What BPM can learn from a Spreadsheet

Business office workers will never program software!or will they?

There is an interesting tension in the undercurrents of the high-tech industry. On one side you have vendors that make bold statements about the productivity that will result because all office workers will be able to make applications by themselves. On the other side you have the insider cognoscenti who chuckle at the thought of untrained people attempting to do more than the simplistic examples offered in the flashy demos. Continue reading

BPM Philosophy, not Technology

Found another interesting and thoughtful discussion of terminology: Workflow or Process Management. I like the six sided cube analogy, and I agree that BPM includes all those aspects. In this view again “workflow” is equated with the human dimension. The only critique I have of the post is: once you include all 6 facets, is there anything in the technical universe that is NOT BPM? Continue reading

Office Automation 25 Years Later

At the last WfMC committee meeting, we were honored by a visit from Skip Ellis, a luminary in the field for 25 years. Huh? I hear some of you exclaim. There wasn’t any BPM 25 years ago! Let me explain.

During the 1970’s people got the idea that information technology (called simply “computers” back then) could be used to support people at work. The idea is that the computer would figure out what needs to be done, and tell people when they needed to do something, Continue reading

Throw Out the Diagram?

I ran a “Round Table” at the BPM ThinkTank on the subject of BPMN and XPDL. There always is the question: “Why not use BPEL?” Then I explain how XPDL holds the graphical layout, the X & Y coordinates, the size the nodes, the paths of the lines. BPEL has not support for the graphical layout.

“But you don’t need to save the graphical layout!” Continue reading

Publications

Articles & Papers

Access Lists at [Google Scholar] and [DBLP]

~ 2018 ~

Keith D Swenson, “Demonstration of Emergent Synthetic Processes,” 6th International Workshop on Adaptive Case Management and other non-workflow approaches to BPM (AdaptiveCM 2018) at 2018 IEEE 22nd International Enterprise Distributed Object Computing Workshop (EDOCW), pp 224-227, Stockholm Sweden, October 2018

Keith D Swenson, “Using Emergent Synthetic Processes for Travel Approval” 2018 IEEE 22nd International Enterprise Distributed Object Computing Workshop (EDOCW), pp 224-227, Stockholm Sweden, October 2018

~ 2016 ~

Keith D Swenson, “Collective Case Decisions Without Voting,” 5th International Workshop on Adaptive Case Management and other non-workflow approaches to BPM (AdaptiveCM 2016) at 2016 IEEE 20th International Enterprise Distributed Object Computing Workshop, Vienna, Austria, October 2016

~ 2015 ~

Keith D Swenson, “Introduction to the 4th International Workshop on Adaptive Case Management and Other Non-workflow Approaches to BPM (AdaptiveCM 2015),” 4th International Workshop on Adaptive Case Management and other non-workflow approaches to BPM (AdaptiveCM 2015) at BPM 2015, Innsbruck, Austria, August 31–September 3, 2015

Mark von Rosing, Keith D Swenson, “Phase 4: What Is Business Process Management?” The Complete BPM Handbook, Morgan-Kaufmann, 2015

~ 2014 ~

Nathaniel Palmer, Peter Schooff, Lloyd Dugan, Charles Farina, Pedro Robledo, Frank Kowalkowski, Mark von Rosing, Layna Fisher, Keith Swenson, “Passports to Success in BPM: Real-world Theory and Applications“, Future Strategies, 2014

Keith D Swenson, “Cognoscenti open source software for experimentation on adaptive case management approaches“, 2014 IEEE 18th International Enterprise Distributed Object Computing Conference Workshops and Demonstrations, pp402-405, Ulm, Germany, September 2014

Keith D Swenson, “There Is Nothing Routine about Innovation,” 3rd International Workshop on Adaptive Case Management and other non-workflow approaches to BPM (AdaptiveCM 2014), Ulm, Germany, September 2014

~ 2013 ~

Keith D Swenson, “Designing for an Innovative Learning Organization“, EDOC 2013, Vancouver, Canada, September 2013 (PDF)

Keith D Swenson, “Avoiding Fragility in Innovative Learning Organizations“, Intelligent BPM, Future Strategies, 2013 (PDF)

