History of BPEL

The Business Process Execution Language for Web Services (BPEL4WS) was first conceived in July, 2002 with the release of the BPEL4WS 1.0 specification, a joint effort by IBM, Microsoft, and BEA. This document proposed an orchestration language inspired by previous variations, such as IBM’s Web Services Flow Language (WSFL) and Microsoft’s XLANG specification.

Joined by other contributors from SAP and Siebel Systems, version 1.1 of the BPEL4WS specification was released less than a year later, in May of 2003. This version received more attention and vendor support, leading to a number of commercially available BPEL4WS-compliant orchestration engines. Just prior to this release, the BPEL4WS specification was submitted to an OASIS technical committee so that the specification could be developed into an official, open standard.

The OASIS WS-BPEL Technical Committee was active from April 2003 to May 2007. It was co-chaired by Diane Jordan of IBM and John Evdemon of Microsoft. The Committee's email archives remain publicly accessible.

In April 2007, WS-BPEL version 2.0 was approved as an OASIS Standard. More than 37 organizations collaborated to develop WS-BPEL, including representatives of Active Endpoints, Adobe Systems, BEA Systems, Booz Allen Hamilton, EDS, HP, Hitachi, IBM, IONA, Microsoft, NEC, Nortel, Oracle, Red Hat, Rogue Wave, SAP, Sun Microsystems, TIBCO, webMethods, and other members of OASIS.

In January 2008, OASIS issued a Call for Participation in the BPEL4People Technical Committee. The group works to define a WS-BPEL extension enabling the definition of human interactions ("human tasks") as part of a WS-BPEL process.


See also:

- OASIS press release: 'Members Approve WS-BPEL 2.0 as OASIS Standard' April 2007
- OASIS press release: 'Members Form WS-BPEL Technical Committee' April 2003
- WS-BPEL 2.0 Primer


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