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Enterprise SOA by Thomas Mattern, Dan Woods

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The process orchestration layer

The process orchestration layer contains the key mechanisms that create the flexibility that ESA must deliver to succeed. Enterprise services are the reusable building blocks built on top of business objects. Process orchestration is the simpler way that these building blocks are combined to solve problems.

The word orchestration has many different meanings in many contexts. Some people prefer the word choreography, which is sometimes used to mean the same thing. Orchestration became associated with SOA in the past few years because of the idea of web services orchestration, which was an attempt to create a language that could be used to combine web services to automate processes. Eventually, different standards efforts championed by different vendors were combined into the Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) standard. When many people speak of orchestration, they are referring to using BPEL to orchestrate the behavior of web services. But this is only one form of process orchestration as we use the term in this book.

What is process orchestration?

Since programming began, applications have controlled process flow. That is not what we mean by orchestration. We use the term to mean a form of modeling in which a simple set of abstractions is combined repeatedly to help solve a problem. The job of orchestration is to replace coding in Java and ABAP with modeling so that process orchestration is easier and more flexible, and can be performed by more ...

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