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The BPM and SOA marriage

What's the best entry point to launch a service-oriented architecture implementation? Is it through business process management, an enterprise service bus or SOA governance?

I spoke recently with Mel Greer, a senior research engineer for the Advanced Technologies Office of Lockheed Martin, about this subject. Lockheed Martin's government clients are interested in all three approaches, but the one Greer thinks gives the most value is BPM.

'There is a value proposition associated with the marriage of SOA and business processes,' he said. SOA can be a key enabler for lining up technology with an organization's mission function, but it is only when SOA is linked up with business processes that an agency can reap tangible benefits from a process and flexibility perspective, Greer said.

It is time to define some terms here. BPM, Greer said, is a discipline that provides the governance of a business process with the goal of improving the agility and operational performance of that process. The goal is not technical.

SOA, on the other hand, is an application architecture approach, which is comprised of reusable components and services.

In fact, enterprise architecture, BPM and SOA working in concert are the necessary ingredients required to ensure that there is a core alignment between an organization's business and IT strategies and more effective optimization of that IT environment, Greer said.

What's your take? Have any views on the marriage of BPM and SOA or, better yet, some lessons learned from trying to implement a SOA project that incorporated BPM? Drop me a line at [email protected]

Posted by Rutrell Yasin on Jul 31, 2008 at 9:39 AM


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