… became the topic on one of the last days of OMG this week, with an interesting debate on the relationships between case management and dynamic business processes / activities, records management, and the BPMN roadmap. So what’s on the cards, and what is the relationship to event processing?
Firstly, this discussion led on from the dynamic business activity modeling RFI discussed at the last OMG meeting: TIBCO solutions here include TIBCO BusinessEvents’ CEP solution (combining events, states and rules) and TIBCO iProcess Conductor (combining BPM with CEP and rules).
As is usual, another group in OMG (named, not surprisingly, the “Government Domain Task Force” or GovDTF) had already done some work on the “case” side of the problem, with a Record Management Services model. This covers areas like the documentation for government employees, with associated rules on when information needs to be deleted or replaced. Another example are your DMV driving license records, including your historic license photo records, etc. Some of these personnel “cases” can be active for over 100 years! One solution mentioned by the GovDTF for modeling the processing of such cases could simply combine events, rules and state…
The relationship between these cases and processes is that multiple processes can be applied against cases (for example: loan initial application to loan payment completion). In addition, these (changing) cases can have multiple (changing) events invoke (changing) rules which direct what (changing) processes are used. The general opinion is that case management can be too complex / ad hoc / rule-driven / human-oriented for simple process orchestrations handled by BPMN. So one obvious question was whether case management should be a separate standard or should simply be a BPMN roadmap item (where the latter includes other non-flow-based process types, but not yet continuous event processing).
So: should case management be Record Management ++, BPMN 4.0, or its own standard referencing the prior 2? Or just another potential use case for event+state+rule tools? Next Case Management RFP discussion: March OMG meeting, Washington DC.