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Oracle Adds BPM Tools to Fusion Middleware

With its announcement yesterday that it's reselling IDS Scheer's ARIS
It had a SOA Suite and a BPEL Process Manager, but Oracle was lacking a soup-to-nuts business process management offering in its Fusion middleware suite. With its announcement yesterday that it's reselling IDS Scheer's ARIS Platform as the Oracle Business Process Analysis Suite, Oracle is gaining four useful BPM components: a process modeler, a process repository, a process simulator, and a process publisher (to publish process models for others to repurpose). Oracle's Fusion middleware tools -- specifically BPEL Process Manager, Web Services Manager, BAM, Business Rules Engine and eventually Oracle Enterprise Services Bus -- provide the runtime component, converting the process models into executables. (Many IDS Scheer customers today run their ARIS-designed business processes within SAP.)

So where's the "Analysis" in this OEM'd suite? "You can monitor the business process in real time using Oracle BAM (Business Activity Monitoring), through which you can monitor every step in the process and get real-time analysis of the process being executed," says Ashish Mohindroo, senior product director at Oracle. "When you implement a process, you can do a closed-loop analysis of the process execution and see where the bottlenecks are, how to optimize the process, and refine it to drive maximum efficiency in the organization."

With this offering, Oracle says it will be able to accomplish a feat that has eluded BPM practitioners for years: the ability to synchronize process models with execution tools. Often a process is modeled in process design software such as Microsoft Visio or the ARIS process modeler, then executed within SAP, another ERP system, or a web services orchestration tool. The process is naturally changed and tweaked over time by the IT department, but nobody updates the original design because that's a time-consuming extra step. Consequently, those process models are not that useful for later reuse because they don't reflect the actual process. With this offering, Oracle says it will offer closed-loop process optimization whereby the modeling and execution tools share a common metadata repository through which any change made anywhere in the process cycle, whether in the modeling layer or the execution layer, will be reflected back in both instances. "Now you're really aligning IT with business and every change will be reflected across the entire infrastructure," Mohindroo says.

The new Oracle BPA Suite will be available this fall and priced at $9,000 per user, with a minimum of 10 users.