Three New BPM White Papers... and Another Coming Soon

I want to call your attention to three recent white papers I've written and posted on the site. They are all free downloads available to anyone registered on BPMS Watch. All three deal with the new generation of tools available to help users get started in BPM and bridge the once-formidable divide between business process analysis (BPA) and execution in a BPMS.

The worlds of BPA and BPMS have long been poorly integrated. The leading BPA vendors are not BPMS vendors and vice versa. The tools use different process metamodels and languages, and things always get lost in translation. Two of the papers illustrate recent advances there:

  • MEGA (a leading BPA vendor) and Appian (a BPMS leader in human-centric processes) address the BPA-BPMS disconnect by embedding Appian process modeling within the BPA environment. That way you get the benefits of both enterprise-class BPA and model-driven zero-code process execution and monitoring... with no translation loss. Read more about it in this white paper.
  • IBM (a BPMS leader, best known for SOA-based integration-centric processes) now provides browser-based "process discovery" tools - essentially a light form of BPA - and has integrated them with model-driven executable design in the WebSphere BPMS. Read more about IBM's process discovery toolset in this white paper.
Even though BPMN has become mainstream, the fact you need BPM specialist tools to create it is a hindrance to universal adoption. Most process models are still drawn in Visio. And while browser-based BPMN tools have certain advantages, for the complex BPMN models you have in the real world, nothing beats Visio for fine control over layout and readability. Now Microsoft has seen the light and in Visio 2010 Premium puts real BPMN modeling inside the box. Global 360 offers an inexpensive add-in called analystView that provides advanced model simulation analysis, optimization, and XPDL interchange with other tools (including G360's own BPMS). I expected Microsoft to mess it up, but I have to say they did a really great job with the BPMN, down to layout accelerators and BPMN model validation. You can read more about that here.

Finally, while the vast majority of changes between BPMN 1.x and 2.0 deal with executable process details, we still have not yet seen a BPMN 2.0 BPMS. That's about to change with the imminent release of Oracle BPM 11g. (Docs just went up on the website, and the product should be generally available around June or July.) I am really impressed with how much they got done. It's not just the Level 1 stuff, but boundary events, event subprocesses, business rule tasks. I'm trying to figure out how best to use it in the BPMN Level 3 training people have been asking me about. I'm working on a white paper for the launch, expect to publish it in May and make it available on BPMS Watch. So stay tuned for that.