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11/27/2002
07:53 AM
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Business Processes As Simple As 1-2-3

Nobilis' enterprise products let users create services with just a few clicks.

Business-process automation vendor Nobilis Software Inc. wants to let inexperienced users publish Web services out of the business processes its software lets them create with just a few mouse clicks.

The company's Nobilis Ci and Nobilis Enterprise products let customers root through a "sandbox" of predefined, reusable components and business processes. Using a graphical interface, users can arrange and connect the pieces as needed and can run them immediately as applications. In the next update, due out early next year, users will be able to save processes as callable services and publish them to a public or private Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration directory.

Nobilis Ci is a $400 entry-level business-process automation product designed to be used by business personnel who have a good grasp of business requirements, not IT staff. The software lets them create workflows within familiar applications, such as Microsoft Excel, then export these processes using a Nobilis menu item that shows up in Office toolbars. Nobilis Enterprise will let IT organizations do the same for processes that extend across company walls and different enterprise apps. Nobilis also has announced that the new versions of the software will support Linux.

"It's a way to give companies a way to use [business-process management] for quick-hit processes," Forrester Research analyst Sharon Leavercq says. Companies that just want to automate simple processes such as expense reporting or time sheets may find the software ideal, she says. "It will also be a lot easier on their bottom lines than a full business-process automation implementation."

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