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As we strive to add more value to the business as computing professionals, the marriage of business processes and Web services provides opportunities to get closer to our business colleagues.
The business process scripting languages, Web Services Flow Language (WSFL) and Business Process Execution Language (BPEL), provide a mechanism for integrating Web services to form cohesive business processes. The first step is to create models of your business. This is followed by a combination of development and business process engineering activities. Simulation of the business process can be used to "try out" the new process. Finally, J2EE technology can be used to roll out scalable, enterprise-level applications.
The real value behind any new technology comes from its ability to help us solve real problems. Technology provides its greatest value when it can be used to solve whole classes of problems across many diverse areas. One of the recent additions to our technology repertoire is Web services. The technology behind Web services is a set of XML-based access and description languages. However, the idea behind Web services is much more than description and access technologies. The intent is that they are coarse-grained services that provide tangible business value.
Originally, Web services were desired as a method to make business services available externally. Certainly Web services could be made available via a universal directory where people could discover and utilize these services over the Internet. However, Web services are more likely to be found internally as initial applications of this technology tend to focus on automating …