Tibco overhauls software line

The company is expanding its software line to address the widening definition of process management

Enterprise messaging software company Tibco has revamped its software line, updating several key products and debuting new BPM (business process management) and enterprise social-networking applications.

"This is the biggest technology refresh in Tibco's history," said Rourke McNamara, senior director of global product marketing. The applications have been updated so they can encompass a wider range of duties as well as work more closely together as an integrated stack, he said.

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Daryl Plummer, a group vice president at IT research firm Gartner, noted Tibco's across-the-board software update is a significant move for the company. "The world has become very dynamic, and processes have to handle structured and unstructured events," he said. This integrated software should help organizations better respond to external events.

Plummer pointed to the updates to Silver, a package of tools Tibco introduced last year for setting up cloud-based business applications, as some of the most significant changes. The software can now be used to develop and deploy composite applications as well as to run workflows. The company said the new software can be run on Amazon's EC2 hosted service.

Tibco has also updated the design tool, based on Eclipse, as well as the administrative tool, which now runs in a browser, of its ActiveMatrix suite of service-oriented-architecture tools.

Perhaps most notably, the company has incorporated a new BPM application into the ActiveMatrix suite, allowing workflows to be managed under ActiveMatrix. Over time, Tibco will phase out its current BPM tool, iProcess, in favor of ActiveMatrix BPM.

Upgrading iProcess wasn't a viable option because the company wanted to have its BPM engine work with its ActiveMatrix line of software, McNamara said. "We want to give folks a single set of tools, a single environment, a single model of administration and runtime, for all of these technologies," he said.

"We want to make it easy for a business user to automate a process, but at the same time make it easy for the IT department in the background to tie [the process] into the systems they need in order to make things work correctly," he said.

ActiveMatrix BPM's design environment will be the same as iProcess, though the models created in iProcess will need to be checked before being run by the ActiveMatrix BPM engine. "We made it as straightforward as possible to take something from the old environment and move it in the new environment," McNamara said.

Another product that Tibco updated was the SpotFire analytics software, which now includes the ability to extrapolate data with predictive analytics. The company's complex event processing software, BusinessEvents, also got new features. Version 4.0 of this software offers additional ways users can edit rules for capturing events, such as through spreadsheets.

The company is also continuing to develop its enterprise social-networking software called Tibbr, now in beta. Tibbr allows employees to post Twitter-like messages to share with co-workers. In addition to following individuals, users can also follow topics. The latest beta version of the software can be used on iPhones. The company expects it will commercially release the software by the end of the year.

Tibco, based in Palo Alto, California, reported revenue of $621 million for fiscal 2009. The company employs about 2,100 people.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.