New and enhanced products from IBM and TIBCO Software Inc. promise to give corporate analysts better views into how business processes running across a variety of integrated applications are operating.
IBM this week will roll out Version 4.2 of its WebSphere Business Integration software, which adds BPM (business process management) technologies gained from the companys acquisition late last year of Holosofx Inc.
The upgrade provides an Integration Modeler tool for modeling, identifying, analyzing and simulating business processes. A separate Monitor tool provides customizable dashboard views into processes running across integrated applications.
The enhanced integration server produces run-time code without the need for Java programming; incorporates the open-source Eclipse development framework; enhances support for long-running business processes; and provides browser-based monitors, said IBM officials, in Armonk, N.Y.
Separately this week, TIBCO, of Palo Alto, Calif., will announce its Business Optimization initiative, which adds new BPM features to its line of application integration software. The centerpiece of the initiative is a new tool called BusinessFactor, which provides a dashboard that draws real-time information from across the enterprise to present metrics on specified business processes, officials said.
BusinessFactor gives context to business information by showing current and historical data, as well as how systems will react going forward, TIBCO officials said. For example, the company has worked with a hospital to give its emergency room staff the ability to monitor the five most important metrics to identify patient bottlenecks and identify process improvements.
Much of this technology comes from TIBCOs acquisition last fall of Praja Inc., a business activity monitoring software developer.
Through the rest of the year, TIBCO will add more workflow features to its BusinessWorks integration software and its Java message server bus products.
Nick Pietrocarlo, program manager at Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., wanted to add BPM capabilities to the Miami-based travel companys IT infrastructure so he could more easily make changes to it when mandated by changing business requirements. But the amount of "spaghetti code" connecting the reservation system in Royal Caribbeans mainframe and AS/400 systems to its PeopleSoft Inc. and J.D. Edwards & Co. applications made such changes arduous.
"We cant really [afford to] tear systems out; the way were going to leverage what we have is with WebSphere Business Integration," said Pietrocarlo, who is in the midst of a six-month installation of the software.
"When we have to change a business rule, there is a lot of cost associated with that," Pietrocarlo said. "Our goal is to use [IBM software] to automate those changes, to attach the systems to [WebSphere Business Integration] and create a central place to make that change. That way, we can build once and reuse it."