Book Review: Operational Decision Management for Dummies

ODM for Dummies BookBusiness rules and validations related to an automated Business Process are generally hidden deep within the application source code and configuration settings. They are not openly accessible, easily to change or review. They might be duplicated several times across the source code.

Operational Decision Management (ODM) systems try to remedy this situation by providing a central repository for business rules. This repository acts as a single source of truth for users as well as systems. Rules are generally specified in the form of Decision Tables or Trees.

ODM complements BPM (Business Process Management) systems well, as BPM is also metadata driven with a focus on business process workflows and SOA (Serice Oriented Architecture) for integration.

Operational Decision Management for Dummies is a free booklet sponsored by IBM which provides a nice and quick definition of ODM systems. It is recommended for anyone interested in understanding what ODM is, what are its use cases and potential pay offs.

You can also check out this article for some concrete examples on how operational decisions (business rules) are automated by any ODM system.

A survey of BPM Suites

Following is a brief survey of some of the popular Business Process Management Suites available in the market.

BPM Suite Platform Open Source / Free trial Cloud / On Premises Recognition
PegaSystems No – Tops the chart in Forrester in BPM Suites 2013 Q1 publication
– Tops the chart in
Gartner 2010 BPM publication
IBM No Both – Tops the chart in Forrester in BPM Suites 2013 Q1 publication
– Tops the chart in
Gartner 2010 BPM publication (just behind Pega)
Appian No Both – Positioned as Leader in Forrester in BPM Suites 2013 Q1 publication
-Recognized as Leader in Gartner Intelligent BPM 2012 Magic Quadrant
– Positioned in Leaders quadrant in Gartner 2010 BPM publication
Software AG No (Freeware Process Modeling tool) Both – Positioned as String Performer in Forrester in BPM Suites 2013 Q1 publication
– Positioned in Leaders quadrant in Gartner 2010 BPM publication
Cordys No (Free trail of cloud based ‘Process Factory’, a separate offering from BPMS) Both – Positioned as Strong Performer in Forrester in BPM Suites 2013 Q1 publication
– Positioned in Visionaries quadrant in Gartner 2010 BPM publication
Oracle BPM Suite Java Pre-built VM is available for download for non production use On Premises – Positioned as strong performer by Forrester in BPM Suites 2013 Q1 publication
– Positioned in Leaders quadrant in Gartner 2010 BPM publication
bizagi Available on both .Net & Java -Process Modeler is freeware
– BPM Suite is available for download for evaluation
On Premises – Positioned as strong performer by Forrester in BPM Suites 2013 Q1 publication
– Positioned in Visionaries quadrant in Gartner 2010 BPM publication
– Acknowledged as Cool Vendor by Gartner in 2010
– Evaluated by Forrester in BPM Suites 2010 Q3 publication
Tibco No (Free trail for cloud based ‘formvine’, a basic tool for creating simple forms) Both – Positioned as Strong Performer in Forrester in BPM Suites 2013 Q1 publication
– Positioned in Visionaries quadrant in Gartner 2010 BPM publication
AgilePoint .Net Free version called AgilePoint Genesis available for limited users – Positioned in Visionaries quadrant in Gartner 2010 BPM publication
– Evaluated by Forrester in BPM Suites 2010 Q3 publication
K2 .Net Online trial version available – Positioned in Visionaries quadrant in Gartner 2010 BPM publication
– Evaluated by Forrester in BPM Suites 2010 Q3 publication
intalio Java Open Source (Enterprise also available) – Evaluated by Forrester in BPM Suites 2010 Q3 publication
– Positioned in Visionaries quadrant in Gartner 2010 BPM publication
ProcessMaker Curl, Javascript, PHP Open Source(Community and Enterprise editions are available) Both (Cloud version available on 30-day trial) 15,035 downloads in May-13 on sourceforge
BizFlow Java No Both – Positioned as strong performer by Forrester in BPM Suites 2013 Q1 publication but below rest of the vendors
– Gartner evaluated BizFlow in Nov-2012 in ‘BPM Vendor Insights: HandySoft BizFlow’ publication
– Positioned in Niche Players quadrant in Gartner 2010 BPM publication
Bonitasoft Groovy, Java, Javascript Open Source(Community and Enterprise editions are available) – 1,384 downloads in May-13 on sourceforge
– Evaluated by Forrester in BPM Suites 2010 Q3 publication
– Acknowledged as Cool Vendor by Gartner in 2011
joget Java, MySQL, Apache Tomcat, GlassFish, Spring Framework, Hibernate, Apache Felix, Enhydra Shark, JPEd, JQuery Open Source
(Community Edition is open source. Enterprise edition is also available for download).
Both
(Cloud version available on 30-day trial)
4,671 downloads in May-13 on sourceforge
Activiti Java Open Source (Enterprise support also available)
uEngine BPM Java Open Source -896 downloads in May-13 on sourceforge

 

Links:

BPM Basics for Dummies (Book from Software AG)

Read ‘BPM Basics for Dummies (from Software AG)‘. It is a basic introductory book on Business Process Management, similar to the one by IBM.

The book talks about:

  • how BPM relates to other technologies like SOA and process improvement standards like Lean, Six Sigma, CPI, SCOR etc.
  • the  value proposition of BPM (Automation, Agility, Flexibility, Visibility, Collaboration, Governance).
  • the best practices and pitfalls of BPM implementation
  • BPM technology architecture

The book is available at Software AG site.