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Leading Technology Vendors Announce Publication of “BPEL4People”


A group of leading technology vendors, including Active Endpoints, Adobe, BEA Systems, IBM, Oracle and SAP AG, today announced the publication of “BPEL4People” specifications, which define an approach for integrating human interactions using Web Services Business Process Execution Language (WS-BPEL) 2.0.
BPEL4People extends the capabilities of WS-BPEL to support a broad range of human interaction patterns, allowing for expanded modeling of business processes within the WS-BPEL language.

“It’s becoming increasingly critical to understand and support human interactions when modeling business processes,” said Charles Abrams, Research Director, Gartner, Inc. “The publication of these specifications is a substantial step in bridging human and IT interactions within the WS-BPEL language.”

WS-BPEL focuses on business processes that orchestrate Web service interactions. However, in general, business processes are comprised of a broad spectrum of activities that most often require the participation of people to perform tasks, review or approve steps and enter data -- for example, a credit approval scenario that may require approval on certain transaction limits or activity levels. These human interactions are now addressed in the new specifications.

BPEL4People is comprised of two specifications including:
* WS-BPEL Extension for People which layers features on top of WS-BPEL to describe human tasks as activities that may be incorporated as first-class components in WS-BPEL process definitions.

* Web Services Human Task introduces the definition of stand-alone human tasks, including the properties, behavior and operations used to manipulate them. Capabilities provided by Web Services Human Task may be utilized by Web services-based applications beyond WS-BPEL processes.

“As one of the original supporters and early implementers of BPEL, Oracle is pleased to see the specification evolve to meet the needs of technical and business level users,” said Don Deutsch, vice president, Standards Strategy and Architecture, Oracle. “With our support of BPEL4People, we are making it easier for customers to integrate their human workflow processes into heterogeneous application environments and implement service-oriented architectures.”

The authors plan to submit the specifications to OASIS in the near future and will propose a Technical Committee to produce an OASIS standard based on it. OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) is a not-for-profit, international consortium that drives the development, convergence and adoption of e-business standards.


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