Bonitasoft Brings Easier, Faster DevOps to BPM, Process Apps with BonitaCloud PaaS
BPM provider Bonitasoft is demoing a new cloud-based platform to help devs more quickly test and provision process apps. Now in alpha review testing, BonitaCloud Platform-as-a-Service will also streamline user acceptance testing by making it easier for business users and IT to work together to get apps just right. IDN speaks with Bonitasoft’s Mac McConnell.
by Vance McCarthy
"Developers want an easier dev/ops environment, where they can quickly test and move [to production]."
BPM provider Bonitasoft is demoing a new cloud-based platform to help devs more quickly test and provision process apps.
BonitaCloud Platform-as-a-Service, now in alpha review testing, is a fully hosted, cloud-enabled version of the open source Bonita BPM Community Edition, Mac McConnell, Bonitasoft’s vice president of marketing, told IDN. It is designed as a company’s the first step toward a fully cloud-deployed set of business processes. It will give devs and IT operations a lot more flexibility and control over the whole lifecycle for process apps, he added.
“Developers want is an easier dev/ops environment, where they can quickly test various aspects of an applications and move that through [to production] in one cloud environment. That’s what we’re delivering with BonitaCloud,” McConnell told IDN. “In short, devs will be able to focus on dev work – and not get distracted with complicated deployment work.”
Architecturally, Bonitasoft built a complete cloud infrastructure with Bonita BPM Community Edition hosted on it. “So, with BonitaCloud, you build a process app locally and then easily upload it to cloud with just a few clicks and you’ll have a running app,” McConnell said.
The Bonita Studio IDE will remain local. “We just found we would lose too much functionality by rebuilding the Bonita Studio on the web. But our developers said they were happy to design locally, so long as they can get to test and pre-production quickly,” McConnell said.
To design BonitaCloud and have it work seamlessly with the Bonita Studio IDE, engineers worked on BonitaCloud for more than six months to ensure the full features of the Bonita BPM Community Edition, and its underlying engine, are full-featured versions for the cloud.
This push for accelerating the BPM lifecycle is borne out by Bonitasoft’s customer comments.
“As we were spelling out the BonitaCloud features, one of the things we hear from customers all the time is they want us to help get rid of their frustrations. They build a great process app, but then it just takes too long to get it up and running. They asked us if we could give them a more seamless process, with more controlled infrastructure. The cloud is well-designed for that,” McConnell said.
BonitaCloud is designed to tackle head-on many of the things that add time and complexity to the “design-to-go-live” app lifecycle process, including:
Eliminate Complex Configuration. BonitaCloud was specifically designed to remove many of the more tedious and time-consuming headaches for launching process apps on-premises. “With BonitaCloud, you don’t have to embed software into the data center, or deal with lots of legacy software like web servers or OSes,” McConnell said. BontaCloud includes the Bonita BPM engine. Code is generated from the Bonita Studio design-time IDE and will automatically work in the cloud environment, he added
Auto-Scaling. “We did not start from scratch for some of the cloud features customers know and love. We started with AWS,” McConnell said. “The BonitaCloud is hosted on Amazon AWS, and so multi-tenancy is all in place. AWS has been a good partner and helped a lot on this. We custom-developed some tools for scale, expand and elasticity.”
Monitoring & Testing. To provide testers with optimum metrics on performance and other test results, BonitaCloud has its own monitoring and testing layer that lies between AWS cloud and the Bonita BPM Community Edition. “Because we did this custom work, we can simulate a real-world environment. Beyond that, we let the developers connect to [the] pre-production system and provide a VPN for a test,” McConnell added.
User Acceptance Testing (UAT). Beyond helping devs and IT operations, the easy on-ramp from design-to-test will also streamline user acceptance testing. “BonitaCloud gives developers an easy way to put apps into a real test environment where users can review a real working app. This will improve how developers and business users work together,” McConnell said. Further, once the end users make their reviews of the process app, it’s easy for devs to revise the code and re-upload for more UAT. “There’s nothing worse than rolling out a new app that falls flat because the users don’t like it or don’t want to use it,” he added.
Quick, & Easy “Hot” Updates. “One of the things we’re really pushing toward in BonitaCloud is making sure the process app can be quickly updated. But if you are updating basic parameters, things like approval levels or API configurations that can all be done up in the cloud, devs don’t have to pull apps down for making these kind of improvements or for maintenance,” McConnell said. There will be some limitations to how complex an app rev can go, he added. “If you need a whole new swimlane, that would requires a bit of a rework,” he said.
More information on BonitaCloud, including an FAQ is available here
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