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Enterprise SOA by Thomas Mattern, Dan Woods

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What do you mean by "business process?"

By business process, we mean the progression of steps necessary to complete a given task in the pursuit of making more money. These aren't necessarily the steps written down in some manual or encoded in your Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) installation. These are the steps involved in "how business works," the ballet of data creation, manipulation, and distribution across the enterprise.

An inherent flaw in the current generation of enterprise software is that it assumed that the reigning business processes at the time of their creation could be hardcoded for eternity in a monolithic application designed to be the Platonic ideal of how a set of processes should be performed. "Best of breed" applications were designed to be the last word in their given fields, even though they weren't; they did a great job handling stable tasks, but due to the ever-accelerating pace of competition, business conditions began changing so quickly that processes no longer supported new requirements for processes that crossed application boundaries. Likewise, the underlying software failed to keep up with the dynamic, on-the-fly business processes emerging to meet these challenges, leading to a point where IT and business processes forked. The functionality is now trapped in increasingly obsolete applications while the users have moved on, unconsciously creating ad hoc process steps and relationships to plug the cracks in the monoliths.

As discussed in Chapter ...

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