XML-based standards for business processes explored

The Business Process Management Intiative (BPMI) was formed this week by 16 companies to define XML-based standards for the management of business processes that span heterogeneous applications, corporate departments, and business partners.

The Business Process Management Intiative (BPMI) was formed this week by 16 companies to define XML-based standards for the management of business processes that span heterogeneous applications, corporate departments, and business partners.

The first project the group is working on is BPML (Business Process Modeling Language), an XML schema that provides a standard way to model business processes.

Jon Derome, a business-to-business commerce and applications analyst at market research company The Yankee Group, said the process integration that BPML aims to conduct is the logical next step beyond data integration.

"The big challenge for 30 years has been to automate software with the enterprise, and now the challenge is to automate it between enterprises," Derome said.

BPMI said that BPML is designed to bridge the gap between legacy IT infrastructures and emerging B-2-B collaboration protocols such as RosettaNet, BizTalk, and ebXML by covering many dimensions of business process modelling, including business rules, security roles, distributed transactions, compensating transactions, and exception handling.

Founding members include Aventail, Intalio, VerticalNet, Bowstreet and Verve.

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