Recently, during a meeting with several other people who work with Oracle business process orchestration tools such as BPEL, BPM and OSB, we discussed how you still need to write a customer facing application that interfaces with all the nice stuff you’ve put together in your service bus. Oracle’s BPEL solution for example, makes it very easy to orchestrate a process through a series of Web Service calls, but has not provision for interfacing witth humans. Oracle BPM, on the other hand, does have the provision for creating human interfaces, but not the sort of interfaces you would like to expose to your customers.
This conversation got me to thinking that Morfik AppsBuilder with its facility for easily importing web services can be an ideal tool for creating such customer facing interfaces for business processes which are designed with these tools. It is quite easy to import web services in Morfik and it is, also, quite easy to use them. Morfik even provides a transparent proxy facility through the server side of your application allowing you to call web services from other sources than your own domain, should you desire to do so.
I did a short demo of Morfik, on my EEE PC, for two of the people in the meeting and even though it was running in the extreme conditions of such a tiny computer, both were quite impressed with the potential they saw in the tool. We separated that day right before lunch and when I got to the office after lunch there was already an email from one of these fellows to remind me to send him links and information about the product.
In hind site, it should have been obvious to me that Morfik would have been a great tool for just such a purpose. While developing what came to be Morfik AppsBuilder 2.0, Morfik played a bit around with the idea of orchestrating web methods on the server side in a fashion very similar to that used by Oracle BPEL or BPM to do so. This was eventually put aside as a feature for a future version, but the idea certainly had merrit and seems to be a great fit for the simplicity of web interface building in Morfik tools.