FileNet Buys eGrail, to Ship Brightspire

By Renee Boucher Ferguson  |  Posted 2002-04-02
Business process management software maker FileNet Corp. is expanding its offerings in several directions: The company will announce Tuesday the acquisition of eGrail Inc. and will release next week its Brightspire e-Business Framework.

The $9 million to $10 million acquisition of eGrail will bring FileNet the enterprise-level Web content management capabilities its been sorely lacking, according to company officials, in Costa Mesa, Calif.

Brightspire, which has been four years in development, will allow FileNet to offer a complete package to customers: business process management, Web content management and enterprise application integration.

Targeted at the BPM and collaborative commerce market, the Brightspire framework combines a BPM engine with an enterprise application integration platform, allowing users to manage business processes across their enterprise and with trading partners.

eGrails Enterprise Content Server 5.0 will be integrated into Brightspire, as well as FileNets Enterprise Content Management platform, within the next 30 days.

In the short term, FileNet will use what it has with 5.0, calling it FileNet Content Management. With the next release, expected at the end of this year, Brightspire and Content Management will be fully integrated.

The Brightspire framework includes a number of components, including Solution Templates, a set of predefined business objects and processes that can be applied to address various industry scenarios like e-procurement, to allow repeatable solutions to be deployed quickly.

The Workplace component is an end-user application that provides a Web-based interface to Brightspire, allowing users to locate documents, initiate new transactions, check status, and rack some processes and information across multiple object stores.

Brightspire Workbench is a collection of Java applets and HTML-based tools--including design tools--that enable business analysts and IT administrators to design business processes, search templates and publishing templates.

The Content Engine acts as a repository for digital business objects like documents or data, and creates relationships between objects, managing their individual components and lifecycle.

The Brightspire Process Engine manages the processes and their associations with documents, data and lifecycle information that lives in either the Content Engine or external applications.

Finally, the Application Engine is a developers interface and is the foundation for custom applications, where users can build applications that integrate and communicate with back-office and business partner apps.

About 95 percent of eGrails 50 employees will stay on at FileNet. eGrails Maryland-based research and design offices will remain open for now.

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