A relatively small developer of business process modeling software could have a big impact on IT if SAP AG and Microsoft Corp. fulfill plans to incorporate the developers platform into their respective infrastructures to help users create composite applications.
The inclusion of process modeling capabilities that can, in turn, be executed in IT systems is integral to the goal of Microsoft and SAP to have software components orchestrated on a single platform.
To this end, Mathias Kirchmer, CEO of IDS Scheer North America, the North American subsidiary of IDS Scheer AG, said his company is in talks with Microsoft, of Redmond, Wash., to integrate IDS Scheers Aris modeling tool set into Microsofts BizTalk Server to enable process modeling and model execution.
"Weve had some very good discussions with Microsoft that have developed pretty well [over the past year]," Kirchmer told eWEEK. "[That includes] the content side and [developing] reference models but also in the integration of Aris and BizTalk."
Aris delivers process modeling information in a format that systems such as BizTalk can use to configure workflow, according to Kirchmer.
"Modeling is absolutely critical to what were doing," said Dave Coulombe, general manager for ERP (enterprise resource planning) at Microsoft. "[We are developing] a process-centric, service-oriented architecture based on model-driven development."
Coulombe wouldnt comment on a partnership between IDS Scheer, based in Saarbrücken, Germany, and Microsoft, but he did confirm that BizTalk components are included in Microsofts "Project Green" blueprint, as are modeling capabilities from Microsofts Visual Studio software.
SAP, of Walldorf, Germany, has an established relationship with IDS Scheer and is integrating the Aris tool set into its NetWeaver integration platform.
The idea of having the same business process modeling environment in BizTalk and NetWeaver opens options for developers looking to assemble components from either vendor using a single platform.
"If you can model Microsoft and SAP [processes] in the same environment, then as a customer you have an enormous palette of tools to work with," said Joshua Greenbaum, an analyst with Enterprise Application Consulting. "This really is almost beyond the imagination."