by F. Leymann D. Roller M.-T. Schmidt
Web services based on the service-oriented architecture framework provide a suitable technical foundation for making business processes accessible within enterprises and across enterprises. But to appropriately support dynamic business processes and their management, more is needed, namely, the ability to prescribe how Web services are used to implement activities within a business process, how business processes are represented as Web services, and also which business partners perform what parts of the actual business process. In this paper, the relationship between Web services and the management of business processes is worked out and presented in a tutorial-like manner.
will have to describe how Web services are integrated into business processes; proposals for such a standard can be found in References 13 and 14. In this paper we focus on the relation between Web services and business processes, as well as elements needed for a suitable standard. In the next section we summarize the basics of the service-oriented architecture and sketch SOAP, WSDL, and UDDI as the relevant proposed standards. In the following section we describe a high-level scenario that links business processes and Web services. We review some background from the area of workﬂow technology 15 in the section “Flows between Web services” and demonstrate the applicability of this technology to the problem area. Next, in “Process topologies” we show how enterprises can do business with each other and provide joint services to their customers based on the previously introduced technology. Next we discuss the opportunities for re-engineering business processes. Then, in “Business process management” we put it all together and describe how business processes can be managed in a Web services environment. We brieﬂy sketch IBM product support for business processes and Web services, and in the last section we... [continues]
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