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Business Transformation in Action

Joe McKendrick

SOA and BPM -- All in the Same Breath

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We talk a lot in these pages about the promise of converging SOA with Business Process Management -- and how this convergence MUST happen in order to establish SOA as a business practice.

However, of course, the reality has been that SOA and BPM have lived separate lives, and practitioners reportedly tend not to cross paths too often.

In this context, IBM's announcement that it is in the process of acquiring ILOG, a well-established BPM provider, strikes an interesting chord.

For one, the first thing IBM said of the strategy behind the acquisition is that it's an SOA play. IBM stated that it intends to combine its own BPM, business optimization, and SOA technologies with ILOG’s Business Rules Management Systems software. This line up will help companies deliver information in real-time for faster decision making. IBM said the combined offerings will provide customers "a full set of rule management tools for complete information and application lifecycle management across IBM's WebSphere application development and management platform."

As SOA evolves to event-driven architecture, businesses will need tools that can look at processes and adapt services to manage events. The IBM-ILOG combo offers a path to achieve this.


In this blog (formerly known as "SOA in Action"), Joe McKendrick examines how BPM and related business and IT approaches can promote business transformation.

Joe McKendrick

Joe McKendrick is an author and independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. View more


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