One of the most common approaches for discovering services is the utilization of business processes that drive execution of transactions to promote the business. "Business process" is a simple term that refers to activities that an individual, an organization, an application, or a service pursues to accomplish a goal. Opening a bank account, for example, is a process that consists of a number of activities designed to enable customer banking. It is surprising to learn that most processes that an organization executes are not documented, and business automation initiatives are long overdue. The term "undocumented" means that the steps required achieving business tasks reside in people's minds; they are not recorded on paper or institutionalized for common use.

The practice of studying organizational business processes is called business process analysis. However, the method of service discovery that uses business processes to identify new services is known as the Top-Down approach. This service identification direction model is pursued since it commences with the study of enterprise business processes, continues with the discovery of business specialties, and concludes with the realization of new services.

Business process analysis is not a new practice. Many organizations have adopted methods to address two of the most vital aspects of their survival: (1) understanding how they incur revenue and (2) enhancing their ...

Get SOA Modeling Patterns for Service-Oriented Discovery and Analysis now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.