This report assesses the capabilities of Oracle’s Process Application Platform, and also examines the partners and intellectual property that Oracle can offer customers exploring associated technology implementations. This assessment report forms part of a series of reports from MWD Advisors which assesses business process application technology offerings – technology-related capabilities which support organisations wanting to design, develop, deploy, monitor and optimise partially- or wholly-automated business processes.
We strongly encourage you to read this report in conjunction with our accompanying Assessment Framework report.
Oracle’s process application technology heritage may be principally in automating application integration flows, but in recent years the breadth of applicability of its process application platform has increased significantly. Now, the Oracle Process Cloud Service (PCS), available as part of Oracle Integration Cloud Enterprise Edition going forward, is where Oracle is focusing most of its attention. This uses the same underlying technology as the on-premise Oracle BPM Suite, but is packaged and delivered in a way that significantly simplifies the experience of designing, building and deploying applications. Recent months have seen further investment in support for exploratory work (with the introduction of explicit case management modelling capabilities), DMN-compliant decision management, design simplicity and quick-start capabilities, together with ‘best-next-action’ recommendations – primarily for PCS.
Support for different types of work
Automated work: Automated work is Oracle’s heritage in the process application space, and the ease of combining with the Oracle SOA Suite (on-premise) or the Oracle Integration Cloud Service makes for a strong foundation. Sophisticated error handling rounds out the picture.
Transactional work: Separation of process management from model-based task management makes for a sophisticated platform for transactional work. The ability to drive data definition from form definition, and vice versa, is a nice touch; ‘Business Process Guides’ are another bonus, for Oracle BPM Suite customers at least.
Exploratory work: Oracle’s design-time and runtime features for Case Management applications create a very capable foundation for these kinds of work scenario. Oracle has some impressive capabilities here; and in 2017, Oracle has moved to deliver the same degree of packaged, ready-to-use support in this area across both BPM Suite and PCS.
Rapid prototyping / quick-start
The Oracle Process Cloud Service (PCS) includes a rapid prototyping/quick start capability called QuickStart Apps, which enables developer teams to build and manage libraries of ‘master’ applications that can be very quickly customised to suit particular process needs.
Oracle provides an environment for process automation projects that goes a long way to helping you minimize the costs associated with designing, deploying and changing processes. Although the tools available with Oracle BPM Suite and PCS are different, both platforms provide very solid capabilities.
User experience options
The user experience options offered by Oracle differ a little depending on whether you choose to use Oracle BPM Suite or PCS. Both platform alternatives provide the web-based Workspace user experience as the default, as well as supporting the native mobile app Oracle Process Mobile. However where PCS supports embedding of process application functionality through a set of jQuery components as well as a REST API, with Oracle BPM Suite only the REST API is available. There’s also more sophistication in the use of email for action with PCS than there is with Oracle BPM Suite today.
As mentioned briefly above, Oracle offers two variants of its Process Application Platform: Oracle Process Cloud Service and Oracle BPM Suite. Process Cloud Service is built on the same underlying technology foundation as BPM Suite, but currently goes significantly further in terms of simplified tooling and packaging.
Inside Oracle’s platform
Oracle’s BPM technology offering spans the Oracle Process Cloud Service (PCS) and the Oracle BPM Suite product bundle. Today, PCS is the principal focus for Oracle’s technical development efforts.