The assessment of all the BPM Vendors delivers strong capabilities, supporting the automated work scenarios.
Pegasystems, IBM and TIBCO are 3 biggest vendors of BPM Tools. All of these 3 tools are based on different approaches towards BPM.
TIBCO BPM suite
TIBCO uses Eclipse as IDE to run on Windows or Linux. It is used to design all aspects of business process flow. Also it is used to model UML-based business data specifications. One of the major characteristics of TIBCO is, it provides single environment for process modelling, testing, simulation and deployment. Thus, TIBCO helps in spanning both Business Users and Technical Roles.
TIBCO provides various BPM offerings:
TIBCO ActiveMatrix BPM – For Enterprise Deployment
TIBCO Silver BPM – For Deployment in Cloudn
TIBCO iProcess Suite is a set of software that enables to:
Model, simulate, execute and monitor business processes.
Helps in increasing the performance of business execution.
Offers a full visibility of step by step business flow.
Integrate any types of business flow using this software.
Has the capability to make humans and systems participate in the business process execution.
Offers excellent process monitoring capabilities.
Pros of TIBCO
Highly Scalable Product. Concept of Node clustering provides feature of load balancing and fault tolerance.
Wide range of integration options. Integration with TIBCO BW is fully supported which provides extensive feature of SOA.
Administrative tool is provided for management of Users, Roles, Groups and other attributes of users. Integration with LDAP is fully supported. Real time support is available to suspend/ resume or change the process flow.
Full support and well documented Java and .NET APIs which can be utilized by external application and UIs directly.
Very Strong Process modeling and simulation feature provided by Business Studio and iProcess Modeler. Fully supported for drag and drop modeling, XPDL support, UI support, Process version control and auditing of Process models.
Process flows can be simulated to optimize business processes.
Provides an intuitive tool to model, analyze, test and manage business rules using iProcess Decision (OEMs Corticon).
Failed cases are effectively handled by configuring re-submission count, and routing logic. Failed work items can be investigated and routed to administrator for resubmissions.
Real time monitoring reports for analyzing and monitoring of Business process, KPI’s can be generated and viewed in browser based BAM desktop.
Historic reports can be produced using the transactional data persisted in the database.
Leverages BW/Active Matrix suite for SOA & integration to external systems.
Concept of process sentinels which automatically restart a failed process.
Cons of TIBCO
Some iProcess steps are not supported in Business Studio (e.g. transaction steps) and need to be defined in iProcess Modeler. However these are very few (at very low level) and can be very well handled in iProcess modeler.
Issues with the deployment guide of iProcess Insight (BAM tool). Deployment documentation not comprehensive and not up to the expectations.
BAM tool has a limitation on the no. of steps in a process that can be monitored out of the box (15 steps). However for more than 15 steps we can customize it rather than using the Wizard.
Auto generated screens are only applicable if UI components are simple. If UI components are complex then it is recommended to use TIBCO GI.
Peagsystems BPM Suite
Pegasytems is a BPM vendor which is more focused on selling specific BPM-based process solutions rather than a generic BPM process for development and deployment. Pegasystems offers discovery tools that allow Business users to use wizard-based guided approach to capture the business requirements for the Business Processes. Pegasystems provides an in-built Designer Studio for Process design needs. It is a tool that can be used by both business and technical users to define business processes, user interactions, rules and integartions.
Internally, Pega BPM has been designed via J2EE distributed architecture supporting server clustering and can run on many different J2EE compatible application servers such as IBM-Websphere, BEA Weblogic and Apache Tomcat.
Pros of Pegasystems
Runs on leading application servers and thus leverages the scalability, HA, fault tolerance capabilities of the underlying J2EE containers. [E.g. from one of the projects – Peak Usage (Concurrent Users)=600, Peak transactions/second= 200, 325 workflow instances/day, total user base=1580]
Provides inbuilt adapters like JMS/JDBC/File/MQSeries/WebServices etc. to integrate with external systems. Also provides an easy to use adapter development framework for building customized adapters. Good support for SOA.
Data/documents can be attached to processes/tasks. Process variables can be defined or accessed in the workflow. Tasks can have their own variables/attributes.
Inbuilt versioning system. Good support for process version control/parallel development as well as audit trailing of process changes.
Provides process suspend/resume/ability to change/control active processes via admin portal.
Provides good security through the access groups, roles and privileges which are inbuilt features of PRPC.
Built on a rules engine core. Hence the rules and workflow engine are inherently available and well integrated. Does not require integration with third party software.
Inbuilt BAM, with support for tabular and graphical reports.
Well supported portal integration; supports JSR 168.
Cons of Pegasystems
Does not expose APIs. However the workflow can be accessed as a web service.
Does not provide a process simulator.
Development of customized user interfaces requires embedding html code in existing pages, which can be a problem when porting code across product versions.
Issues in integrating with automated testing tools. Eg. The UI has proprietary code (vendor specific tags) embedded within the html pages which cannot be parsed by third party tools.
Use of proprietary BLOBs for storing information in the database can be limiting. Requires careful planning to expose data items, which are to be accessed externally, in external tables.
Can conflict with an existing BRMS already being used by a vendor.
IBM BPM Suite
IBM uses Process Center Environment known as IBM Business Process Manager for designing business processes. This environment serves as a single asset repository where all process activities are stored and from where they are deployed.
IBM provides two Design tools:
Process Designer – BPMN- based process modelling tool for building Business processes. Mainly used by Business users
Integration Designer – BPEL-based tool for designing SOA service and back end orchestration at application level. Mainly used by Technical users.
The ability to manage process application change at scale has been a key design point for IBM. IBM Business Process Manager provides monitoring and analytics for processes in Process Center. IBM has vast range of offerings of services related to BPM spanning all aspects from high level modelling of overall business process down to implementation guidance and assistance for individual projects.
IBM is considered as largest global supplier of BPM Skills in world.
Pros of IBM
Strong simulation and optimization tools. Provide multiple what if scenarios highlighting pain points and possible suggestions for optimization.
Integrates well with MS Office esp. Outlook. Lombardi for Office provides an end user process interface directly inside of MS Office.
Unified single model, eclipse based development environment.
Built-in forms editor offers easy creation and testing of AJAX-based forms.
Provides Real time view into process and LOB data through its performance server.
Cons of IBM
Average support for integration with external applications
Business rules development tool suitable for simple scenarios. Relies on third party rules engine for managing complex rules.
Could do well to support ready templates and knowledge frameworks for different verticals.