Using BPMN as BPM notation

For my current project we are performing a Business Process analysis. The goal is to catch all relevant business processes in a Business Process Model. This model will then be used as base for a SOA implementation of a new system, which will support the customer in his business much better then the current system.
As notation for the diagrams of our BPM (Business Process Model) we use BPMN (Business Process Model Notation). Although there is some discussion if you should use this notation or just the available UML diagrams, I chose to use BPMN, as I expect this to become the (defacto) standard, if it isn’t this already.
After we have modeled the relevant processes we would like to translate the BPMN diagrams to BPEL diagrams. But before we have reached this step, we first have to identify which processes are suitable to be implemented by web services, and then we have to build all these services.
So before we are going to use BPEL, we have plenty of time to read and investigate how to use BPEL succesfull for our SOA. There are already lot of articles about this issue so we won’t have to be bored the coming months 🙂

About Pascal Alma

Pascal is a senior IT consultant and has been working in IT since 1997. He is monitoring the latest development in new technologies (Mobile, Cloud, Big Data) closely and particularly interested in Java open source tool stacks, cloud related technologies like AWS and mobile development like building iOS apps with Swift. Specialties: Java/JEE/Spring Amazon AWS API/REST Big Data Continuous Delivery Swift/iOS
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7 Responses to Using BPMN as BPM notation

  1. David French says:

    …After we have modeled the relevant processes we would like to translate the BPMN diagrams to BPEL diagrams. …
    I would be interested to understand why this fundamental decision was made.
    Do you anticipate a developer reading and modifying the process design in BPEL rather than BPMN? If so, how do you plan to deal with the divergence of the BP as designed by process designer and BP as delivered by developer?
    Are you committed to a BPEL execution engine? If so, do you really need to be concerned with diagramatic representation of BPEL?

    …we first have to identify which processes are suitable to be implemented by web services, and then we have to build all these services. …

    I think you mean ‘which activities/tasks are suitable’.
    Really they do not need to be web services in any but the most general sense of the phrase and they do not need to be built – only have a ‘contract’ defined (say in WSDL). Then process development and service development can proceed in parallel.

  2. Pascal Alma says:

    Hi David,
    Thx for your comments. About the fundamental decision: it is more the combination of things happening here at the client. One thing we are asked is to visualize the business processes. Another important thing we see is the lack of flexibility in their current IT systems. So we see that SOA could make their IT much more flexible and thus cooperate better with their business. And since we are already busy to express their processes in BPMN why not use this BPMN as base for the SOA solution, by transforming them to BPEL (like described here: http://www.packtpub.com/business-process-driven-SOA-using-BPMN-and-BPEL/book).
    About the other thing: you are right, I meant activities/tasks. And I would like them to be developed in parallel, but the customer hasn’t decided yet to go for the SOA solution, so until then we focus on the BPM. And that gives us more time to read and learn about it (I found some interesting posts on your site too, thx for that).

  3. Pascal Alma says:

    Hi David,
    Thx for your comments. About the fundamental decision: it is more the combination of things happening here at the client. One thing we are asked is to visualize the business processes. Another important thing we see is the lack of flexibility in their current IT systems. So we see that SOA could make their IT much more flexible and thus cooperate better with their business. And since we are already busy to express their processes in BPMN why not use this BPMN as base for the SOA solution, by transforming them to BPEL (like described here: http://www.packtpub.com/business-process-driven-SOA-using-BPMN-and-BPEL/book).
    About the other thing: you are right, I meant activities/tasks. And I would like them to be developed in parallel, but the customer hasn’t decided yet to go for the SOA solution, so until then we focus on the BPM. And that gives us more time to read and learn about it (I found some interesting posts on your site too, thx for that).

  4. Hi Pascal,

    How are you going to do the BPMN to BPEL transformation ? Keep in mind that there are quite some issues with the automatic conversion. The two are in different domains: BPMN is a notational standard and BPEL is (SOAP) web service orchestration.
    Some interesting articles appeared on this topic recently:
    http://www.infoq.com/articles/bpelbpm
    http://www.infoq.com/articles/seven-fallacies-of-bpm
    http://stage.vambenepe.com/archives/177

    From a (os) developer’s perspective I never got enthused about SOAP and BPEL, just too verbose, too complicated and too XML.
    My favorite BPM engine is less restrictive and much more versatile: JBoss jBPM. Read Tom’s comparison between jPDL and BPEL: http://processdevelopments.blogspot.com/2007/04/bpel-compared-to-jpdl.html.

    It seems however still hard to ‘sell’ an open source solution in the BPM arena.

  5. Hi Pascal,

    How are you going to do the BPMN to BPEL transformation ? Keep in mind that there are quite some issues with the automatic conversion. The two are in different domains: BPMN is a notational standard and BPEL is (SOAP) web service orchestration.
    Some interesting articles appeared on this topic recently:
    http://www.infoq.com/articles/bpelbpm
    http://www.infoq.com/articles/seven-fallacies-of-bpm
    http://stage.vambenepe.com/archives/177

    From a (os) developer’s perspective I never got enthused about SOAP and BPEL, just too verbose, too complicated and too XML.
    My favorite BPM engine is less restrictive and much more versatile: JBoss jBPM. Read Tom’s comparison between jPDL and BPEL: http://processdevelopments.blogspot.com/2007/04/bpel-compared-to-jpdl.html.

    It seems however still hard to ‘sell’ an open source solution in the BPM arena.

  6. Pascal Alma says:

    Hi Peter,

    Thx for your comments. We will look into jBPM thing. Open source shouldn’t be a problem, as long as the product is good 🙂
    Just some more reading to do…

  7. Pascal Alma says:

    Hi Peter,

    Thx for your comments. We will look into jBPM thing. Open source shouldn’t be a problem, as long as the product is good 🙂
    Just some more reading to do…

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