By Michael Caton  |  Posted 2005-06-06 Print this article Print

We generally like the way Fujitsu has built a Web-based process-design tool into its Interstage BPM application. The Process Designer tool supports drag-and-drop modeling, and each node in a process can be configured via a right mouse click.

The Interstage interface isnt as slick as those of Windows-based tools such as Bluesprings BPM Suite. Business analysts tasked with designing processes start off with a dozen basic node objects in the Interstage tool bar rather than the two or three dozen application-specific nodes found in Windows-based designers. However, Process Designer does allow analysts to build their own custom-configured nodes and store them on the tool bar.

Click here to read the review of Bluesprings BPM suite.
Process Designer includes several nice features that will simplify creating workflows, including the ability to import process descriptions in the BPEL and Wf- XML (Workflow XML) standards. We also appreciated the fact that we could create templates from processes that are already running, and Process Designer gives companies a way to add some workflow elements that arent usually found in other design tools, such as voting.

We could also use the designer tool to generate forms based on the configuration of a given node. Once a form is created, it can be edited using Fujitsus forms editor. Interstage doesnt include an organization charting tool, but it does work with LDAP directories.

The Interstage process engine integrates with rules engines, including Fair Isaac Corp.s Blaze Advisor, for managing processes that involve complex routing. Most process integration happens at the Web services layer, rather than with application-specific connectors, but Fujitsu partners with iWay Software to provide specific connectors.

As they do with most BPM tools, users manage tasks in Interstage through a Web browser and e-mail. One nice Interstage feature is support for SMS (Short Message Service) through an adapter. This will allow users to receive task notifications via their cell phones.

Managers also can get a view of process performance through the Business Activity Monitor dashboard, and the Business Activity Monitor provides the ability to set thresholds to monitor performance and receive alerts.

Next page: Evaluation Shortlist: Related Products.


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