An Insider's View of BPMN 2.0

Since my recent post, a bit more has dribbled out into the blogosphere about the negotiations over BPMN 2.0, most of it completely off track. But now SAP's David Frankel, definitely an insider, is shining a welcome light in those dark spaces with his BPMN 2.0 Update.

The biggest difference between the two submissions is in how they define the BPMN 2.0 metamodel. The BPMN-S submission positions the OMG's Business Process Definition Metamodel (BPDM) as the metamodel for BPMN 2.0. The BEA-IBM-Oracle-SAP submission defines a dedicated BPMN 2.0 metamodel, and proposes a mapping between the dedicated metamodel and BPDM.
Here the BEA-IBM-Oracle-SAP submission is what my post called Approach 1 or the BPMS approach, and BPMN-S is what my post called Approach 2, or BPDM. David gets right to the key point:
The BPMN-S submission uses BPDM as the metamodel, and uses BPDM's mapping to BPMN notation.
The BEA-IBM-Oracle-SAP submission takes the position that BPDM is not a metamodel of BPMN; rather, it says, BPDM is a metamodel of a new, abstract language for process that, as envisioned by the BPDM RFP, was intended to be mapped to multiple concrete languages. BEA-IBM-Oracle-SAP approach is that BPMN, as one of those concrete languages, requires its own metamodel, whose constructs are clearly recognizable as BPMN elements.
But I think he is being polite here. Since custom behaviors can be expressed in BPDM's new abstract language, BPMN-S takes the position that the notation semantics should be user-definable, referencing for example my "wish list" post on BPMS Watch for non-aborting attached events. BPDM can express this behavior, and that's a good thing, says BPMN-S. But I don't think that's a good thing if others can't understand the semantics from looking at the diagram, and I believe that is also the philosophy of the IBM-SAP team as well. BPMN-S seems to throw down the glove with statements like this:
BPMN2 provides capabilities... needed for effective functioning of organizations and productive interaction with industry partners. These capabilities cannot be supported by typical language modeling techniques that simply capture pictures in XML with a computation-dependent semantics.
Ouch. But David goes on to say that despite the trash talk, merger negotiations between the two groups have been ongoing since March, in which the goal is a unified submission.