IT Management

For example, you might have a simple business rule that states: if a mortgage application exceeds $1 million, it needs approval from a senior loan officer. You can embed this rule in your code or even your WS-BPEL, but if you want to change the threshold amount, you’d need a developer to make a change to the code and then recompile and retest before that change becomes active. With an external BRMS, you have more flexibility; you can dynamically make the change to the rule without requiring a development cycle.

BRMSes aren’t technically part of formal BPM systems since they can be used outside of process management and frequently are. However, the functions a BRMS provides are critical to robust implementation of BPM.

Dynamic Service Selection

The rapid pace of change today requires business processes to adapt even more quickly and dynamically respond to change. The requirement for higher levels of agility calls for companies to implement further loose coupling of their processes and services. One way you can do this is with Dynamic Service Selection (DSS), which starts with creating encapsulated business services. Execution of these business services can be adapted at run-time based on business policy and user context. You can provide even greater flexibility to your business processes by letting them dynamically choose the target activity (i.e., selecting the business service at run-time based on the context and content of the service request).

By dynamically selecting the service end-points, you can move navigation decisions outside the process, enabling process behavior changes without changing the actual process specification. This helps you simplify the core processes and gives you more agility as you implement business policies. For example, a mortgage lender might use a different business service for a high-risk applicant with a poor credit score.

Business Event Management

Events are constantly happening in your environment that can directly impact your business processes. Some of these events, such as receipt of a home appraisal report for a mortgage application, are expected and a normal part of your business process. Other events, such as a fraudulent insurance claim, may not be expected.

Event processing is a well-established IT discipline. Simple events, such as receipt of an appraisal letter, are typically managed through a pre-defined step in the business process. Unsolicited events, such as a mortgage application, can even start a new instance of a business process.

Millions of these events occur daily in your enterprise; some don’t have response actions defined while others have automated responses where no human interaction is required. But a relatively new technology that’s changing the landscape of event processing is the ability to handle complex events where multiple related events occur. Available tools can recognize the relationships and patterns among multiple events, called event correlation, to give you additional insight into your business processes.

Complex events can span multiple instances of your business processes. For instance, property damage claims may be submitted by two different family members for the same item. You may have logic built in your application to detect this specific example, but fraud detection is becoming a very sophisticated discipline and may not be easily embedded in an application.

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