IBM's announcement relates to five areas of the development cycle: Model, Integrate, Connect, Monitor and Manage. This extends IBM's support of the business integration lifecycle back into the modelling and design phase, as well as forward into the monitoring and managing of live business processes. IBM bought Holosofx last year and the new products in the portfolio are the result of integrating the Holosofx products into the WebSphere portfolio.
The support is provided by the following new products or versions.
IBM WebSphere Business Integration Modeller 4.2.3 is a new product used to model, identify, analyze and simulate business processes. This ability to analyze and simulate extends the portfolios reach into the very early phases of design, so including the management consultants into the process before traditional developers get involved.
WebSphere Business Integration Server Version 4.2 (previously released as IBM WebSphere Business Integration V4.1) is the IBM business integration solution for process integration, workforce management, and enterprise application connectivity. The main improvements are: the use of Eclipse as a standards based development environment, enabling better integration with other IBM, and non IBM, tools; functions to enable users to consume or publish web services; and improvements to the run time environment that deliver capabilities to view the performance of business processes.
IBM is also adding Retail Supply Chain and Rosetta Net support to its business to business connect capabilities.
IBM WebSphere Business Integration Monitor 4.2.3, is a new product, based on Holosofx, and provides customisable dashboard and alerts to monitor and manage business processes in real time. This move into monitoring is an extension of IBM's reach and provides a more complete integrated solution.
All the products have general availability dates of later this month.
This announcement gives IBM a very broad coverage of the application cycle and is the obvious continuation of their Holosofx acquisition. It will now be interesting to see how they extend this further to incorporate the recent purchase of Rational.
As much of the product portfolio is new it will be important to watch how the various elements of the product set integrate with each other. The use of Eclipse should assist in this but it will probably be at least one more version before it begins to be seamless.
I will be writing a report on Intelligence in the Messaging Layer later this year and will report fully on WebSphere Business Integrator fully at that time.
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