What is IBM Business Process Manager on Cloud?

IBM® Business Process Manager on Cloud is a subscription-based business process management (BPM) cloud service. It offers visibility and management of business processes, low start-up costs and fast return on investment.

It provides a full lifecycle BPM cloud environment including development, test and production—with tooling and run time for process design, execution, monitoring and optimization. It is designed to enable business users to get started with process improvement quickly—often in less than 48 hours—without the need to build and maintain an IT infrastructure.

IBM Business Process Manager on Cloud Express is an entry level subscription-based BPM cloud service. It offers a smaller scale, lower SLA version of the full size cloud service to help you get started with BPM or for automating small projects at a lower cost.

It provides a development environment where you can create and test process applications, as well as, a production environment for running your project. This is especially suited for:

  • Small, non-mission-critical processes that have no high availability requirements for production.
  • Teams that need access to processes with less than 25 people.
  • Teams that want to experiment with process automation.
  • Processes that require Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN).

What are the benefits of IBM Business Process Manager on Cloud?

Improve performance: Experience an ease of design and deployment of process applications through an integrated design time experience.

  • Improves reliability, performance and scalability through availability as a service on the IBM SoftLayer® cloud infrastructure.
  • Provides Integration Designer to more easily build efficient straight-through processes and reusable service-oriented architecture (SOA) services, and provides an environment to run customized code.
  • Enables multi-user teams to define a process application and offers centralized installation and tracking of process application versions.
  • Provides a single, software as a service (SaaS) entry point URL and orchestration and integration enabled by a unified BPM runtime.
  • Enables fast deployment in a standard format or as a customizable configuration—and provides improved support for integration scenarios by enabling site-to-site virtual private network (VPN).

Get started quickly: Scale smoothly from initial project to enterprise-wide program using an integrated environment.

  • Provides the ability to search and share content across multiple process centers and BPM lifecycle governance.
  • Offers a performance data warehouse that automatically correlates performance event streams directly back to the specified metrics.
  • Offers a process optimizer that detects bottlenecks and violations of performance thresholds.
  • Enables analysts to gain insight into root causes of process performance by clicking into any part of a process.
  • Provides a dedicated database instance to store and retrieve data during the development phase of a business process.

Increase visibility: Gain visibility through a business-led change design.

  • Engages process participants individually and scales to support enterprise-wide transformation.
  • Makes it simple to prioritize work efficiently and improves productivity.
  • Offers coaches that help build and foster the reuse of forms, controls, sections and templates to further streamline task completion.
  • Provides built-in monitoring and analytics that help optimize business processes through simulations and comparisons.
  • Enables candidate process optimizations to be simulated and compared against historical benchmarks.

Improve collaboration: Engage process participants individually and scale to support enterprise-wide transformation through a business-led change design.

  • Allows users to see and work from the same process version, and enables you to manage change confidently.
  • Uses portal technology for enhanced visibility among users and offers social capabilities to engage specialists.
  • Provides a graphical process designer that makes it easier for team members—including non-technical users—to collaborate on process design and analysis.
  • Allows teams to instantly step through and review the current process design with a built-in playback feature.
  • Enables team-oriented development of multiple projects through concurrent editing, merge-less development, simplified snapshot versioning and back-in-time views.

“We’ve developed some proprietary IP built on IBM BPM that essentially helps us accelerate deployment of applications 30-50 percent.”

Jonathan Wiener - Partner - BPM Wave International AG

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IBM Business Process Manager on Cloud Frequently Asked Questions

Does IBM BPM on Cloud have the same capabilities as IBM Business Process Manager (IBM BPM) on premise?

IBM BPM on Cloud has the full capabilities of IBM BPM on premise and is compatible with IBM Business Process Manager Express, Standard and Advanced. IBM BPM on Cloud process assets are completely portable with IBM BPM on premise. For example, you can export your process application into a .twx file and import those through Process Center in either direction:

  • IBM BPM on Cloud to IBM BPM on premise
  • IBM BPM on premise to IBM BPM on Cloud

What is a user?

A user is anyone with access to the IBM BPM on Cloud service. This includes authors/designers, testers, administrators and end users. Users in your account are tracked on the Admin tab of the IBM BPM on Cloud portal.

There are two types of user licensing available for IBM BPM on Cloud (the formal definitions can be found in the Terms of Use):

Concurrent User

Authorized (named) User

Where are the IBM BPM on Cloud Data Centers located?

The service is hosted in IBM SoftLayer data centers worldwide. Active subscriptions will generally have access to the service from the closest SoftLayer Data Center. The following data centers are currently available:

  • Amsterdam
  • Dallas
  • Hong Kong
  • Houston
  • San Jose
  • Seattle
  • Singapore
  • Washington DC

As IBM SoftLayer expands into more countries, IBM Business Process Manager on Cloud can be hosted in those data centers. The following IBM SoftLayer announcement describes IBM plans for expanding worldwide. Learn more

Where can I find the Service Level Agreement?

