I have previously discussed enterprise architecture methods, as well as technologies for rapid delivery into production of priority business processes. These technologies have included XML, enterprise portals and Web services. In this and the next few months I will cover the concepts of rapid delivery technologies based on service-oriented architecture (SOA) and business process management. I will discuss a number of XML-based business process management languages.

Web services technology has now advanced so that functions within existing application programs and suites - as well as functions within ERP (enterprise resource planning, CRM (customer relationship management), SCM (supply chain management) and other packages - can be easily and reliably published to an intranet or the Internet for remote execution using SOAP, WSDL and UDDI. But what has been missing until now is an automated way to invoke available Web services based on business rules. This technology is now becoming available with business process management languages and tools.

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