BPEL & BPEL4People, what’s the difference?

What is BPEL4People exactly and how does it relate to BPEL, the standard language to describe business processes (Business Process Execution Language).

Manoj Das has written an article in SOA Magazine, describing the need for BPEL4People.

When we want to automate a business process we need to be able to define system and human tasks within the process. E.g. before an order may be billed to the customer, the HR manager needs to approve and validate this order. This step is were Bpel4People comes in, the person needs to have the ability to approve certain tasks within the bpel process.

Using Oracle BPEL we can already use human task interaction using the Oracle extension made available. By standardizing this human taks interaction the bpel process will be supported on any operating system.

For more information regarding BPEL4People, read the following Article.

AL Service Bus – Oracle Enterprise Service Bus

So we have 2 flavors of a service bus, namely the ALSB en OESB which is now repackaged and relincensed into OSB = Oracle Service Bus.

If we have a look at both products we could briefly summarise the big differences in focus of both products. Which actually means, looking back into the past, when BEA and Oracle were separate vendors.

So let’s compare both products, in a really, really short summary ;o)

AL SB = stand-alone pipelining mechanism which supports messaging, other adapters and pipelining of actions (a little bit of a sequential approach)

OESB = dragging-and-dropping of different services based on webservices (SOAP Services) or adapters (file, MQ, JMS, DB, …) + focus on transformation and routing

With the 11g release we don’t talk about the ESB or Service Bus anymore but about the Mediator. The SCA Mediator, which actually is the Oracle Service Bus.

The OSB (Oracle Service Bus) = ALSB + OSB = Best of both products = Best of breed