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Intalio open source BPM suite

Posted by | Posted in BPM | Posted on 15-05-2008

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Today I came to know about an open source BPM Suite – Intalio. I downloaded the product and installed it in my machine. I did not get much time to explore the product. However the product looks promising and I really want to learn the product. I am planning to spend my next few days in understanding the basics of the Intalio BPM suite, if my current project goes to UAT this week or early next week.

I am planning for a comparison of Intalio|BPMS with WebSphere Integration Developer. I had gone through one of their flash tutorial and the features of the product. Before getting into this product, I wanted to know what is the language supported by Intalio|BPMS if some custom coding is required. Interestingly I did not find any option for some custom code (may be it is there and I did not notice it) and I could see one blog post claiming zero coding is required. . I am not able to visualize this zero coding concept. Zero coding is really great, but I do believe that we need some coding when we provide customized solutions.

Any ways let me read completely some of their blog posts (I usually read the title and the first paragraph of most of the blogs) and learn the features of the product.

Btw, I read a post by Alex Neihaus about Intalio’s open source code . He is not able to see even a single line of source code in Intalio’s open source BPMS. :-) . Is it really an open source product or a namesake open source product?


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5 comments posted onIntalio open source BPM suite

  1. I just wanted to add that I really hate marketing presentations that claim ‘zero coding’ as a feature. Its almost always easier in certain aspects to just have the developer write a snippet in java than it is to use a visual syntax builder for the same functionality.

    ‘Zero Coding’ sounds like a great answer until you realize that it’s either implemented as ‘zero features involving zero deviation from the golden path’ or it’s ‘One million mouse clicks to freedom’.


  2. Albin,

    Sorry it took so long to reply to this post, but hopefully I can clarify some things.

    When we talk about zero code we are talking about two things, our drag and drop interface and the fact that you can take the design you draw in BPMN (Business Process Modeling Notation a standard owned by OMG) using our modeling tool and automatically turn it into code (BPEL, or Business Process Execution Language) which runs on our Intalio|Server. Our designer includes the ability to import WSDLs and use our mapping tool to drag and drop services to tasks. You can even perform transformation functions, for example to concatenate first and last name. So there is a lot of flexibility in what you can build without actually writing lines of code. Could you code the BPMN and BPEL by hand? Sure if you really want to. But the purpose of our product is to make that unnecessary. And it isn’t about building a java snippet as Dan suggests, but using the visual editor to build BPMN and BPEL code needed for a business process.

    As for the source code, we are working on an update to our website which will hopefully help.

    But, for now I put up an article on our FAQ to address where to find the source code. You can find it at the following link: http://bpms.intalio.com/faq/display-2.html#FAQ36

    Jonathan Crow

  3. Thanks Crow for replying to my post.

    About zero coding, I feel we should have some mechanism to write custom code if required. When we develop enterprise applications we may need to call some existing Java codes or may be some complex algorithms are part of the work flow. How do we going to handle this?

  4. Albin,

    Calling Java code or complex algorithms from BPEL is fairly easy (spoken like a true marketing person;). You can either,

    1) Write your own XPath functions (in Java) for rules


    2) Write your own Java web services and invoke them from processes

    This follows the best practice to decouple complex rules or complex processing from the business process.

    Let me know if you have any further questions. I would also encourage you to get some of these conversations going in our community forum at http://bpms.intalio.com.


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