Hamid R. Motahari-Nezhad, Keith D Swenson, “Adaptive Case Management: Overview and Research Challenges“, 2013 IEEE International Conference on Business Informatics, Vienna Austria, July 2013 (PDF)

Keith D Swenson, “Designing Solutions for Organizations that are Increasingly Focused on Knowledge Work“, Fujitsu Solution and Service Professionals Convention 2013, (PDF)

Keith D Swenson, “White paper: State of the Art In Case Management“, Fujitsu America, March 2013 (PDF)

~ 2012 ~

Keith D. Swenson, “Position: BPMN Is Incompatible with ACM” Business Process Management Workshops 2012: p55-58 (PDF)

Keith D Swenson, “Case Management: Contrasting Production vs. Adaptive“, How Knowledge Workers Get Things Done, p.109-118, Future Strategies, October 18, 2012 (PDF)

~ 2011 ~

Keith D Swenson, “The Quantum Organization“, Social BPM: Work, Planning and Collaboration Under the Impact of Social Technology, Workflow Management Coalition, Future Strategies, 2011 (PDF)

Keith D Swenson, “Advantages of Agile BPM“, Taming the Unpredictable, Real World Adaptive Case Management: Case Studies and Practical Guidance, Workflow Management Coalition, Future Strategies, 2011 (PDF)

Wil M. P. van der Aalst, Arya Adriansyah, Ana Karla Alves de Medeiros, Franco Arcieri, Thomas Baier, Tobias Blickle, R. P. Jagadeesh Chandra Bose, Peter van den Brand, Ronald Brandtjen, Joos C. A. M. Buijs, Andrea Burattin, Josep Carmona, Malú Castellanos, Jan Claes, Jonathan Cook, Nicola Costantini, Francisco Curbera, Ernesto Damiani, Massimiliano de Leoni, Pavlos Delias, Boudewijn F. van Dongen, Marlon Dumas, Schahram Dustdar, Dirk Fahland, Diogo R. Ferreira, Walid Gaaloul, Frank van Geffen, Sukriti Goel, Christian W. Günther, Antonella Guzzo, Paul Harmon, Arthur H. M. ter Hofstede, John Hoogland, Jon Espen Ingvaldsen, Koki Kato, Rudolf Kuhn, Akhil Kumar, Marcello La Rosa, Fabrizio Maria Maggi, Donato Malerba, R. S. Mans, Alberto Manuel, Martin McCreesh, Paola Mello, Jan Mendling, Marco Montali, Hamid R. Motahari Nezhad, Michael zur Muehlen, Jorge Munoz-Gama, Luigi Pontieri, Joel Ribeiro, Anne Rozinat, Hugo Seguel Pérez, Ricardo Seguel Pérez, Marcos Sepúlveda, Jim Sinur, Pnina Soffer, Minseok Song, Alessandro Sperduti, Giovanni Stilo, Casper Stoel, Keith D. Swenson, Maurizio Talamo, Wei Tan, Chris Turner, Jan Vanthienen, George Varvaressos, Eric Verbeek, Marc Verdonk, Roberto Vigo, Jianmin Wang, Barbara Weber, Matthias Weidlich, Ton Weijters, Lijie Wen, Michael Westergaard, Moe Thandar Wynn, “Process Mining Manifesto” Business Process Management Workshops (1) 2011: 169-194 (PDF)

~ 2010 ~

Michael zur Muehlen, Keith D. Swenson, “BPAF: A Standard for the Interchange of Process Analytics Data” Business Process Management Workshops 2010: 170-181 (PDF)

Keith D Swenson, “Foreword“, 2010 BPM & Workflow Handbook, July 2010, Future Strategies Inc. (PDF)

Keith D Swenson, “Knowledge Work and Unpredictable Processes“, 2010 BPM & Workflow Handbook: Spotlight on Business Intelligence, July 2010, Future Strategies Inc. p.33-42 (PDF)

~ 2009 ~

Keith D Swenson, “Two Strategies for Handling Models: Preserving vs. Transforming“, 2009 BPM & Workflow Handbook: Spotlight on BPM in Government, June 2009, Future Strategies, Inc.

