BPEL is based upon Web services and hence is related to standards such as WSDL, XML, SOAP, and UDDI. The following diagram describes the relations between the various standards within the Web services technology stack.
The BPEL process model is layered on top of the service model defined by WSDL. It is the notion of peer-to-peer interaction between services described in WSDL. A business process defines the interaction between a process instance and its partners.
To define business processes, BPEL describes a variety of XML elements, such as:
• Partners: The actors in a business transaction
• Containers: The messages that need to be transmitted
• Operations: The type of Web services that are required
• Port types: The kinds of Web services connections that are required for operations