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Can BPMS expedite Application Development?

BPMS brings in the capability to model, execute and monitor processes carrying with it the promise of flexibility, workflow automation and process management. It is finding increasing use in organizations at different levels: be it for better management of its processes or just for integrating different applications.


The question I would like to pose here is “Is it worth for application developers to use BPMS for application development?” BPMS definitely offers lots of features useful for application developers out of the box. These include Quality of Service (QoS), state-storage, monitoring capabilities, failover support, reliability, SLA management, task allocation, amongst others. Today, some of the BPMS tools provide e-form generation capability while others even provide process mashup capability out of the box.
If application developers  plan to use the BPMS for application development by leveraging the available features, let’s find out the possible set of problems. Firstly if a commercially available tool is chosen to implement the application, the license of the tool needs to be purchased. The license cost of the BPMS tools vary from $25000 to $1 million. Considering this, this approach makes sense only if the organization has available enterprise licenses of BPMS which can be used for app dev. The other alternative is use one of the low cost or open source BPMS options. Usually a product/tool , even if it is lightweight or open source, would need the support so the client has to sign up the annual support contract with the product vendor.
Most JEE based BPMS tools are deployed on clustered Application servers. This enables the BPMS to be scalable but at the same time creates a need for extra hardware for deploying each application server and database server. Though the cost of hardware today is not very high these days still this is an extra cost to the company in case it opts to use BPMS for application development. A high performance BPMS where a single instance can hold high volume of transactions is more useful in such a scenario.
I would like to see the case studies where BPMS is used for application development rather than process management. We need to evaluate the ROI of using BPMS for application development based on those case studies.

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