Keith Swenson, Jim Farris, “Human-Centered Business Process Management“, FUJITSU Sci. Tech. J., Vol. 45, No. 2, pp. 160–170 (April 2009) (PDF)

~ 2008 ~

Keith D Swenson -“System Automation vs. Human Facilitation“, 2008 BPM & Workflow Handbook: Spotlight on Human Centric BPM, April 2008, Future Strategies Inc. (PDF)

~ 2007 ~

Marcus Spies, Harald Schoening, Keith D Swenson – Publishing of Interoperable Services and Processes in UDDI, EDOC ’07: Proceedings of the 11th IEEE International Enterprise Distributed Object Computing Conference, October 2007 (PDF, ACM)

Keith D Swenson – The Key to SOA Governance: Understanding the Essence of Business, Cutter IT Journal, Vol. 20, No. 6, June 2007 (PDF, Reprint PDF)

Keith D Swenson – The Key to SOA Governance: Understanding the Essence of Business, Innovations in Business Process Thinking, Cutter Consortium, 2007 (PDF)

Keith D Swenson, “The Business Value of Workflow and BPM“, BPM and Workflow Handbook: Methods, Concepts, Case Studies and Standards in Business Process Management and Workflow, 2007

Keith Swenson, Amita Abraham, “Creating a Shared-Services Infrastructure for BPM & SOA“, article in CIO Update, January 22, 2007

~ 2006 ~

Graham Hughes, Sreeranga P. Rajan, Tom Sidle, Keith Swenson,
Error Detection in Concurrent Java Programs, Proceedings of the Workshop on Software Model Checking (SoftMC 2005), Electronic Notes in Theoretical Computer Science, Volume 144, Number 3, February 2006, pp 45-58 (link)

~ 2005 ~

Sreeranga P. Rajan, Graham Hughes, Keith Swenson, A Methodology to Detect “Hard-to-Find” bugs in Large Multithreaded Java Programs, unpublished 2005 (pdf)

Keith D Swenson, Workflow and Web Service Standards, Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 11 No. 3, 2005, pp. 218-223 (pdf)

Michael zur Muehlen, Jeffrey V. Nickerson, Keith D. Swenson – Developing Web Services Choreography Standards – The Case of REST vs. SOAP – Decision Support Systems 37 (2005), Elsevier, North Holland (pdf)

~ 2004 ~

Keith D Swenson, A Brief History of Web Service Standards, International Developer, Dec 2004, (PDF)

Keith D Swenson, “Streamline Your XML Searches – An index-free approach to managing data“, XML Journal, Jun. 2, 2004

Keith D Swenson, ASAP/Wf-XML 2.0 Cookbook, Workflow Handbook 2004, May 2004, Future Strategies Inc. (pdf)

Presentation: Worldwide Interoperability Demonstration of ASAP & Wf-XML 2.0. – Brainstorm BPM Conference June 2004 – the first interoperability demonstration. (Powerpoint slides: “Connecting Systems With ASAP.“) June 23, 2004

~ 2003 ~

Alan Rickayzen, Keith Swenson, “B2B Interoperability through Presentation Level Integration“, The Workflow Handbook 2003, Future Strategies Inc. 2003 (pdf)

Keith D Swenson, “Workflow and Web Service Standards” July 2003, (PDF)

~ 2002 ~

Keith D Swenson, Jeffrey Ricker, Asynchronous Web Services Protocol (AWSP), work in progress, unpublished, 2002 (doc)

~ 2001 ~

Keith D Swenson, “Workflow for the Information Worker“, The Workflow Handbook 2001, Chapter 2, Workflow Management Coalition, Future Strategies, p.39-50, 2001, (pdf)

Keith D Swenson, Michael zur Muehlen, XML-based Standards for B2B Process Integration, Tutorial at XML World 2001 San Francisco, Nov 26, 2001, (abstract)

Keith D Swenson, Michael Marin, Business Process Integration Seminar: XML-Based Standards for Process Integration, Special session at e-Businesses Integration San Francisco 2001, (abstract)

