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Why does BPEL4WS get so much more attention than BPML?

Everyone says BPEL4WS is positioned to be the next big Web services standard. Why is it better than BPML?

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BPEL4WS is a newer specification than BPML (http://www.bpmi.org/) but it has several benefits which are likely to translate to BPEL4WS's dominance over BPML in being adopted as the standard business process execution language of choice. BPEL4WS is derived from WSFL and XLANG and leverages the experience gathered in commercial use of these proprietary languages. It is a hybrid model providing both graph-oriented and structure-oriented primitives, inherited from WSFL and XLANG respectively. BPEL4WS is a result of cooperation between IBM, Microsoft and BEA which should go a long way in terms of credibility and endorsement. BPML currently is not supported by any major software vendor.

Both BPEL4WS and BPML offer a framework for specifying compositions of Web services. BPEL4WS relates collaboration operations to the private process better than BPML does. In general, the control flow of BPEL4WS is better than that of BPML. BPML does not offer and is not likely to offer differentiation from BPEL4WS, likely resulting in the majority of vendors implementing BPEL4WS engines rather than BPML engines going forward.

This was first published in November 2002

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