Bonita BPM 6 Sports New Services Architecture; Portal, Mobile Upgrades

BonitaSoft is shipping an update to its Bonita BPM platform, its most feature-rich edition in three years. Bonita BPM 6 sports a streamlined portal UI, mobile access, a revved-up process execution engine and a rebuilt serviced-based architecture. IDN speaks with BonitaSoft’s Mac McConnell, vice president of global marketing.

Tags: APIs, BAM, BPM, BonitaSoft, process, expert voice,

Mac McConnell
vice president,
global marketing



"With Bonita BPM 6, we’ve made an effort to ensure various changes can be made on the fly because we realize how critical it is."

BonitaSoft is shipping an update to its Bonita BPM platform, its most feature-rich edition in three years. Bonita BPM 6 sports a streamlined portal UI, mobile access, a revved-up process execution engine and a rebuilt serviced-based architecture.

Bonita BPM 6 provides “an easy-to-implement, easy-to-use, and cost-effective BPM tool that makes departments and organizations more efficient than ever before,” BonitaSoft’s Mac McConnell, vice president of global marketing told IDN. 

Bonita BPM 6’s new architecture and latest updates build on the company’s vision to “democratize BPM,” where process owners can gain more control over BPM, he added. “One of the most critical trends [in business] is the increasing need to present information quickly and completely so that accurate decisions can be made. This is putting more pressure on IT to make sure BPM is properly integrated into internal systems. With today’s [Bonita BPM 6], IT can provide business users just about anything they need – as long as their requests are clear and feasible,” McConnell said.
 
“Overall, we’ve made an effort to ensure various changes can be made on the fly because we realize how critical it is to completing tasks and general efficiency,” he added.  

Bonita BPM 6 also looks to balance needs of IT and business users, and help eliminate any friction between them with tooling and a services-based architecture that will let both groups work better together.

McConnell explained its approach this way: “Business users are undoubtedly becoming more tech savvy, but that has caused IT to adapt their approach to include a governance role. Business users are asking for more flexibility and IT has found itself in a bit of a regulatory capacity. They are happy to provide a good foundation and extend limited and controlled flexibility, but they know they are not able to provide everything they are being asked for.”

Bonita BPM 6 sports several new features that can strike a balance between giving users more control – without subjecting IT or the overall business to undue risk, including:

  • An intuitive user portal – An updated streamlined interface and improved BAM (business activity monitoring) dashboards give team members, managers and administrators more flexibility to manage and complete their tasks.
  • Mobile access – For the first time, customers can create, assign and complete tasks from any mobile device.
  • A revved-up process execution engine – For faster response times, Bonita BPM 6’s engine runs four time faster than the prior version. 
  • Improved analytics capabilities – New analytics to allow managers and process owners to drill down into reports to gain deeper knowledge and identify bottlenecks.

Bonita BPM 6’s also adds support for, :subtasks” (or ad-hoc tasks) to let business users unlock from rigid processes – and make on-the-fly adjustments to meet changing circumstances. “This allows users to extend a process while staying within the process app and adhering to rules and organizational structures,” McConnell said.

He shared this use case example. “If I need help making a decision, I can create a sub-task to include the knowledgeable person. On the flipside, this could lead to difficult internal tracking. It is important that the sub-tasks adhere to an audit trail which shows the who, what, where, when and why of what occurred. We’ve also added the concept of ‘cases.’ Cases group all tasks related to a specific process instance into one easily accessible place,” McConnell said. 

How Agile BPM is Powered by BonitaSoft’s
Open Source Services-Based Architecture

Many of these new features and operational improvements are made possible by Bonita BPM 6’s completely new serviced-based architecture, which McConnell said “was built from the ground up.” The investment in the foundation platform delivers “a platform for innovation,” powered by users new integration points and better flexibility

Bonita BPM 6’s re-designed architecture allows for multiple new connection points. “So we are now operating with multiple APIs – depending on how you are connected to a system or web service. A few other things we added include a new cache layer that allows for improved database communication and better transaction management to facilitate better performance. Because they are often tenuous, we also took steps to ensure connections to outside systems are as stable as possible. If a connection goes down for any reason, connector replays make sure no data is lost,” McConnell said.
 
Bonita BPM 6’s new services-based architected means BPM app devs can:

  • More easily change the configuration of running processes to cope with organizational and infrastructure changes.
  • Tap into enhanced support for multiple deployment scenarios and environments.
  • Access a new REST API and expanded configuration options for Java API.
  • Use new error management that allows tasks that have failed due to external system errors to be rerun.
  • Build easily on (or tie into apps on) Apache Tomcat, which is now directly integrated into Bonita BPM Studio to streamline testing.

Even after all the investment in time and IP, BonitaSoft will maintain its open source approach making some 80 percent of all improvements available to BonitaSoft’s open source (community) edition, McConnell said.  

“The [open source] community edition is where we want users to start. Get comfortable with what you want to do and what you can do,” McConnell said. “We find that most process-committed organizations quickly reach a level where they want the support and advanced features of our subscriptions. We do not demand an exorbitant, upfront fee. Instead, we offer our annual (or longer) subscriptions – complete with professional services and support.”

At least one leading BPM analyst likes the latest direction BonitaSoft is taking BPM. “Enterprises seek new ways to modernize applications and enable them to improve the processes they use to run their business in the new cloud era. They seek tools like those from BonitaSoft that continue to evolve and offer simple ways to get started and make progress with business process management,” said Carl Lehmann, IT analyst with 451 Research in a statement.

Bonita BPM 6 is offered through one- or three-year subscriptions that include all software, support and maintenance. 

Download Bonita BPM 6 software and documentation here.




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