IBM FileNet BPM Product Update

Last session of the day, and Mike Fannon and Dave Yockelson are giving an update on FileNet BPM, particularly the 5.x release. The highlights:

  • The Process Engine (PE) was ported completely to a standard Java application, with some dramatic performance increases: 60% improvement in response time through the Java API, 70% (or more) reduction in CPU utilization, near-linear growth in CPU utilization for vertical scaling (i.e., more processes on a single server), and constant CPU utilization on horizontal scaling (e.g., twice as many processes on twice as many servers).
  • Linux and zLinux support.
  • Multi-tenancy, allowing multiple PE instances to run on the same virtual server, so that different isolated regions can be tied to separate PE database stores. If you have multiple isolated regions in a single store now, there will be a procedure for migrating this for better multi-tenancy.
  • Simplified installation, configuration and operation.
  • Deployment/upgrade paths directly from pretty much any currently supported FileNet BPM environment to 5.x, going all the way back to eProcess (there was one person in the audience who admitted to still using it), as well as v3.53, 4.03, 4.50 and 4.51.
  • Process Analyzer is now Case Analyzer, having been extended to add capabilities for Case Manager. Case Analyzer reporting is now supported through Cognos BI in addition to the old-school Excel pivot tables.
  • Process Monitor is now Case Monitor (I seem to be seeing  a trend here), with Cognos Real-time Monitoring 10.1 (previously called Cognos Now) bundled in as an interactive dashboard solution.
  • Integration of IBM Forms (as we saw in the Case Manager product update) to be used in the same way as FileNet eForms are used in FileNet BPM today, namely, for a richer UI replacement that provides functionality such as digital signatures.

We moved on to yet another presentation on Case Manager; I could probably have skipped the previous session and just come to this one, but there was no indication on the conference materials that that would be a good idea.

Time for a quick sprint through the vendor expo, then off to the evening networking event, which promises displays highlighting 100 years of the history of IBM and the computing industry. We’ll also have a concert by Train, which is the third Train concert at the three large vendor conferences that I’ve attended in the last six weeks: Progress, TIBCO and now IBM. Not sure if the corporate gig is a new market strategy for Train; maybe I’ll actually make it to tonight’s conference after missing the previous two.

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