One of the main themes of the nearing preview release of Alfresco v1.4 is Business Process Management where Business Process & Content Management finally meet - BPCM :-)
I've been focused on v1.4 development for a while now, but recently when coming up for some air, I caught the interesting blog entry 'BPM and ECM Intersecting?' posted by Russ Stalters. He comments that mature ECM suites all have document centric workflow, but many of the larger ECM vendors are expanding this capability to include full fledged BPM.
Well, we can now add another ECM / BPM integration to the list. This time though it's pure Open Source.
Alfresco ECM v1.4 embeds JBoss jBPM. The result is a single open ECM stack, which tightly integrates Content Management and Business Process Management services. This really is a case of 1 + 1 = 3 (or should that be free).
Combining open source technologies is interesting; not just because of the technology gains, but also because of the community gains. A whole new community (JBoss jBPM) whether they know it or not is now directly or indirectly improving Alfresco ECM. That's good for us and our customers. And in return, we'll be making JBoss jBPM better too. For example, JBoss jBPM is working on BPEL support. When that's ready, the Alfresco ECM stack will be taken to a new level allowing support for Enterprise Wide Processes crossing many applications and services. We'll neatly slot in with our already provided Content Management Web Services. And all of this for very low development costs.
Details of our BPM support in v1.4 can be found in the following 'preview' documents hosted at our WIKI: