What is WebSphere Business Process Management?
WebSphere Business Process Management (WBPM) and WebSphere Process Integration (WPI) are two terms IBM uses for its new suite of SOA
integration servers and development IDEs. These products are:
For some of the main documentation, see the IBM WebSphere Business Process Management information center
. I've talked about these products in WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus
, WPS and WID Now Available
, and New WebSphere Integration Products
There are also some related products that aren't officially part of the WBPM suite. Rather, they're considered part of the WebSphere Business Integration suite. These products are:
For some of the main documentation on these products and others, see the IBM WebSphere Business Integration information center
There's even a hardware component to all this, the DataPower
integration appliance. DataPower is what's commonly called an application-oriented networking device, which I've talked about in IBM Acquires DataPower, AON Vendor
and Application-Oriented Networking (AON): The Future of SOA?
What are the set of products that go together to create WebSphere Process Server and how do they fit together?WebSphere Process Server
, the flagship product in the WebSphere Business Process Management
suite, is built on top of WebSphere Application Server v6.0
Here's a picture to show the relationship. I drew it myself, so it's really bare bones because I don't draw well, and so that no one will mistake it for an official item from WebSphere marketing.
The WebSphere Process Server v6.0 Stack
Now the latest version of WPS, v6.0.1, is built on top of WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus
v6.0.1, which is built on top of WAS v6.0. So it looks like this:
The WebSphere Process Server v6.0.1 Stack
Thus you can deploy J2EE/WAS apps to WPS or WESB just as if you're deploying them to WAS because, in fact, you really are. For that matter, you can deploy WESB apps to WPS. The products are built on top of each other, so the more basic products are really inside the more sophisticated ones.
What are the set of products that go together to create WebSphere Integration Developer and how do they fit together?
I've already talked about The WebSphere Process Server Stack
. Now let's consider WebSphere Integration Developer
, part of the WebSphere Business Process Management
suite and the main IDE
for WebSphere Process Server
and WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus
. Where does WID fit in with the other IDEs?
Like last time, I have a crude diagram I drew myself that shows the parts.
The WebSphere/Rational IDE v6.0 Stack
OK, very impressive; what's that mean? The stack works like this:
Notice that WID is not built on top of RAD; they're seperate and designed for two different types of developers. RAD is for application developers whereas WID is for integration developers, the people who design how apps will fit together and talk to each other. IBM expects these to be different people with different skill sets and thus needing different tooling. For developers with both application and integration skill sets that wish to do both, you can buy both RAD (or RSA) and WID and install them in the same Eclipse install so that you'll have one large IDE with both sets of tooling.
WID is the IDE for developing "applications" (really SCA modules
) deployed into WPS and WESB.
One way to look at WebSphere Process Server is as a Russian doll architecture.
A Russian doll
(or Matryoshka doll
) is a doll which opens to contain another doll and so on. In this way, one big doll actually contains many progressively smaller ones.
I've already talked about The WebSphere Process Server Stack
, how WPS is built on top of WESB which is built on top of WAS. To be even more specific, they're built on top of WAS ND, which in turn is built on top of WAS Base.
Another way to look at this is as what we call the "Russian doll" architecture, shown here (again, my picture, not Marketing's):
The WebSphere Process Server v6.0.1 Contains Relationship
This is really just a different way of drawing the stack from before:
The WebSphere Process Server v6.0.1 Stack
What the Russian doll perspective emphasizes is that WPS has WESB built in, which it turn has WAS built in. WAS isn't just a predecessor that evolved into WESB and WPS; WAS is actually contained in them. They're running on WAS, so to speak.
This is significant for IBM because it means that we're not reinventing software servers from the ground up; we're building WPS on the proven WAS foundation. What's significant for you as a WebSphere customer is that all of your skills in administering WAS and deploying applications to it are still relevant and useful for WPS and WESB. Many WebSphere customers have invested significantly in building well designed WAS server farms; rather than needing to replace these, they can use these and build onto these to add WPS and WESB servers as well.
So WPS and WESB provide lots of new functionality, but they build on what you already know (and hopefully love) about WAS.
Where did WebSphere Process Server come from?
I've talked about WPS as a stack
and as a Russian doll
: WPS is built on WESB which is built on WAS.
But what functionality is in WPS? That's a long discussion, 'cause WPS contains a whole lotta stuff. Where to begin?
WPS is a merger of three previous products:
So the common theme here is workflow. WPS, as much as anything else, is unifying WebSphere
's different workflow products, taking the best features of each, combining them with BPEL standardization
, to form a best-in-breed workflow product.
This also means that if you use any of those three products, you should start thinking about migrating to WPS. If you're starting significant development of a new application, you should look into whether you'll be better off in the long run developing for WPS instead of one of these other products.