The service level agreement (SLA) is part of the IBM BPM on Cloud Terms of Use. IBM makes a reasonable business effort to provide 100 percent availability to the IBM Business Process Manager on Cloud service, excluding scheduled maintenance. The Terms of Use with the SLA can be found at here under IBM SaaS Offerings – Smarter Process.

How is scheduled maintenance managed?

The IBM BPM on Cloud operations team notifies all users of any planned outages at least 72 hours in advance of any planned maintenance. All users are notified by an email notification that is sent to the user IDs (the email address with which the users registered). Typically, scheduled maintenance is no longer than 4 hours and is scheduled during non-peak periods of time.

There is no preset frequency of patches or scheduled maintenance; these occur only as needed with advanced notification to all users. The IBM BPM on Cloud service generally follows the IBM BPM product releases, which historically have been one major and one minor release in a given year. IBM BPM on Cloud might have multiple updates within a given year. Software functional and security patches are applied as needed to stay current and resolve potential issues.

How is Disaster Recovery managed?

Each instance of IBM BPM on Cloud is backed up every 24 hours to an encrypted evault that is located at a different data center on the SoftLayer Network. This ensures that an instance can be recovered to a point no more than 24 hours old if there is a loss of the service at a given data center.

The service provides a clustered production run environment for high availability and IBM DB2® configured with High Availability and Disaster Recovery (HADR) primary and back up databases. Also, SoftLayer provides robust hardware, such as Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) 10 storage, to provide high availability. If a service failure occurs, the last backup can be restored in less than 4 hours.

Can IBM BPM on Cloud connect to other services?

Process applications running on IBM BPM on Cloud can directly access any service, Application Programming Interface (API) or system that it can directly access on the Internet, for example with a proxy. If a service, API or system cannot be directly accessed from the Internet, then you will have to use a technical solution that provides connectivity to the service.

The following examples are ways that IBM BPM on Cloud can connect to other services:

1. Connect to a cloud service running on SoftLayer or a different cloud infrastructure. You might be able to directly connect to the service or use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection.

2. Connect to a user directory, such as Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) or Active Directory. IBM BPM on Cloud uses Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) 2.0 to connect to corporate user directories and authentication.

3. Connect to a database, application, or system running on your corporate network. The following is a list of some of the ways you can connect to your corporate network.

  • Use an IPSEC VPN tunnel to connect IBM BPM on Cloud to your corporate network. For more information on how this works, see the following information:
  • Publish your services as an API that is available as a secure web service by using an Internet visible proxy.
  • Leverage one of the IBM Cast Iron® cloud integration products, which enable you to integrate cloud and on-premise applications quickly. IBM Cast Iron is available as software, SaaS, Pattern and Appliance form factors. Learn more about IBM Cast Iron products and services.

Is there a trial version of IBM BPM on Cloud?

There is a trial available for 30 days. Users are given access to one of the IBM Business Process Manager on Cloud sandbox accounts. These sandbox accounts are great for trying out or experimenting with IBM BPM on Cloud, running the tutorial or other samples. The sandbox accounts may have several people using them at any given time, but each user will only have access to their own process applications. IBM does not recommend uploading or creating proprietary content in these sandbox accounts.

How can I purchase IBM BPM on Cloud?

IBM BPM on Cloud can be purchased from an IBM Sales Representative or from an IBM Business Partner reseller.

After a purchase order is entered into the IBM purchasing system, the account is provisioned, which usually takes less than 48 hours.

How do I request support?

Support Information

For more information, see the IBM BPM on Cloud documentation.

Technical Support during on-boarding

Regular email support hours of operation for on-boarding are provided from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (excluding US holidays). You can submit questions or issues to the following email address to get on-boarding support: supportbpmoncloud@us.ibm.com.

Operational support

Operational support is provided if you are developing your own process applications and tool kits or if you need configuration support. Operational support does not include problems with the IBM BPM on Cloud product itself, which would be covered by technical support. The following examples are the types of issues that are covered by operational support:

Operational support is provided from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (excluding US holidays). You can submit operational support requests to the following email address: supportbpmoncloud@us.ibm.com.

Technical support during the subscription period (not available for trial access)

Technical support is always available:

Response times are documented in the Support Handbook.

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Additional information

IBM offers consulting services for IBM Business Process Manager on Cloud to help migrate process applications from on-premises to cloud. These services include existing systems and business process management (BPM) applications analysis, migration option assessment and migration preparation and execution consulting.

Designed specifically to enable process owners and business users to get started with business process improvement quickly, it provides a ready-to-use, cloud-based environment that is hosted in IBM SoftLayer® cloud data centers and managed by IBM.

Rental subscriptions available through Passport Advantage

  • Monthly subscription with a minimum number of months for the initial term.
  • Single price that includes BPM software, IBM cloud infrastructure and management services.
  • User, per month pricing with a minimum of 25 users.
  • Includes five designers or users by default. Additional designers can be added as needed.
  • Concurrent User or Authorized User subscription options.

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