Our new Business Process Management (BPM) tutorial provides you with the definitions, expert advice, news, examples, and products you need to get started with or optimize your use of BPM.

 

 Contents
Introduction

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What is BPM?
How to use BPM
BPM trends
BPM news
BPM implementation
BPM tools
 

Introduction
Business Process Management (BPM) describes the methods and techniques used to make a business process more efficient, adaptive, and effective for accomplishing a specific task. With constantly changing technologies and market environments within the application development world, a business process can be proven insufficient shortly after it's implemented. Successful BPM requires that business processes be carefully modeled, regularly monitored, and frequently updated to optimize their performance.

BPM is often a point of connection within a company between the line-of-business (LOB) and the IT department. Recent research has concluded that cooperation between these typically separated groups is necessary for good BPM. A Forrester report on optimizing BPM recommends creating a "center of excellence" within a company composed of both IT and business people.

Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) and Business Process Management Notation (BPMN) were both created to facilitate communication between IT and the LOB. Both languages are easy to read and learn, so that business people can quickly learn to use them to design processes. Also, both adhere to basic rules of programming, so that processes designed in either language are easy for developers to translate into hard code.

Numerous tools exist for optimizing BPM. The executive dashboard has emerged as a powerful tool for business users to get a better view into the integrated enterprise. Roy Schulte, vice president of Gartner has studied the role executive dashboards can play in furthering the business aspect of Business Process Management. Other tools exist as well. New products for BPM come out regularly from top software providers.
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What is BPM?
Business process management (BPM)
Business process management (BPM) is a systematic approach to improving an organization's business processes. BPM activities seek to make business processes more effective, more efficient, and more capable of adapting to an ever-changing environment.

Business process
A business process is a set of coordinated tasks and activities, conducted by both people and equipment, that will lead to accomplishing a specific organizational goal.

 BPML
Business Process Modeling Language (BPML) is an XML-based meta-language developed by the Business Process Management Initiative (BPMI) as a means of modeling business processes, much as XML is, itself, a metalanguage with the ability to model enterprise data.

BPEL
BPEL (Business Process Execution Language) is an XML-based language designed to enable task-sharing for a distributed computing environment using a combination of Web services.

 

BPMN
Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) is a method of illustrating business processes in the form of a diagram similar to a flowchart. BPMN was originally conceived and developed by BPMI. It is currently maintained by the Object Management Group (OMG).>
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How to use BPM
BPEL tutorial
To help you learn all there is to know about Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) the SearchSOA.com team has put together a tutorial. In this BPEL tutorial, you'll find articles, tips, expert advice, white papers and more that will explain how BPEL fits into the world of Web services.

Business Process Modeling Notation Mini-Learning Guide
This guide provides links to background information to help you understand BPMN and various articles to help understand the context in which BPMN is being used. In addition, there are links to a number of articles exploring the interplay of BPMN, BPEL, and roundtripping.

SOA and BPM: A process centric approach (webcasts)
Download these expert mediacasts to discover a process centric approach to SOA and BPM, perspectives of strategy, systems, business and technology that can be incorporated in order to achieve successful change in business processes.

Roy Schulte on the BPM drive and SOA adoption
Few individuals are more closely associated with advanced middleware than Roy Schulte, vice president of Gartner. Recently, he has studied the role executive dashboards can play in furthering the business aspect of Business Process Management. SearchSOA.com interviewed Schulte on the subject.

Expert Podcast: BPM and Architecture
SearchSOA.com Editor in Chief Jack Vaughan discusses BPM with Aleks Buterman. Topics include the disconnect between Enterprise Architects and Business Architects, Risk Analysis in relation to BPM, and ways to a happy marriage of BPM and SOA.

BPM modeling tools said to boost business analyst abilities
Business process modeling tools have improved to the point where business analysts can play a major role in Business Process Management initiatives, said Forrester's Ken Vollmer. Still, developers play a role too. Vollmer discussed this and other issues as Forrester rolled out a report showing several vendors grouped together as BPM leaders.

Rosamilia says iterative SOA can improve BPM (video)
In the beginning, SOA went through a bit of a big bang, where process architects often tried to use SOA to achieve major goals. Now, in part because of tighter margins and limited budgets, SOA may be better applied with a step-by-step approach to create more immediate benefits and increase flexibility for future improvements to a business process.

