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Last modified: July 30, 2007
XML Daily Newslink. Monday, 30 July 2007

A Cover Pages Publication
Provided by OASIS and Sponsor Members
Edited by Robin Cover

This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by:

W3C Proposed Edited Recommendation: XForms 1.0 (Third Edition)
John M. Boyer, Micah Dubinko (et al., eds), W3C PER

The W3C Forms Working Group has published a Proposed Edited Recommendation (PER) for "XForms 1.0 (Third Edition)." The document responds to implementor feedback, brings the XForms 1.0 Recommendation up to date with second edition errata, and reflects clarifications already implemented in XForms processors. Comments on the PER are welcome through 31-August-2007. Forms are an important part of the Web, and they continue to be the primary means for enabling interactive Web applications. Web applications and electronic commerce solutions have sparked the demand for better Web forms with richer interactions. XForms 1.0 is the response to this demand, and provides a new platform-independent markup language for online interaction between a person (through an XForms Processor) and another, usually remote, agent. XForms separates presentation and content, minimizes the need for scripting and round-trips to the server, and offers device independence. XForms is not a free-standing document type, but is intended to be integrated into other markup languages, such as XHTML or SVG.

See also: XML and Forms

Vendors Tackle BPM Identity Crisis
Tony Baer, Computer Business Review Online

BPM (Business Process Management) vendors are calling on each other to clear up their message. During a freewheeling panel involving IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Handysoft, and Lombardi at the OMG BPM Think Tank conference, a rallying cry went up to stop confusing BPM the tool with business process management, the discipline. The challenge is that the market for BPM products isn't IT departments, but the business organization. And on this side of the house, the customer may be quite sophisticated when it comes to articulating organizational improvement, but remain naive when it comes to judging or forming expectations regarding off-the-shelf tools. The perception gap of course is that while virtually every vendor in the market says that they have a tool to resolve this, members of the audience termed business process management a discipline that was far too diverse for any single tool to handle. The source of the dilemma is that the term business process is in fact quite subjective: something that you call a task, activity, or workflow might be something that I call a process. And some confuse the functions of conventional enterprise applications, like an inventory management transaction in a SAP, a full-throated process. Compounding the issue is that, while the audience for BPM tools are supposed to be analysts, architects, or power users from the business, the highly graphical offerings that can be used to model or design processes are easily confused with RAD tools used by developers. The confusion systems from the fact that RAD tools and many BPM tools generate executable code, so at first glance the tasks that each set of tools performs are the same. Making life more interesting is the potential synergy between BPMN, a modeling notation for business processes that has received wide vendor support, and BPEL, the web service orchestration language that is not exactly welcomed in open arms by BPM 'pure plays' (e.g., vendors who are not IBM, BEA, Oracle, or SAP). Most BPM vendors accept BPEL grudgingly, if at all, because they feel it does not adequately represent the context of a business process. When BPMN and BPEL first emerged several years ago, IBM's Stephen White wrote a technical paper demonstrating a proof of concept for mapping BPMN to BPEL. BPMN was developed by the BPM community with full intention to output to an execution language.

See also: BPM Think Tank 2007

OMG Adopts Five New Standards
Staff, Object Management Group Announcement

During the week of June 25-29, 2007, members of the Object Management Group (OMG) met in Brussels, Belgium where the OMG Board of Directors voted to adopt five new standards. This meeting was co-located with the inaugural European meeting of the SOA Consortium. During the meeting week, the Board of Directors voted to adopt five specifications: (1) Business Process Definition Metamodel (BPDM): This metamodel defines an abstract language for specification of executable business processes that execute within an enterprise (with or without human involvement). (2) Combat Management Systems (CMS) Application Management: This proposal specifies a standard for Application Management and System Monitoring in CMS systems, consisting of a service part and a data model part. (3) Enhanced View of Time: This is a revised and upgraded version of the "Enhanced View of Time" specification. (4) Model-Level Test and Debug: This proposal defines a Test Instrumentation Interface that allows testing and debugging of PIMs, PSMs, and their resulting implementations at the model level. (5) Product Lifecycle Management Services 2.0: This revision comprises two extensions to the existing standard: the Computational PIM and PSM for cross company communication of an engineering change request (ECR) and the Informational PIM to support the scope defined by industry standards.

