Methodologies and Technologies for Rapid Enterprise Architecture Delivery


| Home | Courses | Projects | Papers | Contact Us |


Issue 29:

Printable PDF Version


PERTH, AUSTRALIA – May 5, 2005: This is Issue No: 29 of "The Technology Newsletter" (TEN) - a free quarterly email newsletter that is published world-wide.
You can opt-out of receiving future issues of TEN by replying with “REMOVE <your email address>” in the Subject. Please ensure you use the same email address that was used to send this issue to you.

We have moved all past issues of “The Enterprise Newsletter” (TEN) to our new web site at Click on the Papers link from any page or use the following direct link:

Clive Finkelstein
TEN - The Enterprise Newsletter

Back to Contents

Upcoming Events

A series of 2-day seminars, titled: "Rapid Enterprise Architecture Delivery" will be presented in May - June by Clive Finkelstein. These are scheduled in Auckland NZ (May 9-10), Sydney (May 12-13) and Melbourne (June 6-7). While these three seminars are now completely sold out, some seats are still available in Brisbane (June 9-10).

Clive Finkelstein will also be presenting a 1-day version of this seminar in the USA in May, titled: "Rapid Delivery of Enterprise Architecture":

For details of Methodology and Technology courses, or for Project Descriptions, visit the IES web site at Click on the Courses or Projects link from any page.

Back to Contents

Feature: SOA Business Process Management (BPM) Products 

In an earlier issue (TEN#27) I discussed three Business Process Management (BPM) languages: Business Process Execution Language (BPEL); Business Process Modeling Language (BPML); and Business Process Specification Schema (BPSS) for ebXML.

In this issue (TEN#29) I discuss some of the major BPM software vendors and their products. These products automatically generate XML-based executable code directly from workflow diagrams or process models in one or more BPM language: BPEL, BPML or BPSS.

I describe the following SOA BPM products for automatic BPM code generation:

In the years ahead, these SOA BPM products – and others still in development – promise (in time) to transform systems development from a slow, error-prone manual coding effort eventually into the rapid, automatic generation of executable BPM code. Today when business changes occur, we have had to manually change code in monolithic programs and manually retest. Instead, in a few years using SOA BPM products these changes will be made diagrammatically at the process model or workflow diagram level. Executable code that reflects these changes will then be automatically regenerated.

Back to Contents

Microsoft BizTalk Server 2004

The current edition of BizTalk is Microsoft BizTalk Server 2004. This uses the BizTalk Orchestration Designer for BPM, based on Visio. Microsoft use the term “orchestration” (rather than “workflow”) to differentiate the support by BizTalk Server 2004 for long-running business processes that have many document interchanges over days or weeks. They consider the term “workflow” refers mainly to short-running, people-based processes that execute in minutes or hours. An example of a BizTalk Orchestration diagram is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Microsoft BizTalk Orchestration Designer (Source: Microsoft)

Figure 2 shows that Microsoft provides extensive project support in BizTalk Server with the definition, generation and testing of BizTalk projects within the Visual Studio.NET Integrated Development Environment. Business documents are used to generate XML Schema Definition (XSD) files, used with BizTalk Data Mapper for data transformation. XML input queues are pipelines for message input, with processed messages directed to message output queues for further pipeline processing. Within Visual Studio.NET, visual business processes are defined using the BizTalk Orchestration Designer (see Figure 1). Extensive training in BizTalk is available online from the Microsoft web site.[1]

Figure 2: Microsoft BizTalk Project Development (Source: Microsoft)

The most volatile parts of any business process are typically the business rules. These rules are coded as conditional logic in most systems development methods. When these rules change, the conditional logic must also be changed in every application program that references the relevant rules.

