IBM delivers process-modeling boost

IBM is rolling out modeling software that it boasts can deliver a bird's-eye view of complex business processes and help boost their execution.

The company Tuesday announced Version 5 of its WebSphere Business Integration Modeler, which can be used to map complex supply chain, customer service and other corporate operations. Because the application has extensive Web services and other integration technology, it offers greater flexibility for developers to support more comprehensive workflows, IBM said.

The software is based on the Eclipse open-source developer framework that IBM founded but then turned over to an independent body. That means the Business Integration Modeler can be more easily tied to existing software, and it supports the XML-based Business Process Execution Language standard, which will enable developers to use Web services when modeling business processes.

The product also interoperates with the WebSphere Business Integration Server Foundation, a platform for building and deploying composite applications; the WebSphere MQ application messaging platform; and the Rational Rose XDE development tools. In a statement, IBM said the open architecture will allow the software to work with existing content created with the Microsoft Visio diagram tool, which handles tasks such as Web site mapping.

One user is already deploying Version 5. The Star Alliance, a network of 15 airlines, plans to use it to support collaboration among its members, despite geographic and cultural differences, Brian Cook, the vice president of IT for the Alliance, said in a statement.

WebSphere Business Integration Modeler Version 5 ships this week; pricing starts at US$1,250

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