See also: the BPMN FAQ document

Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) 2.0
David Frankel, Blog

The Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) specification addresses the need for a standard notation that business process experts can use to model business processes. It was originally defined by the Business Process Management Initiative ( Today, most business process management and enterprise architecture suites and tools support BPMN. In June 2005, merged with the Object Management Group (OMG), a mature standards body best known in the enterprise computing world for its stewardship of the UML, XMI, MOF, and other Model Driven Architecture standards. OMG also manages an active community around the CORBA standards, which have a significant presence in realtime and embedded systems. The OMG is close to releasing its official version 1 of the BPMN standard, which will be publicly available for download and use. As BPMN became entrenched in the market, inevitably its users identified improvements that could enhance its value. Some of the main issues with the BPMN version 1 specification are that it does not define a format for interchanging business process models among tools, and has no formal metamodel. It does not specify a means for interchanging diagrams among tools, and the semantics of the various modeling constructs are not well defined. Its facilities for expressing choreographies are limited. A standardized interchange format enables a BPMN tool that complies with the standard to import a business process model that was created by another compliant BPMN tool. Today, some tools use the Workflow Management Coalition's XPDL as a BPMN interchange format, but XPDL is not truly based on BPMN's modeling constructs, and thus the mapping to XPDL is not as direct as many would like. Furthermore, companies who are investing in model-driven metadata management supported by the Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF) and the OMG's Meta Object Facility (MOF) need an XMI-based interchange format. The BPMN version 1 specification does not provide an interchange format, nor does it codify any other interchange format as the official BPMN interchange format. The OMG issued the RFP for BPMN 2.0 in June 2007.

See also: Standards for Business Process Modeling

RFP for Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) 2.0
Fred A. Cummins (ed), OMG Public Document

The OMG Request for Proposals 'bmi/07-06-05' solicits submissions that reconcile the Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) and the Business Process Definition Metamodel (BPDM) to specify a single language with metamodel, graphical notation and interchange format. Letters of Intent are due October 1, 2007 and submissions due February 18, 2008. BPMN 1.0 is established as a generally accepted notation for business process modeling. However, it has been generally recognized that BPMN requires a metamodel that defines the semantics of the graphical elements precisely, and that enables the exchange of models using XMI. Proposals may provide additional mappings to recognized process definition languages, such as UML, SPEM, XPDL, ebBP, and WS-CDL. The specification developed in response to this RFP is expected to achieve the following: (1) A single specification, entitled Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN 2.0), that defines the notation, metamodel and interchange format, with a modified name that preserves the 'BPMN' brand. (2) Extension of BPMN notation to address BPDM concepts. (3) Changes that are required to reconcile BPMN and BPDM to a single, consistent language. (4) The ability to exchange business process models and their diagram layouts among process modeling tools preserving semantic integrity. (5) Enhancements in BPMN's ability to: Model orchestrations and choreographies as stand-alone or integrated models. (6) Support the display and interchange of different perspectives on a model that allow a user to focus on specific concerns. (7) Disposition of outstanding issues deferred by the respective finalization task forces for BPMN 1.1 and BPDM 1.0. Adoption of this specification will improve the capability for business analysts to develop, communicate, and understand business process models. The specification will improve communication between modelers, including between business and software modelers, provide flexible selection of tools and execution environments, and promote the development of more specialized tools for the analysis and design of processes...

