OASIS Call for Participation in BPEL4People

The full CFP follows the announcement from OASIS below.   I'll be watching from the sidelines this time.

Some clarifications:

  • WS-HumanTask has no dependency on BPEL.   BPEL simply consumes WS-HumanTask
  • BPEL4People focuses on System to Human (S2H) and Human to System (H2S) interactions.   Human to Human (H2H) is considered out of scope - these types of interactions cannot be supported with a language such as BPEL.  (None of the BPM languages are actually capable of this - see Keith Harrison-Broninski's work on Human Interaction Management for more on this topic).
  • The last time I looked at it, WS-HumanTask consisted of two contracts:

I'll comment on this from time to time in the future.  In the meantime here is the CFP and information about signing up.


A new OASIS technical committee is being formed. The OASIS WS-BPEL Extension for People (BPEL4People) Technical Committee has been proposed by the members of

OASIS listed below. The proposal, below, meets the requirements of the OASIS TC Process [a]. The TC name, statement of purpose, scope, list of deliverables,

audience, and language specified in the proposal will constitute the TC's official charter. Submissions of technology for consideration by the TC, and the

beginning of technical discussions, may occur no sooner than the TC's first meeting.

This TC will operate under our 2005 IPR Policy [b]. The eligibility

requirements for becoming a participant in the TC at the first meeting (see

details below) are that:

(a) you must be an employee of an OASIS member organization or an individual member of OASIS;

(b) the OASIS member must sign the OASIS membership agreement [c];

(c) you must notify the TC chair of your intent to participate at least 15 days prior to the first meeting, which members may do by using the "Join this TC" button on the TC's public page at [d]; and

(d) you must attend the first meeting of the TC, at the time and date fixed below.

Of course, participants also may join the TC at a later time. OASIS and the TC welcomes all interested parties.

Non-OASIS members who wish to participate may contact us about joining OASIS [c]. In addition, the public may access the information resources maintained for each TC: a mail list archive, document repository and public comments facility, which will be linked from the TC's public home page at [d].  

[a] https://www.oasis-open.org/committees/process.php

[b] https://www.oasis-open.org/who/intellectualproperty.php

[c] See https://www.oasis-open.org/join/

[d] https://www.oasis-open.org/committees/tc_home.php?wg_abbrev=bpel4people



OASIS WS-BPEL Extension for People (BPEL4People) TC


1a. Name (and abbreviation) of the Technical Committee

OASIS WS-BPEL Extension for People (BPEL4People) Technical Committee

1b. Statement of Purpose

The purpose of the WS-BPEL Extension for People (BPEL4People) Technical

Committee (TC) is to define (1) extensions to the OASIS WS-BPEL 2.0

Standard to enable human interactions and (2) a model of human

interactions that are service-enabled. This work will be carried out

through continued refinement of the BPEL4People and WS-HumanTask

specifications (see section References) to be submitted to the TC as

referenced later in this charter.

1c. Scope of Work

The TC will accept as input Version 1.0 of the BPEL4People

specification, and Version 1.0 of the WS-HumanTask specification as

published by Adobe, Active Endpoints, BEA, IBM, Oracle and SAP AG

(see section References).

Other contributions and changes to the input documents will be

accepted for consideration without any prejudice or restrictions and

evaluated based on technical merit in so far as they conform to this

charter. OASIS members with extensive experience and knowledge in

related areas are particularly invited to participate.

This work will focus on:

* Defining the specification of a WS-BPEL extension enabling the

definition of human interactions ("human tasks") as part of a WS-BPEL


* Defining the specification of a model enabling the definition of

human tasks that are exposed as Web services

* Defining a programming interface enabling human task client

applications to work with human tasks

WS-BPEL Extension (BPEL4People Specification)

The WS-BPEL Extension Specification will define the following:

