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webMethods Rolls Out Fabric™ 7.0


webMethods, Inc. (Nasdaq: WEBM), a business integration and optimization software company, today unveiled webMethods Fabric™ 7.0 as an advanced, fully-integrated product suite for business process integration.

ebizQ received the following details:

webMethods Fabric 7.0 delivers a number of major breakthroughs, including guided process improvements, seamless collaboration between IT and business, and lifecycle management of corporate IT assets.

Guided Process Improvements

A significant differentiating feature of webMethods Fabric 7.0 is its integrated use of webMethods’ industry-leading Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) for the real-time analysis of end-to-end process performance and guided process improvement. A 3-D graphical interface enables users to easily identify system problems, automatically determine root causes, and instantly drill down for additional detail.

With event correlation, automated variance baselining, and business impact analysis, this ‘actionable insight’ facilitates continuous process improvement, such as employed within popular methodologies like Six Sigma. Users can detect, diagnose and remediate defective processes, transactions, and orders from their desktops. Automated alerts ensure that corrective action can be taken to assure compliance with customer-based service-level agreements (SLAs).

Seamless Collaboration between IT and Business

Business analysts and developers can quickly create processes, composite applications and human workflow tasks by using a “drag-and-drop” library of more than 150 UI controls. Through webMethods Fabric’s Eclipse-based toolset, users can collaboratively depict every component of the process – models, swim lanes, Key Performance Indicator (KPI) trees, step transitions and user interfaces – and configure them into unique business processes.

A new semantic metadata library facilitates faster development and extended enterprise service reuse through the use of common, clear terminology to describe IT assets. Based on its use of the Resource Description Framework (RDF) and the Web Ontology Language (OWL), the library automatically learns dependencies and relationships between IT assets. As a result, searching for unique concepts, templates, and existing assets based on a variety of criteria, including its role within a business process, relationships with key enterprise systems, authors and/or subsequent contributors, has never been easier. Additionally, metadata enhances collaboration among large, geographically dispersed teams.

Integrated run-time simulation graphically animates the process on a step-by-step basis to identify break points as a means for facilitating flawless execution at implementation. Additionally, webMethods Fabric leverages AJAX technology to develop rich browser-based interfaces to improve productivity by dynamically delivering information without page refreshes.

“The challenge with most business process management solutions is their starting premise that users are modeling new processes from scratch. In reality, most organizations need to first seize greater control over existing processes, through process mapping, monitoring and performance analysis, as a means for subsequent improvement,” said Kristin Muhlner, executive vice president for Product Development, webMethods, Inc. “Our approach leverages business activity monitoring to identify, diagnose and address business issues. By marrying this with a rich collaborative development environment, a semantic metadata library and SOA infrastructure, organizations can intuitively and seamlessly deliver business applications that not only better meet the needs of the business but are faster to deploy and less costly to maintain.”

webMethods Fabric 7.0 also incorporates industry-leading business rules management from Fair Isaac as a new feature. It allows business users to create, manage, and modify business rules – even highly complex ones involving multiple sets, arrays and string manipulations – directly from their desktop. This provides process owners with the ability to directly manage key decision-making criteria, such as changing credit scoring or promotional discount requirements, within the process.

Lifecycle Management of Corporate IT Assets

A key component of webMethods Fabric 7.0 is best-in-class governance for service-oriented architecture (SOA). Following webMethods’ recent acquisition of Infravio, webMethods is introducing two new products for SOA governance: webMethods Infravio X-Registry as a fully-integrated registry/repository, and webMethods Infravio X-Broker for lifecycle management and policy enforcement [see separate announcement: webMethods Brings SOA Governance to the Mainstream, (November 7, 2006)]. Building on their existing use of webMethods as an enterprise services bus (ESB) to create and manage Web services, enterprises can employ these additional components to institutionalize their SOA efforts through the expanded and more consistent use of common standards, reusable services, and shared best practices.

With built-in support for key standards, including JSR-168 and WSRP, these applications can be subsequently reused across nearly any implementation. Other supported standards include BPMN and BPEL for process models.

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