The term "BPM" (Business Process Management) refers to an approach in terms of creating a computer-model of the business processes of the enterprise, both in terms of their application-related and human aspects.
The purpose of this measure is to achieve an improved overview of all business processes of the enterprise and their interactions in order to be able to optimize them and, as much as this is possible, maximize their automation with the help of business applications.
The BPM step presentes a bottom-up approach which consists in analyzing the actual functioning of the enterprise to create a computer model thereof.
Generally speaking, the life cycle of a BPM step can be broken down as follows:
A BPM solution usually comprises the following elements:
One of the goals of BMP is reusability, i.e. preventing having to reinvent the wheel for every change. Most tools, however, are proprietary, i.e. they have their own data model and a non-transparent mode of functioning, which makes them hardly interoperable.
Standardizing the representation of processes is therefore a major challenge to facilitate integration among BPM tools. Standardizaiton occurs at different levels:
BPMN (Business Process Modelling Notation) is an initiative of the BPMI (Business Process Management Initiative, a consortium of enterprises) whose goal is to define a common graphical notation which makes it possible to model business processes.
The BPMN notation makes it possible, in particular, to disconnect the business information from the technical information (technical elements of the nformation system) to maximize its portability from one company to another one.
BPEL (Business Process Execution Language) is an initiative of the BPMI whose goal is to provide an XML representation of the activities linked with the execution of a process. Where the BPMN notation is attached to statically describe the processes, the BPEL language describes the overall dynamics.