Adding Ad-Hoc to BPM

  • January 25, 2011
  • Scott

Joram Barrez recently announced that the Activiti team has added the ability to define and run ad-hoc processes on Activiti.  The processes are directly deployable, so they’re first class citizens to Activiti.  This goes along with what I’ve said before, on many occasions: the use cases for ACM-style delivery don’t require a high technical hurdle.  There’s really not much keeping the leading BPM vendors from adding these concepts to their products, as Activiti has done with Kickstarter.

Joram makes the claim that with continued community involvement, the commercial vendors won’t be able to keep up.  However, the announcement of Kickstarter comes a few weeks after IBM’s relaunch of Blueworks, which included a similar “ad-hoc” process automation capability.  So I think the commercial vendors will still have their chance, especially in SaaS delivery modes. Regardless of who leads, the competition is clearly pushing state of the art.

Regardless, I’m gratified to see some of my thoughts pan out in terms of real, concrete software, delivered to the market.

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  • From responses on twitter, I feel I should at least point out the definition of ad-hoc in this context helps. For example, in BlueworksLive you can’t “ad-hoc” invoke a process as a subprocess inside your execution. But the term ad-hoc applies to the tasks and the non-IT-creation of processes (something you couldn’t do trivially in traditional BPMS).