Adaptive Business applications

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Published :

Shyamala Jayaraman

Vice President - Technology

Business today is evolving rapidly and Companies face constantly changing Business models and processes. In a globalized business environment, companies fight tenaciously to achieve efficiency and capitalize on emerging market opportunities. To remain competitive, they must become agile and to sustain their focus on high value-add areas, they must become adaptive. It has therefore become apparent that, traditional IT approaches to serving new business needs are proving woefully inadequate.

In order to keep pace with Business changes IT Systems must be architected to handle changes. To create flexible, ‘easy to change’ applications, IT systems must have the ability to:

  • change business process dynamically
  • change Business rules to effect new policies and business strategies
  • re-configure, replace components based on process changes
  • change IT systems quickly so that  “When your business changes, your system changes”
  • collaborate easily with other internal and external applications in a standardized and seamless fashion

This implies radically improved flexibility beyond traditional application coding or customization. In order to achieve agility and flexibility, Organizations must adopt a new ‘Composition’ Or ‘Assembly’ approach that straddles the line between the ‘build’ and ‘buy’ approaches of the past.

Application ‘Assembly’ approach can become a reality only if the whole set of application software within a business, becomes a flexible platform that supports ongoing evolution of Business Processes. To create Agile, flexible applications it is imperative that the adopted technology platform enables:

  • modeling of business processes and business rules
  • visualization and realization of the Process Model as a Flexible IT System
  • rapid development techniques
  • ready-to-use, reusable business components

The need for such a platform called the Business Process Platform (BPP) is being widely acknowledged across the world today. The goal of a BPP is to create an environment where, business managers can focus on business innovations with the complete confidence that IT can effect changes to available technology infrastructure in an Agile and Adaptive manner. Fundamental to this approach is the ability to compose new Business Processes by assembly of Business components (Process Components) and to orchestrate their Business Services to support new Business Processes.

Ramco VirtualWorksTM is a Business Process Platform using which, IT can respond in a rapid and consistent manner to business changes, which ultimately leads to a constant flow of differentiating Business Processes and Business Models.

Source: Gartner

To enable Business Process Composition, VirtualWorks offers a comprehensive set of technologies with Visual Modelers to link Business Process content together using Business Services. This SOA (Service-Oriented Architecture) framework will enable users to build SOBAs i.e Service Oriented Business Applications (that have Business Process tasks exposed as Web Services). The User Experience layer is provided through various User interface technologies. Process Services will enable the design of new Business processes and Business rules that may be extensively orchestrated through BPEL or configured using Rule Engines. The integrated runtime framework will consists of the User interface support, application services and the messaging support. This platform relies on underlying infrastructure for its runtime execution.

Using Ramco VirtualWorks, Business Applications are assembled by drawing on a library of Business Components and Business Services that correspond to elements of the Business Process. The Business service repository provides the business architect with Secure and Controlled access to content. The Business Services Repository is a container to store and manage services throughout their entire life-cycle. The Services could correspond to Business Proceses supported by applications built using VirtualWorks or may be developed to integrate various heterogeneous legacy applications.

As Enterprises emphasize Business Processes, they need to establish a Business Process Platform to enable Business Process Creation, deployment and monitoring of Service-Oriented Business Applications. The Business Process Platform is what gives Business Managers the ability to conduct business and for IT to focus on technology infrastructure. While the BPP represents an incremental extension to the technological footprint, it holds the potential to dramatically change the way line-of-business operators leverage key applications services in such a way that makes their business truly adaptive.