Optimizing BPM and ROI with testing skills
Rami Jaamour suggests business process simulation and business process testing for optimizing BPM and realizing the ROI.
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BPM trends
BPMN: The less collaboration, the better?
BPMN 2.0 came about to bridge the divide between business and development architects—but what is the key to effective cross-team architecture? Active Endpoints CTO Michael Rowley claims that constant collaboration between business and IT has its costs. Read his expert advice in this SOA Talk blog post about BPM, BPMN, SOA and BPEL.

SOA growth and change: TechTarget survey shows SaaS, BPM emerging
With a difficult economic climate as background, a shift is under way in both the types of infrastructure and the types of service-based applications organizations plan for their service-oriented architecture, according to results from a recent survey conducted by SearchSOA.com and TheServerSide.com.

Say 'hello' to business process lifecycle management
Years of experience suggest that Business Process Management (BPM) is not a one-time project; instead, it is part of a life-cycle of processes. This is born out by efforts at consulting and services powerhouse Accenture, which recently announced the release of their enhanced business process lifecycle management (BPLM) services.

Forrester details "secret sauce" for BPM success
Wondering how to achieve successful BPM? Setting up a center of excellence (COE) makes a major difference in the success of BPM implementations, according to a report published by Forrester Research Inc.

Business-side often drives BPM initiatives today
Business Process Management is often posed as the killer app for SOA. At least one analyst suggests combining SOA and BPM is not as simple as vendors would have their customers believe.

Enterprise mashups bring IT, LOB collaboration to BPM
Increasingly, multiple applications are combined using enterprise mashup tools with the goal of streamlining Business Processes Management (BPM). At times, these tools and processes have blurred the once well defined line between application development and the line-of-business (LOB).
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BPM news
BPM Special Report: What you model is what you monitor
Business analysts and other line-of-business role players may increasingly build the models for new-generation Business Process Management applications. In some instances, good BPM modeling results help make the business case for SOA. Still, some 'assembly' is still required by development teams.

Microsoft sees uptake on BizTalk server
Count Microsoft among the players that are still seeing success in the area of SOA, despite the rumors of its demise. "Regardless of the hype, we actually are seeing a significant amount of customer interest in doing SOA," said Burley Kawasaki, director of Microsoft's connected systems division. Kawasaki spoke recently from the Microsoft SOA & Business Process Conference in Redmond, Wash.

BPM platform updated by Oracle adding new dashboard options
The executive dashboard may be among the keys to bridging SOA and BPM, say viewers. Such dashboards can give the business side a better view into the integrated enterprise. BPM platform vendors like Oracle are taking note.

 

Active Endpoints, Seros in deal to orchestrate BPM and push SOA
Active Endpoints teamed up with Seros, a provider of consulting and pre-integrated open-standards based Web services software. Seros now offers Active Endpoints' ActiveVOS as its core technology for orchestration. The partnership seeks to ride the popularity of visual modeling tools for Business Process Management (BPM).
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BPM implementation
BPM, SOA take coding out of .NET-based ERP customization
With common Web 2.0 interfaces, SOA, and BPM, Epicor ERP business users and managers can make changes to business processes. In the past, that kind of customization had to be hand coded, requiring IT involvement.

SOA and BPM speed messages for industrial distributor
Using visual orchestration tool for BPM in heterogeneous Java/.NET SOA environment, an industrial distribution company speeds inventory tracking for 2,100 stores.
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BPM tools
UML modeler includes BPMN support
UModel V2008 Release 2 added support for Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) to the UML support already featured in UModel. The tool can serve for re-engineering services.

Microsoft BizTalk Server 2009 reaches beta
Microsoft this week announced the first public beta of BizTalk Server 2009 and general availability of BizTalk RFID Mobile. The products are crown jewels in the company's BPM portfolio.

Visual orchestration tool addresses event processing and SOA
A tool for enterprise architects, business analysts and Java developers includes an integrated engine for complex-event processing. Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN), Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) and WS-Human Task standards are supported.

Metastorm BPM engine said to give process owners more control
Business Process Management (BPM) provider Metastorm, recently released Metastorm Integration Manager Version 8.5, which better enables business users to view and interact with data and configurations.

KANA platform rides SOA, allows user modeling with BPEL
A platform for customer services applications from KANA seeks to place modeling tools in the hands of business users to speed creation of applications. The goal is to better empower the business side. Company representatives say an underlying dedicated service-oriented architecture infrastructure implementation helps make this possible.
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This was first published in July 2009

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