Evolution of Business Process Modeling by Eduardo Chiocconi

imageIt has been a while since I wrote about the different process types, and why there is not a single silver bullet process modeling styles. If you want to read more about my first write up, you can follow this link to read more: Not all processes are created the same.

Structured Business Processes

In the early days of our business process automation space, the incumbent process modeling experience was mostly using flow diagrams. These flow models layed out a well defined set of business process steps (aka: activities) whose primary purpose was the capture best practices and standard procedures. These procedures needed to be followed in the organization that adopted them. When these structured business process models were implemented in a BPMS (Business Process Management Systems) solution, the implementing organization got a means to digitize these standard procedures and how they wanted to run their business processes and enforce execution all across. Not only business processes followed a very strict recipe, but in highly regulated industries, it offered the a way to check the audit trail records for each business process transaction, helping reduce risk and enforce compliance to policies and regulations. As structured flow diagrams became more mainstream and multiple products offered their own flavor of notation (also with their own notation interpretation), the BPMN (Business Process Modeling Notation) standard offered a common and agreed way to document business processes. This important standardization step also brought some order in the space, and helped BPMS vendors to focus efforts in supporting this business process modeling de-facto standard (or a good subset of it really!). Examples of these business process type include onboarding new customers (this is an across the board use case but very common in finance and insurance), managing approvals across different domains like order discounts and performing the multiple necessary validation steps before some coverage can be granted. Bottom line, examples exists in every industry and with varied complexities.

Unstructured Business Processes

But not all processes are the same! While structured flow-based business processes are indeed a great tool in the toolbox, this notation does not serve well other types of business processes that are completely unstructured or follow a more relaxed set of dependencies. The sequence and order in which process steps or activities are executed is determined every time there is an event in the process and this really goes against the structured and deterministic model we talked on the first section. In this unstructured modeling style, business process steps or activities are not connected via arrows or transitions. Each activity has an activation and termination expression or rule. These rules can refer to other activities or also make reference to the specific data defined for this business process (for example service type, place of origination, specific SLAs, etc). This new way of defining dependencies really allow a BPMS engine to execute following an event drive mode since each time something happens to the process (for example another step is executed), the BPMS engine needs to determine which activities need to be activated (and also likely terminated). As certain events occur for a process instance, the process has the ability to reconfigure itself and determine a new path. Read the complete article here.

PaaS Partner Community

For regular information on Oracle PaaS become a member in the SOA & BPM Partner Community for registration please visit www.oracle.com/goto/emea/soa (OPN account required) If you need support with your account please contact the Oracle Partner Business Center.

clip_image003 Blog clip_image005 Twitter clip_image004 LinkedIn image[7][2][2][2] Facebook clip_image002[8][4][2][2][2] Wiki

Technorati Tags: SOA Community,Oracle SOA,Oracle BPM,OPN,Jürgen Kress

About Jürgen Kress
As a middleware expert Jürgen works at Oracle EMEA Alliances and Channels, responsible for Oracle’s EMEA Fusion Middleware partner business. He is the founder of the Oracle SOA & BPM and the WebLogic Partner Communities and the global Oracle Partner Advisory Councils. With more than 5000 members from all over the world the Middleware Partner Community is the most successful and active community at Oracle. Jürgen manages the community with monthly newsletters, webcasts and conferences. He hosts his annual Fusion Middleware Partner Community Forums and the Fusion Middleware Summer Camps, where more than 200 partners get product updates, roadmap insights and hands-on trainings. Supplemented by many web 2.0 tools like twitter, discussion forums, online communities, blogs and wikis. For the SOA & Cloud Symposium by Thomas Erl, Jürgen is a member of the steering board. He is also a frequent speaker at conferences like the SOA & BPM Integration Days, JAX, UKOUG, OUGN, or OOP.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: