Over on The Expert Integrated System blog, Claudio Tagliabue does a great job of explaining all of the options for purchasing and deploying smarter process on the cloud coming out of the IBM Interconnect conference in Las Vegas.
Given the sheer volume of cloud announcements coming out of Interconnect this year, the whole post is well worth a read but the section on Smarter Process on Bluemix was the most interesting to me (emphasis added):
IBM Bluemix is IBM’s next generation application development platform, for apps that are native in the Cloud. In the Smarter Process space, Bluemix offers a Business Rules service and Workflow service. Their goal is not to reproduce a full ODM or BPM platform, but to provide developers with bite-sized Smarter Process capabilities. Whilst the Business Rules service is effectively based on IBM ODM technology, unfortunately the Workflow service is a programmatic interface with no UI, at this point in time. In my opinion, despite being very useful, the Workflow service in Bluemix is no way near to what I call a Business Process, in BPM terms. So, if you are looking for PaaS BPM, you should really go down the pattern route.
Having done some Bluemix projects, several sections of this description resonate:
These are not the same products as IBM BPM and IBM ODM. That is both a good and a bad thing. You just need to understand the use cases.
Rules-as-a-service is an awesome way to experiment with ODM. Code you write in the Bluemix Rules-as-a-Service can be transferred to ODM seamlessly. This makes it possible to use ODM in contexts when you might want to use Drools from a cost perspective but keeping open the options of maturing into the more developed governance model of IBM ODM at a later date.
The main capability missing from Rules-as-a-service present in ODM is that Bluemix does not have Decision Center so governance will alway be linked to your software development lifecycle.
Workflow-as-a-Service isn’t called Process-as-a-Service because, as Tag points out, it not the same product. If you want IBM BPM in the cloud, this is not the way to get there.
All of these themes are, of course, bigger topics than my treatment here. If you have have questions about these capabilities, I would love to speak to you so reach out.