Business process management (BPM) is one of those technologies that arrived with great fanfare and high expectations. Vendors who peddled their proprietary solutions evangelized it as a revolutionary advancement in how business applications would be developed. Sadly, like many promising technologies, it followed a hype cycle of inflated expectations that quickly gave way to a trough of disillusionment. However, as we'll see in the next two chapters, when BPM is married with SOA, the benefits can be real and tangible. With this combination in place, business processes can be continually optimized and new ones quickly introduced to support new product offerings. BPM enables business and IT to become more closely aligned, leading to greater efficiencies and less frustration.
The open source community is fortunate to have a BPM solution as rich in functionality and as stable as JBoss jBPM. In part 3, we'll cover the basics of how to use jBPM, and then tackle some of its advanced functionality and extensibility. We'll conclude this part by examining how it can be used in tandem with Apache Tuscany so that it can be integrated nicely within your SOA environment.