Tuesday, February 14, 2006


BPEL (Business Process Execution Language) is an xml-based language for use with the Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) to software development.

Simply put, BPEL is an XML-based standard used to define business processes, generally by demonstrating how relevant Web Services connect and communicate. You would use BPEL to layout the general business flow and how the Web Services are used. In the end, you have a particularly-formatted XML file running on a BPEL Server.

To do this, Oracle provides the BPEL Process Manager. This is a BPEL IDE that will generate your BPEL XML file, and then run it on a BPEL Engine running on top of the Oracle Application Server. There are lots of other engines out there, BPEL and SOA is by no means unique to Oracle. In fact, here is an Open Source BPEL Server, ActiveBPEL.

BPEL has its roots in IBM and Microsoft's WSFL and XLANG. It was originally called BPEL4WS (BPEL for Web Services), but was renamed WS-BPEL. BPEL was meant to replace WSCI ("Whiskey"), which Oracle put forward with Sun and SAP a few years ago for the same purpose (designing the coordination of Web Services). And if that is not enough acronyms for you, I'll just note that BPEL uses WSDL to determine the format of the messages to be sent among the various Web Services.

For those wanting a quick hands-on "taste" of BPEL, here is what I did.

1. Start BPEL Server
2. Start the BPEL Designer, which is part of JDeveloper
3. Connected to the BPEL Console through a web browser
4. Create a new "BPEL Process Project" in JDeveloper
5. Made a few minor changes to the default project
6. Toggled to Source and saw my changes in the XML
7. Validated the changes using the "BPEL Validation Browser."
8. Generated a nice JPG of my BPEL business process

9. Deployed the project to the default BPEL Server I had started
10. Found the deployed service in the BPEL Console
11. From the BPEL Console, entered a parameter and initiated my BPEL process
12. Still from the BPEL Console, audited the flow and examined the XML messages that went back and forth

Thus concludes my introductory post on BPEL. Next I'm going to find some Web Services out there and build a more significant business process. When I do, I'll be sure to post an article with my JPG and what I thought of some of the bells and whistles.

Just wanted to let you know that your blog is really informative and gives the needed "essence" to novoice people like me.

Great going and please continue writing on all latest stuff.

- blogreader
I am newbie to the Oracle SOA. All the information you have posted is short and informative
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