Tibco releases tool for process re-automation

Taking direct aim at Vitria Technology Inc., Tibco Software has unveiled the TIB/IntegrationManager, a business process automation tool for e-marketplaces that is the result of Tibco’s acquisition of InConcert last year.

Tibco also is furthering its business-to-business cause with a rewrite of its flagship TIB/Rendezvous (TIB/RV), which is publish/subscribe and multicasting middleware, and the release of the TIB/PortalPack for building. The company also is providing the EAI (enterprise application integration) plumbing for Web portals.

TIB/IntegrationManager, which does not require TIB/RV, offers GUI tools for creating views into processes that run on top of real-time, messaging infrastructures, said Aditya Shivram, product manager at TIB/IntegrationManager. The business process information can be saved in a repository accessed by Tibco’s EAI tools.

Tibco also is working with Rational Rose, maker of object-oriented business process modeling, analysis, design, and construction tools, to allow Rational models to be brought into the TIB/IntegrationManager environment, Shivram said.

Shivram acknowledges that much of the company’s approach mirrors Vitria’s BusinessWare.

“We’re putting a table top on very strong legs,” said Shivram, implying that Vitria’s foundation lacks the “very strong legs” of Tibco’s EAI tools TIB/RV, TIB/Hawk, TIB/MessageBroker, and TIB/Adapter.

“I would say that imitation is the best form of flattery,” said Malcolm Lewis, director of marketing strategy for Vitria. “Dale and JoMei built the legs that Tibco is basing its table on,” Lewis said, referring to Vitria founders Dale Skeen, now CTO, and JoMei Chang, CEO, who helped develop much of the technology that fueled the launch of Tibco in the 1980s. Vitria, Lewis said, is two to three years ahead of “traditional EAI vendors who are scrambling to plug the gap in their product lines.”

Although Vitria is a process pioneer, “not everyone has a business process-centric view,” said Mike Gilpin, an analyst at Giga Group.

With TIB/RV 6, the latest rewrite of the program, Tibco has resolved the broadcasting storms that have plagued TIB/RV installations in the past, and has corrected a bridging problem that occasionally cropped up between TIB/RV and IBM’s MQSeries messaging, Gilpin said.

The vendor’s TIB/RV 6 is “at the core of directory-enabled networking,” by virtue of its embedding in Cisco Systems routers, said Andrea Eubanks, a product line manager for messaging at Tibco. The multithreaded upgrade also will make better usage of hardware platforms that have multiple, SMP (symmetric multiprocessing) CPUs, Eubanks said.

The upgrade also features an HTTP interface to a TIB/RV daemon that allows users to view inbound and outbound packet flow via a Web site, Eubanks said.