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A Red Hat training course is available for JBoss Enterprise SOA Platform

Chapter 3. The BPEL Engine

3.1. BPEL Engine

A BPEL engine executes BPEL business process instructions. The BPEL engine included as part of the JBoss Enterprise SOA Platform product is based on Apache ODE.


It is recommended that you only open one BPEL console window in your browser. Failing to do so can result in seeing a blank window upon login or being unable to login from your second window. For details, see RIFTSAW-400.

3.2. Business Process Execution Language (BPEL)

Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) is an OASIS-standard language for business rules orchestration. Refer to for more information.

3.3. Business Rule Orchestration

Business rule orchestration refers to the act of specifying actions within business processes via web services.

3.4. Enterprise Service Bus

An enterprise service bus is a concrete implementation of an abstract SOA design philosophy. An enterprise service bus (ESB) has two roles: it provides message routing functionality and allows you to register services. The enterprise service bus that lies at the center of the JBoss Enterprise SOA Platform is called JBoss ESB.
An enterprise service bus deals with infrastructure logic, not business logic (which is left to higher levels). Data is passed through the enterprise service bus on its way between two or more systems. Message queuing may or may not be involved. The ESB can also pass the data to a transformation engine before passing it to its destination.

3.5. Apache ODE

Apache ODE ("Orchestration Director Engine") is a software component that is designed to execute BPEL business processes. It sends and receives messages to and from web services, manipulates data and performs error handling in the method prescribed in your process definition. To learn more about Apache ODE, visit the project website at

3.6. Process Definition

A BPEL Process Definition is an XML file that acts as a template for a process. when published, the process definition creates a process that is a web service in its own right.

3.7. Process Instance

A process instance is one execution of a process definition.