IBM Readies Smoother BPM

IBM has put the finishing touches on software to improve the management of
business processes in distributed computing environments.

BPEL Tracking for Tivoli Monitoring for Transaction Performance will provide
customers with a one-window view of business processes, along with tools to
locate problems within a claim or purchase order running on an application.

The idea is to help customers save money and time using a service-oriented
architecture (SOA) approach to business process management
(BPM) , according to an IBM statement. Big Blue sees SOAs as
models that reuse assets such as code to help applications communicate and
work together, often to conduct transactions or other tasks.

In one scenario, an insurance company using the new software could view only
claims processing, instead of monitoring several IT transactions and
attempting to map them back to business functions. The tool will alert users
to performance problems with the claim.

Different processes have different performance, availability and response
time, so the tool also sets policies to accommodate and monitor different
jobs in a supply chain.

For example, a programmer can write a monitoring policy that will watch an
insurance claim’s business process and script a separate policy to protect
a personal loan business process. Both policies would work independently of one
another, ensuring the user’s specifications are met.

These perks represent a marked improvement over previous business process
performance on a computer network. IT transaction problems could not
easily be linked to the business processes they support or properly
monitored. This made it difficult to prioritize which IT problems to

With the new Tivoli tool, companies that use the Business Process Execution
Language (BPEL) specification can tie business processes to IT
transactions. This will help companies identify transaction paths and
isolate IT components responsible for a business process failure.

BPEL Tracking for Tivoli Monitoring for Transaction Performance is
available now on IBM’s online alphaWorks community.

Various researchers, such as IDC and Gartner, see SOAs and Web services as
virtually untapped, multi-billion-dollar markets.

This is why IBM has been one of the more active companies on the hunt for
developing SOAs. Big Blue wants corporations to use its software to run and
regulate their business tasks on computer networks, and the company has unveiled more than a dozen products on that front in the last two years.

Though not as prodigious as IBM, software vendors Microsoft, BEA Systems,
Oracle, Computer Associates and others are all developing products for
simplifying and lowering the cost of shared computing.

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