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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

BPEL4People and WS-HumanTask Get Reference Implementation

BPEL4People and WS-HumanTask (WS-HT), while still specifications in the
OASIS standardization process, can now be used in service-oriented
architecture (SOA) development, said Mike Pellegrini, principal architect
at Active Endpoints Inc. He has incorporated both specifications in this
month's release of his company's visual orchestration systems (VOS)
product, ActiveVOS 5.0, which provides graphic tools for design,
development, testing, deployment and maintenance of SOA applications...
This past week, Pellegrini demonstrated how BPEL4People and WS-HT can be
used in the orchestration of a loan processing application. The demo
showed a business process application where for routine loans a filter
can automate the assessment of whether an applicant is a good or bad risk.
However, when the applicant's credit history is a gray area, a loan
officer must review the application and sign-off on its approval or
denial. That is where BPEL4People and WS-HT come into play. Using those
two specifications, the hand off from the automated process to the loan
officer is tracked by the BPEL-based application, Pellegrini said. As
he showed a view of this process through his visual orchestration tool,
he explained: "It has been routed through the WS-HT specification task
definition. It is routed to a task management system. Now, the system
is just tapping it's fingers waiting for the human to finish." Pellegrini
said this amounted to "a sort of reference implementation for WS-HT
in-box APIs that allows us to get a list of the tasks at hand and the
completed tasks." While the task is not generally a long-running endeavor,
the specifications do allow for that fact that humans aren't usually as
fast at completing tasks as computers are. In the demo, there is
allowance for the task to be saved if the loan officer cannot complete
it in a day, so he can finish it the next day...

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