No shortage of Web standards acronyms

Web Service business process execution language (WSBPEL or just BPEL), formerly BPEL4WS and now part of the OASIS Web Services BPEL committee, is the standard most closely identified with the coordination of business processes. “Although the scope of BPEL is intended to be broad, its strength is in orchestration (internally focused) rather than choreography (externally focused), and at the executable level rather than the abstract,” says Gartner analyst Charles Abrams. “I think we are just beginning to see the advent of Web services orchestration,” he adds.

Other standards or specifications relating to orchestration include XML process definition language (XPDL), business process modeling language (BPML), business process specification schema (BPSS) and business transaction protocol (BTP).

“Even with all these choices there is a wide perception that there is only BPEL and WSDL (Web services description language),” he adds. The major vendors are focusing on BPEL, which is still a specification but, he believes, will be approved as a standard by mid-2005.

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Alan R. Earls is a technology and business writer based near Boston.