference on Information Management and Engineering BPM meeting with SOA: A Customized Solution for Small Business Enterprises Imran Sarwar Bajwa Ali Samad Shahzad Mumtaz Rafaqut Kazmi Abbas Choudhary Department of CS & IT Department of CS & IT Department of CS & IT Department of CS & IT College of Electrical and The Islamia Univ. of The Islamia Univ. of The Islamia Univ. of The Islamia Univ. of mechanical Sciences, BWP BWP BWP BWP NUST Bahawalpur, Pakistan Bahawalpur, Pakistan Bahawalpur, Pakistan Bahawalpur, Pakistan Rawalpindi, quteimi@hotmail.com Ali6345@hotmail.com Shahzadz22@hotmail.co rafaqutkazmi@gmail.com mabbas@ceme.edu.pk m Abstract — This research paper presents a new pattern for A. Concerns of Small Business Enterprises the espousal of SOA in small enterprises for the service delivery beyond the typical role of SOA and BPM for dynamic In contrast with larger business organizations, the small endorsement of the processes beyond the ordinary border-lines. ones are also facing the same challenges of new advancements In comparison with large enterprises, the presented framework in business trends and methods. Due to the advancements, can expose the fact that the improvements of service orientation and the fruits of process management can be confined for small where the business processes need righteous adjustments and business enterprises as well. Service Oriented Architecture suitable optimizations, the IT environments also require the (SOA) and Business Process Management (BPM) in combination dynamic adaptations of the altering needs and requirements. have been used for agility in services and dynamic process To cop up with the issues of improved and effective processes management for many years. The partnership of BPM and SOA in a business enterprise, Business Process Management has been fruitful by merging the benefits of both sides. These (BPM) has evolved as premium solution [4]. BPM allows a benefits are still being wallowed by the large sized enterprises, who can not only handle these large scale architectures using business enterprise to computerize, optimize and implement their vigorous work force but also have the enough budget to underlying activities with the help of business processes. manage the ultimate expenses. In this paper, the key issues During deployment of BPM and SOA partnership in a regarding the transformation of BPM and SOA partnership for small business enterprises has been elaborated. typical small scale business enterprise, following issues can be of primary significance. Keywords— Process Management; IT management; Small Shortage of investment Business Enterprises; Information Systems; BPM & SOA Parnership Not capable work team I. INTRODUCTION Lack of infrastructure Security issues With the advancements of technology, business trends and Narrow business domain styles are also changing. A number of variations also have Rigid Management plan been developed in the style and structure of the development of business oriented applications. These changes are so rapid Keeping in view the above considerations of small business and fast that it is becoming quite difficult for the business enterprises, business oriented services can be implemented enterprises to be harmonized with these changes. Modern using the outside in view [18]. Using outside in view, one can business requirements need a continuous process of implement large scale architecture in a small scale enterprise synchronized effort to digest business alterations and by borrowing services from standard service providers even in variations. Modern solutions like Business Process the presence of small work-force. Management (BPM) [1] and Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) [2] has done a great job for business and IT B. BPM for Small Business Enterprises administrators. BPM is a discipline that can handle issues: In small business enterprises, business and IT needs quite document processing, accommodating dynamic changes, similar; except the scope and budget. Typically, the major monitoring processes’ evaluating performance, etc. On the participants involved in a small business enterprise are other side, SOA has the by-default potential to considerably vendors, IT infrastructure, vendors, database, customers, etc. modify the businesses associations and re-structure the entire BPM is the solution to synchronize communication among all industry [3]. these constituents [5]. By using BPM in a small business978-0-7695-3595-1/09 $25.00 © 2009 IEEE 677DOI 10.1109/ICIME.2009.152
  2. 2. enterprise, multiple benefits can be secured: applications will be so unified and cohesive that the enterprise will not be enough flexible to further extend. Analysis by - Complex integration of the multiple business processes many organizations has proved the partnership of BPM and can be achieved. SOA has evolved as formidable solution for the modern - The bottlenecks that typically avert competence and business needs, especially for small business enterprises. efficiency can be resolved as well. In this article, next session describes the basis of - Enterprise can accommodate dynamic changes in partnership of BPM and SOA and the benefits of partnership business processes. of BPM and SOA for small enterprises. In the forthcoming sessions, the relationship of BPM and SOA has defined and - Processes