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Subject: RE: [ebxml-dev] BPSS and WSCI

Jean-Jacques put this very nicely:

At 04:07 AM 6/25/02 -0400, Jean-Jacques Dubray wrote:

><JJ> The fundamental achievement of BPSS is the state synchronization
>between two (business) parties, whether this is part of a "commitment"
>or a more casual message interchange. In any B2B message exchange (even
>between a travel agent and an airline) this is mandatory. Imagine the
>cost of getting periodically out of synch with your business partners?

While I agree with these statements, I must also note that they also point 
out one of the more formidable problems that application vendors will have 
in supporting the BPSS.  Every application already has it's own state 
machine.  These state machines are usually organized around the point of 
view of internal business processes (for example, many systems won't let 
you invoice without an order, or invoice without first indating that the 
ordered goods have been shipped).   Implementing a BPSS will require one to 
map the states of these existing machines onto those specified in the 
BPSS.  So, added to the burden of mapping application data to UIDs (or EDI 
data elements in our current world), vendors and/or end users have to map 
application states to BPSS process states.  That's fine so long as the BPSS 
states are uniform (like a defined dictionary of states), but if they are 
different then life gets very complicated (much more so than just 
supporting both X12 and EDIFACT invoices).  In addition, if the BPSS 
specifies a state that can't be easily matched to an internal application 
state, then either application modifications are required in order to 
support the state or the user is forced to intervene and handle that state 
"out-of-band" as a manual exception.

And about getting "out of synch" with your business partners - I'm sure 
that there are a few people who have this problem and for them I'm sure 
that it is a big problem.  However, most application systems I've worked 
with that support e-Business in any serious fashion are already configured 
to avoid this type of thing.  I don't see it as a major concern for most users.

This leads me to the conclusion that while the BPSS and the UMM upon which 
it is based may be valuable tools for documenting and agreeing on business 
processes (for those who find ROI in using them), I see little utility for 
them in the near future for actually automating the execution of business 

Mike (OK - so I still see the glass half empty ;^) )

>Michael C. Rawlins, Rawlins EC Consulting


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