Last week I attended a cool preview workshop held by Clemens Utschig Utschig from Oracle HQ on Oracle’s BPMN 2.0 tool “BPM Studio”, which is part of the Oracle BPM Suite.
I had to wait before I can talk about until it is publicly available. Now you can get it here:
BPM Studio in JDeveloper: http://www.oracle.com/technology/software/products/jdev/htdocs/soft11.html. Info on how to set up the whole BPM Suite is here: http://otn.oracle.com/soa
The usability and ease to get started are impressive. In the business view analysts can intuitively start modeling, then developers refine in their own, more technical view.
The BPM Studio sets itself apart from pure play BPMN 2.0 tools by being seamlessly integrated inside a holistic SOA / BPM toolset: BPMN models are placed in SCA-Composites in SOA Suite 11g. This allows to abstract away the complexities of SOA integration aspects from business process aspects. For UIs in BPMN tasks, you have the richness of ADF 11g based Frontends.
With BPM Studio we architects have a new modeling and development IDE that gives us interesting design challenges to grasp and elaborate, since many things BPMN 2.0 are different from good ol’ BPEL. For example, for simple transformations, you don’t use BPEL “assign” any more, but add the transformation directly to the service call. There is much less XPath involved. And, there is no translation from model to BPEL code anymore, so the awkward process model to BPEL roundtrip, which never really worked as well as it looked on marketing slides, is obsolete: With BPMN 2.0 “the model is the code”. Internally, Oracle uses the same runtime engine which they also use for BPEL, so on operating level many things stay similar to BPEL based processes.
BPEL itself will stay relevant for integration processes that are exposed as services. These BPEL based services will be called by a BPMN process. They are then an implementation detail of a process step. So BPMN is for everything workflow/business process while BPEL will remain strong for non trivial integration scenarios.
Now, these are great times to start the journey into BPM!
- Start Projects smoothly, with initial processes being not overly complex and not using the more esoteric areas of BPMN, to manage the learning path and to stay successful with each iteration.
- Verify non functional requirements by conducting performance and load tests early.
- As mentioned above, separate all technical integration logic into SOA Suite or Oracle Service Bus.
- Plan some time to understand what you get from Oracle in terms of ADF based user interfaces for tasks and how to adapt this to your functional requirements and to your look and feel guidelines
- And – start playing with the tool, have fun share your experience!
I will use BPM Studio in the next weeks and keep you aligned.