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BPMI Aims to Reinvent Business Process Design

Hoping to create a new standard for describing business processes within Web services, the Business Process Management Initiative (BPMI) released the BPML 1.0 specification Wednesday.

BPML, or Business Process Modeling Language, is a model for expressing abstract and executable processes that address all aspects of enterprise business processes, according to BPMI. Those processes include activities of varying complexity, transactions and their compensation, data management, concurrency, exception handling and operational semantics.

BPML's grammar follows the XML Schema, and allows for the persistence and interchange of process definitions across heterogeneous systems and modeling tools. It also leverages the Web Service Choreography Interface (WSCI) specification -- developed by BEA Systems, Intalio, SAP AG and Sun Microsystems -- allowing BPML to model end-to-end processes that can be translated into collections of private implementations executed as BPML processes and public interfaces defined through WSCI.

BPMI explained that BPML was developed as a semantic superset of previous releases of the BPML specification, as well as the Web Services Flow Language (WSFL) specification developed by IBM, and the XLANG specification -- an extension of WSDL for business process design -- developed by Microsoft.

"By fully leveraging the emerging Web services stack, BPML 1.0 paves the way for a new era of Business Process Management where processes, people and information can be unified into agile business systems," said Ismael Ghalimi, chairman of BPMI and chief strategy officer of Intalio.

Howard Smith, co-chair of BPMI and CTO, EMEA for Computer Sciences Corp., added, "For vendors, BPML offers a stable semantic foundation that is supporting the development and extension of process technologies. For systems integrators, BPML defines a reference architecture governing round-trip process lifecycle within enterprise IT architectures. The upshot for end user organizations is that a [Business Process Management System] provides a coherent, robust and efficient approach to top down process design, deployment, and evolution-centered on business strategy and customer requirements."