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Hot combinations of three letter acronyms (TLAs) can set the pulse racing, and the current top pair have to be BPM and SOA (that's business process management and service oriented architecture for any visitors from Alpha Centauri).

With the latest release of its iProcess Suite, Tibco Software has succeeded in bringing these two hot marketing concepts together in the same headline.

Cynicism aside, version 10.6 of iProcess Suite is a serious attempt to tie high level BPM into the SOA universe and bring a greater degree of automation to the development of new wave applications. The iProcess Suite is a development of the BPM component Tibco picked up from its acquisition of Staffware in 2004 and is now well tried and tested.

Tibco has progressively pushed it towards SOA and, in this release, it claims to have "improved role-based usability, more granular process monitoring capabilities and scalability to manage a broader array of critical business processes".

EMEA product marketing manager Catherine Lynch translates: "In version 10.5 we had some integration points between iProcess and Business Works, our enterprise service bus platform. But with 10.6 we have increased the integration to cover things like audit trails, the ability to query case numbers and graft sub procedures. And because it is bi-directional integration you can call up low-level services - such as a credit check."

She goes on to say that the new release provides links with Tibco's Eclipse-based Business Studio modelling tool to give business users and IT technicians a common base to work from. "The role-based interface means that both groups can use the same underlying models. The business user role just hides the technical detail."

Lynch says the free downloadable "community" version of Business Studio has attracted 12,000 hits in the last five months. ®

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