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Author's profile photo Kevin Liu

BPEL4WS and Web Services Choreography

BPEL4WS, web services choreography, web services orchestration, web services composition, ws-transaction, ws-coordination, ws-CAF… Have you heard enough about all the dazzling buzz words in recent press releases? As developers are just getting used to WSDL, SOAP, and UDDI, the web services technology pilots are now entering the web services choreography domain – composite web servies to form new, aggregate services. As competing specifications are published or brought to standards bodies to address various challenges in the choreography space, new buzz words are flying around again. Even as a insider in the standards initiatives, I sometimes found the terms are confusing and are used very differently in different context. I am thinking it may be a good idea to write something to explain what they are about, and how they are related. If you are also interested, please let me know what you care about in this space as a SAP developer or user.

It will take me some time to put something down, but if you are suffering from the buzzs now, I find the WWW2003 paper(pdf 53k) by a group of IBM reseachers, “Service-Oriented Composition in BPEL4WS”, a good point to start.

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      Author's profile photo Steven De Saeger
      Steven De Saeger

      Yeah such a document would be more then appreciated!



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      BPELWS is a new buzzword and it is tempting to jump on the bandwagon. An overview would be useful.

      However the real value lies in understanding where BPELWS is coming from (for example the earlier history of workflow and similar collaboration standards), where is it heading (what will it replace, what does it throw out).

      This value is independent of the "buzz" factor but would lead to a deeper understanding of the issues around BPEL4WS.


      Author's profile photo Kevin Liu
      Kevin Liu
      Blog Post Author
      I feel guilty that I haven't be able to follow up with you earlier. Preparing and attending meetings seems have consumed most of my energies recently.

      I want to +1 to what you said above. Though the first step to understand the whole picture is to clarify the terms, the goal is to understand what roles BPEL will play to make web services work for large scale enterprise applications. BPEL is only one area of large domain that addresses web services composition. The stack that address web services accessibilty (such as WSDL, SOAP, UDDI) is getting stable, but the stack that address composition is just emerging.

      You may have read Henning's recent comments that it's " 'not proven so far' whether SAP's customers will benefit from Web services, ... Most projects are 'simple examples' of the technology, he says, and lack the security, reliability, and performance to run large business applications." As one of the people that have been catalyzing web servicces technology from its inception, I have to say that Henning made a very fair statement. I believe the industry have started benefiting from web services technologies, especially from the interoperability aspects. However the whole thing is still evolving and there is a lot more work to do to make web services a serious choice for SAP customers.

      It's a critical time now for us to focusing on resolving real business issues around web services. Standardizing the key technologies, including BPEL is certainly one of the most important efforts that help make the promise of web services a reality.