Tibco BPM -- in transition
Tibco recently announced an agreement with HP to develop a Web services-based process management solution enabling customers to integrate and optimize infrastructure alerts and business process management alerts.
This announcement extends their ActiveEnteprise product set. Currently its Business Activity Monitoring function provides a dash board for the business managers that will highlight excessive transaction errors, response time, etc. and enable drill down at the business function level.
However if it appears that the problem is with IT (e.g. excessive communication delays or slow application response) then the handover from the business monitoring to the IT system management is manual. With the HP connection the handover should become seamless and automated.
Besides the HP extension the ActiveEnteprise product set is in transition with the announcement of the 'Harmony' release for availability in 3Q 2003. Currently Tibco markets two related product sets Tibco BusinessWorks and Tibco BPM. The Harmony release will simplify the product set by amalgamating the best of each, taking the In-Concert workflow from BPM and incorporating it into BusinessWorks.
BusinessWorks will cover the development lifecycle through model, integrate, monitor, improve and back to model.
The model functions enable the definitions of the business process flows and how these are implemented. These will include the adapters to the various applications and web services and the necessary transformations and routings between them. The flow between applications can be fully automated or can incorporate human interaction using the In-Concert workflow functions.
The definitions can also include the requirements for monitoring and tracking. All of these models are at the interface between the business and IT. There are third party tools, such as Casewise, that provide business modelling and simulation at an early stage in the development lifecycle, and Tibco provides facilities to import and export models from such tools.
All the models are kept in the Tibco Repository and this enables them to be deployed into production. Once in production the operational environment can be monitored and improvements made as required.
Tibco's heritage is in the messaging layer with Rendezvous however, it is good to see that Harmony is messaging layer agnostic and supports Rendezvous, JMS, SOAP, MQSeries, MSMQ and others. This openness is essential for enterprise wide integration solutions.
Tibco participates in many of the standards bodies and provides support for these standards in their products.
This open attitude means that Tibco can concentrate on their core strengths of BPM and BAM while interoperating with other vendors for messaging, application servers, system management, business modelling and industry specific solutions. Enterprises that have multiple application servers from different vendors each of whom have their own BPM or BAM may well find Tibco's agnostic view very attractive.
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