Govern Like a Boss: Keep Heterogeneous Business Processes Under Control

Session Type: 
Standard [35 minutes]

Worldwide, the market for Business Process Management (BPM) and Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) solutions is worth several billion dollars a year and many such tools use Eclipse technology as a foundation. BPM and SOA today are at the core of most modern enterprise applications.

When working on an enterprise application, developers and architects typically use a variety of tools and editors to tackle different perspectives such as process design, service architecture and execution. In the Eclipse ecosystem there is a healthy variety of products covering all these aspects, including open-source (such as the Eclipse SOA collection) and proprietary tools.

One of the main challenges in building complex enterprise software is governance - keeping things organised and under control. When using only tools from a single vendor, it is easier to keep track of all the processes and services created in the workspace, since under the hood they typically all work on a shared model. Vendors leverage this commonality and provide governance tools for their suites. But what if you want to complement your tool set with editors that are not part of the suite? Maybe you want to use the latest Eclipse BPMN 2 editor which is not yet supported by your suite. Or maybe you want to integrate a DSL editor for domain-specific business processes. Or what if you simply want to compose your "suite" by picking and choosing the best editors and tools for your needs? There is currently no way today to obtain unified governance across such a heterogeneous collection of tools.

The Mangrove project aims to bring just that and it is part of the Eclipse SOA project, targeting primarily projects that are developed under this top-level project. It consists of a common metamodel-based core and various transformation plugins that connect this core to the various supported tools. However any BPM/SOA tool, open source or proprietary, can be connected to Mangrove using appropriate adaptors for its metamodel.
Mangrove has been presented several times in EclipseCON simply as a way to make transformations between editors such as BPMN and BPEL, or BPMN and SCA. However the project is now strongly focusing on providing a common governance view over the heterogeneous editors by leveraging its common representation of processes and services.

This talk will show how Mangrove can show a common view of all the related artefacts in your workspace, as they get created from various tools that are not necessarily part of a common suite. Your processes will be extracted from BPMN 1 and BPMN 2 diagrams as well as graphical and textual DSLs, and showed in an integrated graphical view that provides an instant X-ray of the backbone of your enterprise application. Each process can then be expanded in a unified graphical representation so that a person without the knowledge of the individual source editors can understand what the process is about. The common view can also be used as a control system by enabling targeted transformation of processes in other representations. For instance a number of processes can be selected to kick-start the design of your service architecture by creating stubs for service components using the Service Component Architecture standard.

NOTE: The talk will have slides and demos of the various concepts. It should be of interest to developers and architects concerned with building large enterprise applications. Compared to previous years, it has completely new content as the governance aspects are brand new in Mangrove and were not addressed before.

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