Archive for the ‘SOA’ Category

ESB Interoperability Standards

Thousands of Enterprises worldwide have adopted the principles of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). SOA provides an architectural approach that brings the flexibility and agility required by today’s global business environment. An Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) is a vital ingredient of SOA that facilitates the interaction of business services by mediating the message exchanges between them.

ESB infrastructure products are available from a number of software vendors, but there is a lack of consistency between them when it comes to standards support. This has led a number of ESB customers to ask for an industry-wide agreed list of standards supported by an ESB. This Whitepaper documents the essential standards requirements for an ESB, using a scenario-based approach.

ESBs extend the capabilities of SOA and advance the realization of SOA. Mediations can be employed to facilitate interactions between mismatched service requesters and providers. The ESB also provides a common model for accessing, managing and administering system-wide services.

Today’s fast-paced business world demands the ability to change and adapt rapidly. With an Enterprise Service Bus, you can connect your business applications and processes quickly and easily as you respond to business challenges and opportunities when they arise.

By adopting a standards-based approach leveraging Web services a customer has the assurance of the flexibility and the interoperability that such a strategy provides.

Read the full Whitepaper by Thomas Freund and Peter Niblett here: http://download.boulder.ibm.com/ibmdl/pub/software/dw/specs/ws-esb-interop/ESB_Interop_Standards_WP_060208.pdf

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OASIS to Host Conference on Building Composable SOA Business Applications

“Composability within SOA” will be the focus of Open Standards 2008, the fifth annual symposium hosted by OASIS, the international, not-for-profit consortium. The event, which will be held in Santa Clara, California, 28 April — 1 May, will examine the critical issues faced when architecting service-oriented applications and the benefits being reaped by real-world implementations that take advantage of Web services transactions. Presentations on the Business Process Execution Language (BPEL), Service Component Architecture (SCA), Service Data Objects (SDO), WS-Transaction, and related standards will be featured.

Support for Open Standards 2008

– BEA Systems 
– Rogue Wave
– SAP 
– Software AG
– Sun Microsystems

For more information:
http://events.oasis-open.org/home/symposium/2008

Read the complete announcement from OASIS here:
http://www.oasis-open.org/news/oasis-news-2008-03-17.php

Nearly half of UK companies go for SOA

The SOA readiness survey of 180 UK organisations by Birmingham-based systems integrator Griffiths Waite showed that of the 47% of respondents pursuing SOA, 20% had already implemented at least one SOA project.And of that 20%, almost half (49%) said their main reason for adopting SOA was to achieve IT flexibility and 14% said it would enable them to get the most out of their IT investments by providing industry standards for accessing functionality and resources.

Hugh Griffiths, director of Griffiths Waite, said, “This shows UK companies are starting to put money behind SOA, which represents a definite shift away from technical discussions towards mainstream implementation.”

Griffiths said another reason for the shift was an increase in the number and maturity of standards, such as the Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) for specifying business process behaviour for web services.

Read the complete article in Computer Weekly

BPMN to BPEL: going to battle with one hand tied?

William Vambenepe writes, “I have been looking at business process modeling and I am a bit puzzled about the connections between the different goals (strategy support, process documentation, automated execution….), audiences (LOB, business analysts, developers…) and tools (process editor, registry, simulation bench, IDE…). I see how it would be nice for all these to play well together. What I don’t quite see is exactly how the current tools achieve that.

One example is the goal of improving communications between business analysts and developers by allowing analysts to capture as much of the intended process as possible in a way that can be easily consumed by developers. That is a worthy goal and it should be eventually achievable (though maybe in a reformulated form) based on industry trends (who would have thought that one day business people would use their own computers to retrieve business data rather than having an operator print documents for them). But it is still a very difficult goal, for which many inherent barriers (in terms of shared vocabulary, skills and mindset) must be overcome. My concern is that the current approaches add many artificial barriers to those intrinsic to the problem.

One source of such artificial barriers is that incompatible business process description languages come into play. One common example is the use of BPMN for analyst-level modeling followed by a translation to BPEL for development tasks. I ran into an example of an incompatibility between the two very early in my experimentations with BPMN, in the form of the “inclusive OR” (the diamond with a circle inside in BPMN).

Read the complete article by William Vambenepe.

Surveys Reflect on “The State of BPM in 2008”

In the past couple of weeks, two major reports on “The State of BPM in 2008” were published. The first one was based on a survey filled by 274 respondents and published by BPTrends.com. The second one was based on analyst reports, articles and a survey of customers and was published by BEA…BPTrends reports that a wide variety of process standards are being used by the respondents. BPMN shows the strongest momentum with 41% (from 22% in 2006) and BPEL showing a modest progression with 26% (from 23% in 2006). XPDL (6%) and the OMG Process Metamodel (7%) are far behind while UML (30%) and CMM/CMMI (28%) remain fairly stable.See the complete article by Jean-Jacques Dubray in InfoQ.

OASIS issues Call for Participation in new ebCore Technical Committee

All interested parties are invited to participate in the new OASIS ebXML Core (ebCore)  Technical Committee.

This group will manage clarifications, modifications, and enhancements for ebXML specifications that are completed or transitioned to it.

The ebCore TC may also produce new conformance profiles and adjunct documents complementing existing specifications.

It will explore synergies with UN/CEFACT, WS-* specifications and SOA best practices.

