Dynamic SOA and BPM

Dynamic SOA and BPM

Abstract: After several years of companies industry-wide combining Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) and Business Process Management (BPM), the results are mixed. Some companies have had substantial benefits moving to SOA, while others have had average results. All these companies used the appropriate technologies, such as Web Services and Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) for processes, so the outcome should, in theory, be more predictable. It is now a good time for companies to extract the best practices and learn from others' experiences. This article is an introduction to "Dynamic SOA and BPM", a book which provides an exhaustive exploration of the best practices for delivering dynamic business processes and business services in order to quickly absorb market condition changes.

by Marc Fiammante

Published: September 25, 2009 (SOA Magazine Issue XXXII: September 2009)


When SOA was initiated a few years ago, the simplified integration capabilities brought hopes of a simplified Business and IT landscape with reusable business components enabled by open technologies. There were however several reasons for not receiving the full business value of this services approach, including these essential ones:
• Business semantic tight coupling on a technical loose coupling: Many projects just used Web Services to implement a Client/Server approach. Any change in the server interfaces leads to client changes and high change costs.
• Business Processes reintroducing the tight coupling of flexible business services. Enterprises have implemented end-to-end processes such as order management in very large business processes, but then faced the lack of reusability of some sequences that could have been modularized and exposed as services.
• Rigid information models used to expose business services. In many cases services are only viewed as operations, forgetting that the business information structure that they carry will as well vary with the evolution of the business and lead to costly changes of services and processes.
Each of these experiences induced a deeper thinking process around what should be the essence of a business variable approach and how we could reach a true business/IT alignment with the expected shortened IT cycle enabling faster and cheaper business reactions.

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