| Written by Mukanda Mbualungu |
BPM Architecture Considerations
This paper outlines three sets of key architecture considerations required for a successful configuration of an enterprise Business Process Management (BPM) implementation and deployment. These considerations are:
In addition to architecture considerations, another important success criteria for BPM implantations is ensuring the organization’s IT group be involved in the early stages of the BPM tool selection process. This is due to the fact that many decisions made and issues uncovered in early stages will have long-term consequences and will be much more difficult to resolve after the BPM tool has already been selected. When IT is involved at the early stage, there is a much better opportunity for ensuring balance between both business and technology factors.
I. Deployment Environments
Although this issue may seem obvious for any software deployment, it is important nonetheless to address how the BPM architecture will be configured in order to get out of the way any preconceived ideas. Typically there are four distinct (yet related) environments that need to be configured during the course of a BPM implementation. These environments are:
There are subtle differences in the way the #3 and #4 environments above are configured. Each will have its own architecture options and sizing as discussed in the next sections.
II. Architecture Options
Depending on the BPM tool selected, there multiple architecture options to be considered. Below we have identified the four most commonly used options and typically most appropriate for BPM implementation. The selection of these options for each environment depends on different factors such as existing IT infrastructure, budget, and solutions to be deployed.
III. Hardware and Database Sizing
In addition to the architecture options, other considerations for architecting a BPM solution relate to calculating and estimating hardware and database sizing. These considerations are:
The considerations above relating to specific quantities directly relate to hardware performance – the more users and process instances involved, the greater the computing capacity is for the BPM Engine orchestrating the process. The benchmark results will determine the hardware (CPU, Memory and Hard Disk) and database sizing recommendations for the BPM tool.
The author, Mukanda Mbualungu, is the Technical Director for SRA's Business Process Management Group (http://www.sra.com/bpm)