2009-06-27

Linkedin: BPM and SOA - looking for your opinions

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I think some definitions should be stated explicitly at the beginning....

service, noun
explicitly-defined and operationally-independent unit of functionality

process, noun
explicitly-defined coordination of services to create a particular result

Remark: Services and processes can be considered to be intimately related since in real terms
• all processes are services,
• some operations of a service can be implemented as a process, and
• a process includes services in its implementation.

BPM discipline, noun
discipline which allows you to model, automate, execute, control, measure and optimise the flow of business activities that span the enterprise’s systems, employees, customers and partners within and beyond the enterprise boundaries

Remark: At present, the BPM discipline is the best way to implement process-centric enterprises.

BPM system, noun
<enterprise> portfolio of the business processes as well as the practices and tools for governing the design, execution and evolution of this portfolio

Remark: Any process-centric enterprise has its own enterprise BPM system. The enterprise BPM system may not be perfect (e.g. some processes may be only documented on paper, some details are only “located” only in the minds of certain people, etc.), but it does exist.

BPM suite, noun
coherent set of software tools for facilitating the implementation of a BPM system

SOA, noun
architectural approach for constructing software-intensive systems from a set of universally interconnected and interdependent services


The relationship: SOA provides recommendations for the implementation, execution and governance of services. The BPM discipline, by revealing the artefacts (roles, events, rules, object, KPIs, etc.) and the relationships between them, provides the necessary context (e.g. granularity) for the definition of services.

You are right – BP modelling is important. Obviously, each person models in his/her own, but a good modelling procedure can help different people to find out same artefacts which will be implemented via reusable services.

I believe that with a good architecture it is possible to archive optimum flexibility (see http://www.slideshare.net/samarin/architecting-enterprise-bpm-systems-for-optimal-agility-presentation )

Thanks,
AS
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