BPEL is an important language for the process-oriented approach to SOA. Because BPEL has been designed specifically for definition of business processes it provides good support for various specifics of business processes such as support for long running transactions, compensation, event management, correlation, etc. BPEL is well suited for use with the J2EE platform and many BPEL servers build on top of J2EE. With ideas of combing BPEL and Java (BPELJ), and WSIF, the usability of BPEL is even increasing. We should also look at the emerging JBI (Java Business Integration) specification aka JSR 208 which will give business integration and BPEL an even better documented position in the Java platform.
rating comment: I've read a couple of articles about BEPEL, and I must say that this one is the best so far. It answered all my questions which emerged while reading the other articles. Although I don't have any practical experience with BEPEL whatsoever, I think it's an important approach in order to build a SOA.