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The BPM suite now extends deeper into SOA, including what Tibco calls a lightweight ESB.
February 13, 2008
Tibco has launched ActiveMatrix 2.0, the latest release of its BPM and
SOA suite. The new version adds an ESB to ActiveMatrix's existing
registry and orchestration offerings, also improving support for SCA
(Services Component Architecture), a standard that Tibco hopes will help
with interoperability between services developed on different platforms.
The ESB market isn't new to Tibco: The company has been shipping what it
calls an integration bus since 1996, when SOA was unknown and before
anyone outside of research labs had considered Web services. But until
now, Tibco split ESB functionality in two: Low-level translation and
routing was the responsibility of BusinessWorks, a comprehensive
integration suite that developed from its earlier efforts, while
ActiveMatrix handled high-level orchestration. BusinessWorks isn't going
away "- there's a new version of it included in higher-end bundles of the
new suite -" but it's no longer strictly necessary for Tibco customers.
The new release introduces the ActiveMatrix Service Bus, which the
company describes as a lightweight ESB.
The release of ActiveMatrix Service Bus is the latest in a long string
of moves that illustrate the ESB's commoditization, perhaps even
shifting from a product to a feature. All large application platform
vendors now sell ESBs, with IBM, Iona, Red Hat, and Sun even giving them away for free. Cape Clear, the last remaining ESB pure-play, disappeared last week.
Tibco is far from the only vendor seeking to merge BPM with SOA. On the
SOA side, giants like IBM and Software AG see BPM as a potential killer
app for SOA, thanks to an ROI that's relatively easy to demonstrate. On the BPM side, competitors like Fiorana and Vitria
have successfully merged the two.
One big attraction is that BPM offers a programming environment for
people who aren't programmers, which can potentially be expanded into
ways to develop other composite SOA-based applications using
(relatively) simple models. Microsoft has talked of plans to expand this
to all applications through its Oslo initiative. Last week, Vitria
launched O2, a Flex-based environment aimed at business analysts
building composite applications. Other competitors include enterprise
mashup players like Serena Software, which are increasingly targeting
the BPOM modeling space.