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Now, Dr. Helge Hess of Software AG gives an overview of the current ARIS roadmap and how this roadmap can be influenced by the members of the International ARIS User Group. So all participants are invited to report on their current projects and also what they aim at in the future so that ARIS can best support them.

Helge touches major topics currently on focus in terms of ARIS roadmap. Current important trends like cloud computing, mobile, and social networking also influence how ARIS will look like in the near future.

Dr. Helge Hess at International ARIS User Group meeting

He also announces that the next major ARIS release is planned at the end of Q1/2013. This version will be called ARIS 9. This might come as a surprise, because the current version is ARIS 7.2. The jump to version 9 doesn’t mean we at Software AG can’t count, but that we synchronize the version numbers between all product lines. So the end of Q1/2013 won’t just see ARIS Platform 9, but also e.g. webMethods 9 and CentraSite 9.

Next on his agenda, he shows what’s up and coming in terms of ARIS Governance, Risk, and Compliance Management. One highlight will greatly speed-up rollouts as most customer requirements can be achieved with configuration instead of programming custom functions. Another major part of the ARIS 9 GRC release will be a component for audit management. Also, the release will contain an enhanced solution for policy lifecycle management. A big highlight will be Realtime GRC. The idea is that you monitor in realtime if your policies are implemented. This is an important step forward, because you can directly react when an incident happens instead of following up on it after the problem happened.

There is also news in the business intelligence and process management day. Users of ARIS Community have probably seen the iPad version of ARIS MashZone. The focus of ARIS PPM will also be extended. In the past, it mostly focused on process data and analysis. Those capabilities are now generalized so that also general data can be analyzed. Helge promised that we learn more about that during the day. I’m looking forward to it!

Now, Eric Brabänder takes over the stage. Eric focuses on what’s coming in terms of new modeling capabilities. He shows a list of most important requirements to be covered with the upcoming release of our modeling products. On the top of the list, it says: Ease of Use. This has been a theme in past years. Just think of the many features introduced with the ARIS 7.2 release. Eric says that ease of use is so important, because many members of the ARIS User Group are acting as ARIS hubs in their companies and have to justify the use of the tools. An even better user interface will help those ARIS advocates to do their work.

Eric Brabänder at user group meeting

BPM projects are always team work. People from many domains like business analysts, domain experts, IT experts, managers, etc. participate in such an effort. The artifacts created in such a project are usually managed in one of the ARIS products. But why not also manage the BPM project itself with ARIS? This will be possible with new functionality summarized by the Extreme Collaboration theme. I guess we won’t see a lot about that today, but stay tuned to learn more about it in the coming months.

The upcoming ARIS release will also come with a new user interface. Perspectives based on the current user will help to simplify the UI for the given task. Connected to that, the new release will provide a single client so that you don’t need to switch clients to use different functionality. This will probably speed-up daily work.

Modeling isn’t just done to create some fancy looking wall papers, but instead to make use of the data contained in the modeling repository. A new ad-hoc query functionality will simplify analyzing the data. For example, you can find paths between objects even if they are not directly connected. For example, you might want to know if a certain process is affected if an IT system is out-phased. The query tools are designed in a way that you don’t need any programming knowledge to do such analysis.

Eric now shows the upcoming ARIS Table Framework. I think this is going to be a very valuable tool for ARIS users. Think of it as Microsoft Excel embedded directly in ARIS. Instead of first exporting data from the repository to Excel, you can directly access all data in the ARIS repository and use it in a spreadsheet. Besides outputting data in a spreadsheet, you can also perform calculations on the data like calculating the mean runtime of functions.

Eric mentions several other new features, but there are so many that I hardly can follow putting here what I see. ARIS administrators will probably interesting in the new user management component to be shipped with ARIS 9. Today, many user parameters like license key are stored on the clients. In the future, there will be a central component to manage all that data.

Also ARIS is enhanced in the SAP domain. For example, with the upcoming release you will be able to synchronize your BPMN 2 models with SAP Solution Manager. There are also extensions for SAP BW.

An important message from Eric seems to be that even with webMethods being Software AG’s execution platform, ARIS stays independent of the execution platform. Support for all major platforms like IBM, Oracle, SAP, Microsoft, and Fujitsu are continued and extended. So also in the future, you are free to choose the execution environment best suiting your needs connecting it to your ARIS process repository.

Another nice eye catcher is the enterprise architecture dashboards. Such dashboards are needed, because data of an enterprise architecture is stored in many different models so that getting an overview of the current state is not so easy. The introduction of a flexible metamodel is also a great enhancement especially important for enterprise architects. The flexible metamodel will allow the introduction of new model types or object types.

At the end of his talk, Eric provides a short overview of what is coming in terms of cloud computing. The new ARIS cloud product will integrate with existing ARIS repositories as Eric doesn’t expect that any long-term customer wants to start over with a new tool. The cloud product will provide the following main capabilities:

  • extreme collaboration
  • design, capture, and analyze
  • dashboarding
  • publish & consume

Personally, I’ve been working on the ARIS cloud product in the past years and I’m convinced that this new product will change the way BPM projects are done. BPM will become more agile, collaborative, and fun!

The ARIS cloud product comes with a new architecture taking into account current cloud computing technologies. You will be able to access the ARIS cloud using the well established rich clients, but there will be also a new so-called thin client requiring no installation as it runs completely in the web browser. Eric now shows some early screenshots of the product, which I can’t share with you at this point in time. But I guess there will be a lot of information about this new product published here on ARIS Community in the coming months as this is a major move.

This was a lot of information in a short time. Now, there is a coffee break and I'm looking forward to the discussions with the members of the International ARIS User Group

Note: See this article with a list of all articles published from the International User Group meeting in Berlin 2012!