~ 2000 ~

James G. Hayes, Effat Peyrovian, Sunil Sarin, Marc-Thomas Schmidt, Keith D. Swenson, Rainer Weber, Workflow Interoperability Standards for the Internet, IEEE Internet Computing, May/June 2000 (Vol. 4, No. 3), pp. 37-45 (scan)

~ 1999 ~

Keith D Swenson, Internet Scale Workflow: Standards for Cross-Enterprise Business Processes, A tutorial session at Work Activities Coordination and Collaboration Conference (WACC’99), San Francisco, Feb 22, 1999 (abstract)

~ 1998 ~

Keith D Swenson, Simple Workflow Access Protocol (SWAP), Workshop on Internet Scale Event Notification, Irvine California, July 1998, (notes)

Keith D Swenson, Simple Workflow Access Protocol, original submission to IETF, August 1998 (TXT)

~ 1995 ~

Jon Iden, Keith D Swenson, Workflow Management: A Barrier to Self-Management?, ECSCW95 European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 1995 (PDF)

Jon Iden, Keith D Swenson, Workflow Management: A Barrier to Self-Management?, ECSCW’95 Workshop: Goupware for Self Organizing Units, 1995 (PDF)

Keith D Swenson, Kent Irwin, Workflow Technology: Tradeoffs for Business Process Re-engineering, COOCS’95, August, 1995

Keith D Swenson, The Future of Workflow Technology: Collaborative Planning, Tools & Methods for Enterprise Re-Engineering Conference, Arlington VA, May 15-18, 1995

Keith D Swenson, Workflow Management Standards and Interoperability, Chapter 2 of New Tools for New Times: The Workflow Paradigm, Second Edition, ISBN 0-9640233-2-6, Future Strategies Inc, 1995 (toc)

Keith D Swenson, Workflow Interoperability Industry Initiatives, BIS Strategic Decisions Conference on Workflow, 1995, (PDF)

Keith D Swenson, The Difference Between Workflow and BPR, Workflow ’95, Boston, Feb, 1995 (slides, book)

Keith D Swenson, The Politics of Workflow: Fitting the Solution to the Organization, Groupware ’95, Boston, Feb 1995

Keith D Swenson, “Collaborative Development of Groupware Applications“, Groupware 1995 San Jose, (PDF)

~ 1994 ~

Keith D Swenson, Robin Maxwell, Toshi Matsumoto, Bahram Saghari, Kent Irwin, A Business Process Environment Supporting Collaborative Planning, Collaborative Computing Journal, March 1994, page 15

Keith D Swenson, The Future of Workflow: Collaborative Planning, Proceedings of the Groupware 94 conference, San Jose, The Conference Group, Scottsdale, AZ, August 1994 (PDF)

Keith D Swenson, Workflow Interoperability Through Workflow Management Coalition Standards, Proceeding of the Workflow Conference, August 1994, San Jose, The Conference Group, Scottsdale, AZ, August 1994

Keith D Swenson, The Emergence of Workflow for Coordinating Business and Software Processes, Tutorial Session at CASE Japan, Tokyo Japan, July 15, 1994

Keith D Swenson, Kent T Irwin, Robin J Maxwell, Toshikazu Matsumoto, Bahram Saghari, Collaborative Planning: Empowering the
User in a Process Support Environment
, Schaerding Workshop on Collaborative Technologies, Schaerding Austria, May 23, 1994

Keith D Swenson, Kent T Irwin, Robin J Maxwell, Toshikazu Matsumoto, Bahram Saghari, A Business Process Environment Supporting Collaborative Planning, Journal of Collaborative Computing, Spring 1994

~ 1993 ~

Keith D Swenson, Visual Support for Reengineering Work Processes, Proceedings of the Conference of Organizational Computing Systems, Milpitas, California, Nov. 1993, (PDF)

Keith D Swenson, A Visual Language to Describe Collaborative Work, Proceedings of the International Workshop for Visual Languages, Bergen. Norway, Aug. 1993, (PDF)

Keith D Swenson, The Regatta Project, Proceedings of the First International Conference in Technologies and Theories for Human Cooperation, Collaboration, and Coordination, Applica `93, March 1993 (PDF)

~ 1992 ~

Simon Kaplan, Keith D Swenson, Operating System Support for Collaborative Work, Proceedings of the Second International Workshop in Object Orientation in Operating Systems, Dourdan, France, September 24-25, 1992

Slidecasts & Videos

In a couple of cases I have taken slides from presentations, and recorded a voice annotation to them, and posted them on Slideshare as a slidecast.

