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Live from EBRC - Agility and Compliance

Last session at EBRC before today's high point (that would be my session), is Agility and Compliance require a combination of BPM/SOA, EDA and BRA by Jan Vanthienen, Leo Hermans and Wilfreid Lemahieu. They were missing Leo but got started anyway by defining agility as the ability to sense events and react effectively (I like Gartner's definition) and emphasized how important it is to stay compliant with regulations, introduce new products quickly etc. Agility can also impact all sorts of things so you must build-in agility. They defined compliance as the ability to prove you did something according to policy or rules - what I call demonstrated compliance. Their assertion is that a stable architecture for agile compliance requires business rules, SOA and EDA in combination:

  • You need business rules for agility - rules decide what to do with events for instance.
  • You need BPM/SOA to deliver process agility - BPM/SOA is about executable processes compose services that reuse components where services are the reusable building blocks for processes and orchestration and choreography of processes are the focus.
  • You need Event Driven Architecture (EDA) for agility - Events and event-responses also drive agility by providing very loose coupling (where BPM/SOA tends to more tightly couple services)

They referenced one of the best blogs on SOA/EDA (Jack van Hoof's) and his approach of discussing EDA and BPM/SOA in combination. Instead of all events triggering services, have them trigger processes that orchestrate various services and may, as part of that orchestration, trigger an event. EDA is many to many so combining with BPM allows a coordinated response and can eliminate complexity from the process definition. They walked through some examples that should be in their slides when they get posted.and they call this approach BECO - Business Event based COordination.

In this approach business rules are everywhere - preconditions, sequence constraints etc as well as decision services to group business rules and apply them to both EDA and BPM/SOA. This moves you to rules-based orchestration and ultimately rules-driven processes. Events tie in as they are often the most obvious and most appropriate to trigger rules and decisions.

They did a great job of tying all this together but I did not write all of it down - partly because their slides will be available and partly because I have blogged about how I see decisions, rules, processes and events come together in Business Rules, Business Decisions, Intelligent Processes, Enterprise Decision Management and because I have also blogged about event processing, BPM, SOA and rules and how they all come together in various places:

Their slides are here.

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