Bonitasoft launches version 6 of its BPM platform tomorrow – and there’s a lot of new code and capability on show. A completely new runtime engine and a new work portal are both reflections of the fact that the company is seeing bigger and more demanding deployments.
Along with Theo Priestley (@ITredux) I attended a ‘pre-launch’ event for Bonita|BPM 6 held at the very swanky Corinthia Hotel in London today. It’s part of a series of small seminar-style events designed to introduce prospective customers and partners to Bonitasoft as well as showcasing the new platform.
As Theo says, the Bonita project has now had well over 2m downloads, and there are over 600 customers paying Bonitasoft for enterprise subscriptions. I don’t have revenue figures to hand, but I do know it signed around 900 contracts in 2012; and of the 550 customers it had at the start of 2013, nearly half of these were new customers in 2012.
Bonita|BPM 6 represents a substantial rewrite of the platform and tooling – something that the company didn’t undertake lightly. There’s a completely new runtime engine that Bonitasoft claims is significantly faster (I think 4x was mentioned, but I need to double-check that). But just as importantly, the new engine’s service-based architecture means that it’s possible to do quite a lot of reconfiguration of an application without having to redeploy it, or restart any servers – you can make organisational model and connector changes, for example.
On the work portal side there’s a much revised look-and-feel that follows responsive design principles, and this is coupled with a mobile HTML/CSS version that enables process participants to track work and complete tasks from mobile devices.
From a design perspective the other significant introduction is support for ad hoc creation and assignment of subtasks. This is interesting in itself, but it also looks to be a precursor to a more general flexible work co-ordination approach being explored for future releases.
Taking all this together, my impression is that Bonitasoft is tooling up to meet the needs of ever more demanding clients. Its customer roster is certainly eye-catching, and as it continues to expand in big enterprise accounts it’s going to continue to come across requirements that need to be met with the ability to scale, to deploy changes quickly, and so on.
There’s more that Bonitasoft can and needs to do – for example at the moment there’s really not much of a business rules / decision management story, and monitoring and optimisation capabilities are modest. But it’s a serious challenger already.