Red Hat Brings BPM to Kubernetes

Red Hat is making available the Red Hat Process Automation framework available on the Red Hat OpenShift platform, which is based on the open source Kubernetes container orchestration engine.

At the same time, Red Hat is adding Kubernetes Operator that automates the installation, configuration and management of Red Hat Process Automation software on OpenShift.

Other new capabilities include an integrated modeler for building decision model notation (DMN)-compliant decision models; test scenarios that enable users to define, test and validate decision models before moving them into production; and rule models that can be compiled into an executable form. There is also an editor specifically for creating case management models available as a technology preview.

Phil Simpson, senior principal product marketing manager for Red Hat, says Red Hat Process Automation is now one of the first business process management (BPM) platforms to run as a cloud-native framework on top of Kubernetes.

BPM platforms are experiencing something akin to a renaissance as organizations move to embed AI models based on machine learning algorithms to automate a wide variety of processes within the context of a larger digital business transformation initiative. Previous generations of BPM platforms were more narrowly focused on automating a repeatable process. AI models should make it possible to automate more complex processes at much higher levels of scale.

By making a BPM platform available on OpenShift, Red Hat is now making it possible to automate those processes across multiple cloud computing environments, notes Simpson. Over time, the software employed to automate those business processes will become a series of microservices constructed with containers that should make it easier for organizations to deploy and reuse automated processes across multiple computing platforms. Those BPM platforms, in turn, will be integrated with a raft of custom and packaged applications to initiate specific processes. One of the biggest challenges many organizations will face will be educating developers on when to build a function themselves versus invoking a process that has already been automated. Another challenge will be defining what role developers will play in constructing those processes at a time when low-code tools make it possible for business analysts to construct their own applications.

The one thing that is clear is that, in the age of digital business transformation, the rate at which those processes will be updated will be considerably faster as organizations apply best DevOps practices more broadly within their organization. There may even come a day when IT departments are able to update the processes at rates that are faster than the average business will be able to absorb.

In the meantime, many organizations soon will be creating a list of processes that either can be automated or need to be modernized using containers and platforms such as Kubernetes. Once that list is compiled, it should become immediately apparent to all that the digital business transformation journey that most organizations are about to embark on may be a never-ending adventure.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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