Monitoring Process-Driven Applications

  • by Dr. Volker Stiehl, Professor, Ingolstadt Technical University of Applied Sciences
  • January 9, 2015
Volker Stiehl summarizes process-driven applications, their architecture, and how to track them during run time. See how SAP Process Orchestration supports process-driven applications.
Learning Objectives

Reading this article, you will learn how to:

  • Architect distributed process-driven applications
  • Use SAP Process Orchestration to monitor process execution
  • Monitor run time situations in distributed environments
  • Model and run differentiating processes
Key Concept

Sophisticated business process implementations require a sound application architecture to balance out the diverse challenges of modern application design, such as flexibility, maintainability, scalability, and fault tolerance, as well as development and maintenance costs. Recently, process-driven methodology and architecture have proven to be the superior concept for addressing those challenges. The separation in layers allows for development efficiency and flexibility in regards to adjusting processes to changing market conditions. However, this approach comes with increased monitoring requirements. As SAP Process Orchestration is one of the solutions that supports process-driven application systems, it has been equipped with efficient and effective monitoring features to analyze certain run time situations in distributed environments.

Modeling of business processes for process documentation has been in place for many years. However, the application of business-process management in general has changed significantly due to the release of the graphical process notation Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) 2.0 in January 2011. With this particular release it is not only possible to model business processes for documentation purposes using a widely adopted standard. You can now also execute models using a BPMN 2.0-compliant BPMN engine. This is a step forward for the business-process management world as it means an alignment of the process models that have been created by the business folks and the business processes that are implemented by their IT colleagues.

SAP Process Orchestration is a bundle consisting of the three products: SAP Process Integration (SAP PI), SAP Business Process Management (SAP BPM), and SAP Business Rules Management. It contains a BPMN engine and is therefore suited to model and run differentiating business processes. However, the first projects using executable BPMN showed that it requires more than a process engine to build applications that are driven by business processes. It requires a rethinking of application development and a development methodology as well as a new application architecture.

Dr. Volker Stiehl

Prof. Dr. Volker Stiehl studied computer science at the Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. After 12 years as a developer and senior system architect at Siemens, he joined SAP in 2004. As chief product expert, Volker was responsible for the success of the products SAP Process Orchestration, SAP Process Integration, and SAP HANA Cloud Integration (now SAP HANA Cloud Platform, integration service). He left SAP in 2016 and accepted a position as professor at the Ingolstadt Technical University of Applied Sciences where he is currently teaching business information systems. In September 2011, Volker received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Technology Darmstadt. His thesis was on the systematic design and implementation of applications using BPMN. Volker is also the author of Process-Driven Applications with BPMN as well as the co-author of SAP HANA Cloud Integration and a regular speaker at various national and international conferences.

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