Camunda goes up and downstream with Cawemo, Optimize

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Since its shift to focus on product (as well as services) in 2013, Camunda has focused on the core technology for business process automation – aiming to build the best available platform for executing BPMN processes. With the introduction of Cawemo and Optimize, though, it’s spreading out.

Cawemo: collaborative BPMN diagramming

Cawemo is a new SaaS offering from Camunda that provides a real-time collaboration environment for teams of stakeholders working with BPMN 2.0 diagrams. It builds on the open-source bpmn-js BPMN diagram editing and visualisation library that Camunda has offered since 2014, and is designed to make creation, editing and sharing of BPMN diagrams as simple as possible.

Cawemo is aimed primarily at business people who have some level of stake in process improvement, but no specific interest in BPM technology specifically. As Jakob Freund, Camunda’s CEO, told me: “we designed it for the little process manager in all of us”… [I think these ‘little process managers’ are unevenly distributed, but I understand what he means.] So it’s really aimed at replacing use of tools like PowerPoint and Visio.

Collaborative diagram editing is facilitated through teams of users sharing a Cawemo license – although logged-in users not part of a given team can add comments to a diagram shared with them, and read-only diagrams can be shared with anyone.

You can upload specifications imported from other tools, and export them too (including for use in the Camunda Modeler that ships as part of Camunda BPM). Diagrams exported to tools like Camunda BPM and then enhanced with process implementation details can be reimported into Cawemo; technical details of these diagrams will be retained, but can’t be explored/edited within Cawemo.

You can get started with Cawemo here. It’s still very clearly an early product, but it does show a good deal of promise.

Camunda’s rationale for introducing Cawemo is to broaden, as far as possible, understanding and adoption of the BPMN specification that’s implemented at the heart of Camunda’s core technology. In line with that, Cawemo is offered free for small teams, and very inexpensively (just $12 per user / per month) for larger teams.

Optimize: Process analysis for Camunda BPM

Landing at the same time as Cawemo is a new process analysis tool for Camunda BPM called Optimize. It’s been driven by requirements highlighted by some of Camunda’s existing Enterprise Edition (paying) customers, and licensed as an Enterprise Edition add-on.

As is the case with Cawemo, Optimize is not aimed at process professionals; here, the audience is people who have some kind of ‘process owner’ role. And again, the emphasis with Optimize is to focus very tightly on a couple of key use cases, rather than trying to provide the richest set of product features.

Optimize is a web-based tool that aims to help process owners answer four questions of processes executing in Camunda BPM:

  • Is the process producing the desired outcome?
  • Is the process error-prone?
  • Is the process taking too long?
  • Is the process too expensive?

Right now you can run a handful of analyses that enable you to explore process performance, coverage and variability, and it’s easy to filter the data under analysis based on process variable values, cycle times, and more so you can ‘dig into’ the diagnosis of process problems or concerns.

Today Optimize is all about improving your awareness of performance and issues within a Camunda BPM installation; however Camunda’s roadmap clearly shows a desire to drive analysis-led optimisations, recommendations and changes into operational processes.

Up and down, round and round

As I mentioned above, Cawemo and Optimize are still early in their evolution and it’s easy to see lots of improvements and additions that can be made (just one other example: looking beyond BPMN in Cawemo and Optimize, to also include coverage of CMMN and DMN). However the introduction of both these products is a clear signal that Camunda is no longer constraining its focus on core process automation/execution technology – it’s got its sights set on being able to support a much broader business process automation lifecycle proposition.

 

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