Friday, October 06, 2006


Outstanding Questions on Intalio

Folks in the blogosphere know that I prefer open source companies to those who are closed source and proprietary and Intalio happens to fit this model yet I still have outstanding questions that I hope someone may know the answer to...

In the past I have commented on the value or lack of that many large industry analyst firms bring to large enterprises. There seems to be a disturbing pattern in that large analyst firms tend to conveniently leave out open source firms from their matrix which means that architects who practice management by magazine may not learn of the value proposition and increased opportunity that solutions in this space may otherwise afford their enterprise.

So, what would it take for more open source firms to simply start briefing large analyst firms? Why hasn't Intalio briefed the big guys? I don't think you have to pay to brief them? Likewise, I don't think that you have to pay in order to show up in the leaders spot but I have no facts that support this statement.

I tend to follow lots of open source projects while at home but one of the gates that either causes me to talk about it at work or not is whether I have a sense as to how large the community is that is contributing code. In the past, I have talked about Liferay Enterprise Portal as I can observe my peers in other large enterprises actively participating. So, this begs the question of who other than Intalio employees are contributing to Intalio code? Any contributors from Fortune enterprises whose primary business isn't technology?

An interesting thing I have noticed in the BPM space is that security seems to be a secondary concern to business process resulting in weak approaches. They also seem to be ignoring an industry trend where folks are externalizing security away from enterprise applications and using third-party products for protection. Ever heard of Netegrity Siteminder or any of the XACML based products such as Securent or BEA? How come BPM in general and Intalio in specific doesn't provide a clean way to hook in notions such as SAML and XACML?

Could someone tell us how an BPM engine should interact with an ESB? Are ESB's even needed when you have a BPM engine? Does Intalio do anything special when integrating with the likes of Sonic or Capeclear?

Why are all BPM engines written in Java? Have you guys ever considered using Ruby on Rails or do you feel that Java is king and using second-class languages such as Ruby and/or SmallTalk don't have merit?

Another area which seems like a missed opportunity for BPM vendors has been the trend within the Identity Management space. All of the products including Thor (Now owned by Oracle), Waveset (Now owned by Sun) and so on, all have built-in workflow engines. Wouldn't be easy if the BPM guys simply created a few adapters to products such as Active Directory, RACF, and Relational Databases and expanded their potential value outside of traditional business process into something that helps enterprises become compliant to Sarbanes Oxley. I think this would be of interest to most businesses...

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