To avoid this problem, BizTalk Server 2004 also includes a Business Rules Engine. This is a significant advance in the maintenance of business processes, when business rules change. Each business rule and associated conditional statements are expressed using business terminology in the rules engine as shown in Figure 3. Each rule is referenced from all Orchestration diagrams that need to execute the rule. When a rule is changed in the engine, it is then automatically changed in every Orchestration diagram that refers to the changed rule: with dramatic improvement in maintenance cost and responsiveness to business change.

Figure 3: BizTalk Server 2004 Business Rules Engine (Source: Microsoft)

BizTalk Server 2004 also includes support for Business Activity Monitoring and real-time tracking. It generates executable BPEL XML-based code automatically from orchestration diagrams and provides full support for Web Services SOAP, WSDL and UDDI standards. Microsoft summarizes the features of BizTalk Server 2004 as follows:

  • “Business Activity Monitoring: Give information workers a real-time view of running business processes with Microsoft Office tools.

  • Real-time Tracking: Follow the real-time progress of documents and processes in BizTalk Server applications.

  • Microsoft Visual Studio® .NET Development Environment: Increase developer productivity through a common development environment, and inherit all the capabilities of Visual Studio .NET and the .NET Framework.

  • Microsoft Office InfoPath™ Integration: … InfoPath is a Microsoft Office System program that provides … a front-end to BizTalk Server 2004 for entering XML and consuming Web services.

  • Single Sign-on: Provide unified authentication between heterogeneous systems and applications (Windows and non-Windows).

  • Human-based Workflow: Integrate people and processes with a single orchestration engine.

  • Business Process Execution Language (BPEL): Simplify cross-platform interoperability for process orchestration with standards developed in conjunction with other industry leaders (automatic generation of BPEL from Orchestration diagrams.)

  • XML Web Services: Provide ground-up support for XML Web services standards such as Web Services Description Language (WSDL) and Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI) …

  • Business Rules: Dynamically change business processes to maximize organizational flexibility.

  • Enhanced Scalability: Construct massively scalable messaging and orchestration-based applications through scale-out architecture.”

Back to Contents

IBM WebSphere Business Integration Server Foundation

IBM offers extensive support for Web Services and business process integration through its WebSphere product family. WebSphere Studio Application Developer is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for developing J2EE Web Services. Business Process Management is provided by the WebSphere Business Integration product family.

We discussed earlier that business process models are used so that business rules and processes can be clearly documented for users. These schematic process diagrams communicate business aspects of processes for users; IT developers use UML diagrams to document the greater detail that they need for coding. UML diagrams are very important when coding new software from scratch, but with the increasing use of Web Services there will be greater use of business process models for automatic generation of executable BPM logic.

In 2002 IBM purchased Rational Software and the Rational Rose UML product family to enhance their move to Model-Driven Architecture for software development. We saw in TEN#27 ( in relation to ebXML BPSS that UML diagrams are used for automatic generation of BPSS executable code. There has since been significant IBM development activity to transform automatically between Business Process Models and UML diagrams using the IBM UML Transformer. Refer to the IBM White Paper in References[2] for additional detail.

This business-process model transformation feature ensures that both process models and UML models are traceable. These models show broad process outlines, functional requirements, and eventually the elements that actually make up the software artifacts under construction. IBM states that the UML Transformer allows developers to:

  • “Produce a clear set of development plans.

  • Link UML Models to BPM Process Models.

  • Model business-software systems in UML using six different visual-diagrams: Class, Use Case, Sequence, Collaboration, State, and Activity.

  • Transform common elements between UML Models and BPM Business Process Models.

  • Use Sequence and Collaboration diagrams to see the system's objects, the messages among the objects, and the system's logic flows.”

IBM provides full J2EE support for BPEL generation and execution from process models with IBM WebSphere Business Integration Server Foundation V5.1 (WBISF),[3] a follow-on product to WebSphere Application Server Enterprise V5.0. It is used in conjunction with WebSphere Studio Application Developer (AD) Integration Edition V5.1 to build and deploy BPEL processes with a run-time environment for BPEL execution. These products run on Windows, Linux, IBM z/OS and OS/400 for execution.

