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IBM Updates BPM Suite v7

Addition of the ILOG JRules business rules engine enhances the enterprise business process management tool.
IBM has expanded its Business Process Management Suite version 7 and other middleware to incorporate the capabilities of the ILOG business rules engine, which it acquired in January for $340 million.

Big Blue is trying to become the supplier of a business process-building system that designs and test drives a business process, implements it on top of an enterprise software infrastructure, and monitors it for healthy operation. IBM already supplies much of that infrastructure at some companies. Now it's trying to make that infrastructure more amenable to flexible business processes.

For example, BPM Suite v7 has been better integrated with IBM's WebSphere Message Broker v7 and WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus v7, connection and communications software often used in building business processes.

WebSphere Business Events and Extreme Scale v7 has been added to BPM Suite to enable businesses to detect large volumes of event activity, such as an influx of inquiries or transactions, make an evaluation, and respond in a way that allows the infrastructure to accommodate the activity.

"IBM has never before aligned all these pieces," said Craig Hayman, general manager of WebSphere middleware.

To help customers build better business processes, IBM has started a Web site, where 40 IBM staffers regularly contribute content and blogs on building business processes and information posted on the processes of specific industries. Hayman said 291 assets exist on the site on banking business processes.

Updating BMP Suite v7 with the ILOG JRules business rules engine adds a missing piece to many enterprise business processes. Business line managers and business analysts can learn to compose rules that govern a process, and the process may be tweaked with rule changes in the ILOG engine, while the business process is running, Hayman said. That capability is dubbed "in flight process management." In the past, it would have taken IT staff intervention and reprogramming of application logic to effect the change.

In order to implement such high-level functionality, however, an enterprise will need several other pieces of IBM's middleware and business process software, such as its FileNet Business Process Manager for managing enterprise content.

The BPM BlueWorks site is designed to give business process managers a place to design and test drive a business process before implementing it in their own environment. Based on guidance available on the site, they can study best practices in their industry, craft a process suitable to their company and see whether it maps to the next phase of their business strategy, said Hayman.


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