This article is part of an Essential Guide, our editor-selected collection of our best articles, videos and other content on this topic. Explore more in this guide:
4. - Must-know: Key BPM and BPEL terms: Read more in this section
Explore other sections in this guide:
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.