TC proposers include representatives of Axway, Boeing, Fujitsu, and others.

A TC chair or two co-chairs will be elected at the first meeting, which will be held by teleconference on 4 April. 

Read the complete Call for Participation from OASIS. 

BPEL4People advances toward the mainstream

BPEL (Business Process Execution Language) is too machine-oriented, catering to applications talking to other applications, they say. Most business processes need the human touch somewhere along the line. Consider these un-automatable scenarios: A process may need an executive’s approval to proceed any further. Work may flow like a river, but it also encounters plenty of waterfalls, dams and locks on the way — points at which humans may need to jump in to keep things moving. Workflows are as unique as the companies that create them, and all have their own points where humans intercede.That’s why OASIS announced it is forming a technical committee to explore how the proposed BPEL4People standard (WS-BPEL Extension for People) could rectify this. This is a step toward becoming an OASIS standard, and work will commence on both both BPEL4People and WS-Human Task. WS-HumanTask was created by Adobe, Active Endpoints, BEA, IBM, Oracle and SAP.

As OASIS puts it, the Technical Committee “would define: (1) extensions to the OASIS WS-BPEL 2.0 Standard to enable human interactions, and (2) a model of human interactions that are service-enabled.” The case for BPEL4People vision was first laid out in a white paper jointly published by IBM and SAP in July 2005.

BPEL4People and its cousin WS-Human Task is already appearing on the market. Just this past week, Active Endpoints announced that an update to its open-source ActiveBPEL Community Edition 5.0 Server includes implementations of both standards.

For those who want more details on how BPEL4People works, Andrew Doble provides a deep dive into how BPEL4People fits into the architecture.

But, ultimately, can BPEL4People finally bring SOA closer to the business processes its supposed to support? Just as BPEL has taken its knocks over the years, there are conflicting viewpoints on whether BPEL4People can effectively do the job.

Read the complete article.

OASIS Members Form New Committee to Advance BPEL4People

OASIS, the international open standards consortium, has formed a new technical committee to extend the Web Services Business Processes Execution Language (WS-BPEL) to support human interactions. The new OASIS WS-BPEL Extension for People (BPEL4People) Technical Committee will expand the capabilities of WS-BPEL to support a broad range of human interaction patterns, allowing for additional modeling of business processes within the language.WS-BPEL 2.0, which was approved as an OASIS Standard in 2007, introduced a model to support automated business processes based on Web services. The standard is now widely used for orchestrating machine-to-machine interactions.

“WS-BPEL was not designed for human workflow,” noted Jeff Mischkinsky of Oracle, convenor of the OASIS BPEL4People Technical Committee. “Nevertheless, we realize that many business processes comprise a broad range of activities where people are directly involved. Whether performing tasks, reviewing actions, approving steps, or entering data, people are a key part of many workflow scenarios.”

BPEL4People will define a new type of basic activity that will allow human tasks, including their properties and behavior, to be defined, as well as the operations used to manipulate those tasks. A BPEL4People coordination protocol will control autonomy and life cycle of service-enabled human tasks in an interoperable manner.

more …

OASIS Launches BPEL XML.org Online Community

 The OASIS international standards consortium introduced a new XML.org online community web site dedicated to supporting the Web Services Business Process Execution Language (WS-BPEL) and related specifications. The site, (http://bpel.xml.org), serves as the official information resource for the WS-BPEL OASIS Standard, which provides a method for formally describing business processes and business interaction protocols using Web services.”BPEL has become an important standard for Service-Oriented Architectures,” said Ed Cobb, VP, Emerging Technology & Standards at BEA. “OASIS has created this site as a way to enable users, developers, and vendors from around the world to share information and learn from one another.”

All pages on BPEL XML.org are accessible by the public, and users are encouraged to contribute content. The site features a wiki knowledgebase of information on using and understanding BPEL. It also includes sections where readers can post related news, event information, listings for products and services, links to white papers, case studies, and other resources. Forums that support interactive discussions and blogs are also featured.

“Valuable information on BPEL is scattered throughout the Web on a multitude of web sites from vendors, publications, conferences, and other sources. BPEL XML.org aims to provide an easily navigable nexus point where people can go to quickly find the information they need,” said Diane Jordan, Program Director for IBM Emerging Internet Software Standards. “It’s also a ‘watering hole’ where people working with BPEL can come together to support one another.”

BPEL is the newest addition to the XML.org family of web sites devoted to supporting communities around open standards; other sites include include DITA, ebXML, IDtrust, OpenDocument, and UDDI.

OASIS solicits feedback on proposed ebXML Core charter

OASIS members are asked to review and comment on a draft charter to establish the OASIS ebXML Core (ebCore) Technical Committee. The group plans to serve as the maintenance body for ebXML specifications that are completed or transitioned to the TC. It will manage clarifications, modifications, and enhancements for the specifications. The ebCore TC may also produce new conformance profiles and adjunct documents complementing existing specifications. It will explore synergies with UN/CEFACT, WS-* specifications and SOA best practices.Proposers include representatives of OASIS Sponsor members, Axway Software, Boeing, and Fujitsu, and Contributor members, British Telecommunications and Sonnenglanz Consulting. The comment period for the charter closes 25 Feb 2008.

Read the complete announcement from OASIS.