RealTime IT News

Dueling Business Process Management Vendors Up Ante

Two vendors in the business process management suite space are slugging it out this week with new products that help companies integrate and arrange business applications in a service-oriented architecture (SOA).

Progress Software  unveiled its latest enterprise service bus  software and a brand new BPEL BSP server to choreograph services in the ESB. Rival Ultimus introduced its new Adaptive BPM Suite.

BPM software is designed to help businesses tailor applications and software infrastructure so that they improve the company's business processes. Part of the SOA  distributed computing fabric, BPM software is a relative niche market that's expected to vault the $1 billion barrier as newfangled Web services  become the norm.

Hub Vandervoort, CTO of the Enterprise Infrastructure Division at Progress, said Sonic ESB 7.5 and Sonic BPEL Server are the first major products to support the recently adopted WS-BPEL 2.0 standard.

Vandervoort acknowledged that while Sonic was beat to the market by several other BPEL servers, Progress feels Sonic BPEL Server is superior because it is based on WS-BPEL 2.0, which he said better serves the market than WS-BPEL 1.0 and 1.1 versions.

"We thought it was inferior to what our customers most basic requirements were so we thought it would be academic to ship a product that wouldn't do any good to our customers," Vandervoort said.

Customers may use the new Sonic BPEL Server, which adds service orchestration to the intelligent routing capabilities of Sonic ESB, to compose services and correlate events in the Sonic ESB automatically and without hand coding.

Meanwhile the latest Sonic ESB, version 7.5, has been enhanced to work with the Actional SOA management software the company purchased last year, as well as with Progress DataXtend Semantic Integrator (SI) software.

With the Actional assets, Sonic ESB 7.5 now affords IT managers greater control of all activities across the ESB the entire SOA infrastructure with which it connects. The Actional software automatically detects service level violations and pinpoints their root causes for fixes.

Sonic ESB 7.5 also features development and runtime integration with DataXtend SI, which uses common Eclipse-based tooling to deploy semantic services in ESB containers.

Built on Microsoft Office System 2007, Ultimus' new Adaptive BPM Suite, version 8, is designed to let business managers make business process changes without having to code anything. The new software includes a interactive business activity monitoring, or iBAM.

iBAM lets business managers not only see how sales are going or what expenses are, but allows them to change the flow of the process without involving the IT department, said Ultimus CMO Rick Thompson.

"Business needs to respond quickly," Thompson said. "What we've tried to do with our Adaptive BPM concept is to begin removing those barriers between business and IT and empower more business users so they can have more control over their processes."

Progress and Ultimus have other competition in the BPM space, including IBM , BEA Systems , Oracle  and smaller vendors such as Savvion and Intalio, which offers BPM products under an open source license.