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IBM bulks out WebSphere's waistline

"This is not vacuous integration"

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IBM is expanding its portfolio of WebSphere business process management (BPM) and service oriented architecture (SOA) products in a major refresh.

"This is a substantial release for us where we have lined up and concurrently releasing a majority of our products around version 7," said WebSphere general manager Craig Hayman. "But it's not just a product number - each is now deeply integrated. From the application server to the business process management stack to the registry and governance stack to the cloud offering, BlueWorks."

The news comes as IBM's biggest challenger in the field, Oracle, prepares school developers on its BPM and SOA middleware in session after session at its massive OpenWorld conference in San Francisco, California, next week.

In addition to upgrades for Big Blue's sprawling BPM and SOA offerings under the WebSphere umbrella, version seven is the first to include products from IBM's acquisition of ILOG last year. The now-fully digested French software makers adds a rules management environment, optimization tool, virtualization tools, and supply chain management software.

The version seven rollout for WebSphere BOA and SOA products also includes upgrades to IBM's web-hosted BPM BlueWorks service. IBM has added more of its Industry Content Packs, which are pre-built industry models and services customers can use as templates. Hayman said in version seven, IBM has added over 2,000 strategy and process maps across a wide variety of industries.

WebSphere Process Server, WebSphere Registry and Repository and Advanced Lifecycle Edition, WebSphere Business Events and Extreme Scale, WebSphere Message Broker, and WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus are also receiving version seven updates.

"This is not vacuous integration," said Hayman, describing the version seven release that spans the container that sits inside the runtime, modeling tools that support the newest standards (including the draft version of BPMN 2.0), enhanced dashboards, and improved widgets for a single view of the business no matter where it executes.

The company claims recent IBM surveys indicate that 91 per cent of chief executives say they want to restructure the way their organization works. Although desperation in today's crappy economy is a likely a major contributor to that sentiment. Meanwhile, only three per cent of companies said they're satisfied with their business process.

"The desire to affect change is there, but companies also realize they're really in the dark ages," said Hayman.

More details on the new BPM and SOA products and services can be found in yonder IBM WebSphere page. ®

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