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 executionThis 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 managementUnlike 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 monitoringProcess 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 auditingProcess 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.