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Get Your Standards Straight

As is often the case, a few vendors seem to be struggling to understand the meaning of standards. This time the controversy surrounds BEA Systems and BPM (business-process management) vendor Fuego, which BEA recently acquired for $87.5 million.

The Fuego technology already lives under the covers of AquaLogic Interaction Process, BEA's BPM solution. BEA's strategy is simple: capitalize on Fuego's strong support for standards by integrating Feugo into BEA's product so tightly that the lines between BEA's products and the standards get completely blurred.

But competitor Cape Clear disagrees that Fuego is standards-based. CEO Annrai O'Toole blasted the acquisition in a blog, saying, "The BPM market is founded on legacy, proprietary technologies."

Granted, BPEL (Business Process Execution Language) isn't a standard yet, but it's certainly headed that way. And if the UML (Unified Modeling Language), which Fuego supports, isn't a standard, someone had better tell the Object Management Group, which oversees UML. I won't remind Cape Clear (and others) that BPM provider Computer Associates presents its business rules solely as Web Services (the hallmark of a good SOA citizen). Oracle's BPM solution is also completely standards-based and bares its wares through Web Services. Furthermore, need I mention the ability of nearly every BPM vendor to consume Web Services as part of its orchestration process? You tell me what part of that isn't SOA or standards-based.