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Essential Business Process Modeling by Michael Havey

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Chapter Two. Prescription for a Good BPM Architecture

BPM STANDARDS ABOUND, EACH WITH A DISTINCT DESIGN AND FEATURE SET. This chapter scavenges these approaches in search of a general BPM application architecture that is conceptually comprehensible and meets real-world requirements. A good architecture uses the technique of divide-and-conquer to reduce a difficult problem to smaller, more manageable parts, and where possible, it solves each part not by inventing new technology but by reusing an existing approach. Applying this technique, we ask: in a BPM architecture, what is the problem to be solved, what are its parts, and which standards, if any, solve them?

The architecture presented here is intended as a reference model—with similarities to the WfMC's model (see Chapter 7) and the proposed stack of the BPMI (see Chapter 6)—targeted at product and services architects alike. The appeal for product architects is obvious: the model, though lacking the level of detail for a micro design, has the same form as a BPM product, and can help guide the overall construction. Services architects, who typically advocate buying a good vendor solution and customizing it rather than building the entire solution from scratch, need to comprehend the essential nature of the base product. Rather than treating it as a black box, these architects should have a sense of curiosity analogous to that of a driver who lifts the hood of a car and seeks to grasp the basic mechanics of all those belts and gears. ...

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