Transcription

Business ProcessManagement on anSOA FoundationA Unified Framework for Process Design and Deployment

Executive SummaryOrganizations seeking to deliver business process management (BPM) on aservice-oriented architecture (SOA) have traditionally been faced with one oftwo compromise solutions: a workflow approach with limited connectivity oran integration approach with limited BPM functionality. This paper describesa unified architecture for BPM in an SOA environment from TIBCO thatovercomes these limitations.Using this unified approach results in a process layer and a service layer,each independent of the other. Changes can be made to processes withoutaffecting the underlying services and the line-of-business applicationswith which they interact. Similarly, changes can be made to the technicalunderpinnings of the service without impacting those business processes usingthe service. This flexible design approach significantly increases process agility,isolates the impact of change and allows the specialized skills of businessanalysts and IT developers to be properly harnessed.The Goal: Independent Process andService LayerAn SOA is an architecture that breaks down key applications and data intodiscrete, independent components, or “services,” that can be executed ina highly distributed manner. An SOA increases business agility by enablingIT departments to reuse services that have known scalability and quality ofservice characteristics. Such reuse can help reduce time to market as well asdevelopment costs.When BPM is deployed on an SOA, these services are used as building blocksthat can be orchestrated via BPM to model complex business processes. Inaddition to creating new services, a key design principle of SOA is the ability towrap components of existing legacy applications, and then expose those components as services that can be called by different business processes. Thesereusable services can also be assembled to form new “composite” services andapplications. Not only does this reduce time and costs, since it avoids having tobuild and test new code, but it also mitigates risk of process failure since SOAleverages services that have already been proven through production use.B u s i n e s s P r o c e s s M a n a g e m e n t o n a n SO A F o u n da t i o n

The elegance of this approach is that business analysts need not concernthemselves with the technical underpinnings of the service. Instead, theycan focus attention on the business process. When that process requires aservice, they just need to select the correct service and the inputs and outputsbetween the process and service. At the same time, augmentations made tothe service by IT developers should not have any impact on existing processesthat use the service. As IT increases the depth and breadth of service assets,business processes require less and less complex development, and businessanalysts gain greater control over the end-to-end process; each group canwork in an independent but collaborative manner to quickly and economicallyimplement process management. Deploying BPM on an SOA results in a moreagile and efficient enterprise.While almost everyone would agree that this is how BPM should be implementedon an SOA, delivering on the promise has been elusive to date. Until now, BPMon an SOA has been delivered as BPM with limited connectivity (by vendors witha workflow background), or as an SOA with limited BPM functionality (by vendorswith an integration background). Each vendor focuses on providing robust,easy-to-use functionality for their market segment and tends to oversimplify therequirements for the complementary technology.Traditional BPM Offerings RequireSubstantial Development EffortsBPM vendors with a background in the workflow or document-managementworld have tended to focus on process design and management – definition,modeling, simulation, work queue management, user interfaces, rules engines,analytics and process interactions with people – and have done so in a fashionthat puts the tools and, ultimately, ownership of the process in the hands of thebusiness analyst. The necessary connectivity to communicate with particularintegration services has been added seemingly as an afterthought, often vialoosely integrated OEM relationships or basic integration adapters.B u s i n e s s P r o c e s s M a n a g e m e n t o n a n SO A F o u n da t i o n

equ i red f u nc t iona l it y to dep loy B PM on a n SOA:Rtraditional approaches provide partial solutionsTaskBPM-oriented approachEAI-oriented approach Design of businessprocesses – easy-touse interface forbusiness analyst S tr e n g t h Weakness Business rule creationand management S tr e n g t h Weakness Application UIdevelopment anddeployment tools S tr e n g t h S tr e n g t h Process analytics S tr e n g t h Weakness Connectivity to applications, technologiesand services Weakness S tr e n g t h Reliable messaging(execution of businessprocesses) Weakness S tr e n g t h Integration infrastructure to create andmanage services Weakness S tr e n g t h Service discovery Weakness S tr e n g t h End-to-end systemmanagement Weakness WeaknessOn the other hand, BPM vendors with an enterprise application integration (EAI)heritage have approached the challenge from a connectivity perspective – inother words, how to enable SAP to talk to Siebel and deliver that information toa mainframe application and a data warehouse. These tasks are accomplishedwith highly specialized tools that leave the process design up to the developerrather than the business analyst. A low priority has been placed on any featuresdealing with human aspects of the process.The result is two classes of products, each of which goes halfway towardsolving the problem but falls short of a complete solution with the associatedbenefits – flexibility, adaptability and efficiency for both the business and IT.B u s i n e s s P r o c e s s M a n a g e m e n t o n a n SO A F o u n da t i o n

