RealTime IT News

Standards Group Airs Business Process Spec

The Business Process Management Initiative (BPMI.org) Tuesday took a step forward in its quest to create a new standard for describing business processes within Web services, with the release of the final draft of the Business Process Modeling Language (BPML 1.0) specification and. BPMI.org also released the first public draft of the Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN 0.9) specification.

"Business process management is about giving organizations better visibility, agility and accountability over their core business processes," said Ismael Ghalimi, chair of BPMI.org. "The joint release of BPML 1.0 and BPMN 0.9 is an unprecedented step toward realizing the vision of the process-managed enterprise."

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

BPMN provides a graphical notation for BPML, giving business analysts the ability to model executable and manageable business processes.

BPML's grammar follows the XML Schema, and is a semantic superset of previous releases of the BPML specification, the Web Services Flow Language (WSFL) specification and the XLANG specification (an extension of WSDL for business process design). It 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. In addition, the final draft of BPML is designed to be interoperable with the Business Process Execution Language for Web Services (BPEL4WS) specification, and to support the WS-Security, WS-Transaction and WS-Coordination specifications.

"While XML-based business process modeling languages, such as BPML and BPEL4WS, provide business process execution and interoperability for BPM software, BPMN provides ease-of-use for the people who will design and manage business processes on a daily basis," said Stephen White, chair of the BPMN Working Group. "The collaboration of an elite group of software vendors and consulting firms with real-world experience in the modeling, execution and analysis of business processes ensures that BPMN is well suited for its target audience of business analysts and process owners."

Both specifications are available royalty-free for download.