Cape Clear and Appian Partner on SOA and BPM

The vendors aim to unite Cape Clear's ESB with Appian's BPM, a combination particularly interesting to SOA users considering SaaS.

December 4, 2007

2 Min Read
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Cape Clear Software has announced an alliance with Appian, involving both marketing and technology integration. The vendors aim to combine Cape Clear's ESB (Enterprise Service Bus) with Appian's BPM (Business Process Management), ultimately using SOA to orchestrate tasks involving humans as well as machines.

This isn't a new idea: Larger players like Oracle and IBM are also seeking to combine SOA with BPM, while Microsoft goes so far as to say that BPM is the killer app and SOA just its underlying technology. So at one level, Cape Clear and Appian are acting out of necessity. As specialist vendors who each offer only offer a piece of the pie, they need to combine forces to avoid being marginalized.

Still, the combination ought to be interesting, especially for customers considering SaaS,. Compared to other ESB vendors, Cape Clear is very focused on services that run over the Internet " as opposed to behind the firewall, which is still the largest market for SOA and the one targeted by most other vendors. This makes it particularly suited to a SaaS environment, though the ESB itself is still software, installed by either the customer or (more commonly) the SaaS provider. For its part, Appian was one of the first vendors to offer BPM as a service, launching its Web-based Appian Anywhere product in February. The alliance ought to mean better integration between hosted BPM and in-house apps.

Getting the Appian and Cape Clear products to work together should be relatively straightforward, as both are based on standard Web services. However, there are still no standards for integration between BPM and SOA, meaning that support for third-party applications could be a problem. Appian is very skeptical about BPEL4People, a proposed standard that IBM and SAP hope will enable BPM to use BPEL (Business Process Execution Language), the orchestration language used by Cape Clear and most other ESB vendors.

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