Seven Domains of Predictability, June 2013, 23 minutes, Complete descriptions of the seven domains of process technology where different approaches so supporting process are laid out according to how they predictable the underlying business problem is.

Antifragile Systems for Innovation and Learning Organizations, May 2013, 14 minutes, this is the presentation from BPMNext on Antifragility and how that relates to the support of knowledge workers in organizations that want to continually improve themselves. Originally given in Asilomar, California.

Video Presentation and Demo of Antifragile Systems for Innovation and Learning Organizations, April 2013, 20 Minutes, this is the video of the above BPMNext presentation, and includes a 10 minute demonstration of a system to support these concepts.

The Nature of Knowledge Work, April 2010, 46 minutes, presentation prepared for the Process.gov event in Washington DC on April 14 & 15. Covers the central concepts of knowledge work as presented in the first chapter of the book Mastering the Unpredictable which was itself launched on April 14.

Large-Scale Federated BPM / Workflow, March 2009, 22 minutes, presents three key protocol standards developed by WfMC in recent years: Wf-XML for server to server process federation, Workcast Protocol for syndicating and integrating worklist feeds from multiple servers, and BPAF for aggregation of history event feeds into a process data warehouse. These three protocols are critical to enabling “internet scale” business processes.

BPM Model Preserving Strategy vs. Model Transforming Strategy, March 2009, 30 minutes, talks about the concepts of Model Preserving Strategy and Model Transforming Strategy and the tradeoffs of these approaches. Covers the material of my chapter in the 2009 Workfow and BPM Handbook: “Two Strategies for Handling Models: Preserving vs. Transforming.”

Interview with Keith Swenson, Podcast by Vance McCarthy of Integration Developer News, 2008 (audio MP3)

Key Presentations

April 2016, Oslo, Norway, Keynote Presentation “Collaboration Topics” The Norwegian Computer Society Annual Conference, April 6, 2016

May 2015, Montreal, Canada, Keynote Presentation “Robots Don’t Innovate: Innovation vs. Automation in BPM” 6th International MCETECH Conference, May 12-15th, 2015

Sept 2014, Eindhoven, Netherlands, Keynote presentation “Questions for a Learning Organization” BPM 2014 conference

Sept 2014, Ulm Germany, Keynote presentation “Case Management and Personal Assistants” AdaptiveCM 2014 (workshop on Adaptive Case Management and Non-Workflow styles of BPM at the EDOC 2014 conference)

Sept 2013, Vancouver, Canada, Keynote presentation “Relying on intuition when designing a system to support the work” EDOC 2014

April 2013, Lisbon, Portugal, Keynote presentation “Planning and Supporting Innovative Work Patterns” BPM 2013 Portugal (Info, Video)

June 2011, Milan Italy, “Enabling Quantum Organizations as a New Level of Enterprise Effectiveness” Social Business Forum in Milan (2011)

Oct 2007, Paris France, Paris La Défense • WfMC Tutorial, a full day tutorial with 4 other presenters.

Oct 2007, Poznan, Poland, WfMC Forum Poland 2007, BPM In Practice, a full day tutorial with 4 other presenters.

May 2007, Washington DC, BPM in Practice: Understanding and Implementing Workflow and Business Process Management, a full day tutorial with 5 other presenters.

Feb 2007, Santa Clara California, BPM in Practice: Understanding and Implementing Workflow and Business Process Management, a full day tutorial with 4 other presenters.

Nov 2006, Taipei Taiwan, Following BPM Giant’s Steps WfMC Standards Tutorial Day, a full day tutorial with 4 other presenters.

Nov 2006, Singapore, WfMC Standards Tutorial Day, a full day tutorial with 4 other presenters.

