July 16 – 21 , 2006, Dagstuhl Seminar 06291

The Role of Business Processes in Service Oriented Architectures


Frank Leymann (Universität Stuttgart, DE)
Wolfgang Reisig (HU Berlin, DE)
Satish R. Thatte (Microsoft Corporation – Redmond, US)
Wil van der Aalst (TU Eindhoven, NL)

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More and more, applications are no longer built from scratch but by integrating pieces of software that have been built independently from each other. As a consequence, the various pieces of an application must be loosely coupled. Service oriented architectures (SOA) provide a general prescription and guidelines of how to loosely couple pieces of application functionality. Web services are a concrete instantiation of a service oriented architecture. Clearly, business processes are essential when aggregating loosely coupled functions into new application functionality. For the combination of business process technology and Web service technology the terms choreography or orchestration has been coined. These technologies are expected to become the foundational layer for tomorrow's information systems and are influencing already many application areas like Enterprise Application Integration, Software Engineering, Systems Management, Data provisioning, BPI, B2B – to name but just a few.

Software vendors today deliver products for modeling and executing choreographies. Research in this area is currently done scattered across different disciplines. The major goal of the seminar is to bring representatives from the different communities (from research, software vendors and users, of business processes and SOA) together for a first stocktaking, a joint in-depth understanding of the issues, to identify and prioritize the main research items, identify standardization needs, and to discuss demanding questions and open problems in detail. The areas to discuss include:

  • Modeling Languages and Techniques for Business Processes
  • Composition and refinement methods for Business Process Models
  • Matching/searching process models
  • Processes as constraints/semantics for Web services
  • Wiring processes together (i.e. relation between BPEL and WS-CDL)
  • Relation between BPEL abstract and executable processes
  • Analysis of BPEL specifications
  • Different transaction models in BPEL
  • Business activity monitoring and process mining in the context of SOA
  • Business Processes in Grid Architectures

The seminar clearly improved the understanding of the field of "Business Processes in SOA''. Furthermore, new collaborations between the different communities were triggered by this event.

A substantial part of the week was reserved for interaction other than giving talks and discussions based on these talks. In total four half-day workshops and one panel discussion were organized. The panel discussion was chaired by Satish Thatte and had the title "On the relevance and practicality of process modeling''. Each of the half-day workshops led to interesting insights and fruitful discussions. The results of the workshops are enclosed in the proceedings.


  • SW-Engineering
  • Verification
  • Web
  • Semantics/Formal Methods


  • Business Process Management
  • Workflow Management
  • Middleware
  • Service Oriented Architecture
  • Web Services
  • Petri-Nets
  • Transaction Models
  • Mega-Programming


In the series Dagstuhl Reports each Dagstuhl Seminar and Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshop is documented. The seminar organizers, in cooperation with the collector, prepare a report that includes contributions from the participants' talks together with a summary of the seminar.


Download overview leaflet (PDF).

Dagstuhl's Impact

Please inform us when a publication was published as a result from your seminar. These publications are listed in the category Dagstuhl's Impact and are presented on a special shelf on the ground floor of the library.


Furthermore, a comprehensive peer-reviewed collection of research papers can be published in the series Dagstuhl Follow-Ups.