Sunday, August 05, 2007

Starting with BPM-Suites - but what to do with presentation layer

It was nice to see some of my remarks on my previous post (BPM and packages) confirmed in a good state of the BPMS market item on bpm.com:
http://www.bpm.com/BriefingRO.asp?BriefingId=31
"The true upside opportunity for BPM is to evolve into a platform that supports rapid application development, change, and integration with a visual model-centric paradigm that represents a clear advantage over previous application development approaches."

E.g. A BPM-Suite currently is nothing more that a new custom development tool....

I want to address another limitation, that causes confusion.
Many BPM-Suite vendors proudly say: well, use our BPM-Suite, model your processes, link to your services, and voila, you have your SOA enable, process aware, WFM portal..... And, even better: you re-use your legacy.

I doubt it.
On a recent project, a client wanted to use a BPM Solution, integrated with their current core application. BPM vendor comes in, and says: shield your application, by wrapping services around it.

What this means:
About 65 screens, that users are used to, and that work fine, should be replaced by 1. Services, en 2. Well, screens again, but now in a Portal component of the BPM-Suite.

Added value? Good question...
- Rebuilding screens
- Rebuilding screen based business rules/validations

I am a bit puzzled. How can we deliver the power of BPM technology for human centric workflow, in the reality of existing applications....

On my wish list: a BPM vendor that comes in, and says...
Oh sure, we have a tool that analyzes all screens in your application, analyzes all user interactions over the last X years, and then generate a portal with optimized screens. With some minimal work, if needed, you can optimize these screens where needed. Oh, and the generated screens use common techology X, conforming to standards Y.

Then... I see BPM as a new tool, that can take over and integrate various packages and custom built apps, and integrate them from a process perspective.

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