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Process Management

Business processes can actually be thought of as long-running transactions. BPI products allows for these transactions to be managed through the BPI run-time engine. As we discussed earlier, unlike EAI, the BPI run time does not really move information from point A to point B. Instead, the BPI provides the following process management functionality:

  • Process execution—This begins with the enactment of the run-time business process from a modeled process template. Once enacted, it entails the execution of discrete steps for a business process.

  • Process transaction management—Unlike database transactions that are short-lived, these long-running transactions can take place over the course of days, weeks, or even months. The BPI run-time state engine allows for these transactions to be managed and, in the event of failure, reversed through the use of a technique known as compensation. For more on how this works, I refer you to my book, Integrating Your e-Business Enterprise, due out early in 2001.

  • Process monitoring—Process monitoring is fundamentally about state management of the business process. The BPI engine not only must be capable of executing a given step of the process, but it also must be "aware" of the step progression of any business process instance.

  • Process auditing—Process auditing is about data collection. The collected data leads to the capability to perform process analysis. Detailed information regarding each process activity is logged into a database or a process metric warehouse.

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