Tuesday, September 9, 2008

ActiveVOS 6.0 helps extend SOA investments to the level of business-process outcomes

Active Endpoints has propelled business-process services to the forefront with the general availability release today of ActiveVOS 6.0, an integrated solution designed to free companies and developers from complexity and fragmentation in assembling business processes.

ActiveVOS, a standards-based orchestration and business process management system, permits developers, business analysts, and architects to collaborate across IT and business boundaries through an integrated visual tool.

The latest product from the Waltham, Mass., company includes integrated process modeling; a design, testing, debugging, and deployment environment; reporting and consoling; and a tightly integrated complex event processing (CEP) engine.

CEP helps extend services-based applications, but until now, it has required users to integrate yet another server into their applications and to manage the complexity of integrating the application with the CEP engine. ActiveVOS eliminates this challenge by providing a fully capable CEP engine.

Users select which events generated by the execution engine should trigger CEP events. In addition, these selections are made at deployment time, meaning that developers can easily add or modify CEP capabilities to running applications at will.

Standards implemented in ActiveVOS 6.0 include Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN), Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) and human task management via the BPEL4People and WS-Human Task specifications.

Analysts can import models and documentation of existing applications, including Microsoft Visio drawings, directly into the graphical BPMN designer to document existing business processes and create new processes using a standards-based designer.

BPMN models are automatically transformed to executable BPEL, allowing developers to provide the implementation details necessary to turn the logical model into a running application. BPEL processes can also be transformed into BPMN, allowing the developer to document existing processes for analysts.

ActiveVOS permits developers to reuse plain old Java objects (POJOs) as native web services, and processes can be thoroughly tested and simulated, even when there are no actual services available during the testing phase. Because ActiveVOS is standards-based, it can go from design to execution without the need for custom code at execution time.

Dashboards, integrated reporting, and a universal console support the needs of operations staff and management.

Active Endpoints' latest packaging and integration, along with the emphasis on the business analyst-level process and visualization tools, strikes me as what the market is looking for at this stage of SOA and BPM.

The way they package and their tools helps reduce complexity in a unique way. I'd say that they have a fuller package as a solution than what I've seen elsewhere. And the depth of ActiveVOS OEM use testifies to the technical capabilities and adherence to standards.

ActiveVOS 6.0 is available for download, and has a free, 30-day trial. Pricing is set at $12,000 per CPU socket for deployment licensees. Development licenses are priced at $5,000 per CPU socket.