IBM, Metastorm Beef Up BPM

IBM and Metastorm augment their respective offerings for managing and analyzing business processes.

IBM and Metastorm Inc. are each offering upgrades to help companies better manage and analyze their business processes.

IBM last week released a new WebSphere business process modeling tool, called WebSphere Business Integration Modeler Version 5, which is designed to make it easier for users to discover how their processes work and how they should build IT systems that automate those processes.

Metastorm, meanwhile, this week will announce the 6.5 version of its e-Work BPM platform, which lets users model processes, as well as deploy and later analyze them.

The new version of IBMs Business Integration Modeler is the first to be based on the Eclipse Foundations open-source tool platform for better integration into a companys IT architecture. The version has been restructured to be based on BPEL (Business Process Execution Language), an XML standard for defining how to combine Web services to create business processes.

At the same time, WBIM 5 provides support for WBI Server Foundation, WebSphere MQ message queuing software and Rational Rose XDE developer tools. The added support lets users work with standards-based content—for example, XML content—or product-based content, such as Microsoft Corp.s Visio, that can be extended into a modeling scenario using WBIM 5.

Metastorms new features include customizable portals, or dashboards; better business rules management; and a set of adapters for "assured" information delivery. The dashboard builds on Metastorms current BAM (Business Activity Monitoring) tools to provide users with the ability to monitor and manage processes through the dashboard interface.

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The additional business rules capabilities supplement Metastorms Rule Builder module. E-Work 6.5, however, is built around Microsofts BizTalk Server 2004 Engine, so users can build and maintain rules in BizTalk and use them in any of Metastorms e-Work environments.

Rise Zaiser, vice president of IT at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., said she plans to upgrade to e-Work 6.5. "[The migration] is almost more cosmetic for us with some of the look and feel, and you can rearrange folders and tab orders," said Zaiser, in New York.

Metastorms e-Work Message Queuing Adaptor Kit provides support for JMS (Java Message Service), MSMQ (Microsoft MQ) and IBMs MQ Series WebSphere Messaging.

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