Oct 2006, Tokyo Japan, WfMC Standards Tutorial Day Japan BPM Association 3rd BPM Forum, a full day tutorial with 4 other presenters.

Sept 2006, Mainz Germany, WfMC Standards Tutorial Day, Part of BPM2006 CONFERENCE, a full day tutorial with 4 other presenters.

June 23, 2004 – Worldwide Interoperability Demonstration of ASAP & Wf-XML 2.0.) – Brainstorm BPM Conference June 2004 – the first interoperability demonstration. (Powerpoint slides: “Connecting Systems With ASAP.“)

Feb 22, 1998 – “Internet Scale Workflow: Standards for Cross-Enterprise Business Processes” – Work Activities Coordination and Collaboration (WACC’99) Conference – A tutorial on the OMG workflow RFP, and the IETF SWAP protocol, and other early SWAP things.

April 3, 1998 – “Web Based Distributed Workflow” – Bay Area Roundtable (BART) Scaling for the Internet series – Actually this is an early proposal for the concept of a “web service”.

Feb 1998 – Keynote Speech at JavaAUS’98. Sydney Australia.

October 1994, “Collaborative Planning: The Future of Workflow” – Presentation to the Bay Area Roundtable for Collaborative Technologies

April 1994 – “Collaborative Planning: Putting the Workflow User back in the Driver’s Seat“, Presentation to Bay CHI (Bay Area Group for the Computer Human Interface)

Related Articles (Quoted)

July 17, 2006 – “SOA solution offers free management options” – Jason Turcotte, Application Development Trends.

April 21, 2006 – “Fujitsu aims for higher North American profile, profits” – Network World – A quote about Fujitsu’s vision of SOA.

June 2005 – “Data Centers Move Front and Center into the Middleware Revolution” – Joe McKendrick, Database Trends and Applications. A quote about how SOA is transforming data centers.

Oct 1, 2004 – “XML lets loose the data stream” – Application Development Trends – A short quote near the end about XML search capabilities.

June 23, 2004 – “Workflow Management Coalition Hosts ASAP and Wf-XML 2.0 Interoperability Demo” – OASIS Cover Pages – a compendium of several articles about that time on the subject of the interoperability test.

June 23, 2004 – “New ASAP standard takes programming out of the picture” – Mark Brunelli, Search Web Services

June 22, 2004 “New Web services standards connect competing systems ASAP” – Search Web Services

June 21, 2004 – “Fujitsu, WfMC To Demo Business Process Interoperability” – GRID Today, Vol. 3 No. 25

June 14, 2004 – “ASAP spec proposed for delayed Web services” – ComputerWeekly.com – A short discription of the Asynchronous Service Access Protocol (ASAP).

March 9, 2004 – “Fujitsu Chief Architect Recognized for Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Workflow” – Press Release from Fujitsu

Oct 22, 2003 – “Oasis builds asynchronous web services spec” – ComputerWeekly.com – A short discription of the Asynchronous Service Access Protocol (ASAP).

Nov 10, 2003 – “OASIS Advances Protocol for Asynchronous Web Services” – ebizQ

Patents

#5490097, February 6, 1996, System and method for modeling, analyzing and executing work process plans, Inventors: Keith D.Swenson; Robin J. Maxwell

#6574675, June 3, 2003, Simple workflow access protocol, Inventors: Keith Swenson

#20080028316 A1, Jan 31, 2008, System and method for managing a plurality of web services, Inventors: Harald Schoning; Johannes Viegener; Keith Swenson

The Nature of Knowledge Work

“Workflow” is Back

I think the term "Workflow" is back.

Not that it ever went away. It is just that it has been such a pejorative word. The most common reason given for the difference between "Workflow" and "BPM" was: Workflow is that old stuff we don't do anymore, BPM is much newer, much better.

Some people felt that workflow was support for work without any back-end integration. I honestly don't know of any workflow vendor that did not offer integration to backoffice system, nor how you would accomplish keeping workflow separate from the backoffice. I always point to the 1995 "Workflow Reference Architecture" which always had an "Interface 3" which is a standard way to integrate to a system or service. But there is a general impression that there were some workflow products that could not be integrated.

