In this chapter, you were given an introduction to business process management as a technology. You
should have a big-picture view of the technology. There's much more to learn as BPM can become a key
piece of architecture, providing a spine to otherwise isolated functionality. No single introduction to one
particular brand of BPM will ever be adequate. There are lots of resources out there, though it helps to
keep an eye on the bookshelf at your local bookstore, because often these technologies become
irrelevant as quickly as the sands of the markets shift.
BPM is a discipline that's rooted in many decades of growth and concepts. The earliest tenants of
workflow engines have their basis in a branch of mathematics called petri nets. The discipline's become
more mainstream over the years, and the focus evolved from using BPM as a record-keeping mechanism
to an enabling orchestration mechanism.
There are several very good discussions of the topic, if you're curious. To further explore the
technology, there are several good sites on the Internet and many more good books readily had by
searching for “BPM” in a search engine. For a deeper treatment of the discipline (though not necessarily
the technology), we recommend the following:
• Frank Leymann and Dieter Roller. Production Workflow: Concepts and
Techniques. Prentice Hall, 2000
• Michael Havey. Essential Business Process Modeling. O'Reilly, 2005.
• http://www.workflowpatterns.com/ - a comprehensive introduction to the
patterns of workflow.
In the next chapter, you will learn about OSGi, and how to build OSGi solutions using Spring
Dynamic Modules and SpringSource dm Server.