Service Oriented Business Process Modeling Today and Tomorrow

Service Oriented Business Process Modeling Today and Tomorrow

Lai Xu (Bournemouth University, UK) and Paul de Vrieze (Bournemouth University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4181-5.ch006


In this chapter, the authors explore fundamental links between business process management and Web services. The authors discuss how service technologies can extend traditional business process management into a cross-organizational environment (i.e., over Internet) to face the fast changing world. Particularly, the authors discuss the issues of business process modeling for service-oriented business process management.
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State Of The Art Business Process Management

Existing business process management platforms are usually designed for software developers and business process experts rather than regular end users (in our case business users). As a result, they offer rich functionalities for universal and detailed modeling and development of business processes. In addition, their focus is on planned, well-structured, formalized, and highly repetitive business processes, which are often located within a single organization, or among few, selected organizations with well-established business relations. As a consequence, existing business process management platforms with heavyweight services usually cannot be exposed to ordinary end users who want to create new or to adapt existing processes because they lack the necessary technological and business background.

There is increased pressure to build enterprise applications quickly in order to respond to situational needs of the business. Many of these applications never get delivered because they are too difficult to write, too costly to implement, too brittle to customize and maintain once deployed, or cannot be provided in a sufficiently timely fashion.

Nowadays, there is a large and growing provision of Web services that could be very valuable in supporting business goals. Their use, procurement, and provisioning is exceedingly simple. While the use of Web services is relatively easy, they represent programming interfaces, and are not always straightforward to use from the perspective of end-users (even power users). In this section, we first discuss lightweight business process management. Then we will explain process configuration for supporting fixable processes. Finally, we introduce open sources business process management systems for supporting small and medium enterprises.

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