Metaserver Inc. and Versata Inc. have upgraded their respective BPI software to enable companies to tie together their internal and external systems.
The goal of the business process integration software is to give enterprises the ability to gather information from a variety of operational systems, pull it together and present it back to those systems in a unified manner.
Version 3 of Metaservers namesake BPI software, which was announced last week, extends the products visual modeling capabilities to simplify the creation, testing and deployment of Internet applications. This gives companies the ability to deploy business processes that are accessible to customers, partners, vendors and employees over the Web, said officials at the New Haven, Conn., company.
The upgrade offers two main components. A front-end wizard-based tool provides a modeling environment that automates the assembly of components through drag-and-drop drawing capabilities. In this way, the wizard generates simple instructions for creating new business processes and functions. The second component, a management console, allows users to deploy, monitor and control applications from a browser.
"[The wizard] is a big improvement," said Metaserver 3 user Tony Glowacki, president of WealthEngine Co., a data mining company in Bethesda, Md. "When we told [the Metaserver application] we were going to use a Java applet before, we would go out and develop that. Now you do that all ... in the wizard."
In using Metaserver, WealthEngine draws data from a number of systems, including an Oracle Corp. database, a Verisign Inc. credit card verification system, an Axiom Venture Partners L.P. household profiles database, and Dun & Bradstreet Corp. financial reports and news feeds.
Metaserver sits in the middle acting as a broker to enable data mining, Glowacki said.
Separately, Versata last week announced Version 2.0 of its Interaction Server for automating business processes inside a companys firewalls. Interaction Server allows IT managers to integrate their business processes into core applications—claims processing, financial self-service and order approval management, for example—at any time in the process.
This is important in industries such as insurance, one of Versatas targets, where companies run BPI applications over long periods, according to Versata officials in Oakland, Calif.
The Interaction Server upgrade is also built on Java-based technology that is standardized around J2EE–a move that offers greater extensibility for clients, officials said.
Versata will release editions of Interaction Server 2.0 on IBMs WebSphere servers and BEA Systems Inc.s WebLogic application servers in the next 90 days. Connectivity to the Object Management Groups Common Object Request Broker Architecture will be available this week.