Myths on BPEL

Like any other new technology, BPEL has its share of miscommunications and misconceptions.

Let’s consider a few of them:

  • BPEL is a human interaction workflow language: FALSE

BPEL is focused on system-to-system interactions.The omission of native language support for human interaction scenarios is being addressed by BPEL4People.

BPEL is better suited for programming in the large, that is, at the inter-module level (i.e. interconnection of modules). This issue is being addressed by BPELJ.

  • BPEL provides a standard visual notation for representing business processes: FALSE

BPEL provides a standard language for specifying and executing business processes, the BPEL specification does not include a standard notation. However, there exists a business process modeling notation (BPMN) to BPEL mapping.

  • BPEL provides process choreography, that is, means of specifying a network of communicating processes: FALSE

BPEL is not WS-CDL! BPEL specifies the interaction between peer business processes, and not among a network of several processes.

  • BPEL is a declarative language, especially so as it is specified in XML: FALSE

BPEL, just like Java, and C/C++, is an imperative language, based upon states, statements, and the usual structured language constructs we are used to, such as if-then-else, switch-case, while, etc. Being specified in XML, does not make it more or less declarative.

  • BPEL allows the modeling of long running processes: TRUE

BPEL provides native support for compensation handling, a very useful feature for modeling undo work needed to guarantee some form of atomicity when locking resources is prohibitive.

  • BPEL allows the modeling of highly concurrent activities: TRUE

BPEL provides native support for concurrent flows and advance synchronization of these flows.

 

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4 Responses to Myths on BPEL

  1. Local Babble says:

    Is it just me, or is SOA about procedural “code”?…

    I have participated in several projects involving SOA adoption, and a constant definition is to use BPEL to “code” the business rules associated to a specific service. There’s no EJBs or POJOs mapping Entities/Domain Objects or anything that mimics …

  2. Is it just me, or is SOA actually supposed to be procedure-based?…

    [rant mode: on] I worked in several projects involving SOA adoption, and a constant definition is to use BPEL to “code” the business rules associated to a specific service. There are no EJBs or POJOs mapping Entities/Domain Objects or anything that m…

  3. Is it just me, or is SOA supposed to be procedure-based?…

    [rant mode: on] I worked in several projects involving SOA adoption, and a constant definition is to use BPEL to “code” the business rules associated to a specific service. There are no EJBs or POJOs mapping Entities/Domain Objects or anything that m…

  4. Is it just me, or isn’t SOA supposed to be procedure-based?…

    [rant mode: on] I worked in several projects involving SOA adoption, and a constant definition is to use BPEL to “code” the business rules associated to a specific service. There are no EJBs or POJOs mapping Entities/Domain Objects or anything that m…

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