Recommended readings / skills to use BPEL efficiently
I thought to put together some ideas on what I usually recommend on readings and skills before starting to work with BPEL in a project.
- Solid XML is key, as BPEL offers the user an xml representation of data. This includes XSD (Schema), XSL (Stylesheets), and XPATH (Query). All of them are needed to unleash the full power of BPEL
- Webservices, WSDL, SOAP and WSIF (Apache's Webservice Invocation Framework) all of them are used by BPEL to connect to to the outside world and to other services
- J2EE knowledge as the BPEL engine leverages a lot of container functionality (and is itself a J2EE application). For debugging errors, modifying configuration settings and others - this is highly recommended, but if you are at the beginning of your BPEL career this is not a must. For OC4J, docu can be found here
Oracle University offers several courses for most of the mentioned technologies, or you could simply google a little bit and study the stuff yourself from resources on the internet.
After you feel comfortable with the stated technologies - I would recommend going through the samples, we ship with the product (in the samples folder) to get an understanding of usecases. Another option is to start with the quickstart guide (here).
For people that like to read a book before starting I recommend that one on Business Process Execution Language for Webservices. (and I am not compensated on it :-))
- references show the usage of standard BPEL activities
- tutorials show the usage of adapters/extended activities and advanced topics, such as bindings and security
- demos show end to end processes, such as a google search
- the Oracle BPEL PM internet resources
- and learn from other customers, that published their insights, here in the BPEL cookbook
For general questions and knowledge sharing, just use the OTN BPEL forum, and all the folks there - help spreading BPEL knowledge, through your experiences.
The complete WSBPEL 1.1 spec can be found here
Note: I'll put this as a permalink on my blog, and extend it from time to time, with new insights and recommendations