* Concept of people activity

* Composition model for human tasks and processes supporting at least

the following:

o Inline human tasks in one people activity of a WS-BPEL process,

without re-use

o Inline human tasks in a WS-BPEL process for re-use in multiple

people activities

o Standalone human tasks for re-use in multiple WS-BPEL

processes. The life-cycle of processes and human tasks is tightly

coupled using the coordination protocol implemented in a vendor

specific manner

o Standalone human tasks for re-use in multiple WS-BPEL

processes. The life-cycle of processes and human tasks is tightly

coupled using the coordination protocol and protocol service

standardized by WS-HumanTask

o Standalone human tasks, without using a particular coordination

protocol, callable using plain Web services means, for re-use between

WS-BPEL processes (invokes) and other Web services clients

* Concept of inline human tasks within a people activity and within a

WS-BPEL process. Inline human tasks within a WS-BPEL process can be

reused by different people activities within that process

* Allow people activity to reference a standalone human task

(introduced in WS-HumanTask)

* Concept of people activity context and mechanism to access the

context from the people activity definition and from elsewhere in the

enclosing scope

* Semantics of people activity states and lifecycle

o States and basic operations for people activities aligned with

the corresponding states and operations of standalone human tasks

* Concept of generic human roles for processes

* Definition of process specific people assignments

* Mechanism to use logical people groups in WS-BPEL assignments

* Support for time-based conditions on people activities, e.g.

deferred activation of a human task

* Support of specific interaction patterns

o Four-eyes principle (a.k.a. separation of duties)

* Enablement of human tasks to access context information from the

surrounding process including previous people activities and the

corresponding human tasks.

* Extension mechanism

* Ad-hoc Attachments

Human Task Enablement (WS-HumanTask Specification)

The WS-Human Task Specification will define the following:

* Concept of human tasks (i.e. tasks and notifications) as an

explicit entity independent from any process definition

* Concept of human task context and mechanism to access the context

from the task definition

* Concept of generic human roles for human tasks

* Concept of logical people groups as an abstraction for assigned

people used to hide access to organizational directories

* Definition of people assignments

* Data types representing individuals associated with human tasks

* Semantics of task states and task lifecycle

* Basic operations (API) for client application interactions with

human tasks

* Coordination protocol for processes (or other applications)

interacting with human tasks

* Handling of deadlines including escalation

* Support of specific interaction patterns

o Nomination

o Delegation

o Escalation

* Extension mechanism

Potential additional features

In addition to the specification features described above, the TC may

explore the inclusion of the following features and topics, providing

that the technical approach chosen does not contradict the scope

described above:

* Single user screen flow (chained execution)

* Workflow patterns commonly encountered in document-centric and

people-centric workflows including:

o Sequential approval through a management chain

o Parallel approval and voting

o Approval management, group vote

o Pushback

o RequestInfo

* Basic operations (API) for client application interactions with WS-

BPEL processes (e.g. adding or deleting attachments)

Out of Scope

The following is a non-exhaustive list. It is provided only for the

sake of clarity. If some function, mechanism or feature is not

mentioned here, and is not mentioned in the Scope of Work section

either, then it will be deemed to be out of scope.

The following items are specifically out of scope of the work of the TC:

* Authorization definitions

* Deployment

* Monitoring

* Organizational directories (e.g., Human Resources)

o Definition of such directories

o Specific mechanisms (including protocols) to query such


* Task execution rendering and definition of user interface elements

1d. Deliverables

The TC has the following set of deliverables:

* A revised BPEL4People specification and associated schema. A

Committee Specification is targeted for completion within 18 months

of the first TC meeting.

* A revised WS-HumanTask specification with associated schema. A

Committee Specification is targeted for completion within 18 months

of the first TC meeting.

These specifications will reflect refinements, corrections or

material technological improvements with respect to the input

documents and in accordance with this charter.


Once the TC has completed work on a deliverable and it has become an

OASIS Standard, the TC will enter "maintenance mode" for the


The purpose of maintenance mode is to provide minor revisions to

previously adopted deliverables to clarify ambiguities,

inconsistencies and obvious errors. Maintenance mode is not intended

to enhance a deliverable or to extend its functionality.

The TC will collect issues raised against the deliverables and

periodically process those issues. Issues that request or require new

or enhanced functionality shall be marked as enhancement requests and

set aside. Issues that result in the clarification or correction of

the deliverables shall be processed. The TC shall maintain a list of

these adopted clarifications and shall periodically create a new

minor revision of the deliverables including these updates.

