Appian's Technical Case for Case Management

  • May 13, 2010
  • Scott

I’d been looking forward to hearing what Appian would say about their “Technical Case for Case Management”.  Part 1 was just a teaser, and Part 2 promised to get into more details.

But when I read part 2, I could just hear Keith Swenson’s dismay (or actually, share it).  Appian describes it thusly:

The first and foremost feature in a Case Management solution is “Ad-Hoc”.

While I appreciate the effort to explain how Appian addresses case management,  that is a very underwhelming start.  The use of ad-hoc activities in BPM and BPMN is well-known (and well supported by at least some of the tools that aren’t BPEL-based).

But this is *not* what Keith (and others behind the ACM movement) are talking about when they talk about case management or ACM.  While the “ad-hoc” activity may happen at any time or place or sequence, what the ACM crowd are after is that not only is the “when and where” undetermined at design time, but also the “who, what, and how” is ad-hoc – determined *at* run-time.

Hopefully we’ll see someone step up with a better explanation of the technical attributes of their case management solutions.  I shouldn’t be too hard on Appian – at least they’re trying to explain the underpinnings, and this was only part 2 – perhaps in subsequent articles they’ll have more to say – but part 2 was not encouraging to me.

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