Saturday, November 19, 2011

DOAG2011 Day 2: Vennster presentations

Wednesday was the day I presented on BPA Suite to BPEL and User experience in the Enterprise. As I mentioned in the previous blog, this fitted nicely with the sessions I attended on Tuesday.

BPA Suite to BPEL case study
The first session I presented talked about the use of the Oracle BPA Suite as the modeling tool for the business processes in a project. The Oracle BPA suite provides an option to automatically transform BPMN (Business process execution language) to BPEL (Business process execution language). This approach has some advantages and disadvantages, as I described in "Transforming BPMN to BPEL: Why and How" a couple of years ago.
So, not surprisingly, we ran into some issues in the project; both from a design perspective and from a development perspective. These findings were discussed, including some pointers to solve these issues:

Using Oracle BPM (the BPMN 2.0 designtime and runtime tool from Oracle) will resolve a lot of the translation and impedance mismatch issues. But other issues will remain; the most important things to keep in mind when using the models that are created by analyst for development are:
  1. Make sure the analyst is fluent in BPMN 2.0.
  2. Make sure the business process is not to detailed, so that the best practices from a development and user experience perspective can still be applied.
User experience in the enterprise
The second presentation concerned the second item: best practices from a user experience perspective. Often when Business processes are modeled, the analyst will model all the tasks and then a screen is generated for one task. This might seem like a cheap solution from a business perspective, but usually this leads to very clunky user interfaces and expensive changes to the process once it is deployed an in production.
It is important to clearly separate the user interface logic (flow) from the business process flow and apply common user interface practices and patterns in the application. This is exactly what happened in Fusion application: user experience was an integral part of the development process.

You can apply these techniques in different types of projects:

  1. Custom development projects
  2. Customization of packaged application
  3. Creating packaged application.
It will save you a lot of money in the life cycle of the application, and does not cost a lot to implement!

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