If you're interested in business process management suites and integration, I've found a recent -- we're talking published Oct. 6 -- Forrester report on Integration-Centric BPM Suites you'll want to download.
Well, technically, Sandy Kemsley of Column 2.0 found it. And thanks to her for that.
Research firms get big bucks for these reports, so I'm not sure why they're allowing vendors make them available for free download so quickly after they're first published. It seems to be some sort of new trend. I, for one, like it -- although it does make me wonder how much vendors pay for the privilege.
Still, when I do find them for free, I usually point them out. Many readers find them helpful and, even if you disagree with the rankings, at least you'll find background about the technology and straightforward information about what the vendors offer.
Vitria Technology is offering the report for free downloading, provided you're willing to hand over a bit of information about yourself. It's just the basics -- in fact, it's among the shorter forms I've filled out for free research.
As far as I know, Forrester is the only one using the term IC-BPMS, which it coined nearly two years ago to describe the convergence of BPM technology and SOA. The research paper describes the IC-BPMS space as evolving out of enterprise application integration in the mid to late 1990s. So, it makes sense that the four major areas of evaluation for these products were EAI, business-to-business interactions -- I would say integration, but whatever - business process management and SOA.
Forrester interviewed the 10 leading vendors, including Oracle, and 20 companies that actively used these tools. The products were evaluated on 106 criteria, which I won't be listing here, but the report does say the "first area was integration functionality that focuses on overall solution architecture, application frameworks, security management, transformation, and support for Web 2.0."
The report ranks the vendors by leaders, strong performers and risky bets. Spoiler alert: Microsoft, Sterling Commerce, and Sun Microsystems were listed as strong performers, and there was only one risky bet -- Oracle's BEA-WebLogic Integration. All the rest, including Oracle SOA Suite, were listed among the leaders.
As a side note, it's written by Ken Vollmer, whom I interviewed in June about integration competency centers.