This post represents the first, in what we hope, will be a series of question and answer blogs with developmental, architectural, and project management experts for the IBM Business Process Management family of products.
As a 10-year IBMer writing technical documentation and providing technical support, I am frequently reminded of the need to look at our products with a customer-centric lens. With that focus, I strive to understand how you use our products and what kind of information truly helps you solve business issues. So, with that perspective in mind, I wanted to focus on the differences that you might encounter as you move from WebSphere Lombardi Edition Versions 7.x and 6.x to IBM Business Process Manager Standard, IBM Business Process Manager Express, or IBM Business Process Manager Advanced Version 7.5. (From this point forward, these products will be collective referred to as the IBM Business Process Manager products.) To gain an understanding of the differences, I had a discussion with Zachary Roadhouse, who is the Chief Engineer for the WebSphere Lombardi Edition and IBM Business Process Manager Standard products. The following information is based on that discussion:
Q: Can you upgrade from Lombardi Teamworks Version 6.1.x and 6.2.x?
A: With the introduction of the IBM Business Process Manager Version 7.5 products, upgrades are now available for the Lombardi Teamworks Version 6.x product. Previously, an upgrade path was not available for this product. An upgrade from Lombardi Teamworks Version 6.2.x and 6.1.x to the IBM Business Process Manager products enables you to have a repository-based environment for the first time. For more information on this repository-based environment, see Asset repository in the IBM Business Process Manager Information Center.
If you want to upgrade from Lombardi Teamworks Versions 6.1.x and 6.2.x directly to IBM Business Process Manager Version 7.5.0 Fix Pack 1, you must upgrade to IBM Business Process Manager Version 7.5 and then upgrade to Fix Pack 1. Otherwise, you might encounter the following error message:
Target database schema version: 7.5.0 is not in the supported list of versions to upgrade [7.5]
Q: What are the similarities and enhancements between Lombardi Teamworks / WebSphere Lombardi Edition Version 7.x and the IBM Business Process Manager Version 7.5 products?
A: IBM Business Process Manager Standard uses the same functional footprint and code base that you are accustomed to using with Lombardi Teamworks / WebSphere Lombardi Edition Version 7.x. However, the new products contain enhancements that aid in installation and configuration. Let us focus on just a few of the enhancements in Version 7.5:
- Uses the IBM Installation Manager, which is a common installation mechanism across some of the WebSphere-branded products and is new to you if you are familiar with the installation process for Lombardi Teamworks V6.x, Teamworks V7.x or WebSphere Lombardi Edition V7.x. IBM Installation Manager is a wizard-based user interface that enables you to install the product and update both Process Designer and IBM Integration Designer. However, before you upgrade to the latest fix pack using Installation Manager, see the following documents:
- Provides full support for creating and configuring profiles using the Profile Management Tool. For more information, see Starting the Profile Management Tool.
- Provides wizard support through the administrative console to create sophisticated configurations such as clusters. For more information, see Creating a cluster.
Q: What are some of the differences between the Standard, Express, and Advanced versions of IBM Business Process Manager V7.5?
A: Although there are many differences between these products, here are some notable differences:
- IBM Business Process Manager Express has a limited license for the Process Center and Process Server. Also, it does not offer cluster support. However, IBM Business Process Manager Standard provides clustering support.
- IBM Business Process Manager Advanced includes the functionality that was present in WebSphere Lombardi Edition Version 7.x and now, in IBM Process Designer, includes Advanced Integration Service. Advanced Integration Service allows the Process Designer author to access BPEL, complex web services, mediation flows, and SCA components that you create using the IBM Integration Designer. The Advanced Integration Service allows for more advanced integration capabilities than in the standard or express products.
- IBM Business Process Manager Standard and IBM Business Process Manager Express target a process developer with the following knowledge:
- Understands business requirements and can create the process diagram and build the user interface to enable the implementation of those requirement
- IBM Business Process Manager Advanced includes an additional role, which targets both a process developer and an integration developer. The integration developer should know Java and be a service-oriented architecture (SOA) expert in a technology such as web services. The integration developer will use IBM Integration Designer to implement the business process requirements.
- IBM Business Process Manager Advanced enables an integration designer to author assets in IBM Integration Designer and publish those assets to the process center; you do not need to manually develop the assets. The product infrastructure configures and installs the web application (WAR) or enterprise archive (EAR) file automatically; you do not need to manually deploy the asset. The tooling assembles the asset due to the existence of versioning and life cycle support.
- IBM Business Process Manager Advanced comes with WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus, Business Process Execution Language (BPEL), and Service Component Architecture (SCA) technology.