The table on page 4 lists the functionality required to successfully deployBPM on an SOA and shows how well each class of products delivers onthat functionality.Choosing either of these approaches as the basis of your BPM on an SOAstrategy requires a significant compromise: You can embrace the workflow view of the world and resign yourself tothe fact that developers will need to do a lot of coding to connect to andorchestrate systems. You can adopt the integration view and accept that while a comprehensiveinfrastructure and connectivity framework will exist, analysts will needto communicate business requirements to developers and rely on themto design, deploy and support an application – and do so without thespecialized human-centric capabilities.TIBCO Delivers the Full Benefits ofBPM on an SOA FoundationFrom an architectural point of view, TIBCO believes that to deploy effectiveand efficient BPM, the strengths of both the BPM-oriented and EAI-orientedapproaches must be combined and built to operate in an SOA. The followingTIBCO products deliver this functionality:TIBCO iProcess Suite software allows organizations to create a process-centric infrastructure based on their business processes. This suite is composedof multiple modules, including TIBCO iProcess Modeler software and TIBCOiProcess Engine.TIBCO BusinessWorks software provides an enterprise service bus and integration backbone that enables iProcess Suite business processes to connect withand use data from potentially hundreds of different service providers that canspan the entire enterprise – including both web services and non-web services.B u s i n e s s P r o c e s s M a n a g e m e n t o n a n SO A F o u n da t i o n

Figure 1: A unified architecture forBPM in an SOA environmentThe combination of iProcess Suite and BusinessWorks provides a foundationfor a complete BPM solution in an SOA environment, as shown in Figure 1.The combination is enhanced with products that provide business activitymonitoring and system monitoring. In order for each of the productsto leverage the strengths of the others, they are integrated at key points.This unified architecture provides unparalleled visibility into all the workingsof a business process – from design through deployment to production.Business analysts can perform each of these activities with vastly reduceddevelopment resource requirements and, most importantly, greater controlover the business process.The following sections detail how the integration between iProcess Suite,BusinessWorks and other TIBCO monitoring tools improves results throughoutBPM projects.Leveraging Services to AccelerateProcess DesignMany BPM vendors provide the functionality required for business analyststo design complete and effective processes. What has been missing from thistoolbox is the means to access prebuilt integration services for incorporationinto business processes, facilitating the retrieval, update and synchronizationof information from line-of-business applications.B u s i n e s s P r o c e s s M a n a g e m e n t o n a n SO A F o u n da t i o n

The integration between iProcess Suite and BusinessWorks delivers a solutionto this requirement. IT developers, using BusinessWorks as their SOA platform,develop a series of coarse-grained integration services such as RetrieveCustomer Profile, Update Address, Calculate Credit Score or Update Inventory.Figure 2: Repository introspectionfacilitates rapid process definitionand designMeanwhile, the business analyst, using iProcess Modeler for business processdesign, can inspect the registry of available services, choose the correct one,drop it into the process flow and then map the relevant inputs and outputs,as shown in Figure 2.With this approach, business analysts need not concern themselves with thetechnical underpinnings of the service. They can focus on the selection of thecorrect service and the mapping of data models between process and service.The iProcess Modeler includes key design-time features such as field validationbetween the process and the service to ensure accurate processing of datatypes, as well as the ability to test the process and service end-to-end withouthaving to deploy either one.B u s i n e s s P r o c e s s M a n a g e m e n t o n a n SO A F o u n da t i o n

Using this approach results in a processes layer and a services layer, eachindependent of the other. Changes can be made to processes withoutaffecting the underlying services and the line-of-business applicationswith which they interact. Similarly, changes can be made to the technicalunderpinnings of the service without impacting those business processesusing the service. This flexible design approach significantly increasesprocess agility, isolates the impact of change and allows the specialized skillsof business analysts and IT developers to be properly harnessed.BPM on an SOA Enhances ProcessMonitoringOne of the principal benefits of BPM is the ability to monitor and analyzeprocesses from end to end – and to do it in real time. The unified BPM andSOA architecture, coupled with TIBCO’s unique “event enabling” of businessprocesses, expands the scope and efficacy of this monitoring.Both iProcess Engine and BusinessWorks are “event-enabled,” meaning thateach publishes messages at multiple points throughout a business process.As jobs progress through a business process, all associated events can becollated, aggregated and displayed in real time through the business activitymonitoring dashboard of TIBCO BusinessFactor software. The events aredisplayed in the exact context of the business process, incorporating precisedata from both low-level integration tasks and high-level human tasks. BecauseBusinessFactor can incorporate messages from multiple sources, includingexternal sources such as a data warehouse, organizations can get a complete,real-time view of business processes. TIBCO is alone in providing this allencompassing real-time process monitoring capability.The iProcess Engine publishes Java Message Service (JMS) messages at keystate changes. A message is generated each time an instruction in the iProcessEngine produces an audit trail entry – such as case started, work item released,work item overdue, work item reassigned and others. The selection andgranularity of each message is configurable.B u s i n e s s P r o c e s s M a n a g e m e n t o n a n SO A F o u n da t i o n

