XPDL Fully Tipped

In March 2007 I wrote an entry called “The Tipping Point for XPDL” where I mentioned among other things that 8 of the top 11 BPM vendors support XPDL. Since that time XPDL has moved forward by adding support for BPMN 1.2 as well as compatibilities levels and conformance tests.

The vendors have moved forward as well. At the time I listed Adobe, Appian, Oracle (BEA/Fuego), Fujitsu, Global 360, IBM (FileNet), Pegasystems, & TIBCO as supporting XPDL. I was not aware at the time that Savvion had XPDL support. Metastorm added XPDL support in April 2008. And now Lombardi has released support for XPDL (see Bruce Silver). That completes the list. Continue reading

Rise of the Process Wiki

A few weeks ago I became aware of Process Wiki  (http://wiki.process.io/) when the founder of the wiki left a comment on one of my blog posts.  I was curious.  Without surprise, the wiki site contains a good collection of example business processes.  You can join to be a member, and collaborate either by contributing more process examples, or by commenting on the existing ones.   Processes can be uploaded & downloaded as XPDL files, and the site has a converter to visualize the processes as BPMN diagrams.  Most sites have GIF files embedded in the page, but this is the first I have seen that you simply upload the XPDL file and it provides the visualization directly in the page. Continue reading

Upcoming BPM Events

Three upcoming events might be worth looking into:

May 19: Industry Briefing: BPMN 2.0 Examined

This is a free webinar by Robert Shapiro the brain behind XPDL.  Few have his insight and experience into the process space.  Now a consultant at Process Analytica he brings a vendor independent view to the future of BPM and workflow standards.  This will not be a presentation for the timid — expect considerable depth and details.  If you are a software vendor thinking about implementing BPMN 2.0 or if you are a consultant that needs to keep up on BPM trends this briefing will be an easy way to get tips to help you plot your way forward.

June 18-19: The BPM in Government Event

There has been a big focus on BPM in the government this year, with the DoD sponsored SOA Symposium in DC in April, and now the Process.gov event in June, also in Washington DC.  No coincidence that the 2009 BPM & Workflow Handbook has the theme Spotlight on BPM in Government.  Most important:

The only event of its kind, Process.gov is strictly non-commercial and no paid-for sessions or sponsored content will be presented. All sessions and presenters are peer-reviewed and subject to a rigorous jury process.

I will be presenting a session on “Model Preserving Strategy” which is also the subject of my chapter in the 2009 Handbook. It is a great opportunity to have face-to-face meetings with many process thought leaders.  Price is a very modest $100, but note: if you are not a government employee sign up early: there are a limited number of non-government admissions.  As of this moment, there are a few open speaking slots as well (six I believe).

June 22: Stevens BPM Day

This is the third year for this vendor-independent executive seminar (pdf brochure) located conveniently just across the Hudson River from New York City hosted by Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken NJ.  I will be there with a few other though leaders presenting the acclaimed “BPM in Practice” full day tutorial on currently evolving BPM technology and standards.  Stevens adds an additional twist with a breakout track focusing on BPMN modeling.  Robert Shapiro will  surely have lots of interesting details on the BPMN 2.0 standard. Early registration is $495 but you save $100 if you are a WfMC member.

21 Questions to Ask a BPM Vendor

With all the work I do in getting BPM system to interoperate with each other, I have come to recognize a set of potential problem areas.  Naturally, vendors are not always forthcoming with these little glitches.  So I have put together a list of questions that someone who is currently evaluating product might want to ask the vendor, and gauge the response.  Pick and choose, but I hope this list is helpful in getting some probing questions:

  • Does your product support a standard external interchange format for process definitions? – some products support only an internal proprietary file format. Continue reading

Searching for BPMN / XPDL Incompatibility

For you who read this blog on occasion, please help.  I am looking for any valid BPMN diagrams that can not be represented as standard XPDL.  Many people understand that XPDL is a superset of BPMN, meaning that everything from BPMN can be represented as XPDL, while the converse is not necessarily true.  There are, however, a few vocal opponents who claim that XPDL can not be used to store BPMN.

OK.  Both BPMN and XPDL are complex subjects.  Continue reading

Model Portability is No Accident

A process design ecosystem demands a reliable way to transfer the process definitions between tools.  Bruce Silver’s post on Model Portability in BPMN 2.0 is very timely indeed. What he demonstrates is four different modeling tools, drawing BPMN diagrams, writing the diagram as XPDL, and then reading those into Sketch Pad (an open source process modeler) and displaying the result. Continue reading

bxModeller Initial Review

A few weeks ago I became aware of the bxModeller from Engineering Ingegneria Informatica S.p.A. and the University of Salento in Italy which is an open source / free tool for BPMN/XPDL modeling. I got access the bxModeller to see how it would perform. It can be entirely accessed on-line. Nothing needs to be installed. That is certainly convenient. You create projects, give them names, and start designing the processes. Later you export the results as XPDL. Continue reading