Regarless of the reason, from 2001 thru 2005, all the workflow vendors and workflow practitioners changed to using the term "BPM" due to this marketing fluff.

Some thought BPM was a more inclusive term: it mean not only the automation of business tasks, but also the modeling of it, the review of how well things are running, and the overall *management* of those business processes. To manage a process, you have to be able to see it, manipulate it, keep multiple versions of it, and be able to measure its effectiveness. This point of view makes sense: you are "managing" the workflow processes in a much more tangible way. Unfortunately, due to the influence of two very strong vendors, IBM and Microsoft, and in their over-promotion of BPEL, as well as some other notable gadflys of the BPM wave, the term BPM came to mean really something closer to Enterprise Application Integration with a process approach. We also call this "Web Service Orchestration". It took three years from 2002 thru 2005 for the market at large to realize that BPEL really was just about coordinating messages from server to server. This realization has caused the meaning of BPM to collapse from an all encompasing term, to one that means little more than "EAI".

There recently has been a big realization that "Human BPM" is very important. IBM and SAP release their BPEL4People white paper. BEA buys Fuego, a notable human workflow vendor. Oracle prepares new human capabilities above (and possibly separate) from their BPEL engine. And Microsoft talks about their Workflow Foundation, which is also separate from their BizTalk EAI.

The term "Human BPM" is a bit cumbersome. I was recently asked to give a presentation at DCI's BPM Conference on the subject of "Techniques for Using Workflow to Bridge the Gap Between Business and IT". They have not had any workflow talks for the past three years, but this year it seemed appropriate to get back in touch and see what has been going on there. In discussios with many of the experts there, they felt that the term "Workflow" now means the human oriented side of BPM, while BPM cover both the human as well as the EAI style BPM. Gartner is now using the term "BPM Suite" to mean technology that covers both human and system BPM among other criteria.

That works for me. I must give Microsoft credit for being brave enough to use the term "Workflow" and to use it for capability that is consistent with the original meaning. I propose now that BPM be the overarching term, with Workflow representing the human capabilities, and "Service Orchestration" being the system capabilities. We will see if this comes to pass.

Reflections on Tag-language

That last post was too long. The discussion around pesudoprogramming is too complex to contain in a single post, or a single essay of any form. I feel it utterly fails to clarify anything, because it is built on so many other axioms which have not been clearly stated.

I was challenged by someone on the stance that use of tag-language in a JSP was less powerful, less convenient than just sticking to Java. So it is me against him, can I find some third person support for either position? I searched the web. The ONLY mention of tag libraries were from people promoting those tag libraries. They always include a page of reasons why the tag library is superior. Many "reasons" are unsupported assumptions about being better. Other reasons unfairly compare a very poor Java example to a tag; the Java could be written much better and it would be a better comparison. Most of the arguments don't hold water.

I was thinking, *somebody* must have done an unbiased comparison of using tag-language or sticking to pure Java. No matter how I searched, I could not find any evidence of a careful controlled study comparing the two approaches. Then I realized that the flaw is my assumption that there would be a such a study.

Who would do such a study? If you like tag-language, you are motivated to write a page expousing the benefits of tag-language. But if you don't like tag-language, you pretty much just ignore them. It is reasonable to assume that tag-language works in a particular domain of the programming space, and those who like it are in that domain, and those who do not are in a different domain.

Who am I, then, to rain on sombody's parade simply because tag-language is not useful for my purpose? I am a system architect and must set the direction for many people, some of whom are less experienced. These programmers are trying their best to do a good job, so they see the arguments and are persuaded. I guess what really bugs me is that the arguments are fallacious, and nobody corrects them! Only one side is presented, so people do not dig to see the what the truth should be, they simply accept the arguments.

I guess I am not done with this subject. I will have to address each argument for tag-language, and see if it holds up to scrutiny.

Pseudoprogramming

What are I going to gripe about today? How about: “programmers who think they are going to make other peoples lives easier by letting them program in a new language that is less complex.”

OK, the motives are good: “Programming is complex. Many people are intimidated. Let’s make something that they will be less afraid of, and still accomplish the job.” Continue reading