A drag-and-drop design tool is provided by Process Choreographer in WebSphere Studio Application Developer to visually define the sequence and flow of business processes, with compensation support for transaction “roll-back” of loosely-coupled business processes that cannot be undone automatically by the application server. Tools are provided for defining, executing and managing business rules – organizing business rules into logical categories using business rule enterprise java beans. The support for volatile business rules includes the ability to update business rules at run-time without the need to bring the application or the server down.

WBISF also includes WebSphere Business Integration Monitor, which is a “real-time monitor that utilizes visual dashboards to provide a dynamic view of business processes, for business performance management and improved decision making.” As summarized by IBM:

“WebSphere Business Integration Modeler is a state-of-the-art product used to define, model, analyze, simulate, and report business processes extending WBISF with business tooling to visualize process impact for today's competitive global marketplace.”

Back to Contents

Oracle BPEL Server

Oracle offers the Oracle BPEL Process Manager[4] to automatically generate executable Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) code from process models. Based on the J2EE environment, it includes a drag-and-drop visual process designer with support for Web Services, Java Message Service (JMS) and Java Connector Architecture (JCA). It includes UDDI and Web Services Inspection Language (WSIL) browser support.

The Oracle BPEL Process Manager offers support for BPEL 1.1, with state and content management: it stores the state of long-running transactions for asynchronous message processing. Support is provided for parallel processing, exception management, events, notifications and version control. It automatically maintains full audit trail information, with both a graphical and textual representation of process status and history.

The BPEL Process Manager can be clustered for both fault-tolerance and failover and for increasing transaction volumes. For example, a single BPEL process instance can be created on one server, automatically relocate to another server if a server failure occurs (including during the execution of a process) and then complete on a third server based on distribution of load.

The Oracle BPEL Process Manager runs on all of the major application servers, including Oracle Application Server, IBM WebSphere, BEA WebLogic and JBoss. Supported production deployment platforms include Windows, Linux, Solaris and IBM z/OS. It can utilize Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM DB2 and other DBMS products.

Back to Contents

SAP NetWeaver

SAP, a leader in the ERP marketplace, has moved aggressively in recent years to build on the strength of its SAP R/3 ERP assets and move its products to the Internet.

Feb 2003 saw the release of SAP NetWeaver. This is the technical foundation intended by SAP to be used for all future development of the mySAP Business Suite. NetWeaver is a major initiative by SAP, moving from its proprietary development environment with ABAP to embrace open architecture.[5] It supports concurrent ABAP and J2EE execution with all J2EE related standards, and provides Web Services support for SOAP, WSDL and UDDI. All SAP BAPI interfaces are now available as Web Services through WSDL. As part of NetWeaver, SAP Web Application Server provides application development capability for cross-functional business applications called Cross-Applications (xApps). NetWeaver supports platform interoperability with Microsoft .NET and IBM WebSphere.

SAP is a member of the W3C, the Web Services Interoperability organization (WS-I) and the Java Community Process (JCP). It is also a member of OASIS (the Organization for Advancement of Structured Information Standards) and UN/CEFACT for EDI and ebXML.

NetWeaver supports Web Services Choreography Interface (WSCI) for Business Process Management. SAP has stated that NetWeaver will also support BPEL4WS. While no announcement had been made by SAP (that I am aware of) at the time of writing, it is anticipated that their endorsement of WSCI and BPEL may result in enhancements to SAP Web Application Server. They could leverage their knowledge of SAP R/3 business processes for dynamic generation of WSCI, BPEL and/or BPML logic from business process models.

Next I will discuss a new software category: Business Process Management Systems (BPMS). I will discuss Intalio | n3 and its support for SOA, BPEL, BPML and BPSS.

