There is an EU Project proposal to look at Event-driven Business Process Management, and that drove the title and interest in this panel (following neatly on from the edBPM09 workshop a few weeks back) chaired by CITT’s Rainer von Ammon.
The brief for the panel was to cover particular aspects of “edBPM” such as:
- What is meant by edBPM? Compared with, for example, the “edBPM Reference Model” presented at the 1st EPTS symposium in 2006?
- TIBCO of course talks about “edBPM” as either a part of “BPM+” (from a BPM perspective) or as automated rule- and event-driven processes (from a CEP perspective). Either way, customers regularly combine complex event processing and (orchestrated, BPMN-based) workflow as well as (orchestrated, XML processing) SOA.
- The main issues with the supplied edBPM model was that it simply combined event processing with BPEL processes. TIBCO’s edBPM customers invariably never use BPEL (why should they?), and indeed some don’t use BPMN for process models (defining models in terms of states and rules). So the main suggestion here is to go up a level in abstraction:
- Multiple engines (that could include BPEL if you were so hindered inclined) as well as event processing algorithms or even analytics.
- An event server (or bus).
- Some kind of generic state store (for process states, persisted events, etc).
- More generic models (for business control) and dashboards (cockpit or otherwise).
- Who will be the first “market mover” in exploiting the term “edBPM”?
- This might have been disappointing to the edBPM pundits, but the vendors basically agreed that this term had no formal “legs” yet: no one had a marketing campaign around event driven BPM, no one had tried to persuade an analyst to take up (or define) the term, and the large BPM vendor and consultant community would not want their “BPM” mindshare asset diluted.
- Do we need new/enhanced standards for edBPM? And what is the challenge to insert/combine Complex Events in BPM? Versus say an example model for non-deterministic approaches like Smart Fraud Management in Banking?
- The new BPMN2 standard has started the process of adding interesting event extensions to BPMN, while there are existing standards for other models (PRR for production rules, UML State for entity lifecycles, BMM for motivations, PMML for analytics, the proposed DMN for decision models, and so forth).
- The Fraud example shows how some existing fraud products might work, but again is too specific – what if other event pattern detection and event pattern discovery techniques are desired?
- Related to the above point was the proposal for new standards at the domain level for edBPM…
- “The good thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from” comes to mind here: effort would be better spent event-enabling the existing standards (what are the relevant loads and what combinations of the domain data models are relevant as payloads?)…
- Although the panel did not progress to the next question, it is interesting nontheless: what is required to set up edBPM projects and/or what aspects of edBPM need to be researched further?
- Probably there is some methodology work to be done on when to use processes, rules/queries or states and how to combine them…
- Areas of outstanding research in edBPM are probably joint semantics (a.k.a. the promise of BPDM) across different process types (including CEP), CEP-enabled BPMN, and mergers of event operations with (some aspect of the voluminous domain of) the SOA service standards.
The original CITT proposal can be found at http://www.citt-online.com/downloads/EDBPM-IP-proposal.ppt .