Today I had to answer some questions that involved BPEL. So what is BPEL?
BPEL stands for Business Process Execution Language. When we connect the systems of two or more organizations, it might be useful or even necessary to know something about the business process from each company.
There are “easy” ways to share business process information between Business Process Management (BPM) systems when they are created by the same vendor. For example, with BizTalk Server 2006 you can use the Trading Partner Management technology to exchange this information. However, in real life, most companies use systems from different vendors.
To allow insight in each other Business processes Microsoft, IBM and others have created the BPEL language. The language is particularly useful to describe and sharing externally visible parts of a business process. BPEL is an Orchestration language which is built entirely on Web services. Inside BizTalk it is possible to export business processes that are designed with the Orchestration Designer into BPEL.
BPEL isn’t a complete language for defining business processes. For that reason it is hard to view it as a fully mature technology, but of course it keeps evolving. A more thorough explanation of BPEL can be found here.