Keith Swenson on "Reification" of Process

  • October 12, 2009
  • Scott

Keith is consistently writing the clearest thoughts on the subject of “Process Reification” vs. “Model Preservation”.

In this particular article on the subject, Keith focuses on a very common misconception in the BPM community (even by some well known names in the field):

I have met so many people that think that BPM is just a scripting language for SOA services.  These people will argue at length that “BPM is a part of SOA because SOA is useful without BPM, while BPM is useless without SOA”

(Notably, he also references a good article by JP Morganthal which sounds controversial – keeping your SOA and BPM initiatives separate, but which actually makes some very good points about why SOA and BPM initiatives are motivated by different organizational and business imperatives).

But BPM is not just a scripting language for your SOA services.  To quote from Keith’s blog: “SOA is a tool we use, while BPM is what we do.”   I think this is a really important dichotomy to understand, and explains precisely why so many companies that purport to be in “BPM” still don’t really get it yet.

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