Business Process Integration – What, where and how

If we talk about business process integration, we would probably have a different vision and other expectations depending on our role.

For example: if we talk to the manager about business process integration, this could mean automate existing manual processes. If we talk to the sales-departement they would expect to have more insight into trends, benchmarks and action-triggered marketing campaigns.

Another example: If you talk to analysts they would think about business process modelling and defining the landscape of existing processes to be able have a clear understanding of the company’s process lifecycle and how processes, data and tasks are managed. If we talk to architects we would start discussing the usage of UML Sequence Diagrams, Class Diagrams, Canonical Data Models, …

In other words the expectations differ depending the context you would be interested in the integration aspect.

The steps that can be equal across the different stakeholders:

  1. Analyse existing business processes, data, services, organisational aspect, …
  2. Define workflow aspects such as the difference between automatic and manual steps
  3. Automate business processes
  4. Integrate business processes

The products that can be used to tackle these aspects, as well on business side as IT side, and offered within the Fusion Middleware 11g stack are: BPA Suite, BPM Suite and SOA Suite.

BPA Suite, Business Process Analysis Suite, can offer you an environment to analyse needed data, services, organisational aspects and business processes (using different types of diagrams). Besides architecting these artifacts you can also simulate the processes to be able to have a clear view on the throughput and process lifecycle without needing to automate the processes you’ve put in place in for example a non-automatic manner. Afterwards you’re able to discuss the business processes with your IT department and start implementing/automating these processes using Business Process Modeling Notation and Business Process Execution Language (BPMN and BPEL). BPMN 2.0 is now supported in 11g.

BPM Suite can then offer a unified view to as well analyst as stakeholders as developers using the same environment, the same processes and analysis. By introducing one single environment for these different stakeholders, communication and collaboration will be augmented without frustration of difference in object definitions or concepts.

After the analysis, simulation and automation has been put in place, using SOA Suite (e.g. Bpel process Manager) you can start integrating these processes within existing environments. Call out to these new processes (a deployed BPEL Process is a web service) from the Back-End. Publish these services to your existing partners and new partners, …

OOW – Oracle BPM Studio

Following an hands on lab regarding BPM Studio was really interesting for me, because I’m a firm believer of Oracle BPA Suite and I’m using it in day-to-day projects in Europe today.

So my big question was … what’s BPM Studio all about, and what will it offer that I don’t already have when using Oracle BPA Suite. Well I have to say, I still don’t know exactly how these 2 products will work together. So let’s have a quick overview of the different parts of BPM that got my attention on performing the hands-on lab.


The big difference in BPM Studio is the different contexts in which users will work depending on their skill-set and their responsibilities within the team.

You have 3 kinds of views within the ‘Eclipse’-environment – BPM Studio uses Eclipse as it’s IDE – you can be a ‘Business Analyst’, a ‘Business Architect’ or a ‘Business Developer’.
Depending on your responsibilities and your view you will get a different context within the IDE so only those components, views and perspectives are shown that are of importance for your skill-set.

The ability to add swimlanes, add activies, add components is more straight-forward than in BPA, but you’re not really using the BPMN Specs and best practices your used to working with as a BPMN Engineer.

When you’ve defined your process flow you can already test it, simulate it, within the environment and follow the process lifecycle using dashboards, charts, …

So the big value is that within one environment you have all the different artifacts you need to define a process, to deploy a process, to simulate a process (using KPI’s) and to monitor the process’ execution.

I will need to take a look at it to be able to have a clear comparison of strengths and weaknesses of both environments to be able to see the value in both of these products.