Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Oracle BPA is out

The Oracle BPA is GA and is available for download here:
It has enhanced BPMN 1.1 support.
The whole certification matrix is here:

Further we have an enhanced set of example BPMN diagrams and their fully implemented versions on the sample page:

Have fun - try it out and let us know how the experience is!

More on BPMN - BPEL roundtrip in Oracle BPA Suite

Apologies for the delay in the post. I was busy getting the Oracle BPA 10134 out. BTW, this version contains further enhanced BPMN to BPEL round trip.

We all agree that business processes are living assets. Business and IT might update a process simultaneously, according to their requirements. For example, a business user might update a process while an IT developer is adding implementation details. IT developer refinement involves providing physical bindings and transformations, but can also include adding additional implementation specific processing steps within, or contiguous to, what the business analyst considers a single step. An approach of IT “refinement” respects the logical model as a constraint, thus enabling the logical model and the physical model to evolve in parallel without breaking the connection between the two. BPA 10134 provides a BPMN-BPEL bridge that allows for concurrent updates by business and IT, constantly granting real-time insight into the new state of the business process definition.
If this was the original process definition as specified by business and shared with IT:

Subsequently, if a business user changes the process model as shown in this BPMN diagram - a new activity "Asset Verification" has been added by business user:

Meanwhile, the IT folks have already started implementing the process and they have added a new step called "Audit Approval" as it is mandated by compliance guideline. ANd IT feels that business needs to be aware of this change. Thats the reason IT added this activity to the outline view. This is how the updated IT outline view would look like:

If the IT user did a merge, the outline will now contain a merged view.

Now when IT decides to upload the modified definition to business, the business user will see the diagram as follows:

The business user has the option to accept or reject changes proposed by IT.
Thus changes made by business can be shared with IT and the ones made by IT can be shown to business. Thus the tool provides for a collaborative business and IT environment.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

BPMN 2.0

BPMN 2.0
Now that the cat is out of the bag, I decided to throw some light on the BPMN 2.0 submissions at OMG and what is happening in the 2.0 world of BPM. Over the past 4 years since its inception BPMI has merged with OMG, the BPMN 1.0 spec has been published, the BPMN 1.1 spec has finally found its way to acceptance and also become available as an accepted specification on OMG website – this one took for ever to appear as a public URL. As a fervent follower of the BPMN 1.0 & 1.1 spec, and as someone who has invested significantly personally and professionally on the BPMN world, I find it imperative to talk about the BPMN 2.0 and what path it should be and is taking.
First let me identify the cool things in BPMN 1.0 (1.1) which made it one of the most popularly adopted spec in the last few years despite other modeling standards being around for a longer time. The first and foremost is that BPMN is simple – or to put it exactly: it keeps simple things simple. If I want to model my quote to cash process, I can do it in very little time with small and not so steep learning curve. Lot of people found it as easy as a flow chart that they otherwise draw on a drawing board, or may I say visio. No wonder there are people with a visio plugin for BPMN. It is not to say it did not have complex constructs. All complex constructs were available and are still available.

The second good thing about BPMN 1.1 was that it was based on a small set of base objects which can be further enhanced to capture the complexities of the process model. So if your simple process definition required a decision point, you could create a switch. However, later if you discovered that this is a switch of a certain type, you could add that specialization without hurting yourself in the foot. You could even mark it a complex decision gasteway . How to implement that could be decided by the IT specialists.
The BPMN 2.0 metamodel should maintain this flexibility.

More to come... stay tuned!