Sybase Inc. and Vitria Technology Inc. this week will each announce application integration software that they say will make it easier for business analysts to model and implement business processes.
Sybases forthcoming platform, code-named Ohio, and an upgrade to Vitrias BusinessWare suite, Version 4.0, will provide corporations with graphical tools that let analysts who are most familiar with a companys business operations take a greater role in developing and implementing new electronic business processes.
Ohio, due next quarter, provides business and technical users with the tools to orchestrate and analyze complex business processes across multiple systems, according to officials at Sybase, of Dublin, Calif. The software is built from the core technologies that Sybase gained when it bought New Era of Networks Inc. last year. As such, Ohio comprises application integration, data transformation, business process management, New Eras business rules engine and a new GUI for business users.
Because Ohio separates logical and physical architectures, business users can view visual process models while technical staff can bind and deploy the processes, officials said.
Native support for XML and Java 2 Enterprise Edition in Ohio enables business analysts to identify existing business process workflows in Universal Description, Discovery and Integration directories and introduce them into their own IT architectures via drag-and-drop commands. Ohio adds support for application servers from IBM and BEA Systems Inc.
Separately, Vitrias BusinessWare 4.0 provides an application integration platform in which each process layer, subprocess, transformation and connector can be componentized as a Web service or as a JavaBean without affecting the context of what that process is doing, said company officials, in Sunnyvale, Calif.
At the same time, Version 4.0 includes tools that allow customers to manage the life cycle of an integration so that as a process changes through each phase—design, test, execution, analysis and improvement—it can be easily modified. A new Business Vocabulary Management component enables companies to manage vocabulary integration across industries.
"Having the tools to implement processes—and any process implementation done directly is not going to impact [system] performance"—would be useful, said Ted Barnicoat, CIO at Trimac Corp., which is using BusinessWare to integrate its systems with those of its customers. "What that does is move the process and the ownership of that process closer to the business. Thats a good thing," said Barnicoat, in Houston. "They are the people that understand [our business].
"Translating [a process] through a technical person is not the ideal," Barnicoat said. "Nonetheless, when youre talking about a business process, youre still talking to a systems person, and there is ample opportunity for misunderstanding, as opposed to the businessperson saying, This is what I want done, and then giving it a shot."