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Put to the Test: Savvion BPM

Once business users master Savvion's modeling tool, it's easy for IT to turn the designs into executable processes.

Applying Rules

SBM includes the QuickRules business rules engine from Yasu Technology, which runs as an EJB in the BPM Server environment. Rules are executed from the process using an Adapter workstep. Savvion provides a wizard to define rule sets based on process data. There's a wide choice of rule representations, including If-Then statements, decision tables and FlowRuleSets that combine rules and actions in a graphical flow. QuickRules also provides a rule maintenance application that lets authorized users modify rule parameter values on the fly through a simple Web interface.

SBM provides a second rule engine used both for responding to external business events and for business activity monitoring (BAM). This event rule engine listens for JMS messages, SOAP messages, file-system changes and process-engine events, then processes these events by updating performance data tables and monitoring them with user-defined rules. Actions can include sending alerts, starting a new process, invoking a Web service or completing a workstep.

Savvion provides a wizard that lets business users define custom performance measures and dimensions used for both process analytics and BAM. Other wizards let users create dashboards with reports and charts based on performance measures, including OLAP-style drilldowns for problem resolution. SBM provides more than 50 reports that can be run out of the box to analyze process status, time and workloads. These reports can be applied at the process, instance, workstep or performer level, and users can configure personalized dashboards at runtime.

Summing Up

SBM 7.0 packs the complete checklist of BPMS functionality into a unified suite that encourages collaborative implementation by business and IT. Most aspects of process design can be configured by nonprogrammers through diagrams and point-and-click wizards, and much of the design can be done in the free Process Modeler. By giving away modeling and simulation, Savvion is not only teaching business analysts the power of BPM, it's making a direct connection between process analysis and executable implementation. This link works best for human-centric processes that do not require manipulation of complex data structures, but SBM provides the necessary wizards and scripting hooks to handle virtually any kind of business process.

Savvion BusinessManager 7.0 starts at $100,000, but most deployments are priced in the $250,000 to $500,000 range

Bruce Silver ([email protected]) is an independent industry analyst and author of the blog BPMS Watch. Engage in the discussion at www.brsilver.com/wordpress.

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