A new report discloses that Version 2.0 of the Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) is being delayed until the first half of 2006 while "technologists at OASIS continue sorting through approximately three dozen issues, whittled down from a list that had totaled around 230."
InfoWorld's Paul Krill observes, however, that BPEL 2.0 will still lack the human touch, which some designers of the specification refer to as "BPEL4People." BPEL4People allows for human user interactions to be modeled as part of the business process. ZapThink's Ronald Schmelzer is quoted as pointing out that "While BPEL is a good first start, and having better programmatic control will make BPEL 2.0 better, the fact that it doesn't have any support for human workflow is actually a serious, and in some cases fatal, flaw of the spec. Most companies have processes that involve some extent of human workflow, and they are looking for SOA solutions that enable that workflow."
"Since BPEL can only do automated orchestrations in its current state, the spec is a non-starter for many firms, or at the very least is relegated to certain niche applications of SOA," Schmelzer said.
In my most recent post, I quoted Web services guru David Chappell, who pointed out that that BPEL is fine for developers that are looking to link XML Web services, but may not be as effective for business users within the enterprise at large, who are working with all sorts of local objects, legacy systems and data types. "Business processes commonly involve people," Chappell said. "BPEL was designed for system-to-system interactions, not interactions that involve human beings. Accordingly, it doesn’t define mechanisms focused on interacting with people."