Business Process Management (BPM) is a way to plan, implement, and ultimately improve the processes that make up the aspects of a business. BPM offers a useful and clear view into business processes by allowing you to model existing (and planned) processes, analysis and simulation scenarios; processes can be tested and improved prior to actual implementation so that potential flaws or inefficiencies can be resolved. BPM is the end result of utilizing several fully-formed processes (processes that have been modelled, simulated, and debugged) working together in a real-world environment. These processes often govern human interactions, allow multiple systems to work together, or facilitate task automation in your organization.

Business Process Management Suite is a more comprehensive approach to BPM. It provides all of the process management capabilities of BPM software, plus the following functionality: knowledge management, document management, collaboration tools, business analytics, and a work portal. It uses BPEL (Business Process Execution Language) to execute processes of export/import information using a web service interface and BPMN (Business Process Management Notation) for a standardized graphical representation for specifying and designing business processes based on flowchart modelling technique.

In traditional approaches, BPM is applied in a top-down approach where a relatively small number of people define a process, proceed to re-engineer existing information systems to work with the process model, and then inform end users how it is to be implemented. Moreover, many organizations implement BPM only for their mission-critical processes. However, BPM can be used with any process, regardless of size or complexity. The reason BPM is often not used has more to do with the cost and complexity of traditional BPM solutions than with the nature of the processes it can be applied to. Thanks to the open source solutions everyone can use BPM regardless of budget, which means that bottom-up process improvement is possible. Furthermore, the open architecture of BPM software allows extensive customization and adaptation of the process for a variety of projects and situations, rather than having to re-engineer or adapt existing external systems.

In this work I’m going to introduce and briefly analyze twelve open source Business Process Management Suit tools, basing on the information extracted from the companies’ websites, white papers, FAQ section and user forums.

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