Back to Contents

BPMS Vendor – Intalio | n3

Each vendor that we discussed above has existing software products in other categories, to which they are adding Business Process Management (BPM) capabilities to move those products into the BPM market. In contrast, Intalio was established in 1999 specifically to develop Business Process Management System (BPMS) software solely for this market. This is a new category of software products: specifically developed to support execution of BPM languages.

Intalio was a co-founder in August 2000 of the Business Process Management Initiative ( In April 2003 Intalio joined IBM and Microsoft in co-submitting the BPEL 1.1 specification to OASIS. It has been an active participant in the definition of all three BPM languages: BPML, BPEL and WSCI.

The Intalio | n3 BPMS product[6] was first released in Feb 2002, with Version 2.0 launched in Feb 2003. The Intalio | n3 product architecture comprises Intalio | n3 Server, Designer, Director and Projectors.

Intalio | n3 Server: This is the run-time server for the execution of business processes. It is written in Java, built around a process transaction engine for asynchronous execution for both short-running and long-running transactions. It includes a process execution optimizer for both BPML and BPEL processes that can also be extended to support future process modeling languages. It also supports WSCI for defining the interfaces of business processes. This allows processes within existing applications and workflow systems to be exposed as virtual processes that can be reused within the context of larger business processes.

Intalio | n3 Designer: This is a process design tool for use by business analysts, software engineers and systems administrators. It is used to model business processes, binding them to external systems and user interfaces, for execution deployment to the Intalio | n3 Server. Existing business processes can be imported from many business process modeling tools; these include Casewise Corporate Modeler, IDS Scheer ARIS, Microsoft Visio, MEGA Process, Popkin System Architect and Proforma ProVision.

Alternatively the Intalio | n3 Designer process modeling capability can be used. This uses Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN). In time, BPMN may eventually emerge as a standard for process modeling. It reflects the process constructs offered by BPML and BPEL and supports all language constructs of these two languages.

In addition, any process designed with Intalio | n3 Designer can be turned into a reusable process by automatically generating its public interface using WSCI in one mouse click.  This can then be dragged-and-dropped as a process within any other business process. This allows common processes to be easily shared for reuse.

The Intalio | n3 Designer includes a data transformation mapping editor based on XML Schema, so that any complex schema can be mapped into any other schema graphically. It uses a process repository that can be deployed on any existing RDBMS to support collaborative development of executable business processes. Further, it offers process management support for check-in / check-out, versioning and role-based access control and can be integrated with source control systems such as Merant PVCS, Microsoft Visual SourceSafe, and Rational ClearCase. It supports both top-down and bottom-up development, monitoring all changes to process models that are committed to the repository by using a process life cycle management approach.

Intalio | n3 Director enables employees, customers and partners to direct the execution of business processes and carry out business activity monitoring tasks, using many existing workflow engines, groupware systems and enterprise portals. It supports development of workflow-driven user interfaces for advanced workflow requirements such as complex alert escalation and task assignment and delegation.

The Intalio | n3 Director offers an extensive range of design widgets to develop highly interactive process portlets. This includes simple widgets for building static forms, as well as sophisticated widgets for development of interactive reports and process dashboards.

Intalio | n3 Projectors: These are process-level middleware components that are designed to provide connectivity to any process, user or system without writing any code. These Projectors can be used at design-time by Intalio | n3 Designer and also at runtime by Intalio | n3 Server.

Intalio | n3 Projectors provide the capability – discussed earlier for Intalio | n3 Designer – to import existing processes from process modeling tools such as Casewise, ARIS, Visio, System Architect and ProVision. This connectivity is at the process level, rather than at the message or transaction level. Existing processes can be exposed for reuse as process components within larger end-to-end business processes,

Projectors allow the workflow execution meta-models of existing groupware systems and workflow engines to be mapped to Intalio | n3 Server. This enables workflow processes to be directly imported also into Intalio | n3 Designer as process interface processes. As a result, support is provided for connection to: Invensys iBaan; J.D. Edwards OneWorld; Oracle e-Business Suite 11i; PeopleSoft; SAP R/3; and Siebel e-Business.

