BPEL will not survive, long live BPMN

Note: the article depicts my personal view on role of BPEL in evolution of SOA and BPM. 

BPEL is for Business Process Execution Language, one of approved OASIS standards almost 10 years ago. It was promising standard for executable business processes in process automation at that time. Now future of BPEL is under question.

BPEL is applicable for 2 areas: services composition (ESB) and process orchestration (BPM). For ESB, it is usualy easier to use either 3rd gen languages like Java or C#, or, use ESB capabilities which usually are not BPEL based. For instance, TIBCO ESB – BusinessWorks use proprietary modeling notation for ESB/SOA, and BPEL support is optional plugin. Oracle ESB supports BPEL, though it also may be implemented w/o BPEL. Read the rest of this entry »


Task flows in Intalio

In one of previous posts I depicted the main features of process-driven-task-based systems. I would like to back up thoughts by modern BPMS systems and discuss how do they support common sense.

Intalio is considered the best (or one of the best) open source BPMS. For instance, this comparison highlights slight outperforming of Intalio over jBPM. Intalio offers free version, which can be considered by small organizations or as an evaluation (due to restrictions of enterprise features like security, RDBMS support, scalability most organization will still need paid version of Intalio which starts from 9,500 USD/EUR). It may be not fair to compare Intalio to Oracle BPMS or IBM’s IBPM, which cost much more. Read the rest of this entry »


Is Excel Era over?

Citing an IBM study of customers (as stated here), 2.5% of the processes are complex, 22.5% are somewhat complex (less than 200 steps), 75% are not complex at all. This last category is done today by excel over email. Excel era is everywhere – people are creating and updating spreadsheets, sending them to managers by email for approval. Read the rest of this entry »


Common Sense Task Flows

In this small post I will depict typical behavior worker model.

Let ignore BPM, BPMS and other technology related stuff and focus on how people work. We have some typical tasks to do that fall into task pool (what to do). Worker get task (probably based on some priority decisions) and takes it. Taks may be already assigned to this person or person gets task from group pool (e.g. our team perform client loan history verifications, and tasks are assigned to us based on branches geographics, and for the rest we take clients from pool).

The key items that worker need in order to perform the job are:

1. Context. What data was gathered prior to this task? What additional information is useful for my decision making?

2. Instructions. How should I perform this task (isntructions may be already known for this type of activity)

3. Data. What data need to be gathered by me and passed by along with task completion (how do I report task results) Read the rest of this entry »


Task driven interfaces any better

Organization with IT should be more effective than organization without IT. Otherwise get rid of software, servers and save money.

What do people within organizations? Right, usually they are doing their jobs, as stated in job descriptions, or doing tasks delegated to them by their managers. The bigger organizations are, the more specialized roles appear. Specialization helps people to do best in the area they can be the best versus doing everything with average success. From other side, specialization of activities brings communication overhead (if universal worker can do anything, he don’t need to delegate and communicate sub-tasks to others so frequently.

image

Since there is need to delegate tasks and get feedbacks, tools emerged – email, voice, phone calls, IMs. As organization grows, the need for automation of task management appeared. Automated tasks management allows management to understand what is going on, reduces risks to loss tasks and ensures right things are done in right moment. Read the rest of this entry »