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Active Endpoints beefs up visual SOA orchestration with added features and expanded OS support

Active Endpoints' ActiveVOS 6.0.2 includes new features and addresses the debate over whether SOA modeling languages can be directly executed by the BPMS or first serialized into an execution-focused language like BPEL.

This is a guest post from Dana Gardner of TechRepublic's sister site ZDNet. You can follow Dana on his ZDNet blog BriefingsDirect, or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Active Endpoints, the inventor of the visual orchestration system (VOS), has spruced up its flagship offering with enhancements that include operational improvements and expanded operating system and database support.

The Waltham, Mass.-based company has released ActiveVOS 6.0.2, which includes new reporting capabilities, an enhanced ability to reuse plain old Java objects (POJOs), and new platform and operating system support.

The new version of ActiveVOS also addresses the ongoing debate over whether service oriented architecture (SOA) modeling languages such as business process modeling notation (BPMN) can be directly executed by the business process management system (BPMS) or first serialized into an execution-focused language like business process execution language (BPEL). [Disclosure: Active Endpoints is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

According to Active Endpoint's Alex Neihaus, vice president of marketing:

We support the latter approach on the simple theory that models aren't fully specified and therefore cannot be executed on real machines - on which everything must be specified. That's why we believe most modeling-oriented BPMSs end up frustrating business analysts and forcing developers to write lots of Java code to implement simple processes.

Neihaus said that the new version is the first iteration of something the company intends to pursue: unification of the visual styles of creating models and process design. An example of this can be found at the Active Endpoints Web site, where the "bordered style" link in the second row of the table shows a screen shot of the new design. Neihaus adds:

It's just a beginning, but our BPEL processes are beginning to look and feel like BPMN-style models, and vice versa. As we do more of this, we'll obviate the debate, bring analysts and developers closer together and make it possible to deliver BPM applications more easily.

In other enhancements to the product, service level reporting provides a granular perspective into average process response time, giving users the opportunity to identify and respond to bottlenecks that affect overall process performance.

New reporting capabilities include a summary of the response time of the top ten activities of the process, allowing operations staff to optimize running processes. Rich scheduling helps define the frequency of process execution using any combination of months, weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds.

ActiveVOS now allows Java objects to maintain state, significantly increasing the number of use cases that can be fulfilled using the POJO capabilities. Previously, developers could reuse POJOs as native web services, providing the ability to invoke stateless Java objects directly from a process.

In addition to the server operating systems, application servers, and database systems previously supported, ActiveVOS is now additionally certified with:

The latest version of ActiveVOS can be downloaded from http://www.activevos.com/. A free, 30-day trial is available and includes support to assist in the evaluation.

ActiveVOS 6.0.2 is priced at $12,000 per CPU socket for deployment licenses. Development licenses are priced at $5,000 per CPU socket. Pricing is also available for virtualized environments.

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