REST will free business process management from its shackles: prediction

Growing interest in the cloud, and a desire for more vendor independence, may drive REST deeper into the enterprise BPM space.

The REST protocol has been known for its ability to link Web processes in its lightweight way, but at least one analyst sees a role far deeper in the enterprise. This year, we'll see REST increasingly deployed to pull together business processes.

ZapThink's Jason Bloomberg predicts the rise of RESTful business process management, which will enable putting together workflows on the fly, without the intervention of heavyweight BPM engines.

People haven't really been employing REST to its full potential, Jason says. REST is more than APIs, it's an "architectural style for building hypermedia applications," which are more than glorified Web sites. REST is a runtime workflow, he explains. It changes the way we might look at BPM tools, which typically have been "heavyweight, integration-centric tools that typically rely upon layers of infrastructure."

"With REST, however, hypermedia become the engine of application state, freeing us from relying upon centralized state engines, instead allowing us to take full advantage of cloud elasticity, as well as the inherent simplicity of REST."

The shift will take time, beyond 2012. But with growing interest in the cloud, and a desire for more vendor independence, means its time for RESTful BPM.