Ta-dah…! I found it was about time to have a new title for my “How to avoid modeling errors in NetWeaver BPM” blog series. First of all, it is not only about modeling. In fact, I actually intend to capture the whole range of modeling, building, deploying, configuring, running, monitoring, and troubleshooting business processes with NetWeaver BPM (aka “Galaxy”) and the “Composition Environment” platform it runs on. And secondly, a somewhat more upbeat blog title seems just right for SAP’s next-generation business process management suite. Mind that NetWeaver BPM complements SAP’s SOA story by making it wonderfully easy to consume SAP Business Suite services (as listed on Service Marketplace) and adding great Human-to-Human collaboration features.
As a seasoned BPM pracitioner, you may have become aware of the widely acclaimed workflow patterns web site from BPM masterminds Wil van der Aalst, Arthur ter Hofstede, Alistair Barros, and others. Workflow patterns are pretty much comparable to design patterns in software engineering. As such, they identify recurrent modeling scenarios from a control flow, data flow, and resource consumption perspective. In fact, workflow patterns are often used to assess the expressiveness of BPM offerings such as SAP NetWeaver BPM and SAP Business Workflow.
With this blog posting, I would like to draw your attention to my recently published article on workflow pattern coverage in NetWeaver BPM (thanks to Stephan Bender for pointing out an issue with the General Synchronizing Merge pattern which is now fixed). What you find in there is a complete survey of all 43 control flow related workflow patterns and their level of support in NetWeaver BPM. While we decided to only capture the most important BPMN artifacts in our first release, we still fully support 30 out of 43 patterns (70%), have partial support for 7 patterns (16%), and limited support for the remaining 6 (14%) patterns. You will find that all patterns are explained by means of sample processes that you may use in your own process modeling projects.
Coming up in this blog series is another article on how to implement a data-driven dynamic parallel loop with the NetWeaver BPM 7.11 feature set. That includes previously unpublished variants of how to fully support (i.e., w/o any restrictions) the relevant workflow pattern (“Multiple Instance w/ a-priori Runtime Knowledge”). Stay tuned!