As evident from the Intalio web site, connections with the following products are also supported: IBM DB2 UDB; Microsoft SQL Server 2000; Oracle 8i and 9i; Software AG ADABAS; Sybase ASE; IBM Directory Server, Lotus Domino; Microsoft Active Directory; IBM Legacy products CICS, IMS and VSE/VSAM; and many other middleware products from BEA, Borland, IBM, IONA, Microsoft and TIBCO.

It is clear that a product such as Intalio | n3 is the direction of BPMS for the future. With its existing native support for BPML, BPEL and its use of WSCI, Intalio has taken a green-fields approach. It does not need to migrate customers from proprietary environments, as do the other BPM products discussed above. Its ability to import existing processes from many process modeling tools – with projectors to connect a variety of external process sources – allow it to take ready advantage of future developments in the BPM market.

Back to Contents

Summary of SOA BPM Products

In this issue I discussed a number of SOA BPM vendors and their software products:

  • Microsoft BizTalk Server 2004 automatically generates BPEL code directly from BizTalk Orchestration Designer diagrams. It includes a Business Rules Engine for efficient management and maintenance of business rules, the most volatile component of business processes

  • IBM WebSphere Business Server Integration Workbench automatically transforms between various UML diagrams. The IBM WebSphere Business Integration Server Foundation automatically generates BPEL code from process models

  • Oracle BPEL Process Manager automatically generates executable XML-based BPEL from process models. It runs on all of the major application servers, including Oracle Application Server, IBM WebSphere, BEA WebLogic and JBoss.

  • The final product that we discussed in this issue was Intalio | n3 Business Process Management System (BPMS). With its native support for BPML, BPEL and the use of WSCI, the Intalio | n3 product family is clearly the direction of BPMS for the future.

  • Many other BPM tools automatically generate executable code in various proprietary languages at present. It is expected that most will evolve in time to generate code in BPEL, BPML and/or ebXML BPSS.

In the years ahead, these SOA BPM products – and others still in development – promise (in time) to transform systems development from a slow, error-prone manual coding effort eventually into the rapid, automatic generation of executable BPM code. Today when business changes occur, we have had to manually change code in monolithic programs and manually retest. Instead, in a few years using SOA BPM products these changes will be made diagrammatically at the process model or workflow diagram level. Executable code that reflects these changes will then be automatically regenerated.

Back to Contents


[1]  Visit the Microsoft BizTalk home page at The Site Map link provides access to many BizTalk Server 2004 White Papers. Also see “Technical Information for Developers”. These details include several on-demand webcast presentations with online demos.

[2]  See the White Paper “Business Process Management with IBM Holosofx” in the IBM DeveloperWorks library at

[3]  The announcement “IBM WebSphere Business Integration Server Foundation, V5.1 — for building and deploying service-oriented applications” is at Search for “WBISF”.

[4]  Oracle BPEL Process Manager is at

[5]  Many White Papers and Brochures are available from SAP Solutions at

[6]  Intalio | n3 product details are available directly from Details about the Business Process Management Initiative are available from

Back to Contents



TEN Archive
Contact Us





Clive Finkelstein is the "Father" of Information Engineering (IE), developed by him from 1976. He is an International Consultant and Instructor, and was the Managing Director of Information Engineering Services Pty Ltd (IES) in Australia. 

Clive Finkelstein's books, online interviews, courses and details are available at

For More Information, Contact:

  Clive Finkelstein
59B Valentine Ave
Dianella, Perth WA 6059 Australia
Web Site:

(c) Copyright 1995-2015 Clive Finkelstein. All Rights Reserved.

| Home | Courses | Projects | Papers | TEN Archive | Contact Us | [Search |

(c) Copyright 2004-2009 Information Engineering Services Pty Ltd. All Rights Reserved.