How Granular Should My Microprocesses Be? By Jan Kettenis

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As with all modularization principles, finding the right granularity is not always trivial and the more important. Some of us have seen complete projects fail because of getting this wrong. The Microprocess Architecture is no exception to this rule and in the following I discuss this topic, hoping to guide you in getting it right.

As explained in the article introducing the Microprocess Architecture the rationale for applying it consists of a combination of reducing impact when implementing new features and bug fixes, ease applying them to an already deployed business process, supporting parallel development and few others. Said differently and in one word: agility.

To correct the mistake made in the introducing article of not defining what a microprocess stands for:

A microprocess is a subprocess of a larger business process, where the subprocess spans the execution of one or more activities to reach a business significant state change of the business process, and which can be developed and deployed as a stand-alone component.

This definition implies that the scope of a microprocess has business visibility. However, as such that does not yet clarify the right granularity. Too course-grained and there is a risk of not delivering on the core value of agility, too fine-grained and you risk issues with performance and scalability.

So, what is the right granularity? First let me try to illustrate by example. I then capture some of the main characteristics that should give you guidance on how to apply it for your use case.

Order handling example

An order handling process of a bank, that starts with a customer submitting an order form and ends with invoking one or more back-end systems to handle the delivery, could consist of the following microprocesses: Read the complete article here.

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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.

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