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T-Check in Technologies for Interoperability: Business Process Management in a Web Services Context

September 2008 Technical Note
Fabian Hueppi, Lutz Wrage, Grace Lewis

This technical note presents an investigation of the Business Process Execution Language, a popular BPM technology used to describe, analyze, execute, and monitor business processes.


Software Engineering Institute

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In Business Process Management (BPM), many technologies are available to describe, analyze, execute, and monitor business processes. Composition languages are one type of BPM technology. Through the use of composition languages, business processes that are implemented through software and available as web services can be combined into new processes. The most popular language in this field is the Business Process Execution Language (BPEL). BPEL allows a user to declaratively combine existing services within and outside an organization to implement a full business process. This technical note presents the results of applying the T-Check approach in an initial investigation of BPEL and related technologies for the implementation of BPM. This approach involves (1) formulating hypotheses about the technology and (2) examining these hypotheses against specific criteria through hands-on experimentation. The outcome of this two-stage approach is that the hypotheses are either fully or partially sustained or refuted. In this report, three hypotheses are examined: (1) business process descriptions can be exchanged between different design tools and runtime engines; (2) the development effort for integration is reduced through the use of a BPM tool; and (3) business processes can be changed dynamically at runtime. From the T-Check investigation, the first two hypotheses are partially sustained and the last hypothesis is fully sustained.