Culminating the integration of technology acquired last year, WebMethods Inc. will announce the general availability of a new platform at the end of March.
The WebMethods Workflow platform will be introduced with version 4.6 of WebMethods namesake Integration Platform, to be announced at the end of next week. In addition to the workflow capability, the integration platform will have support for XML-based standards.
With its current Integration Platform, WebMethods has the ability to define business processes and automate business process modeling. However, adding human interaction into the process has been cumbersome, at best.
Typically, in order to include human interaction in a workflow someone in accounting running a credit check before approving a purchase order, for example – a third-party software had to be installed, with new code and a custom user interface, and integrated into specific applications.
The key to a successful business process automation is the ability to incorporate manual steps without losing track of slowing down the rest of the process, according to officials..
What WebMethods, of Fairfax, Va., has done is integrate workflow technology directly into its platform so customers can, among other capabilities, create a user interface directly in the tool set, without additional coding.
Additional features include a grouping mechanism that allows specific steps within a business process to be defined as roles and distributed to large groups of users.
The workflow platform also extends the monitoring capabilities of the integration platform. Now, in addition to having the ability to monitor the steps in an automated process, users can monitor manual processes, obtaining status reports on sub-processes as well as workflow, according to officials.
As the concept of workflow – and the technology – is fairly mature, officials at WebMethods said they would focus next on integrating new technologies that touch workflow, like Web services.
Pricing for the Workflow platform is not being disclosed, however it starts around $100,000 at the low end, according to officials. It can be purchased as a stand-alone product or with the upgrade to 4.6.