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The Role of Standards in BPM


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Presentation that I delivered to the IIR-Shared Insights BPM conference in San Diego, November 2007.

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The Role of Standards in BPM

  1. 1. The Role of Standards in BPM Sandy Kemsley Kemsley Design Ltd.
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Risks and rewards </li></ul><ul><li>Process standards landscape </li></ul><ul><li>Graphical notation standards </li></ul><ul><li>Serialization standards </li></ul><ul><li>The future of standards </li></ul>
  3. 3. Risks and Rewards Why use a standard? Why not?
  4. 4. Value of Standards: Business <ul><li>Commoditization of technology and services </li></ul><ul><li>Portability between modeling tools </li></ul><ul><li>Reduces ambiguity of process models </li></ul>
  5. 5. Value of Standards: Business-IT Alignment <ul><li>Unbroken, bidirectional modeling-interchange-execution chain </li></ul><ul><li>Reduces translation errors between business and IT </li></ul><ul><li>Less time spent by business analysts teaching IT about business processes </li></ul><ul><li>IT time spent just cleaning up processes and hooking them up to the process engine </li></ul>
  6. 6. Value of Standards: Collaboration <ul><li>Choreograph processes with partners </li></ul><ul><li>Share business models in community </li></ul><ul><li>Outsource business processes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Process modeling and execution may be done by different organizations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Runtime statistics feed back for process visibility and optimization against original models </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Standards Risks <ul><li>Little value in being an early adopter of standards </li></ul><ul><li>Risks in choosing the wrong standard: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Obstructs technology upgrades </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limits business partner connectivity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forces training in obsolete technology </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. How Standards Are Selected <ul><li>Application/platform developers choose standards directly </li></ul><ul><li>Customers choose standards indirectly by selecting standards-compliant products </li></ul>
  9. 9. Process Standards Landscape Who’s doing what?
  10. 10. Source: BPM Standards Tutorial © 2007 Michael zur Muehlen. All Rights Reserved. Business Process Management Business Process Automation Business Process Innovation Business Process Monitoring Notation Standard Integration Standards Interaction Standards Standard Metrics Audit Standards
  11. 11. Process Standards <ul><li>BPMN = Business Process Modeling Notation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Standard graphical notation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>XPDL = XML Process Definition Language </li></ul><ul><ul><li>De facto standard interchange format </li></ul></ul><ul><li>BPDM = Business Process Definition Metamodel </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Too soon to tell; may overtake XPDL as standard interchange format </li></ul></ul><ul><li>BPEL = Business Process Execution Language </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Execution language for some BPMS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Primarily used as integration/SOA interchange format </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Related Standards <ul><li>SVBR: Semantics of Business Vocabulary and Rules </li></ul><ul><li>ebXML BPSS (ebBP): Business Process Specification Schema </li></ul><ul><li>BPRI: Business Process Runtime Interface </li></ul><ul><li>UML: Unified Modeling Language </li></ul><ul><li>WS-CDL: Web Services Choreography Description Language </li></ul>
  13. 13. Process Standards Organizations <ul><li>OMG - </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Object Management Group </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Standards for interoperable enterprise applications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Absorbed BPMI in 2005 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>WfMC - </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Workflow Management Coalition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Workflow standards for terminology, interoperability and connectivity </li></ul></ul><ul><li>OASIS - </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E-business standards </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. OMG <ul><li>Model-driven architecture </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Start with model of business </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Auto-generate code from model </li></ul></ul><ul><li>BPMN (through acquisition) </li></ul><ul><li>BPDM next </li></ul>
  15. 15. WfMC <ul><li>Integration standards for process life cycle </li></ul><ul><li>Reference model + XPDL </li></ul><ul><li>Started in 1993 </li></ul>
  16. 16. OASIS <ul><li>Workgroup-specific BPM knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>ebXML, BPEL </li></ul>
  17. 17. W3C <ul><li>Protocol stack standards for application integration </li></ul><ul><li>WS-CDL </li></ul><ul><li>No BPM experience </li></ul>
  18. 18. OMG & Process Standards Copyright Object Management Group 2006
  19. 19. OMG & Process Standards Copyright Object Management Group 2006
  20. 20. WfMC & Process Standards XPDL 2.00 standard WFMC-TC-1025. Copyright Workflow Management Coalition 2006.
  21. 21. OASIS & Process Standards Published with permission of the author
  22. 22. The Problem with Process Standards <ul><li>Several overlapping and competing standards </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple standards organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Different views of how standards fit together </li></ul>
  23. 23. Graphical Notation Standards Drawing a pretty – and standard – picture
  24. 24. Graphical notation standard: BPMN <ul><li>Diagramming standard for drawing business processes </li></ul><ul><li>Method of communicating processes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Understandable by business users and unambiguous </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduces translation errors between business and IT </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Easy transition between tools </li></ul>
  25. 25. From the BPMN Charter <ul><li>Usable by the business community: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Minimum technical constraints on business user/analyst </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supports only the concepts of modeling that are applicable to business processes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Useful in illuminating a complex executable process </li></ul><ul><li>Produce unambiguous notation of a business process </li></ul><ul><li>Allow direct mapping from BPMN to BPEL </li></ul>
