Business Process Management Suites

<i>Network Computing</i> put nine suites through rigorous testing. Its Editor's Choice got the winning bid for satisfying the needs of both business analysts and IT staff with its simulation capabilities and standards support. Find out which offering it was.

Lori MacVittie, Principal Technical Evangelist, f5

June 28, 2005

2 Min Read

Roots: Pure-play
Ultimus BPM was one of the stars of our review in terms of human integration. Like FuegoBPM, it relies heavily on an organizational hierarchy and can do some awesome dynamic routing for human tasks. Ultimus also is no slouch in the application integration arena, and its attention to security is top-notch.

We liked Ultimus' flexibility in managing its shared repository. It not only let us define and use multiple repositories, in different RDBMSs, it also let us limit access to repositories by user or group. Ultimus took its security further by letting us define management rights on individual processes, including which users/groups could restart, assign, reassign and cancel processes. We were impressed with this level of control and hope other BPM vendors will follow Ultimus' lead in this area.

Ultimus BPM Suite uses an Excel metaphor for much of its process implementation. This may feel strange but makes it relatively easy to manipulate variables. We were pleased with Ultimus' ability to coercively cast variables--we easily translated string input to numerical values and vice versa without explicitly converting the data, which was necessary to deal with NWC Inc.'s custom database schema. This was a pleasant change from FuegoBPM and PegaRules, which are both sensitive to data types and require transformation of variables to match exact types.

Unfortunately, Ultimus fell behind the leaders in its BAM and reporting capabilities as well as in standards support because of limited reporting and heavy reliance on its proprietary ESI (Events Subscription Interface) for reporting via third-party business intelligence tools. Ultimus' stance is that standards such as BPEL and BPMN are too limiting in terms of human interaction and are vendor- rather than customer-driven. Point taken, but we still prefer standards-based implementations.

Ultimus BPM Suite 7.0. Ultimus, (919) 678-0900.

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About the Author(s)

Lori MacVittie

Principal Technical Evangelist, f5

Lori MacVittie is the principal technical evangelist for cloud computing, cloud and application security, and application delivery and is responsible for education and evangelism across F5's entire product suite. MacVittie has extensive development and technical architecture experience in both high-tech and enterprise organizations. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University. She also serves on the Board of Regents for the DevOps Institute and CloudNOW, and has been named one of the top influential women in DevOps. 

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