IBM Debuts BPM Suite, Tools For Building Mashup Apps

IBM unveiled the new Mashup Center and WebSphere sMash products at its Impact 2008 conference in Las Vegas where the company is outlining its service-oriented architecture (SOA) strategy to some 6,000 partners and customers. Earlier at the conference IBM announced a new business process management (BPM) software suite and the creation of a SOA social network to link developers, architects and IT professionals.

The IBM Mashup Center is designed for non-technical users for assembling software components from any number of sources to create customized Web applications, said Kareem Yusuf, director of WebSphere product management, in an interview. IBM WebSphere sMash is a development environment for technical developers to build composite applications based on SOA technology.

Both products are now undergoing beta testing and will be commercially available by mid-year, Yusuf said. A developers version of WebSphere sMash will be available as a free download from

"The SOA opportunity is very big for our partners overall," said John Gordon, director of channel marketing for IBM SOA and WebSphere, in an interview. He said solution providers and ISVs can use WebSphere sMash to extend the functionality of their software products to new areas within customer accounts. Gordon demonstrated the sMash technology to solution providers at Everything Channel's XChange conference in Los Angeles last month.

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Gordon said IBM has some 5,000 business partners working with SOA technology.

The new social network, built on IBM Lotus Connections technology, would link various communities of information technology and business professionals, academics and other interested parties to share information and best practices for advancing SOA development.

In the BPM space IBM unveiled WebSphere Business Events, based on technology IBM acquired through its buyout of AptSoft in January, for identifying and analyzing cause-and-effect relationships among events in real time for making business decisions. The software is currently available as a commercially licensed product and as a free, limited-use trial download. IBM plans to link the product to its WebSphere eXtreme Scale software and to technology from IBM's December 2007 acquisition of Solid Information Technology.