Enterprise Web 2.0 and BPM
Earlier today I posted an article on Microsoft and Web 2.0 in the enterprise. The focus of this post was the way in which Microsoft enables end-users and process/data owners at the edge of the business to take advantage of Web 2.0 concepts. However there is another more rigorous approach than the one Microsoft provides with SharePoint and Office. This rigorous approach comes from people working in BPM/EAI rather than people working in the desktop and collaboration space. It’s interesting to contrast the approaches.
Here is an extract from an interesting article on zdnet concerning the enterprise mash-ups concept:
One of the premises of Enterprise Web 2.0 is that not only are these “remixing” techniques valid and viable within the organization, but that the blurriness between the boundaries of your systems and others – and your organization and others – will only increase over time. I won’t go into the governance issues that come out of this in this post, but it’s even clearer that many of the enterprise software concepts of years past: SOA, EAI, and BPM, were terrific ideas that can solve many of these issues. But until now they just didn’t have the proper tools to fully enable them. It’s not to say that these tools were always bad, but we had to use them, whether they were the right ones or not.
This extract shows where the top down BPM approach is starting from:
We’ll always have a need in certain areas of our software to exert absolute control and impose rigid constraints. But the Web 2.0 community has clearly demonstrated that there are more supple, malleable ways to connect systems and people that generally work better. For example, Business Process Management, or BPM, is one of those areas that’s well positioned to exploit this simpler and more effective view of enterprise services and integration.
and provides some useful links about where a new role for BPM might be taking us:
one of the original creators of the concept of BPM, Ismael Ghalimi, is doing just that with a Web 2.0-style named offshoot which he refers to as BPM 2.0. BPM 2.0 emphasizes simple, inexpensive tools, true end-user wiring together of business processes, dynamic executable languages like BPEL, and many other Web 2.0 style-techniques, including zero-deployment footprint BPM clients enabled by Ajax. Ismail’s company Intalio, where he is CEO, has recently released a product that actually delivers on this and he goes on to describe the mashup possibilities that can be explored with straightforward tools like his.
It’s interesting that Microsoft have developed a new BPM like workflow engine – Windows Workflow Foundation (WWF) that will provide the platform upon which Office and SharePoint will implement their workflow capabilities. Microsoft’s BPM tool BizTalk will be based on WWF in a future release.