Book Image

Business Process Driven SOA using BPMN and BPEL

5 (1)
Book Image

Business Process Driven SOA using BPMN and BPEL

5 (1)

Overview of this book

Table of Contents (13 chapters)
Business Process Driven SOA using BPMN and BPEL
About the Authors
About the Reviewer

Chapter 1. SOA and Business Processes

The main objective of information technology is to provide support for business operations. IT has successfully automated various functions such as payroll, general ledger, and invoices through the introduction of application systems. Although this has been very valuable for companies, there has also been an understanding that automation of such activities is not all that IT can provide. Therefore, information systems have tried to cover more and more functions. As a result, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), CRM (Customer Relationship Management), SCM (Supply Chain Management), and similar systems have emerged.

Through the introduction of these systems, companies have started to realize that the ultimate objective would be to automate business processes – in other words, to develop applications that would provide support at each and every step of a business process, from its beginning until its completion.

Although fulfilling this objective might sound simple, it is not! There are at least two major challenges:

  1. Each company has its unique business processes (and application systems should be designed around the business processes, not vice versa).

  2. Business processes are not constant; they change with time. Every change in the business process has to be reflected in the enterprise systems. This requires the enterprise systems to be highly flexible, so that they can be modified quickly and efficiently.

Fulfilling both requirements requires a highly flexible IT architecture, which would allow changes to be made to the software quickly and efficiently. Business processes are also required to relate more closely to the application systems, which has not been the case so far. Usually, business processes have been modeled "on paper", resulting in nice pictures. However, there has been a semantic gap between those pictures of business processes and the actual application systems, and changes in the processes have not produced clear dependencies to the changes required in application systems.

Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) has emerged as a solution to these problems. In this book, we will show you how we can use SOA along with Business Process Management (BPM) to solve these and other related challenges. We will look at its complete life cycle, starting with the business process modeling and ending with the application that implements such processes. We will see that SOA introduces 'new approach' technologies and languages such as BPMN (Business Process Modeling Notation), BPEL (Business Process Execution Language), ESB (Enterprise Service Bus), services, rule engines, registries/repositories, and others, to fulfill the objectives.

In this chapter, we will look at business processes and their relevance to IT, application systems, and SOA in particular. We will:

  • Explain why we have to care about business processes

  • Discuss how business processes emerge

  • Think about the relationship between business processes and IT

  • Discuss the importance of IT flexibility

  • Explain why we need SOA

  • Introduce the SOA approach to business processes and explain the major benefits of the SOA approach

  • Explain the role of a SOA competency centre

  • Discuss SOA's inception

  • See an overview of the SOA forces and their significance for IT departments

  • Explain the changes in the development approach, required by SOA

  • See an overview of the technical aspects of SOA

  • Briefly introduce BPMN, BPEL, services, interfaces, messages, synchronicity, loose coupling, and quality of service

  • Discuss the role of the ESB, Registry and Repository, Rules Engines, Business Activity Monitoring, and User Interactions

  • Explain how SOA, BPMN, and BPEL fit together