Posts Tagged 'BPM'

Why not Petri Nets?

I have read the excellent article by Johan den Haan “The Process Centric vs. Information Centric approach to SOA”. It strengthen my idea that BPM must go beyond its current boundaries and explore new languages that better fit business process modeling.

I am not sure that an event-driven model can fit every requirement for modeling, in some case (see my previous post) when the process is driven by a complex data (i.e. product structure) some hierarchical model could be more effective and complementary to an event driven model.

Turning to event-driven I have tried to model a process using Petri Nets. I started from a process that I found hard to model with BPMN. When you have different asynchronous user data entry BPMN does not allow to have a simple vision of the end-to-end process.

Petri Nets allow to design a more flexible model taking into account exceptions in a seamless way. Moreover CEP configuration languages are very close to Petri Nets concepts and allow to quite straightforwardly translates Petri Nets into execution models.

Example of Petri Net (order to production process)

The very nature of SOA

One of the most critical challenge for organizations is to enhance their effectiveness and efficiency in the execution of “end-to-end processes”.  E2E processes are sequences of business activities triggered by a business event which terminate when the event is handled in all its aspects.
customer-centric organizations must enhance their E2E processes

customer-centric organizations must enhance their E2E processes

Every obstacle (technical or organizational) to the straightforward execution of the process and to its traceability reduces the quality of service perceived by the customer.

Customers are not the only external interface that triggers E2E processes: other stakeholders can be citizens, partners or authorities.

Business processes are progressively integrated in longer and longer value chains that create an unbroken line linking the internal (or externalized) activities with the external terminal interfaces. In this way is much easier to measure the capacity of the organization to stay successfully in the market.

This trend has progressive and radical impacts on the enterprise application’s architecture. The following picture shows a possible evolution in this sense.

horizontal processes vs. vertical application silos

horizontal processes vs. vertical application silos

In order to better execute, control and track horizontal E2E business processes, IT systems have to break the vertical walls, or silos, that software applications build at their borders.