A series of articles trigger this post. Among them, two above all:
- Ismael Ghalimi’s “BPM is SOA’s Killer Application“.
Ismael is the CEO of Intalio, a very bright mind in our industry and one of the people who clearly saw the importance of Business Process Management
- Dion Hinchcliffe’s “Enterprise mashups: More about processes and less about services?“
We all know Dion’s contributions to the Web 2.0 promotion and understanding via his famous blog
I could summarize the ideas behind them in the following way.
Enterprise Mashups represent, on the desktop, what SOA represents on the server. And that what matters, on the client as well as on the server, is how these technologies allow the execution of Business Processes.
This is great!
In my presentation “Thoughts for a Rich Client”, I sort of developed the concept of 360 degrees integration.
Let’s represent the integration space with our Globe: we have a Southern and a Northern hemisphere.
The Southern hemisphere represents the kind of integration that happens on th server. This integration is made possible by an architectural pattern (SOA) and conveyed to us by a Portal. Ismael’s article describes so well how this is all about Business Process, because the reason to adopt an SOA is indeed the one to automate an existing Business Process (or to implement a new one).
By the way, I have written a little comment to Ismael’s article in which I try to explain my position.
The Northern hemisphere is a new territory. Until recently, the desktop has been considered simply as a projection of something that was happening on the server. Infact, a Portal is aggregating content that is simply displayed inside a browser. In the Web world, the Presentation Layer of an application has normally been executed on the server, leaving to the desktops the simple task to display something happening elsewhere.
The advent of AJAX (and of other rich client technologies, including Lotus Expeditor) and the evolution of the technologies in the browser space made it possible to actually consider the client as a first-class citizen in the SOA world; for the first time in the web era, the Presentation Layer (or a part of it) could be implemented outside of the server, “after the web server”, on the other side of the pipe….
This makes it possible to perform aggregation also on the client. call this aggregation “enterprise mashup” or “rich portal”…. at the end, what these technologies allow, is the implementation of the client side of Business Processes.
The Business Process can now be described and properly automated in its more natural way: a rich set of cooperating tools, information and applications allow users, from their desktop, to properly use orchestrated services. The formal, top-down processes described and executed on the servers are made available to users who can recompose them in ways that exploit the innovation and foster the flexibility required by new enterprises.
So, BPM on one side and Enterprise Mashups on the other, can actually represent two faces of the same coin. The coin of the “enteprise business processes”.
P.S. Other articles that contributed to this where: