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On May 28th 2008, Metastorm announced the release of version 7.6 of their BPM Suite. This follows a trend in the BPMS market of major independent vendors providing extended support for Microsoft Office Suite 2007 and particularly SharePoint Server 2007.
Greg Carter, vice president of development and CTO of Metastorm, stated “This latest release of Metastorm BPM further strengthens our use of Microsoft desktop technologies to deliver greater ease-of-use to process participants and to support faster deployment and user acceptance of BPM within organizations that standardize on Microsoft productivity applications such as Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Office 2007”.
The latest features in Metastorm BPM allow organisations to incorporate process participation, content collaboration, process monitoring, and process reporting and analysis directly into the desktop and web interfaces already in use by knowledge workers based on Microsoft Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint as well as Office SharePoint Server 2007 portal interfaces. Innovation in Metastorm BPM 7.6 includes process binding from Metastorm BPM into Office 2007 which allows for greater collaboration among process participants and business user control over Metastorm process reporting through Excel 2007.
So what are the other additional features? Firstly, there is a new “Notify” gadget for users of Windows Vista that will alert users when new items require their attention in Metastorm BPM. This new feature adds to Metastorm’s existing BAM capabilities.
Secondly, Metastorm has enhanced its software to support document clip fields that allow users to link and track content directly within a process while at the same time storing and maintaining the integrity and latest version of the document in the source content management system. Leveraging this new capability, Metastorm has enhanced its integration with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 to include support for its document libraries and provided a packaged framework that allows customers to use this capability with any ECM or DMS.
Metastorm, after its purchases of ProVision, announced a move to provide a common platform for all its products, called Metastorm Enterprise. This common platform includes shared services and a common meta-model for enhanced visibility and better understanding of the impact of decisions at all levels. As part of the Metastorm Enterprise platform development, Metastorm BPM Version 7.6 makes use of the simulation engine of Metastorm ProVision as the simulation module of the Metastorm BPM suite.
So what does this announcement mean? Well, firstly it shows that the market requires BPMS products to provide close support of the Microsoft Office Suite 2007 capabilities. Secondly, for Metastorm, they have filled the gap in their product offerings with the support of simulation, and they have done this by integrating the BPM suite with their ProVision purchase and thus showing the first integration deliverable of their Enterprise announcements.