Here's one article that you may find helpful: "Migrating WebSphere Business Integration Server Foundation V5.1.x projects to WebSphere Process Server V6
Let's start talking about the component model in WebSphere Process Server and WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus.
I've talked about the Origins of WPS
. I've also talked about how WPS is built on WESB, which is built on WAS (Russian doll view
, stack view
). So what are the parts in WPS and WESB?
The model is shown pretty nicely in this picture from "WebSphere Process Server: IBM's new foundation for SOA
WebSphere Process Server platform
The picture is still accurate but has changed a little with the introduction of WESB. Imagine a new layer or row, above SOA Core but below Supporting Services, called "mediations." Mediations were in WPS v6.0 somewhere but are now a distinct new feature in WESB v6.0.1 and therefore WPS v6.0.1.
So again, this picture shows that everything's built on WAS. With the imaginary Mediations layer, it also shows again the difference between WESB and WPS. WESB contains the Mediations and SOA Core layers (on top of WAS). WPS adds the Supporting Services and Service Components layers on top of WESB (and WAS).
So if you want the features in the Service Components and Supporting Services layers, you don't get them with WESB, you need WPS.
In future postings, I'll discuss what these individual components are.
I have a new article in the IBM WebSphere Developer Technical Journal
The article is "A quick intro to WebSphere Business Process Management
As you know, IBM has disseminated a flurry of SOA announcements
. We're educating management about SOA, talking about the new SOA products
, the new SOA programming model
, and so on. But does it all really fit together? And if so, how?
I'm pleased to say that our various SOA marketing messages fit together surprisingly well. Whereas each message tends to be a discussion aimed at a horizontal level of a customer's organization--such as management, architects, or developers--this article takes a vertical spike through it to show how it all fits together--from enterprise goals to implementation details. The article doesn't have all the details; that's in the other materials; the article just reviews the major points. But in doing so, you start to see the same points in the different levels, and hopefully how they fit together.
I hit four main points:
- What (we're saying) SOA is -- Why does an enterprise need SOA?
- Our SOA reference architecture -- What you need to do SOA
- WebSphere Process Server -- Provides the main features specified in the ref arch
- Service component architecture -- Implement components that use the WPS features
SOA reference architecture
For example, take workflow: You see that SOA needs business service choreography, that the ref arch calls for process services, that WPS provides a BPEL business process component, and that an SCA (in WPS) can be implemented as a BPEL business process. So a BPEL service component maps directly back to one of the main requirements for SOA, service choreography.
Likewise, take ESB: The parts of an SOA composite application can be integrated much more easily using an ESB, which is central to the ref arch, and WESB is the foundation for WPS
. (A detail that the article doesn't get into is that ESB mediations are also SCA components in WID/WESB/WPS.)
So hopefully you can see how it all carries through, from what we're telling your management, to those of you who are architects, to you developers. It even carries through to the business analysts; with SOA, the way you model your business is also the way you should model your apps.
Pretty neat, huh? (I hope you agree.) So check out the article.
The February 2006 issue of the IBM WebSphere Developer Technical Journal
is now available.
Like the editor says, "The collective focus of this month's IBM WebSphere Developer Technical Journal is set squarely on service-oriented architecture (SOA), its concepts, its future, and the new set of IBM tools that make it all possible." So if you're trying to figure out IBM's flurry of SOA announcements
and how the technology really supports the ideals (and aren't we all?), this will help.
This month's issue has:
Also, did you know there's a whole series of articles on how to sys admin WAS 5.x? It's "System Administration for WebSphere Application Server V5" by development's Leigh Williamson. Check them out, starting with "Part 1: Overview of V5 Administration
So there's lots of good stuff here. Notice too that these articles are by IBM people who know the products and are making the effort to explain them to users like you. A good resource to have, so enjoy.
I've been talking about WebSphere Business Process Management
(WBPM) and showing some pictures that help explain what's going on. I now have some better pictures publicly available, so let's review those.
In WebSphere Process Server: A Russian Doll
, I showed how WPS contains WESB, which contains WAS. Here's a better picture of that:
WebSphere Application Server, ESB, and Process Server
In WebSphere Process Server Components
, I showed the component architecture in WPS. That picture changed a little when we released WESB, which WPS is now built on. Here's the updated picture:
WebSphere integration product family
Actually, I disagree with this picture a little bit. I think we should show the Mediation Flows box as its own row above SOA Core and below Supporting Services. Then you could draw a line between Mediation Flows and Supporting Services and say that everything below the line is in WESB, whereas the stuff above the line what WPS adds. In other words, WESB has Mediation Flows, but doesn't have anything else in the Supporting Services row; I wish the picture showed that better.
