Slipstream 2.0: Business Activity Management for SAP NetWeaver BPM, Part 1
Last year, I posted a Slipstream – Live Dashboarding for SAP NetWeaver BPM (“Galaxy”) on Slipstream, an extension to SAP NetWeaver BPM which allowed for real-time dashboarding, also called Business Activity Monitoring (BAM). In the last couple of months, we have not been sitting on our hands. We have worked on a new and more sophisticated prototype which is based on a complex event processing engine – as we suggested in the previous article.
The state-of-the-art of business activity monitoring primarily deals with the observation of events and the dissemination of results in terms of diagram/ dashboard updates, as well as alerting. However, automated insight-to-action is a much more compelling use case as it eliminates the decision latency. We extend upon the real-time concept of business activity monitoring by leveraging the capabilities of complex event processing to include decision-making and feedback mechanisms to the originating BPM engine or other systems. This effectively means that the complex event processing engine, in parts, manages rather than observes the execution of the business process. Hence, it is more appropriate to speak of Business Activity Management than of monitoring.
Best of all, the prototype is being finalized in time for TechEd 2010. So, in the next couple of weeks leading up to TechEd, I will explain what we did, how we did it, and what we can demo to you in the TechEd 2010 Innovation Lab and what you can play with at the Innovation Weekend leading up to TechEd on site in Berlin and Las Vegas.
The article series is based on the usual tripartition in complex event processing. In most CEP applications, there is a distinction among the entities that introduce events into the actual CEP system (event producers), the entities that process the events (event processors), and the entities that receive the events after processing (event consumers).
Consequently, part 2 of this small series focuses on the event producer: It will cover ways to enable SAP NetWeaver BPM to send events that can be picked up by an event processing engine and discuss options and limitation of process event formats.
Part 3 focuses on the event processor: It will cover ideas on how to use SAP BusinessObjects Event Insight (formerly Live Enterprise) or Sybase Aleri Streaming Platform and include use cases with options for event filtering, aggregation, analysis, prediction, and federation of multiple BPM engines.
Part 4 focuses on the event consumer: In the past this has been Xcelsius for us. But serving mobile devices with real-time HTML5 dashboards is also compelling. However, there is more to BAM than dashboarding. The article will list other channels such as alert notifications and more importantly the roundtripping of data back to SAP NetWeaver BPM to make the process pro- and reactive in real time.
Part 5 combines all of the above in one integrated scenario.
If you have questions or application scenarios you would like to discuss, don’t hesitate to contact me. We are looking for that kind of feedback all the time.
Slipstream 2.0 has been a collaborative effort which could not have been done by one person. The current prototype has been developed in a collaboration of the SAP Research Center Brisbane in Australia with the European Research Center for Information Systems (ERCIS) at the University of Münster in Germany. The project team consisted of Felix Leif Keppmann, Jan-Philipp Friedenstab, Stefan Thiemann, Marcel Walter, Thomas Raffelsieper, Robert Malsch, and Bernd Schwegmann. The project was supervised by Martin Matzner, Oliver Müller, Prof. Dr. Jörg Becker, and myself.
Is Slipstream REST-enabled - that is can it pull information from REST-based data sources and push information to such sources as well. Such a capability would be useful to enable integration with StreamWork and perhaps sources originating from Project Gateway.