SOURCE: Proforma

June 06, 2005 11:03 ET

Consortium of Industry-Leading BPM Companies Establishes Common Interface Format (CIF) for Round-Trip Integration Between BPA and BPM

SOUTHFIELD, MI -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 6, 2005 -- Proforma Corporation, an established leader in Business Process Modeling and Analysis, announced it has joined with world-class Business Process Management (BPM) providers to answer industry demand for interoperability between Business Process Analysis (BPA) and BPM. The consortium agreed to support a robust Common Interchange Format (CIF) that will facilitate the exchange of business process models between BPA tools, such as Proforma's ProVision BPMx, and best-of-breed BPM solutions.

This seamless integration will provide a process-driven environment for organizations to model, analyze, implement, and continuously improve their business processes. Using the CIF approach, organizations that have modeled and designed optimal business processes will implement them quickly and accurately with participating BPM providers. CIF also will support full traceability between business processes and the technical services used to implement them, thus facilitating continuous process optimization. Version 1.0 of CIF will be available this summer and will allow critical business process information to be utilized by participating BPM vendors.

With CIF, Proforma and the consortium members are the first providers to enable end-to-end support of BPA and BPM. "For those organizations that want a 'best of breed' approach, it is imperative to have a common interchange between business modeling tools (BPA) and business execution tools (BPM) that enables round trip incremental improvement behavior," said Jim Sinur, vice president and distinguished analyst, Gartner, Inc.

A point-to-point solution, CIF complements extensible standards such as BPEL or XPDL. CIF can stand alone or be embedded into a standard. By embedding CIF, the standard can carry execution semantics, as well as the business semantics and traceability provided by CIF. For example, users will be able to embed a CIF stream within the BPEL standard. This value add will allow organizations to execute processes and tie the executable process definitions back to comprehensive business process requirements.

"Our customers expect interoperability between BPA and BPM, and are demanding effective collaboration," said Jerry Huchzermeier, Proforma's chief technical officer. "With our consortium partners, Proforma has developed a format that achieves robust interoperability and simultaneously enables BPEL or XPDL to carry both executable semantics and business semantics with traceability."

Support for Proforma CIF

A wide range of providers are participating in the BPM/CIF consortium including Appian, CommerceQuest, Fuego, Fujitsu, Insession Technologies, Lombardi Software, Metastorm and Pegasystems. As members of the consortium, all these vendors have agreed to support CIF by developing the CIF translators required to interoperate. The first CIF planning session was held in May and was attended by representatives of Appian, CommerceQuest, Fuego, Insession Technologies and Lombardi.

"Proforma's proven modeling technology, leveraged by best-in-breed BPM solutions provided by our partners, enables enterprises to manage effective and comprehensive BPM programs that link their portfolio of detailed, optimized business processes with the technical workflow systems that implement them," Huchzermeier said.

"The CIF initiative and other interchange standards accelerate the convergence of BPM and BPA technologies," said Philip Larson, director of product management at Appian. "Organizations that have invested in high-end process analysis tools like ProVision will now be able to import their detailed process models directly into scalable BPM execution engines like Appian Enterprise. This bridge between BPM and BPA enables the seamless automation, management and continuous improvement of business process performance."

"CommerceQuest believes there is a strong value proposition for existing BPA users to leverage its rich execution environment and, to that end, announced its Universal Process Engine late last year," said Michael Forster, chairman and CEO of CommerceQuest. "We are now pleased to be a part of Proforma's consortium as it reinforces our continued commitment to providing BPA and BPM alignment for our clients, uniting modeling and execution capabilities. Organizations may now improve, manage and monitor processes in real time for substantial gains in ROI."

"Many Fuego customers use ProVision for their Business Process Analysis needs," said Rick Mattock, vice president of product strategy, Fuego. "The common interchange format now makes it even easier for FuegoBPM to take the ProVision models and make them executable, as well as deliver roundtrip results in a standard format."

"There is a high demand within the industry for increased cooperation between Business Process Management (BPM) providers and leaders in the Business Process Analysis (BPA) space. Insession Technologies is very excited to partner with Proforma to provide seamless and high performance interoperability between Insession's WorkPoint Advantage solution and ProVision BPMx," said Tony Parkinson, president and CEO of Insession Technologies.

"Lombardi Software customers using ProVision now have the unique capability to extend their existing assets from modeling into the execution world," said Phil Gilbert, executive vice president and CTO of Lombardi Software. "Our goal is to make customers successful with BPM by maximizing business efficiency, utilizing their existing infrastructure and speeding the deployment of their operational processes. The CIF consortium created by Proforma clearly demonstrates a shared vision in helping companies achieve process excellence."

"Business process management efforts have evolved beyond simple automation, and organizations are now demanding integrated capabilities for modeling, statistical analysis, and execution," said Greg Carter, CTO of Metastorm. "Given Metastorm's focus on providing a complete suite for full life-cycle process management, we are extremely supportive of any standards definition initiatives that will enable our customers to more quickly and easily optimize and implement strategic business processes. We are pleased to be working closely with Proforma and other solution providers to create and adopt these standards."

Proforma will demonstrate ProVision BPMx in booth number 104 at the Gartner Business Process Management Summit. To learn more about Proforma, the Common Interchange Format, and ProVision BPMx, individuals can call 888.789.6903, write to or visit

About Proforma Corporation

Proforma is a leading provider of enterprise modeling software and services that enable organizations to know and improve their business processes and systems. The robust ProVision enterprise modeling suite empowers both business and IT to collaboratively model, analyze and improve the enterprise's strategy, processes, systems and technology. With Proforma solutions, global enterprises, government agencies, and systems integrators successfully perform Business Process Improvement and Management, Enterprise Architecture, Simulation, ITIL, Supply Chain, Six Sigma, and Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance initiatives. Know More. Do More®.

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