While business process management is a growing trend, the ability to monitor those processes for faults which may affect the operation of processes is a relatively new field. JD Edwards is attempting to do this by bringing HP's system management capabilities on board.
Currently, Webmethods integration software is embedded into JD Edwards 5 as the XPI framework. It gives an integration backbone to the software, allowing business processes to be created by the integration of applications through a centralised model.
With XPI if a customer submits an order to, for example, a customer relationship management system, messages can be sent to other relevant modules in the supply chain and production systems and information such as delivery date be returned immediately. By incorporating HP's infrastructure management capabilities, JD Edwards can allow its users to gain an insight into how hardware or software outages or faulty integration of processes affects the overall flow of information.
If, for example, a process fails to work, perhaps because the processing of a purchase order is delayed or cancelled, the user will be able to discover if the fault lies in the software or the hardware, or will be able to simulate the effects on its processes if part of its IT infrastructure breaks down.
Simon Bragg, an analyst with ARC Consulting, said the move by JD Edwards signalled a change from its IBM-centric past, adding that built-in monitoring of business processes was a welcome development. "If you have a BPM [background processing management] layer over multiple applications you need a way of monitoring process performance to find out whether any of them are screwing up."