are also documented. also the importance of BPM and SOA is justified. At the end, - The performance of the modified business processes a proposed architecture for small business enterprises is also can also be monitored on regular basis. presented and some implementation constrains are also conversed. On the other hand, SOA has made dynamic changespossible by lessening the cohesiveness among softwaremodules of an information system [7]. SOA not only II. MATERIALS AND METHODSfacilitates the building of flexible information system The BPM-SOA partnership allows services to be used asapplications but also integrates the complex and assorted IT reusable components that can be orchestrated to support thetechnologies. A beauty of SOA is that it can be successfully needs of dynamic business processes [3]. The combinationadopted by the small sized organizations as it can easily scale enables businesses to iteratively design and optimize businessdown to fit within their on hand IT capabilities [8]. processes that are based on services that can be changed quickly, instead of being hard-wired. A critical success factor of SOA-BPM is the adoption of industry recognized technology standards [11], which allow the architecture to be portable and executable in almost any chosen hardware and software environment, eliminating the need to be tied to any specific vendor. The use of BPM in concert with SOA – a Complex Improved Integration of Efficiency perfectly aligned partnership of Business and IT investments – Processes is the fast path to ensuring true business agility. BPM provides Business Process Management a wonderful abstraction for building business systems [16]. But all too often BPM is used to build higher level, more efficient, but nonetheless silo applications rather than contributing to an overall flexible, agile enterprise. This is where SOA comes in. SOA provides the application platform to bridges to the business processes and the operational Monitors resources [12]. Accommodate Processes’ Dynamic Performance BPM and SOA in combination help and facilitate the next Changes Documented phase of business process evolution – going from merely Processes automating repeatable processes to flexible automation of dynamic processes [17]. Together, BPM and SOA provide a Figure 1.1 – Benefits of using BPM. perfect combination for enterprise computing. BPM provides the higher-level abstraction for defining businesses processes, A lot of discussion has already been made on the issue of as well as other important capabilities of monitoring andconvergence of SOA and BPM [6]. By definition, BPM and managing those processes [9]. Colleen Frye [4] says thatSOA are two contrary disciplines but they have some abilities “BPM is a small fish inside the belly of the SOA whale…” Into co-work at same time and same place. Both BPM and SOA the same article, Colleen says also that “BPM and SOA areneed each other. Without BPM, SOA can only produce two sides of the same coin; joined at the hip”. Mike Rosen [9]reusable and reliable services in a business enterprise but this thinks that “BPM and SOA provide a perfect combination forsolution will not be agile further [9]. The non-agile services enterprise computing”. Ismael Ghalimi [6] says that “BPM iswill not have ability of continuous improvement and SOA’s killer application and SOA is BPM’s enablingoptimization. On the other side, BPM is by nature un- infrastructure.” According to Ismael, BPM cannot workscaleable and un-adaptive [10]. As a result, if a BPM based together but there are many similarities in both SOA andsolution is used to build business applications, these BPM. 678
  3. 3. III. PARTNERSHIP BENEFITS FOR SMALL ENTERPRISES Figure 3.2- Loose coupling support in processes and services SOA and BPM are two variant disciplines and they are usedfor their distinct applications. These disciplines have been D. Cost Effective due to Reusability Featureimplemented in the business enterprises and have been It is observed that both BPM and SOA support thesuccessfully used for their respective functions. But BPM and reusability factor. SOA supports loosely coupled modulesSOA in combination can be quite helpful not only for large that enable reuse in various applications [11]. Alike SOA,scale enterprises but the small business enterprises can be the BPM also supports reusing of processes rules and servicesbeneficiaries as well. Some possible benefits of using the by separating business services and logic. This feature candescribed partnership can be as following: be so helpful for small business enterprises in decreasing their manufacturing, operational and management cost.A. Improvable due to Iterative Nature Both BPM and SOA are iterative processes. SOA is also an E. Flexible due to Change Digestibility iterative process, in which the modules are made loosely It is a common feature of BPM and SOA that they support coupled in an iterative way. Various steps are performed in and assimilate dynamic changes. SOA can accommodate iteration as SOA discovery for services identification; dynamic modifications due to its loosely coupled nature. On assessment phase for the evaluation of the services; the other hand BPM has also the ability to adapt the planning and decision phase; execution phase for alterations in the processes. deployment; [13] and continuous monitoring