IBM BPM 7.5 enters the market place

Not long ago IBM released a new BPM (Business Process Management) product into the market called IBM BPM 7.5.

So what is this product and how is it different to their previous offering?

IBM BPM 7.5 is a combination of Lombardi and the WebSphere Process Server technology stacks with a component of the ILOG JRules engine thrown in as a taste of what can be achieved in the future.

Key features:

  • Unified authoring environment – Supports graphical implementation and testing of process applications, services, user interfaces, and to a limited extent business rules.
  • Standards-based process design – Uses Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) at least in the most part.
  • Integration designer – visually constructing services, data transformations, Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) orchestrations, and integration to applications and back-end systems.
  • Business rule authoring – A limited capability now exists to use formal business rules.  That is instead of coding business logic in JavaScript or externalising this logic it now partially leverages the JRules.
  • Properties sheets – Allows configuration of implementation details instead of coding so that less technical users can participate in design.
  • Shared library of process assets – Facilitates drag-and-drop reuse and collaborative implementation.
  • Interactive playback – Enables quick team validation of process requirements at any time.
  • Lifecycle governance (not quite complete but getting there) – The solution stays in synch throughout the most of the lifecycle from model design to deployment.

Those that were using Websphere Lombardi Edition v7.2, aren’t going to notice a huge amount when they move to IBM BPM 7.5 as it still retains most of the Lombardi technology base.

The closer integration with IBM’s rules portfolio (ILOG), as well as IBM’s integration capabilities (Integration Designer) may be of interest to many, however we warned, currently there are limitations particularly with the JRules implementation.   There is still a strong need for use of a formal BRMS technology alongside the BPM technology.  There is also still a gap between the modelling work performed using their online (SaaS) authoring tools which also needs to be addressed and plenty of room for improvement, but it still looking to be a great product.