Archive for the ‘BPEL4People’ Tag

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.

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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.

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