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Subject: RE: BP modeling - followup to Apr 11 Analysis conf call

Bob Haugen...
> For people who want to develop simple limited-purpose business 
> process models, for whom UML is overkill and raw XML is too
> difficult, Business Process Editors should be developed 
> using the concepts in the  BP Worksheet document.
> (Several vendors already have these in the works.) 
> These BPEs should be able to work at several levels,
> from simple business transactions to larger collaborations to 
> whole reference models.  BPE-generated models should conform
> to the UMM Metamodel.  If they are to be stored in ebXML repositories, 
> it should be in a neutral format that can be shared also by full 
> UML tools.
> (The BP work group should decide which neutral format to specify,
> XMI, RDF or whatever.)
> Respectfully,
> Bob Haugen

Bob, OK, I want to use a BP Editor.  Let's say I'm a software 
developer.  I want my software to be a good citizen in business 
processes and I'm ready to code it accordingly.

(if you're busy see last paragraph.)

Who are these vendors?  Is there a commitment between any of 
them, that the BP schema produced by the editors will be 
interoperable with each other, around ebXML spec as compared
with the TMWG spec?

And, how close are we to any vendor applications, that can run 
these BP schemas?  It doesn't have to be perfect as long as it 
can give SMEs some basic handling like preconditions, basic 
stuff like timeouts, graceful failure handling.  Just a few 
basic things---almost like a transmittal sheet stapled
on an invoice or PO.  And an ID code, that associates the 
Order, the Fulfilment, and the Settlement document.  

I am confused, and a bit worried.  

My impression is that the UN/CEFACT community has all but decided
to delegate its business process design work to the TMWG.  In 
other words, ebXML has "lost some customers"?  (that's ok, I think)

And within the ebXML leadership I am now reading that ebXML BPSS
may become a strict subset of UMM?  Sounds like a good idea, 
ensures the compatibility of products that implement ebXML BP.

In fact, these directions seem positive--we may get applications
that do the most important, simplest processes for small business,
and some assurance they will have a long payback period without
becoming obsolete.  And we get them sooner, and with feature
sets that do not transfer just a little wealth to incumbents 
of EDI.  

My perspective is EDIFACT is an essential stakeholder in designs
of business architectures, and EDIFACT users are also important 
suppliers and customers for SMEs.  However, individuals and SMEs
are way underrepresented in UNCEFACT, that's why 28 million SMEs
in the US are still printing paper checks while F500 EDI is 
working better than ever.  EDI users love to say, *they will never
stop using EDI.*  Surely, SMEs must despair of UN/CEFACT process.

At the same time however, if ebXML BPSS is a subset, isn't 
there a risk of omitting some key part of the UMM superset, 
which is a more complete model?  What if our ebXML vendors cut
to the larger TMWG.  What if the ebXML users cutover first! 
What if it's disruptive. etc.  

My gut tells me, these are not as big a problem as waiting 
years, while TMWG deliberates and Intuit and Microsoft sew up
the SME market, and then finding out the TMWG thing doesn't
work for SMEs anyway, it only works to modernize EDI.

I am most troubled by several, separate efforts such as CPP/CPA, 
the BPSS and the BP.  When actually what I want is them all smoothly
integrated with each other and with TRP and RR into a single

Let's not lose momentum during this reorganization, and let's 
not just "drop dead" in May.

I wish the vendors would all go down to YahooGroups and start 
up an "EBXML Vendor Forum", to publish their arguments about what
specifications they are adopting the next few years, while the 
UN/CEFACT continues on its course.   Heck. Call it the 
"UMM BP Vendor Forum" if that's really what it is!  Would any
two ebXML BP vendors please call each other on the phone and
setup this Forum where we can talk about the profane and 
forbidden topic, of commercial products.


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