BAM technical session

This seemed to be a morning for networking, and I’m arriving late for a technical session on FileNet’s BAM. I missed the hands-on session this morning so wanted to get a closer look at this before it’s released sometime in the next couple of months.

The key functional things in the product are dashboards, rules and alerts. The dashboard part is pretty standard BI presentation-layer stuff: pick a data source, pick a display/graph type, and position it on the dashboard. Rules are where the smarts come in: pick a data source, configure the condition for firing an alert, then set the content and recipient of the alert. Alerts can be displayed on the recipient’s dashboard, or sent as an email or SMS, or even launch other processes or services to handle an exception condition automatically.

There’s a nice interface for configuring the dimensions (aggregations) in the underlying OLAP cubes, and for configuring buckets for running statistics. The data kept on the BAM server is cycled out pretty quickly: it’s really for tracking work in progress with just enough historical data to do some statistical smoothing.

Because they’re using a third-party OEM product for BAM, it’s open to other data sources plugged into the server, used in the OLAP cubes, combined on the dashboards or used in the rules. However, this model adds yet another server, since it pulls pre-processed work-in-progress data from the Process Analyzer (so PA is still required) and has a sufficiently hefty memory requirement since it’s maintaining the cubes in memory that it’s probably not a good idea to co-locate it on a shared application server. I suppose that this demotes PA to a data mart for historical data as well as a pre-processor, which is not a completely bad thing, but I’m imagining that a full replacement for PA might be better received by the customers.

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