Overall a good BPM engine, but use it for what it's meant to be
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
March 17, 2014

Overall a good BPM engine, but use it for what it's meant to be

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version

8.5

Overall Satisfaction

IBM Business Process Manager is used at our company to standardize, automate, and measure business processes. It is envisioned that the whole organization will use BPM. It will standardize business processes because optimal processes will be designed and implemented in BPM. There will not be a lot of room for variation. Manual processes like mailing forms will be automated. We will be able to monitor and measure processes through BPM's built in reporting.
  • BPMN diagrams are somewhat easy to read and comprehend for non-technical business users.
  • BPM Coaches allow developers to rapidly develop simple User Interfaces.
  • BPM allows developers to call basic SOA services easily.
  • If you need to develop complex User Interfaces, they are very hard to implement using Coaches.
  • If you need to call SOA Services that have complex data structures such as recursively nested objects and anyType objects, the built in service discovery and type generation does not support it and blows up.
  • The Process Designer IDE tends to run very slow because of all the chatting it has to do with the server side Process Center.
  • We are documenting our business processes using BPMN.
  • We are forced to think deeply about our processes and optimize them as a result.
  • We are getting rid of manual processes such as mailing paper forms.
  • We can monitor our processes and improve them constantly.
BPM was purchased together with other products from IBM's InfoSphere and WebSphere offerings before I came here. I have personally worked with alternatives at a previous jobs. I have developed workflows using SharePoint. I have developed workflows using Documentum's workflow engine. I have also worked on an in-house workflow engine. IBM BPM is the best BPM engine I have ever worked with.
This particular decision will be made by other people. Overall IBM BPM is the best BPM engine that I have worked with. It is implemented at our company and IT and business are already somewhat familiar with it. Therefore if asked I will recommend renewal as long as the price is reasonable.
BPM is well suited for simple as well as complex approval workflows. It is well suited for simple User Interfaces. The BPM Coach feature is not well suited if you need complex User Interfaces. If you need to use complex User Interfaces with BPM then you are better off using Portlets. It is also not well suite if you have SOA services that have a lot of types, recursive references, and anyType attributes.

Usability

Building complex UIs can be cumbersome. Calling complex SOA services that have a lot of objects, types, anyType attributes, recursive object references, etc can be cumbersome. The Process Designer IDE communicates with the server side Process Center a lot and as a result it is pretty slow. The IDE is also Eclipse based which doesn't make it faster.
ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Consistent
Quick to learn
Convenient
Feel confident using
Familiar
None
  • Creating a Coach UI
  • Calling a simple Web Service
  • Claiming and submitting a task
  • Developing a complex UI
  • Calling a complex Web Service
  • Development can be slow because Process Designer IDE chats with server side Process Center a lot