From PR: OASIS, the international standards consortium, today announced that its members have approved the Web Services Business Process Execution Language (WS-BPEL) version 2.0 as an OASIS Standard, a status that signifies the highest level of ratification. WS-BPEL uses Web services standards to describe business process activities as Web services, defining how they can be composed to accomplish specific tasks.
"The concept of BPEL that began in the earliest days of Web services has become a cornerstone, not only for bringing more finely grained business processes closer to the business department, but also for ensuring that common ways can be constructed among technology providers designing frameworks for future Service Oriented Business Processes," said Charles Abrams, Research Director at Gartner. "The approval of WS-BPEL as an OASIS Standard should be noted as a milestone in the fulfillment of the open Web services vision."
WS-BPEL defines a model and a grammar for describing the behavior of a business process based on interactions between the process and its partners. The interaction with each partner occurs through Web services interfaces. The WS-BPEL process defines how multiple service interactions with these partners are coordinated to achieve a business goal, as well as the state and the logic necessary for this coordination.
"Think of a WS-BPEL process as a reusable definition that can be deployed in different ways and in different scenarios, while maintaining a uniform application-level behavior across all of them," said Diane Jordan of IBM, co-chair of the OASIS WSBPEL Technical Committee. "WS-BPEL introduces systematic mechanisms for dealing with business exceptions. This is essential because not all transactions are straightforward and simple. WS-BPEL lets you define how you want activities to be compensated in cases where exceptions occur or a partner requests reversal."
WS-BPEL separates the public aspects of business process behavior from internal or private aspects--and supports both. The standard can be used both for executable processes, which describe the actual behavior of participants in business interactions, and for abstract processes, that may be used to represent publicly observable behaviors. Abstract processes serve a descriptive role and allow for more than one possible use case.
"By providing a language for specifying both executable and abstract business processes, BPEL extends the Web services interaction model to help better support business-to-business transactions," explained John Evdemon of Microsoft, co-chair of the OASIS WSBPEL Technical Committee. "This protects business partners from the need to reveal all their internal decision making and data management to one another. Separating public from private processes also provides companies with the freedom to change confidential aspects of the process implementation without affecting the observable behavior."
WS-BPEL leverages other Web services standards such as SOAP and WSDL for communication and interface description. By describing the inbound and outbound process interfaces in WSDL, BPEL enables them to be easily integrated into other processes or applications. In turn, this allows consumers of a process to inspect and invoke a BPEL process just like any other Web service, thereby inheriting all other aspects of a Web service such as quality of service policies.
OASIS president and CEO, Patrick Gannon, observed, "WS-BPEL is a fine example of the benefits that can be gained by open standardization and widespread collaboration. The BPEL specification evolved considerably under the OASIS process and emerged stronger--a true, foundational standard for Web services and SOA."
More than 37 organizations collaborated to develop WS-BPEL, including representatives of Active Endpoints, Adobe Systems, BEA Systems, Booz Allen Hamilton, EDS, HP, Hitachi, IBM, IONA, Microsoft, NEC, Nortel, Oracle, Red Hat, Rogue Wave, SAP, Sun Microsystems, TIBCO, webMethods, and other members of OASIS. Active Endpoints, IBM, Intalio, SEEBURGER, and Sun Microsystems verified successful usage of WS-BPEL, in accordance with eligibility requirements for all OASIS Standards. Several open source implementations of WS-BPEL 2.0 are currently available or in development.
The WS-BPEL OASIS Standard and the archives of the OASIS WSBPEL Technical Committee are publicly accessible. OASIS hosts the ws-bpel-dev mailing list for exchanging information on implementing the standard.