for the ultimate optimization that is the last phase of this life cycle. IV. ARCHITECTURE FOR SMALL ENTERPRISES The BPM-acronym can be defined differently for various Review Process Implement Deployment levels of business processes. Business process management at the the higher level of business processes is comparatively more Processes Processes complex and complicated. But the sub-processes or small Process Process processes are managed differently. In small business Optimization Modeling enterprises, there are fewer levels of processes. Hence simplified version of BMP can be used. Modernized business Designing Processes requirements needs building of “services” that can be reused throughout the enterprise in a variety of ways to make the Figure 3.1- BPM an interactive process things simple and efficient. Furthermore, these services should be accessible by the employees, partners, and suppliers via theB. Expandable due to Distributive Nature web [10]. This is not an easy task but it is an essential one for the agile enterprise. It requires the combined strengths of Feature of being distributive is common in both BPM and BPM and SOA. SOA that supports aspect of expandability in a small scaled organization. In a distributive environment, a distributed In BPM-SOA partnership, the keen competitors are Oracle mechanism is required that disperses the information among [12], CGI [11], BEA [8], BPT [5], etc have proposed their various sites in a business enterprise with ease and possible architectures. By the help of these composite affectivity [14]. architectures, we have proposed a simplified version of the architecture for small-scale business enterprises. During,C. Loose Coupling Support for Agile Services simplifying, it has been considered that the architecture should be simplified at the level so that it can be implemented easily Small business enterprises need agile services that are the and at the same tine it may not loose its functionality. In this major features of SOA. By definition, SOA supports agility architecture the BPM has been transplanted in the orthodox which makes the modules less cohesive and less inter- architecture of SOA. In bottom 2 layers are typical layers of dependent [15]. On the other side in BPM, processes are SOA. A brief description of these layers has been given also defined and implemented as standalone components. below. A. Operational Resources Layer Business IT Processes Services The first premier layer is operational and custom applications layer. This layer consists of the information server, legacy mainframe, storage media of all types and also the underlying databases. Generally, all operational resources 679
  4. 4. are related to this bottom layer. All legacy and logic them according to the existing system.components are implemented at this layer. At operationalresource level, SOA exposes the existing capabilities as E. Business Process Workflows Layerintegration services. The business process workflow layer consists of the business processes and their certain work-flows. BusinessB. IT Services Integration Layer processes use their required service for their implementation The second layer deals with integration of IT services. and these processes are independent of the underlyingThese services are independent of the underlying platform that services.consists of database, the programming languages andoperating system. This layer typically enables the migration F. GUI Components Layerof inflexible IT functions into merged, loosely coupled and At the top, there is the simple layer that consists ofon-demand services. In this layer, service assembly has been Graphical User Interface components and front endprovided for the sake of service agility. applications that implicitly use the underlying services and processes implemented by both BPM and SOA. Oracle hasC. Services Wrapper Layer provided a complete “Oracle BPA Suit” for this type of The services wrapper layer provides the customization of implementation.all the services as per business rules. Services provided by thelower layers are customized to fulfill the requirements and V. IMPLEMENTATION DETAILSneeds of the business processes defined in the upper layers. For small business enterprises, BPM and SOA partnership can be implemented in different ways. BPM is top-down process approach and SOA is bottom-up architectural Operational Resources Layer approach. But if they are deployed together, processes Share of modeled by BPM tools can be implemented by SOA more SOA in the efficiently. In an organization, when a BPM is deployed in an proposed organization for automated process modeling, implementation solution IT Services Integration and optimization [16]. Layer The proposed architecture can allow a small scale enterprise to achieve dramatic improvements in market capture, cost effectiveness and profitability. Following are the major issues Service Wrapper that will come across during the implementation of the Layer proposed architecture. The combined atmosphere of SOA and BOM will make processes and services to work together and also support Business Services each other. But the processes are required to be Share of Layer independent of the underlying services to provide BPM in the flexibility and competitiveness [12]. For this purpose, a proposed middle interface layer (Service Wrapper