As announced in a previous post, Egon Boerger introduced his current work on Semantical Model of BPMN. The computer scientist, known by most of us through his work on Abstract Sate Machines (ASM), focused in his talk on the try to improve the BPMN with a unambigious and clear meaning. Especially, he showed in a very plastic way, how a formal specification can foster the understanding of a standard like BPMN. In doing so he reveal several weak points of BPMN concerning the meaning of splits/merges. Especially, those become a real problem if you use BPMN like a workflow language.
The main message of Egon was the need of formal specification and separation of specification from implementation. He showed how this can help in order to define the semantics. I was glad, that he confirmed some statements I’m discussing in my thesis.
Another positive message was that he is in touch with the OMG and SAP guys and his propositions are not only know in academia, but also in the standardization organization like OMG. He reported about some positive feedback from them, and spoke about some contributions to the BPMN 2.0.
I really enjoyed the session, because I like this old-school-style computer scientists. They spread their meta-thinking of a very high level and precision, that sometimes drives us progmatic guyes crazy. In the same time, they establish a natural meaning of quality and foster the reasoning about the topic, we are dealing with everyday…