Way back in December, in Service Component Architecture
, I showed what an SCA looks like and how it can be implemented. Here's an update:
Service Component Architecture overview
I like the way this picture shows both the Interface and the Reference(s). Other versions of this diagram I've seen show Selector and Interface Maps separated from the rest of the Implementation list; this is because those latter two don't really implement anything, they're adapters for connecting to an existing implementation. Too bad this version doesn't show that detail.
So, I hope these updated diagrams help you understand what I've been talking about a little better. Enjoy.
A significant section of developerWorks
which is easy to overlook is the Technical events and webcasts
For example, just the sheer number of Webcasts
we have is amazing. Here are a few that caught my eye:
There are also several Technical briefings listed. These are half- or full-day mini-conferences presented in selected cities. Some interesting ones are:
So, there seems to be something for everyone. Check it out.
has a new tool, the IBM Service Component Architecture Explorer Tool
I've talked about service component architecture
(SCA) for developing SOA
applications. The spec is part of WebSphere Process Server
and part of Apache Tuscany
|SCA Explorer is a registry of components in a WPS or WESB install. According to the web site:|
SCA Explorer presents information about the SCA services available in a given WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) server or a WebSphere Process Server (WPS). This information includes details such as how to locate and invoke such services (for example, when developing a new application that intends to re-use existing services in the enterprise).
So, why not take it for a spin?
I talked about the relationship between ESB and Workflow
in general. How is this difference reflected in IBM's products?
I explained that one school of thought, which I share, is that workflow doesn't run in an ESB, but it should implement its activities as service consumers and use an ESB to invoke the providers. This has been my view for several years now, since before we started to refer to all of this messaging connectivity as ESBs.
This explanation is consistent with the feature set in IBM's SOA and ESB products: WebSphere Process Server, WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus, and WebSphere Message Broker (aka the Advanced ESB). Remember that WPS is built on top of WESB. Here's a diagram of the component model in WPS/WESB:
WebSphere integration product family
All of this is in WPS. As I explained in Better WBPM Pictures
, what this diagram doesn't show very well is how much of this is in WESB. WESB contains the SOA Core components and the Mediation Flows component, but none of the other Supporting Services or Service Components.
So WESB contains Mediation Flows, but only WPS contains Business Processes. That's the major difference between the products: WESB does mediation flows, but not business processes. Business process is outside of the ESB. Similarly, Message Broker does message flows but not workflow.
So the IBM ESB products are consistent with my previous explanation. They do mediation flows but not workflow. Workflow is generally considered to be functionality outside of ESBs.
It's a new quarter and time for a new round of marketing announcements from IBM.
While some products (or at least versions) are new, the announcements reiterate some already announced and available products. This latest news focuses more on how the products go together, how it all fits into SOA
, and on how IBM clients
are achieving success with IBM products and SOA.
WebSphere Application Server V6.1 has been announced, which I'll cover in my next posting.
The next version of WebSphere Portal
, version 6.0, has been announced:
WebSphere Business Modeler V6.0 announcement: Version 6.0 of the IBM WebSphere Business Modeler family of products provides unrivaled business modeling, simulation, and collaboration capabilities to revolutionize business flexibility
. Actually, that's from September 2005, but it was discussed a lot again this month.
WebSphere Business Monitor 6.0 announcement: IBM WebSphere Business Monitor V6.0 delivers real-time business monitoring with metrics, visual displays, and alerts
(from September 2005).
WebSphere Commerce V6 announcement: Preview — IBM WebSphere Commerce V6
. Again, originally announced in January.
New versions of WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus, WebSphere Process Server and WebSphere Information Server -- 6.0.1, not exactly news for my readers; see WebSphere Business Process Management
Lots of articles have been published about all this. See:
The March 2006 issue of the IBM WebSphere Developer Technical Journal
is now available.
Actually, it's been available for several weeks now; I forgot to point it out. The March issue is now listed in the archives
ISSW's Bill Hines has a very interesting Comment Lines column, "The (XML) threat is out there...
" It explains the need for an XML Firewall, one of the simplest but important capabilities of the DataPower
Lots of good stuff, go check it out.[Read More
We've updated the WAS recommended reading list and created a new one for WBPM.
The updated one is the J2EE and WebSphere Application Server Recommended Reading List
. Like the title says, it focuses on articles and other stuff for learning about J2EE and IBM's J2EE products like WAS and RAD. I've talked about it in the past in ISSW Recommended Reading List Updated
We now also have a completely new list, the Service-Oriented Architecture and WebSphere Process Server Recommended Reading List
. Like the original, this one focuses on technology and products. The technology is SOA and ESB; the products are the WebSphere Business Process Management
products, especially WPS and WID.
These lists are produced by my department, IBM Software Services for WebSphere
. In fact, I had a hand in producing both lists. We hope you find them helpful.[Read More