Active Endpoints Delivers BPEL4People Tool
Darryl K. Taft, eWEEK

Active Endpoints, which makes SOA orchestration solutions, is rolling out ActiveBPEL for People, a product that adds workflow and human interaction capabilities to the company's ActiveBPEL Enterprise servers. The application is architecturally aligned with both the BPEL4People and WS-HumanTask specifications, which form the foundation of standards-based human interaction using BPEL. ActiveBPEL for People features three primary components. The first is a people activity component, which is a new BPEL activity that extends the WS-BPEL 2.0 standard to support human interaction and provides a set of extensions to BPEL4People. The second is a task manager, which is a server-side technology that handles all of the management of the human interaction tasks. The third is a set of end-user and developer interfaces. These are out-of-the-box end-user controls that can be easily embedded into Web-based applications, including task inbox, task detail and task assignment; also, these controls are provided as AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) components and include full source code. Active Endpoints' road map includes automated migration for user processes created using the current versions of ActiveBPEL for People. Thus, organizations can use current versions of ActiveBPEL for People to create, deploy and manage their human-facing BPEL processes and be confident they will not incur significant costs and disruptions when the BPEL4People standards are approved. Rob Hailstone (Butler Group): "Users have made it very clear that there is a need to include human interactions within process definitions, and there has been a distinct danger that individual vendors would create proprietary extensions to BPEL to cater for this need, but would ultimately cause the fragmentation of the standard and the associated lack of portability and interoperability. The BPEL4People initiative sets out to provide a standard that is technology-neutral and will allow human interactions to be included within process definitions. The associated WS-HumanTask proposal will create a technology-neutral standard for including tasks within the user interfaces of applications or generic user environments such as portals."

See also: BPEL4People specifications

W3C Call for Contributions: Open Mobile Web Test Suite
Carmelo Montanez, W3C Tests Submission Template

The W3C Mobile Web Test Suites Working Group is launching an Open Mobile Web Test Suite built by the community for the community to describe support for technologies in mobile Web browsers available today. Mobile Web developers can submit test cases as described in the submissions guidelines illustrating authoring practices. Submissions will contribute to a better understanding of the current limitations of user agents, which helps pave the way to better mobile Web browsers tomorrow. As described in "Guidelines for the Mobile Web Test Suites Group (MWTS) Tests Submissions," test cases can be positive, negative or behavioral—e.g. how a browser reacts to a particular technology. Negatives tests will be accepted if identified as such; unless it is the goal of a test to illustrate the behavior of a user agent to invalid content, the test cases should be well-formed/valid XHTML Basic, syntactically correct CSS, DOM, etc. The mission of the MWI Test Suites Working Group is to help create a strong foundation for the mobile Web through the development of a set of test suites targeted at browsers. These test suites can help assess which technologies and which features of a given technologies are supported in existing browsers on mobile devices. The Working Group works on two main deliverables: an analysis and repackaging of existing conformance test suites that apply to the Mobile Web, and a community-based test suite focused on authoring practices for the Mobile Web.

See also: the W3C Mobile Web Initiative Test Suites Working Group

National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) 2.0
Wyatt Kash and Jason Miller, Government Computer News

Law enforcement agencies are likely to see improved methods for sharing information and managing identity if new technology advances being shepherded by the Justice Department live up to expectations. The release of Version 2.0 of the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) is due out in a matter of weeks, according to Jeremy Warren, DOJ chief technology officer. NIEM 2.0 will include a justice domain, which will be called the Global Justice Extensible Markup Language data model. NIEM is the XML schema and data dictionary overseen by the Homeland Security and Justice departments and the Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative, which provides a common language for federal, state and local law enforcement and emergency management groups to share information. The new version standardizes the definitions of a wider circle of common terms and content used by public agencies. In addition to law enforcement terminology, the schema attempts to standardize descriptions of terms shared by intelligence, international trade, immigration, justice, infrastructure protection and information assurance groups and make it easier to exchange data among federal, state and local entities. DOJ and DHS are the only agencies to formally standardize on NIEM. The Information Sharing Environment Program Management Office also is considering NIEM for intelligence information sharing with its partners. The model is growing to become a federated architecture where you identify core data elements, and NIEM will help us communally govern and use the standards. At the AFCEA conference on law enforcement technology Warren highlighted two other DOJ-led technology initiatives during the conference: one a pilot program designed to streamline federated identity management, and another that advances Justice's LEXS litigation information exchange. The Information Sharing Environment Program Executive Office is funding the pilot, and DHS, DOJ, and state and local law enforcement agencies will test it. Warren said the system is expected to make more information available to more users, offer single sign-on capability and an enhanced user experience, and provide better audit capabilities.

See also: the NIEM web site


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