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SOA - Integration Industry Pulse

Beth Gold-Bernstein

Lombardi Releases SaaS BPMN Modeler

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Yesterday Lombardi announced availability of Blueprint, its on-line process modeling tool designed for business people, and offered on a SaaS basis. Lombardi also announced process definition packages to accelerate the development and deployment of processes.

I decided to hold off on this blog post this until I actually had a chance to check this out. Lombardi is claiming it's one of the easiest modeling tools on the market. I've used the SaaS modeling tools from TIBCO, and Intalio, and I've looked at some Visio based tools. I wanted to check into this one. So here's my first impression.

My initial question when I logged in was "where is the BPMN pallet?" I was expecting to see all the BPMN shapes up there to drag and drop. Instead, Blueprint offers two views. One is the business level discovery view which essentially has milestones and activities (business level ideas). To add decision points and loop backs, etc, you right click on a line to choose a shape. I wondered if Lombardi had read the Israeli pilots manual. There was a story (I admit I don't know if it's actually urban legend because I have not verified it) that a panel tried to determine best practices by the best Israeli fighter pilots. What made them so successful? The pilots only agreed to talk after they were promised there would be no recriminations. But the answer was that when they got into a combat scenario, they shut down most of the control panel to only focus on what was relevant to finding and shooting the enemy. This is the approach that Lombardi has taken. Not a lot on the pallet to get confused by, but you can go deeper by right clicking.

In the discovery view you add things like business owners, process experts, inputs and outputs, any problems (which can also be color codes), and documentation. In other words it's the initial business view. From there, you can simply change views to the Process Diagram and get the full BPMN diagram with swim lanes. There is also a documentation view. It is fairly easy to link to sub processes and go back and forth between linked processes. I found this to be a major differentiator from other tools I've tried.

Lombardi also announced packages, which are built around things you would do with Blueprint. These are service offerings that include Lombardi's BPM methodology. They announced a Process Inventory Package, a three week service offering where they will inventory all the processes in a certain area of the business to increase productivity. There is also a Process Assessment package, a 3 day service which focuses on a certain area of the business with the goal of understanding which of the detailed processes impact key KPIs and SLAs. There is also a two-week Process Analysis to detail a BPM process. These are all fixed priced service offerings.

You can go online and check Blueprint out for free, which allows you to model a few processes. The full version will allow you to import Visio diagrams, of course model more processes, export diagrams to PowerPoint, print them, provide a shared repository, and integrate with Teamworks to automate the processes.

Industry trends and vendor spotlights from Beth Gold-Bernstein.

Beth Gold-Bernstein

Beth Gold-Bernstein is a recognized expert in integration technologies and SOA with over 20 years experience View more

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