IBM BPM 8.6.x End of Support – An End and a New Beginning

Where can I get the details of the announcement?

The official notice can be found here with links to supporting documentation available from the same page.
[update - Oct 2020]
The end of support for the Eclipse Desktop Editor slated for April, 2020, has been pushed to April, 2021. This is a good opportunity to get your BPM installation updated to the latest version of BAW and take advantage of the new platform's features.

What does this mean for my current BPM installation?

It is time to make a plan to move to the latest IBM Business Automation Workflow version, and, by the way, migrate to Web Designer if you haven’t done so already. (end of support for the Eclipse Desktop Editor is set for April 2020.) At the time of writing this article, the integration of Process Applications with Case Solutions has made major progress. Going forward, IBM’s roadmap continues to integrate the two tools and combine them to make a solution that is much more capable and will enable business teams to utilize Case and Workflow together seamlessly.

What will I get with the new version?

• Process Center is replaced by Workflow Center. The user interface look and feel as well as the functionality has changed here. Access to Case Solutions and Process Applications is now all in the same place.

• Case Solutions: Cases can now be created, enabling content-based activities that stand-alone or integrate with Process Applications directly to support full business lifecycle applications.

• Process Applications: Process Applications remain largely unchanged (unless you have not moved to the Web Editor yet) but now they can be directly integrated with Case Solutions.

• Classic Versions of Case Builder and Workflow Center are available in the tool (older version of UIs) to help the transition, but users should focus on moving to the new UIs as quickly as possible to help facilitate the integration of new functionality.

• Inside both Case Solutions and Process Applications, new functionality to support the integration of the two is available.

• IBM Content Navigator and the Content Platform Engine are included in the product installation.

Will Administrators, Developers and End Users require training after the upgrade?

There are significant differences in the user interfaces related to the naming of features, the icons and the general navigation of items. Some of these changes are fairly obvious, but others may require some level of explanation.

When utilizing just the workflow tools, End Users will not be significantly impacted. Administrators and Developers will notice several changes in the look and feel and also have new functionality available. So although no significant training will be necessary, some mentoring on the tool use can be helpful.

When utilizing the new Case Solution features with integrated Workflow, it will likely be necessary to get some support for everyone using the new tools. The integration of the tools is rapidly moving forward with planned quarterly releases, and each new release providing several new features. To make the most of these, hands on experience with added mentoring / training will likely be very helpful.

What do I need to know about upgrading from 8.6.x to the newest version of Workflow Center?

• An extra database is required to support the integration of IBM Content Navigator (ICN) which is included in the upgrade.

• JDBC Database Drivers are not included as part of the install and must be downloaded to support the specific database type used.

Want to know more?

Click here to sign up for a free Workflow Accelerator workshop and see how Apex Process Consultants can help you transform your business.

Helpful References

What’s new in IBM Business Automation Workflow: https://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/SS8JB4/com.ibm.wbpm.workflow.main.doc/topics/cbpm_whatsnew-19.0.0.3.html

Migrating from earlier BPM Versions: https://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/SS8JB4_19.x/com.ibm.wbpm.imuc.doc/topics/tmig_top_std.html

Rob Robinson

Rob Robinson

Michigan