Layer) is solution Business Process Workflows required that may keep processes and services apart and Layer also communicates at both sides. This separation of process and implementation layers prevents hard-coding of the processes into a technology platform resulting in the greater flexibility. GUI Components (Interface) Composition of the processes and the services is another necessary aspect of the BPM with SOA partnership. The Figure 4.1- BPM and SOA for small enterprises application services and the enterprise processes are needed to be harmonized with each other as they areD. Business Services Layer designed by different and independent organizations. This is the main layer that consists of the services, on which SOA has to provide enough context and structure to makecertain business processes are implemented. These business these different services work together through a certainservices provide new services interfaces based on enterprise interface. Figure 5.1 shows how the composition ofsemantic and functional requirements and also help to map process and services is possible. 680
  5. 5. BPM support process management, but it is typically measurement. At the same time, SOA is playing a significant offline. Modern business needs are asking for run-time role in enabling the success of BPM. These BPM and SOA management. This is the attribute that SOA can based solutions make process models living representations of incorporate in the proposed architecture by providing run- how small scale boniness enterprises operate to deliver value time management tools. In a small business enterprise, and how organizational operations can change to help increase such tools will allow a change in the running process that that value. will increase efficiency of the system. This attribute is highlighted in the Figure 5.1. ACKNOWLEDGMENT During implementation, complaisance of Industry This research is part of the research work funded by HEC, standards for both BPM and SOA need to be adapted. Pakistan and was conducted in the department of Computer Conflicts among various protocols and tools at both sides Science & IT, IUB, Pakistan. This article was really difficult are needed to be resolved For a successful solution, the to produce as the domains of BPM and SOA are still not architecture should be allowed to be transportable and properly defined and their integration is still in infant stage. I operational independently from specific vendors or had to take many ideas from the authors like Isamael Ghalimi technologies [17]. [6], Michael Madsen [11], Jesper Joergensen [13], Mike For smooth convergence of both sides, a unified approach Rosen [9], etc. is required to associate two methodologies together. The existing gap between the two viewpoints also needed to REFERENCES be minimized. For instance, the same terms like business [1]- Aalast der Van, W.M.P., ter Hofstede, A.H.M. and Weske, M.: "Business processes, businesses services, business practices, Process Management: A Survey", in Business Process Management, business components and business capabilities are often Proceedings of the First International Conference. Springer Verlag, 2003. used to mean different things to the two camps. [2]- Heather Ashton and David Kelly: “The Business Impact of BPM with SOA: Building a Business Case for BPM with SOA ROI”, Upside Research, Inc. www.upsideresearch.com, January 2006. Renovation Optimizing [3]- Faouzi Kamoun, (2007) “A Roadmap towards the Convergence of Processes Business Process Management and Service Oriented Architecture”, [4]- F. Colleen, “Special Report: BPM Inside the Belly of the SOA Whale”, Regularity Web Services News, June 15, 2006, pp. 1-4. Process [5]- Faisal Bhombal., “SOA and BPM: Service Oriented Architecture and Monitoring business process management – PRIMAC Systems road map for 2007” – PRIMAC Systems Inc. fbhombal@vercom.com Efficiency [6]- Imran S., Rafaqut K., Shahzad M., Shahid N., M. Abbas C., [2008] “SOA Executing and BPM Partnership: A paradigm for Dynamic and Flexible Process and Processes Managing I.T. Management”, Proc. of World Academy of Science, Engineering and Process Technology Volume 35 Issue 4 Nov. 2008, pp 16-22 [6]- Ismael Ghalimi, (2006) “BPM is SOA’s Killer Application” An IT Redux SOA article, August 13, 2006. http://itredux.com/blog/2006/08/13/bpm-is-soas- killer-application/ Agility [7]- S. Bruce, "BPM on SOA: What would it look like? – Part 1 ", Bruce Process Silver Associates Article, August 21, 2006. Designing [8]- Martin Percival, “BPM and SOA: Putting SOA to work with BPM”, Information EMEA Product Director, BEA, www.eudownload.bea.com/uk/events/bpm/Edinburgh/BPM-and-SOA.pdf Figure 5.1- Usability of BPM and SOA [9]- Mike Rosen: “BPM and SOA: Where does one end and other starts", A BPT Column, January 2006. [10]- TIBCO, “Business Process Management on an SOA Foundation: A VI. CONCLUSION Unified Framework for Process Design and Deployment, In present information systems, BPM is playing and www.tibco.com/software/soa/.important role by managing and optimizing the performance [11]- Michael Madsen, “Unlocking the Power of SOA with Business Process”of the business through continuous optimization of business Modeling, 2006 by CGI Group Inc.processes in a closed loop cycle of modeling, execution and 681
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