Periodically, but at least once a year, the TC shall produce and vote

upon a new minor revision of the deliverables.

1e. IPR Mode

This TC will operate under the "RF (Royalty Free) on Limited Terms"

IPR mode as defined in the OASIS Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)


1f. Anticipated Audience

The anticipated audience for the documents produced by this TC includes:

* Software vendors supporting WS-BPEL 2.0.

* Software vendors offering products to support human-centric processes.

* Software developers, architects and other roles involved with

design, development, deployment and maintenance of WS-BPEL

applications and human-centric processes.

1g. TC Language

TC business will be conducted in English.

2.Required Non-Normative Information

2a. Similar or Related Work

The BPEL4People specification and the WS-HumanTask specification may

have dependencies on different technologies, such as

* BPEL4People: WS-HumanTask, WS-BPEL, WSDL, XPath, and XML Schema

* WS-HumanTask: WSDL, XML Schema, XPath, WS-Addressing, WS-

Coordination, WS-Policy

The TC will decide which version of these specifications will be used

in their final work.

Liaisons will be established with other OASIS Technical Committees as

determined appropriate by the members of the Technical Committee as

work proceeds.

2b. Date, Time and Location of First Meeting

Date: March 5, 2008

Time: 11:00 EDT

Duration: 2 hours

Mode: Teleconference

Telephone: Dial-in TBD

Sponsor: Oracle

2c. Projected Meeting Schedule

It is anticipated that the BPEL4People TC will regularly meet via

teleconference (e.g. weekly or bi-weekly) at a time determined by the

TC members during the TC's first meeting.

It is anticipated that the BPEL4People TC will regularly meet face to

face, every quarter if needed, at a time and location to be

determined by the TC members.

2d. TC Supporters

The following eligible individuals are in support of this proposal:

* Ashish Agrawal, Adobe, ashish@adobe.com

* Mike Amend, BEA, mamend@bea.com

* Chris Keller, Active Endpoints, chris.keller@active-endpoints.com

* Ed Cobb, BEA, ecobb@bea.com

* Dave Ings, IBM, ings@ca.ibm.com

* Matthias Kloppmann, IBM, matthias-kloppmann@de.ibm.com

* Dieter Koenig, IBM, dieterkoenig@de.ibm.com

* Frank Leymann, IBM, Frank.Leymann@informatik.uni-stuttgart.de

* Jeff Mischkinsky, Oracle, jeff.mischkinsky@oracle.com

* Gerhard Pfau, IBM, GPFAU@de.ibm.com

* Karsten Ploesser, SAP, karsten.ploesser@sap.com

* Alan Rickayzen, SAP, alan.rickayzen@sap.com

* Michael Rowley, BEA, mrowley@bea.com

* Ron Ten-Hove, SUN, ronald.ten-hove@Sun.COM

* Ivana Trickovic, SAP, ivana.trickovic@sap.com

* Claus von Riegen, SAP, claus.von.riegen@sap.com

* Vicki Shipkowitz, SAP, vicki.shipkowitz@sap.com

* Prasad Yendluri, Software AG, Prasad.Yendluri@SoftwareAG.com

2e. TC Convener

The TC Convener is Jeff Mischkinsky, Oracle,


2f. Member Section Affiliation

The TC does not intend to affiliate with an OASIS Member Section.

2g. Anticipated Contributions

It is expected that Active Endpoints, Adobe, BEA, IBM, Oracle, and

SAP AG will contribute the BPEL4People v1 and WS-HumanTask v1

specifications [1-6] and any other related documents such as errata,

and that such documents will be the starting point contribution for

initiating the work of this TC.


[1] https://www.active-endpoints.com/active-bpel-for-people.htm

[2] https://www.adobe.com/devnet/livecycle/articles/bpel4people_overview.html

[3] https://dev2dev.bea.com/arch2arch/




[5] https://www.oracle.com/technology/tech/standards/bpel4people/

[6] https://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/sdn/bpel4people