BPM 2.0: Méfiez vous des imitations

October 24, 2008
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Back in February 2006, I wrote a first post on BPM 2.0. It was an attempt at defining what was wrong with the way BPM products were packaged and marketed, and it served as a guidewire for many subsequent posts. The term had originally been coined by my friend Bruce Silver, but Intalio (to be called The BPM 2.0 Company soon) gave it its substance. Since then, it has been referenced by IBM in a fairly decent fashion, by former Gartner analyst turn

Back in February 2006, I wrote a first post on BPM 2.0. It was an attempt at defining what was wrong with the way BPM products were packaged and marketed, and it served as a guidewire for many subsequent posts. The term had originally been coined by my friend Bruce Silver, but Intalio (to be called The BPM 2.0 Company soon) gave it its substance. Since then, it has been referenced by IBM in a fairly decent fashion, by former Gartner analyst turned Global 360 evangelist turned Gartner analyst again Jim Sinur in a rather poor manner, and it’s time for Intalio to take the leadership position again. Let’s see how we would define BPM 2.0 today.

First, let’s see what is still relevant, was is not, and what needs clarification:


BPM 2.0 circa 2006BPM 2.0 Revisited

Used by Process AnalystsStill relevant

Starting with a Complete BPMSStill relevant

One Single Tool in EclipseIrrelevant

Loved by ABAP, PHP and VB FolksNeeds clarification

BPELStill relevant

BPMNStill relevant

BPMN DesignerStill relevant

Zero CodeNeeds clarification

One Click DeployStill relevant

Generating Web Services on-the-flyStill relevant

Interpreting BPEL Code NativelyStill relevant

Web 2.0 User InterfaceStill relevant

Rule Engine IncludedStill relevant

Real-Time BAM IncludedStill relevant

Native Process SimulationStill relevant

Dynamic Process OptimizationStill relevant

Open Source Process EngineIrrelevant

Get Started Today, Free of ChargeIrrelevant

One Single Tool in Eclipse
While we still believe in the benefits offered by the Eclipse platform, this is very much an implementation detail. As far as I’m concerned, Oracle’s BPM Suite fully qualifies as a BPM 2.0 product (even though it won’t be released before next year), but it’s tool is built on top of JDeveloper, not Eclipse. Furthermore, I now believe that a good BPM 2.0 product should also have a version of its tool running in the web browser. Not just a process documentation tool like Lombardi’s cute Blueprint, but a full-blown process development environment. Such a tool should run within any web browser (at least Internet Explore, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome), and support the development of fully-executable processes using pre-packaged services. It might not use an advanced data mapping tool like what you’ll find in Intalio|Designer or Oracle’s BPM Studio, but something a bit simpler like what Coghead uses for example. So here is how we would re-write this requirement today: Advanced IDE-based Tool + Basic Browser-based Tool.

Loved by ABAP, PHP and VB Folks
With such a statement, we meant that the tool should be usable by less-technical developers rather than just J2EE gurus. We still very much believe in such a requirement, but the list of languages needs to be updated. VB should be replaced by .Net, and Ruby should definitely be added to the list. So here is what this critical statement becomes: Loved by ABAP, .Net, PHP, and Ruby Folks.

Zero Code
Here again, we very much believe in the need for a Zero Code solution, which means that everything should be declarative and supported by graphical editors. It’s the only way to reduce development and maintenance costs, while improving the overall quality of process-driven applications developed on top of a BPMS. Nevertheless, there are people who like to code, and there is no reason why they could not benefit from BPM 2.0 as well. For those, we should provide a language simpler than BPEL yet built on top of it. Such a thing exists. It’s being developed by Intalio as part of the Apache ODE project, and you’re the first to learn about it outside the core group of ODE developers. It’s called SimPEL, and it’s awesome! Furthermore, this language should support object-level bindings to the most popular languages, including C#, Java, JavaScript, PHP, Python, Ruby, and VB. This rule now becomes: Zero Code + SimPEL.

Open Source Process Engine
This one, I must admit, was totally self serving. While we passionately believe in the benefits of a Commercial Open Source Model (COSMO), there is no reason why we should make it a requirement. If customers would rather pay a lot of money for closed-source software, they should be free to do so, and more power to them — yet less money left to them afterwards… This rule simply goes away.

Get Started Today, Free of Charge
Much like the previous one, this one was entirely self serving as well, for the very same reason, and should not be kept moving forward. Again, if you want to pay more for less, there is not much we can do to help. But if you want BPM 2.0 free of charge today, you know where to find it.

So, without further ado, here is the new list:

This is a preliminary list, and we will add new elements to it in the coming days.

Stay tuned…

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