Figure 3: End-to-end activitymonitoring gives a completeprocess view at all levelsAt the same time, BusinessWorks publishes JMS messages with informationregarding interactions at the infrastructure level. Examples of this type ofinteraction might include notification that a database update succeeded (orfailed) or that an attempt to connect with a service failed. Selection of eventsthat trigger messages is a user-configurable option.Beyond providing the relevant audience – business analyst, developer orsystems architect – with up-to-the-second information about a desired process,dashboards can also be easily modified by users. Filters can be applied todisplay the particular messages of interest, and both triggers and alerts can beset based upon predefined or personalized parameters. As a result, the analysthas all the tools necessary to monitor, correct and change all the activitieswithout requiring additional resources.Process Execution and ManagementWhile the effort that goes into creating a reusable service or business process issignificant, managing and maintaining them is also a significant and long-term task.B u s i n e s s P r o c e s s M a n a g e m e n t o n a n SO A F o u n da t i o n

Once a business process is designed and tested, it moves into production. Ina production environment, consistent system management of all componentsand processes within the BPM and SOA solution is critical to quickly spottingand correcting problems.TIBCO provides end-to-end self-correcting system management capabilitiesthat are fully integrated with the execution engines. The foundation of thesemanagement capabilities is TIBCO Hawk software, a sophisticated tool formonitoring and managing distributed applications and systems throughoutan enterprise. Hawk can be used to manage all aspects of the BPM andSOA deployment, including the ability to start and stop engines on specificmachines, report diagnostic messages, monitor error logs and issue variousautomated alerts. Ultimately, Hawk allows system administrators to proactivelymanage the day-to-day operation of their systems infrastructure.One of Hawk’s more sophisticated capabilities is its use of rules toautomatically modify engine configurations based on predefined thresholds.Figure 4: TIBCO Hawk consolecontrols and monitors allTIBCO components from asingle pointB u s i n e s s P r o c e s s M a n a g e m e n t o n a n SO A F o u n da t i o n10

For example, should the CPU utilization on a particular machine exceeda specified threshold, Hawk can automatically start up a copy of the engineon a second machine.Hawk enables system administrators to monitor application parameters,behavior and loading activities for all nodes in a local- or wide-area network(Figure 4) and take action when predefined conditions occur. By fully monitoringiProcess Suite and iProcess events, Hawk allows operations personnel to keepabreast of all interactions of any TIBCO component.About TIBCOTIBCO has more than 15 years of experience in delivering integration softwareand is a recognized leader in terms of market share and analyst rankings. Asthe need for BPM on an SOA was emerging, TIBCO completed the acquisitionof leading BPM vendor Staffware and has integrated its best-of-breed BPMsoftware, now called iProcess Suite, with BusinessWorks, BusinessFactor andHawk. With this integration, TIBCO customers are able to reap the benefits ofBPM in an SOA: easily introspecting the BusinessWorks service library fromiProcess Suite, pulling iProcess components for inclusion into a BusinessWorksprocess, readily creating dashboards to monitor all of these in BusinessFactor,and more.For More InformationFor information on a broad range of topics specific to SOA and event-drivenarchitectures – including best practices, standards, organizational governanceand relevant technologies – TIBCO invites you to access the SOA ResourceCenter at www.tibco.com/software/soa/. More information on TIBCO productsand professional services can be found at www.tibco.com.Global HeadquartersTel: 1 650-846-10003303 Hillview AvenueToll Free: 1 800-420-8450Palo Alto, CA 94304Fax: 1 650-846-1005www.tibco.com 2006, TIBCO Software Inc. All rights reserved. TIBCO, TIBCO Software, TIBCO BusinessFactor, TIBCO BusinessWorks, TIBCO Hawk, and TIBCO iProcess are the trademarks or registered trademarks of TIBCO Software Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other product and company names and marks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective ownersand are mentioned for identification purposes only. 1346.0

tric infrastructure based on their business processes. This suite is composed of multiple modules, including TIBCO iProcess Modeler software and TIBCO iProcess Engine. TIBCO BusinessWorks software provides an enterprise service bus and inte-gration backbone that enables iProcess Suite bus