BPEL (Business Process Execution Language)

BPEL (Business Process Execution Language) is an XML-based language that enables task-sharing in a distributed computing or grid computing environment. 

In layman's terms, BPEL is used to convert business visions into things that run on computers. BPEL standardizes how business processes flow and describes the process logic for the involved Web services will be invoked. 

Using BPEL, a programmer formally describes a business process that will take place across the Web in such a way that any cooperating entity can perform one or more steps in the process the same way. In a supply chain process, for example, a BPEL program might describe a business protocol that formalizes what pieces of information a product order consists of, and what exceptions may have to be handled. The BPEL program would not, however, specify how a given Web service should process a given order internally.

BPEL was standardized by OASIS in 2004, after collaborative efforts to create the language by Microsoft, IBM and other companies.

See also: machine-to-machine, REST, WSDL, SOAP, UDDI

This was last updated in July 2010
Posted by: Margaret Rouse
View the next item in this Essential Guide: business process management (BPM) or view the full guide: SOA BPM guide: Mobile, cloud drive BPM, BPEL changes

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