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BPMN 2.0 Getting Broad Support: Final Spec Due in 2010

12.21.2009
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Business Process Modeling Notation is "one of the most widely adopted modeling standards for business analysis," according to Richard Mark Soley, the Object Management Group (OMG) chairman and CEO.  The 2.0 version the BPMN specification was approved by the OMG Board of Directors in September 2009 and the beta submission is now available for early implementations.  The OMG announced its plans to have BPMN 2.0 finalized by the middle of 2010.  The new spec features collaborative process modeling along with a common file format for interoperability between multiple vendors' BPMN tools. The file format is also aimed at bridging the gap between business and IT.      

The first version of BPMN  defined orchestration processes through a graphical notation that specifies and documents business processes.  BPMN 1.x has gained wide adoption by the tech industry with more than 60 implementations.  The BPMN 2.0 spec is designed to facilitate a standards-based exchange model for businesses using different BPMN tools.  This is something that wasn't included in 1.x.  BPMN 1.x also didn't have a native executable format.  The common file format and choreography of the BPMN 2.0 spec will solve many problems for cross-vendor projects, and it will help the business-side and IT-side collaborate better.  Soley says BPMN covers the entire range of business modeling, which includes people, systems, analytics, and intelligence.

BPMN 2.0 Choreography Diagram


The support for BPMN 2.0 is just as strong as the support for BPMN 1.x.  Oracle, IBM, Red Hat, SAP, and TIBCO are some of the major backers of BPMN 2.0.  Many of these companies are already providing initial support for BPMN 2.0.  IBM, for example, is using BPMN 2.0 in the WebSphere Business Modeler 7.0.  Karla Norsworthy, IBM's VP of standards, believes that "BPMN 2.0 will accelerate the adoption of business process management tools and methodologies."  Oracle's Product Management VP, Dave Shaffer, also thought BPMN 2.0 would accelerate BPM adoption.  He said, "Due to the highly collaborative nature of BPM, and the current heterogeneous nature of products required, we believe customer adoption of the BPMN 2.0 standard should be rapid and the Beta release of the standard is a great step forward for vendors and customers."  One company that was not on the list of spec supporters was Microsoft.  However, the OMG says this doesn't mean that Microsoft is opposed to BPMN 2.0.  

OMG is an international non-profit consortium that develops enterprise integration standards for numerous technologies.  The open membership group provides modeling standards such as UML (Unified Modeling Language) and MDA (Model Driven Architecture).  OMG's middleware standards and profiles are based on COBRA.