IBM Business Process Manager overview

IBM® Business Process Manager is a comprehensive business process management platform. It provides a robust set of tools to author, test, and deploy business processes, as well as full visibility and insight to managing those business processes.

The components of IBM Business Process Manager provide a unified BPM repository to manage the business processes and their associated artifacts, tools for authors, administrators, and users, and a runtime platform.

There are three editions of the product to support various levels of complexity and involvement with business process management.
Table 1. IBM Business Process Manager editions
Edition Description Phase
IBM BPM Express IBM BPM Express is an affordable entry point for initiating business process management (BPM). It provides an easy-to-use interface with a process execution, monitoring and optimization engine, allowing participants to engage in process improvement activities. Ideal for medium-sized business, IBM Process Manager Express delivers the same capabilities as the standard edition of IBM Business Process Manager. Project

Configured for first business process management project

  • Rapid time-to-value: improved user productivity
  • Low entry price
  • Easy installation and configuration
IBM BPM Standard IBM BPM Standard is a comprehensive Business Process Management Platform (BPM), providing full visibility and insight to managing business processes. It provides tooling and run time for process design, execution, monitoring and optimization, along with basic system integration support. IBM Business Process Manager Standard is ideal for multi-project improvement programs that focus on workflow and productivity, scaling easily from initial project to enterprise-wide programs. Program

Configured for typical business process management projects

  • For multi-project improvement programs, with high business involvement
  • Basic system integration support
  • Rapid time-to-value and improved user productivity
IBM BPM Advanced IBM BPM Advanced supports enterprise integration and transaction process management as part of an overall service-oriented architecture (SOA). This software includes the same features as the standard version of the business process manager (BPM) offering with more advanced integration and connectivity capabilities. It combines simplicity with ease-of-use for task management, as well as extended support for high-volume automation. Transformation

Complete set of business process management capabilities

  • Extended support for high-volume process automation
  • Built-in SOA components for extensive enterprise-wide service integration, orchestration
IBM Business Process Manager Advanced - Process Server IBM Business Process Manager Advanced - Process Server does not support Process Center environments, and is meant for former WebSphere® Process Server customers who do not need WebSphere Lombardi Edition functionality.  

The following diagram illustrates a typical IBM Business Process Manager Advanced configuration.

An overview of the IBM BPM architecture.

The process application is the fundamental container for processes and their components in IBM Business Process Manager. Process designers create process applications in the authoring environments, and might include services, tasks, and artifacts needed to support execution. The primary authoring tool is Process Designer. IBM Business Process Manager Advanced also includes Integration Designer; it supports authoring of Advanced Integration Services that can be associated with process applications.

From the Process Center, process applications are deployed to the Process Server, which is the process runtime environment for IBM Business Process Manager.

IBM Business Process Manager is a single BPM platform that combines human-centric and integration-centric capabilities into a unified product. Different configurations of the product are available for different users, and satisfy different needs in the enterprise. Product configurations can be combined for collaborative authoring and network-deployed runtime environments.

Table 2. IBM Business Process Manager deployment environment types
Capability Express® Standard Advanced AdvancedOnly
WebSphere Lombardi Edition compatible execution X X X  
Process Designer (BPMN) X X X  
Collaborative editing / immediate playback X X X  
Interactive "process coach" user interfaces X X X  
ODM-based process rules X X X  
Process Portal X X X  
Real-time monitoring and reporting X X X  
Performance analytics & optimizer X X X  
Performance Data Warehouse X X X  
Process Center / shared asset repository X X X  
Unlimited process authors and end-users 200 users / 3 authors X X  
High availability: clustering and unlimited cores
  • 4 cores production
  • 2 cores development
  • No cluster
Process Federation Server X X X
WebSphere Process Server compatible execution     X X
Integration Designer (BPEL / SOA)     X X
Built-in enterprise service bus (ESB)     X X
Transaction support     X X
Integration adapters     X X
Flexible Process Portal spaces     X X
Advanced platform support (Linux on System z®, Linux on Power, IBM AIX®, Solaris)   X X X
Basic Case Management feature   X1 X  
The following table shows the valid installation and configuration combinations. Inside the cells, the available environment type is marked with Process Server (PS) or Process Center (PC). If the Basic Case Management feature is available for a specific installation and configuration combination, it is indicated in the cell as "Case". The Case license can be installed in either IBM BPM Advanced or IBM BPM Advanced - Process Server.
Table 3. IBM Business Process Manager valid installation and configuration combinations
Installation \ configuration Express Standard Advanced AdvancedOnly
IBM Business Process Manager Express PS, PC      
IBM Business Process Manager Standard   PS, PC    
IBM Business Process Manager Advanced   PS, PC, Case PS, PC, Case PS
IBM Business Process Manager Advanced - Process Server   PS, Case PS, Case PS
1 The Basic Case Management feature is available for the IBM BPM Standard deployment environment if the environment is created in either an IBM BPM Advanced installation or an IBM BPM Advanced - Process Server installation.