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Created: June 26, 2002.
News: Cover StoriesPrevious News ItemNext News Item Releases Business Process Modeling Language Working Draft Specification.

The Business Process Management Initiative has anounced the publication of the Business Process Modeling Language specification (BPML 1.0) as a first public working draft. The BPML specification "provides an abstract model and XML syntax for expressing business processes and supporting entities. It governs transactions and their compensation, data management, concurrency, exception handling, and operational semantics. BPML itself does not define any application semantics such as particular processes or application of processes in a specific domain; rather it defines an abstract model and grammar for expressing generic processes. This allows BPML to be used for a variety of purposes that include, but are not limited to, the definition of enterprise business processes, the definition of complex Web services, and the definition of multi-party collaborations. By leveraging the Web Service Choreography Interface (WSCI) specification developed by BEA Systems, Intalio, SAP AG, and Sun Microsystems, BPML 1.0 enables the modeling of end-to-end processes that can be translated into collections of private implementations executed as BPML processes and public interfaces defined using WSCI. Together, they provide an end-to-end view that depicts the role of each individual business process in the overall choreography, and the business activities performed by each role. BPML 1.0 and WSCI 1.0 appropriately share the same underlying process execution model, as well as similar syntaxes."

Specification Abstract: "The Business Process Modeling Language (BPML) specification provides an abstract model for expressing business processes and supporting entities. BPML defines a formal model for expressing abstract and executable processes that address all aspects of enterprise business processes, including activities of varying complexity, transactions and their compensation, data management, concurrency, exception handling and operational semantics. BPML also provides a grammar in the form of an XML Schema for enabling the persistence and interchange of definitions across heterogeneous systems and modeling tools."

From the announcement:

BPML 1.0 was developed as a semantic superset of previous releases of the BPML specification, as well as the WSFL specification developed by IBM and the XLANG specification developed by Microsoft. This design principle for the BPML 1.0 specification complements the fact that WSCI was also developed as an interoperability layer for multiple process modeling languages-including BPML 1.0, WSFL, and XLANG, hence can serve as a language-independent process description language. As a result, companies can preserve their process investments by relying on the BPML 1.0 specification, which provides an open and royalty-free alternative to a growing number of incompatible specifications for process modeling, while deploying executable processes on a broad range of process servers that support different process modeling languages.

"The publication of BPML 1.0 is a significant achievement for those involved in the process movement," said Howard Smith, co-chair and Computer Sciences Corporation CTO, EMEA. "For vendors, BPML offers a stable semantic foundation that is supporting the development and extension of process technologies. For systems integrators, BPML defines a reference architecture governing round-trip process lifecycle within enterprise IT architectures. The upshot for end user organizations is that a BPMS provides a coherent, robust and efficient approach to top down process design, deployment, and evolution-centered on business strategy and customer requirements."

"The public release of BPML 1.0 is an outstanding achievement for," said Ismael Ghalimi, chairman and Intalio chief strategy officer. "In less than two years, our initiative managed to gather unprecedented momentum for the development of open and royalty-free standards for Business Process Management (BPM), and consistently delivered upon expectations. By fully leveraging the emerging Web Services stack, BPML 1.0 paves the way for a new era of Business Process Management where processes, people and information can be unified into agile business systems."

About BPMI:

The Business Process Management Initiative ( is an independent organization devoted to the development of open specifications for the management of e-Business processes that span multiple applications, corporate departments, and business partners, behind the firewall and over the Internet. complements initiatives such as J2EE and SOAP that enable the convergence of legacy infrastructures toward process-oriented enterprise computing, and initiatives such as ebXML, RosettaNet, BizTalk, WSDL, UDDI, tpaML, and E-Speak that support process-oriented business-to-business collaboration. defines open specifications such as the Business Process Modeling Language (BPML) and the Business Process Query Language (BPQL) that will enable the standards-based management of e-Business processes with forthcoming Business Process Management Systems (BPMS), in much the same way SQL enabled the standards-based management of business data with off-the-shelf Database Management Systems (DBMS). [from the Brochure]

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