Virtualization Technology News and Information
VMblog Expert Interview: Bonitasoft Discusses BPM and Self-Contained Applications


This week, Bonitasoft made a big announcement around a new approach to BPM, called Self-Contained Applications.  To find out more, VMblog spoke with Charles Souillard, CEO and co-founder of Bonitasoft.

VMblog:  You are announcing news about an innovation in how to approach business processes using BPM. BPM has been around a long time, what is new in this domain?

Charles Souillard:  The combination of BPM and containerization is a new approach to BPM process applications and automation projects deployment. This approach, called Self-Contained Applications and beginning with the release of Bonita 2023.1, combines the power of BPM application platform technologies for development with the benefits of containerization approaches and technologies for deployment and management. The BPM base offers wide extensibility to integrate with enterprise IT, with its good auditability, traceability, and compliance, while deployment of individual applications using containers offers faster delivery, portability, and easier management.

Both BPM and containerization technologies are widely used already and familiar to DevOps teams, but the combination of the two in Self-Contained Applications is a revolutionary development - with an evolutionary implementation, to be sure!

VMblog:  Why is this important or useful to enterprises that rely on critical business processes? What are the issues this new approach is meant to address?

Souillard:  We have already worked with a number of CIO's and they have said they'll be happy to see Self-Contained Apps for several reasons. They are already familiar with containerized deployments and appreciate that the less complex, independent development and deployment of Self-Contained Applications means faster application delivery to production overall. As it's not necessary to take interoperability and integration among a group of applications into account during development, development is faster, testing is easier, and the resulting application is easier to maintain.

Scaling independent Self-Contained Apps is simpler, and it can be applied to each application individually. Maintenance costs are reduced, as smaller and more regular updates are now possible. And because it's easier to implement multiple projects, development teams' efficiency and productivity will increase.

They also believe that business will be happy to see Self-Contained Applications because automation and business application projects are more easily adapted to business changes when the IT team can respond more quickly and with more confidence due to the smaller scope and less interdependence among other applications.

And as we like to point out, faster innovation and faster response to new business needs offers a competitive advantage.

VMblog:  You said that your approach to this "revolutionary" change is "evolutionary." What does that mean?

Souillard:  The first availability of the enabling capabilities for Self-Contained Apps come with the Bonita 2023.1 platform release. Starting with Bonita 2023.1, application developers are able to bundle a project into a Self-Contained Application. With a simple command line, the app and all its dependencies will be packaged together (as a Docker image). This is what Self-Contained Applications is about: a process-based application running on its own dedicated runtime (i.e a Bonita AppRuntime).

We learned by listening to our enterprise users with multiple tenants and multiple runtimes already that a centralized means to monitor and control multiple independent applications is absolutely essential. Bonita Central was developed to deliver that capability with Bonita 2023.1.

VMblog:  How does this technology change the way developers approach application development and delivery?

Souillard:  Easier deployment with containers is a benefit for sure, but our Self-Contained Applications approach also offers strong advantages to developers in the development / build phase. We are targeting more modularity so each component of the project has its own build lifecycle, so Bonita projects are now built as Maven multi-module projects. With a simple configuration, Bonita projects can pull the required submodules or dependencies from a specified repository, such as the new Bonita Artifact Repository exposing our official artifacts or Maven Central for third-party artifacts. Developers get to choose what to add and when, like the right pieces to their puzzles. As a result, the Continuous Integration pipeline is simplified.

VMblog:  What's coming next?

Souillard:  Validating the self-contained application approach for BPM projects against actual real-life projects will highlight its effectiveness and practicality. We have obtained intermediate results through our research that are being validated by external parties. This includes analyzing real-life BPM projects from enterprise and commercial partners who are already willing to adopt the new BPM self-contained approach.

By testing the approach in real-life projects, we are better able to understand how it can be effectively applied in different contexts to meet the needs and expectations of organizations seeking to improve their BPM practices and agility.

And of course we have another Bonita release coming in September, and we're currently working on development for other highly efficient embedded modes for Self-Contained Apps, and fully automated delivery management for increased agility and reliability.


Published Thursday, May 11, 2023 8:00 AM by David Marshall
Filed under: ,
There are no comments for this post.
To post a comment, you must be a registered user. Registration is free and easy! Sign up now!
<May 2023>