BEA advises connecting BPM to Event Driven Architecture

BEA advises connecting BPM to Event Driven Architecture

Middleware provider BEA Systems has released a report on business process management

As Business Process Management (BPM) becomes a more strategic discipline, rather than simply being about automation, there is a growing trend for enterprises to connect it to an Event-Driven Architecture, said BEA Systems in a new report.

The report is titled The 2008 state of the BPM Market. Organisations increasingly want BPM to include events and sense-and-respond patterns, said the firm, pointing to several elements that are involved in successfully deploying EDA and incorporating events into BPM.

The first elements the paper discusses are two pieces of middleware. Whereas messaging middleware is already widely deployed, complex event processing engines are also needed, said the report. “These are responsible for listening to the event feed, detecting patters based on rule set and sending out events once a pattern has been found… Once a pattern is found, a business process can be triggered to coordinate the response.”

Organisations also need to ensure their BPM suite is event enabled and that it delivers its own events, including both engines related and process related, back into the event middleware.

Another element to success is using business process modelling techniques to incorporate events, said BEA, recommending the Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN).

Lastly BEA advises on a business analyst skill set. Business analysts often use events incorrectly, said the report. “Learning to think in terms of events is a matter of habit and it is a skill that can be acquired by most business analysts as long as it receives the right priority,” it added.

The report said EDA will also impact on Business Intelligence solutions as executives want more visibility into the BI process of transferring operational data into data marts.

Another trend the report touched on was the link between service-oriented architectures (SOA) and BPM.

“As a key consumer of business services, BPM helps to justify and fund SOA investments. SOA, in return enables BPM to scale quickly and effectively.”

The report advises organisations to take a hybrid approach and implement SOA and BPM together, rather than adopt either the process or service solution first.

Martin Percival, senior technical evangelist for BEA, said he found the most interesting findings of the report to be the fact that most organisations are implementing BPM at the departmental level but then not branching out. Percival said the approach is used for its “comfort factor”; Organisations want to test out a solution first before they expand it across the business.