Shortlist: WebMethods Fabric 7 and More

Also, Hyperion System 9.3, Pervasive Data and Business Integrator 8.12 and IDS Scheer Aris 7.02.

WebMethods Fabric 7

The latest upgrade of WebMethod's integration platform expands on business process management (BPM) capabilities with the addition of process design, deployment and monitoring features. Among the new components is an Eclipse-based toolset that lets business analysts who don't have coding expertise collaborate with developers on process modeling and workflow design. Users can collaboratively model process components--swim lanes, key performance indicators and step transitions--then configure them for the business task. The toolset provides a drag-and-drop library of more than 150 user interface controls that support Ajax (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) for building rich clients. Fabric 7 now incorporates a rules engine from Fair Isaac for business analysts to create, manage and modify rules from their desktops. The suite also includes a semantic metadata library for storing all assets built within the platform. The library, which leverages the Resource Description Framework and the Web Ontology Language, tracks dependencies and relationships between IT assets so users can determine the impact of changes. Business activity monitoring tools include a 3D graphical interface to identify system problems, determine root causes and take corrective actions. Automated alerts warn of noncompliance with service-level agreements.

Hyperion System 9.3

Hyperion has upgraded its System 9 performance management and analytics software with improved integration tools and the ability to share data across departments. Release 9.3 also includes the option to deliver analytics through Microsoft Word and PowerPoint, and it integrates with Google's enterprise search appliance. To bridge the gap between departments, such as financial, marketing, sales and product development, Hyperion has introduced what it calls the BPM Architect. The tool lets business analysts view departmental plans, reports and other artifacts and then write business rules for linking intersecting data. Marketing information could be synchronized with sales data, for example, so both sides could see relevant information. To ease integration, Hyperion has added a Data Integration Management module with technology licensed from Informatica for connecting System 9.3 to transactional systems such as CRM and ERP software.

Pervasive Data and Business Integrator 8.12

Pervasive Software has released an upgrade of its integration platform with additional adapters for Microsoft Dynamics customer relationship management software, SQL Server 2005 and Oracle Siebel CRM On Demand. The software already included more than 150 adapters for business applications and databases. Release 8.12 also features a better software development kit for embedding the technology into other applications as well as simplified data mapping. The technology is licensed by system integrators, independent software vendors, application service providers and business process outsourcers, and the company says the platform also works well within a service-oriented architecture.

IDS Scheer Aris 7.02

IDS Scheer has extended its Aris design suite to address SOA, IT architecture and business rules design. Aris 7.02, released in early November, offers the Aris SOA Designer, an add-on module that lets you import service registries or inventories and then represent new and existing services graphically in the Aris design environment. All services can be exported as BPEL processes for execution within platforms such as SAP XI, Oracle SOA Suite, IBM WebSphere and BEA WebLogic. IT Architect, another new add-on module, provides design and analysis capabilities that help architects evaluate the impact of changes on IT systems and portfolios. The tool supports standard IT frameworks such as Zachman and The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF). The new Aris Business Rules Designer, based on Corticon's Business Rules Management System, lets users model, measure and manage decisions within processes, and finished rules are accessible and reusable from within the unified Aris repository.