BPMN 2.0 Status Update

Lest there be any doubt that OMG is not a market-driven organization, they could not even generate a press release to proclaim BPMN 2.0's first big step into the world of official standards. So I asked Dave Ings, IBM's BPMN 2.0 pooh-bah, what actually transpired last month in Costa Rica. Here is what he said (as amended by Oracle's Jeff Mischinsky):

Our BPMN 2.0 submission passed four key votes and is on track to be an OMG "alpha" specification by the fall. Here's what happened:

On Monday morning 6/22 the BMI Task Force passed the "vote to vote" motion 23 to 0 (with 1 abstention) thereby waiving the extended review period and setting up an immediate adoption vote. Then the task force voted 23 to 0 (again with 1 abstention) to recommend adoption of our final submission.

On Monday afternoon the OMG Architecture Board reviewed and approved our submission.

On Friday morning, at the OMG Plenary the DTC voted to initiate the general membership approval vote and to charter the Finalization Task Force (FTF). [Mischinsky: Actually the (email/fax) vote is of the DTC members (Contributing and Domain Contributing level members), not the general membership, and it is started (automatically) by... DTC Chair.]

So what's next?

The general membership vote will take 6-8 weeks (it's conducted via email). When the vote is done, the OMG Board of Directors will formally adopt our submission as an OMG "alpha spec". We expect this to happen by September. [Mischinsky: The OMG Board will first require and review Business Committee questionnaires from the submitting companies. If the Bus Comm is satisfied with the answers (they ask about licensing/ipr terms and commercial availability plans), then it will make a recommendation to the Board that the submission be adopted. This is one the reasons why we had all the submitters sign the Participation Agreements -- to ensure upfront that we are all committed to licensing terms which we know will be acceptable to the Board. The Board will then vote on whether to adopt.]

We expect the FTF to take up to a year to complete - see the key dates in the final version of the FTF charter, attached. Mariano Benitez, Ivana Trickovic and Steve White will co-chair the FTF. (For those of you who don't know - the FTF is a debugging phase during which vendors bring their implementation experience to the table to tweak the spec prior to final standardization.)

Everyone is taking a breather for a couple of weeks and I expect that later this month we'll hear from the chairs regarding FTF ramp-up.

P.S. OMG terminology note - when the FTF publishes its first draft, our spec will change from "alpha" to "beta". The FTF "charter" is just a list of members and deadlines:

Beta Specification Publication: 01 September, 2009 Comments Due: 1 March, 2010 Report Due Date: 24 May, 2010 Report Deadline: 21 June, 2010

So what does this mean in plain English? In the FTF phase, implementers (tool vendors) will point out technical problems, but for the most part, what you see now is what you are going to get. For sure we will see implementations long before June 2010. IBM and Oracle, pretty much for sure, and ITP Commerce, which I use in the BPMessentials training. As I've said before, there are just a few changes to the notation, some good - non-interrupting events, Escalation event, event subprocess, XML export - and some you can completely ignore (choreography, conversations...). My book (and training) assumes the good stuff in BPMN 2.0 will stay more or less intact. I would be shocked if it did not.