  26. 26. BPMN Issues <ul><li>No serialization/file format </li></ul><ul><li>No user/role modeling </li></ul><ul><li>No data modeling </li></ul><ul><li>No KPI modeling </li></ul><ul><li>Methodology-independent </li></ul>
  27. 27. BPMN History <ul><li>BPMN 0.9 draft by BPMI, 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>BPMN 1.0 draft, 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>BPMN 1.0, 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>BPMI merged into OMG, 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>BPMN 1.0 as OMG spec, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>BPMN 1.1, 2007 </li></ul>
  28. 29. BPMN Flow Objects <ul><li>Event </li></ul><ul><li>Activity </li></ul><ul><li>Gateway </li></ul>
  29. 30. BPMN Connecting Objects <ul><li>Sequence flow </li></ul><ul><li>Message flow </li></ul><ul><li>Association </li></ul>
  30. 31. BPMN Swimlanes <ul><li>Pool </li></ul><ul><li>Lanes </li></ul>
  31. 32. BPMN Artifacts <ul><li>Data object </li></ul><ul><li>Group </li></ul><ul><li>Annotation </li></ul>
  32. 33. Exception Handling
  33. 34. Transaction
  34. 35. Events None n/a n/a Terminate Multiple Link n/a Rule n/a Compensation n/a Cancel n/a Error n/a Timer Message End Intermediate Start
  35. 36. Activities Expanded sub-process Collapsed sub-process Task (atomic)
  36. 37. Other Activity Markers Ad hoc sub-process Compensation Multiple instances Activity looping
  37. 38. Gateways Parallel (AND) Complex Inclusive (OR) Exclusive or (XOR), event-based Exclusive or (XOR), data-based
  38. 39. Sequence Flows Exception flow Default flow Conditional flow Uncontrolled flow Normal flow
  39. 40. Associations Compensation association
  40. 41. Multiple Collapsed Pools for B2B Modeling
  41. 42. Multiple Expanded Pools
  42. 43. Grouping Across Pools
  43. 44. BPMN Patterns – Data Objects Data objects as inputs and outputs Data object associated with sequence flow
  44. 45. Interchange Standards How processes get around
  45. 46. BPM interchange standards <ul><li>Import/export of process models </li></ul><ul><li>Evolving landscape of standards: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>XPDL (XML Process Definition Language) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BPEL (Business Process Execution Language) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BPDM (Business Process Definition Metamodel) </li></ul></ul>
  46. 47. XPDL <ul><li>Process definition serialization and interchange format </li></ul><ul><li>Maintains spatial information </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple processes per file </li></ul><ul><li>Allows vendor-specific extensions </li></ul><ul><li>Includes user interactions </li></ul>
  47. 48. XPDL <ul><li>Interchange format for business process definitions </li></ul><ul><li>Defines how a process definition is serialized (written to a file) </li></ul><ul><li>Maintains graphical positional information </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple processes/subprocesses per file </li></ul>
  48. 50. XPDL <ul><li>Includes user interactions </li></ul><ul><li>Does not include choreography </li></ul><ul><li>Allows vendor-specific extensions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Created by modeling tool or process engine </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ignored by other modeling tools and process engines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g., colored swimlanes </li></ul></ul>
  49. 51. XPDL History <ul><li>Developed by WfMC, </li></ul><ul><li>WPDL (Workflow Process Definition Language), 1998 </li></ul><ul><li>XPDL 1.0, 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>XPDL 2.0, 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Supported by 70+ modeling/BPM products </li></ul>
  50. 52. BPDM <ul><li>Process definition serialization and interchange format </li></ul><ul><li>Includes choreography </li></ul><ul><li>Will become part of BPMN in future version </li></ul><ul><li>May displace XPDL </li></ul>
  51. 53. BPDM <ul><li>Can serve as metamodel for BPMN </li></ul><ul><li>Metamodel can be used to generate an interchange format </li></ul><ul><ul><li>May (attempt to) displace XPDL </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Larger scope/more robust than XPDL </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>XPDL has 2-year head start </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Includes choreography and orchestration </li></ul>
  52. 54. BPDM History <ul><li>Developed by OMG, </li></ul><ul><li>RFP issued, 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>BPDM 1.0, 2007 </li></ul>
  53. 55. BPEL <ul><li>Web services orchestration language </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In BPM, may be used as interchange format </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In SOA-related products, also used as execution language </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Programming language for integration logic and process automation between services </li></ul><ul><li>Defines business processes as coordinated sets of Web service interactions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>BPEL processes exposed as WSDL services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BPEL processes consume WSDL services </li></ul></ul>
  54. 56. BPEL Issues <ul><li>Does not include some BPMN functionality: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Human interaction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interleaved process segments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Looping back to previous steps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subprocessess </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Does not include graphical layout info </li></ul><ul><li>Not fully interoperable between vendors </li></ul>
  55. 57. BPEL History <ul><li>Developed by OASIS, </li></ul><ul><li>BPEL4WS 1.0, 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>BPEL4WS 1.1 proposed to OASIS, 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>WS-BPEL 2.0 draft, 2005 </li></ul>
  56. 58. The Future of Process Standards
  57. 59. BPMN and BPDM <ul><li>BPMN will remain the primary graphical modeling notation </li></ul><ul><li>BPDM may eventually overtake XPDL as interchange/serialization standard </li></ul><ul><li>BPMN 2.0 will merge BPDM and BPMN 1.1 </li></ul>
  58. 60. XPDL <ul><li>XPDL as interchange/serialization standard for at least the short term </li></ul>
  59. 61. BPEL <ul><li>BPEL may become more important as an interchange standard for SOA/integration than as an execution language </li></ul><ul><li>BPEL4People (human interactions) specification under development </li></ul>
  60. 62. Questions? Sandy Kemsley Kemsley Design Ltd.