There are various BPM Suites available on the market today. One interesting differentiating factor among them is their ability to handle data outside the context of a workflow. For example, what if your process involved maintaining an inventory database requiring a process for retrieving an item from inventory? A typical BPM Suite will require that you have a separate database created, i.e. Oracle or SQL, then you have to connect the workflow engine to it. As these suites don’t include a database for storing data, you are required to create the database somewhere else. Some may even require the creation of a predefined workflow with one activity that enables you to insert records into the database. Although these suites can get you to where you want, they are trying to fit a square peg to a round hole and the solution can be kludgy.
However a different breed of BPM Suites which include a full development environment and an integrated database are available. With these types it’s very easy to define a form which generates a database structure and enables you to store or import inventory data. They also include the BPM workflow engine which allows you to initiate the process to retrieve the inventory item as your process dictates. For many of these BPM suites the built-in development environment is also targeted towards business analysts thus not requiring programming and or database design knowledge. The combination of BPM capabilities, development environment and a built-in database provides a robust and flexible suite of solutions to enable the rapid ease of deployment giving you the best fit for the most complex business processes.