IBM Blueworks Live
|Type||Cloud-based business process modeling tool|
|License||Proprietary software; both commercial and freeware editions are available|
IBM Blueworks Live is a cloud-based business process modeller, belonging under the set of IBM SmartCloud applications. This application is designed to help organizations capture and then automate their business processes, and help them collaborate in the task of doing so. Blueworks live is also a starter edition for a larger Lombardi suite, that can automate processes and integrate them with the back-end infrastructure.
- 1 Purpose
- 2 History
- 3 Features
- 3.1 Discovery and documentation
- 3.2 Centralized collaboration
- 3.3 Automating simple processes
- 3.4 Privacy and security
- 4 Compatibility
- 5 Sources
- 6 References
- 7 External links
The product attempts to integrate social networking principles with business process modeling, while avoiding some of the problems encountered by other companies attempting to make such a site in the past:
- Mainly product support sites
- Have high membership numbers, but low participation
- A majority of the information is from the sponsor company
- The customer perception is that these sites are proprietary and biased, and that there are already too many sources of information on BPM
The site covers three simple 'work' areas:
- Community Area, where process will be identified
- Work area, where users can develop Java-based process apps
- Library, where BPM apps or processes are stored for later use or refinement
The original concept for business process modeler with SaaS deployment model came with BluePrint, application developed by Lombardi Inc. The company with its range of BPM products caught IBM's attention, so in January 2010 they made an acquisition of Lombardi, and started, among other activities, working on BluePrint's concept integration into their own application set. The product was renamed to Blueworks Live, modified to its current form and added under a broad selection of IBM's cloud based applications. IBM launched the application on 20 November 2010.
Discovery and documentation
Blueworks Live provides various tools for companies to capture business processes, using the collaborative principles to discover those processes with maximum accuracy. There are two levels of detail, one is a discovery map, which contains only milestones and activities of a process, the other is complete process diagram, with swimlanes representing roles of people or departments taking part in processes. For process diagrams, Blueworks Live uses a reduced set of elements from the BPMN 2.0 notation.
Application also allows users to note various problems regarding already captured processes, capturing problems themselves as well as their description, severity, and frequency of occurrence.
Data import and export
Blueworks Live allows users to import diagrams from Microsoft Visio.
In terms of export, Pro version users can automatically generate outputs in following formats:
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Excel Process Data (Export Process option)
- BPMN 2.0 (Export Process option)
- XPDL 2.1 (Export Process option)
- IBM Websphere Business Modeler XML 7.0 (Export Process option)
Blueworks Live uses many social networking features, enabling team collaboration:
- Instant messaging
- Live news feeds
- Commenting (process changes)
- Newsfeed - current work statistics and reports on the site's main page
Public and private communities
Blueworks Live use its main page to inform users about all the changes occurring to company processes, where the user is involved (private), or about information regarding useful and news about wider BPM communities. This involves blogs, tutorials or application changes and updates.
Blueworks Live distinguishes between three types of user types: Editors, Contributors and Viewers (introduced Q4 2012). Editors are able to:
- Create and modify processes
- Share processes
Contributors are able to:
- Comment processes
Viewers are able to:
- Process editors can get a link to a process and share it with viewers.
- Viewers can follow the link to open the process in Blueworks Live .
- Viewers can review process details: Discovery map, Process diagram & Process documentation
The viewer capabilities are targeted to the occasional viewer of processes and offered at a lower price point than licenses for editors or contributors.
The maximum number of both user groups differs, dependent on the type of license, under which you're running Blueworks Live.
Automating simple processes
Blueworks Live provides its users also with automate process feature, used for ad-hoc processes governance. Instead of using e-mails to communicate certain agendas, in-built workflow is used, so all the information is contained in one place, and all the involved people are notified in the moment, when their participation is required.
Privacy and security
Data privacy and security
All the information and data about IBM customers processes stored in Blueworks live is private, so IBM itself doesn't have an access to it, except for cases of back-up or other troubleshooting requests explicitly made by a customer.
Servers are protected by firewall configured to block all traffic on ports other than 80 or 443 (HTTP, HTTPS). Blueworks live also uses 256-bit Secure Socket Layer (SSL 3.0 / TLS 1.0) for server authentication and data encryption. User authentication is ensured by providing every user a unique password tied with his personal or company e-mail address.
IBM let the users choose their own preferred level of authentication in application settings. There are three security levels: Low, Medium and High.
- Low: Specifies minimum password character length.
- Medium: Same as Low, plus the password is required when changing it to new one, user is locked out, if he fails to log in several times in a row.
- High: Password policy, maximizing password strength, requires user to change it periodically.
Since Blueworks Live is a web application, it can be accessed from any station with Internet connectivity and a web browser, regardless of the operating system. Some of the basic features are also accessible through mobile phone.
- List of Blueworks Live features, Official Blueworks Live site - https://www.blueworkslive.com/corp/gettingstarted/features.html
- IBM launches Blueworks Live, business process fixes as a service, Larry Dignan, October 11, 2010, ZDNET.com - http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/ibm-launches-blueworks-live-business-process-fixes-as-a-service/40286
- Blueworks Live article, BPM geek Initiative website - http://bpmgeek.com/blueworks-live
- Automate manual processes with IBM Blueworks Live, Belinda Chang, Staff Software Engineer, IBM developer works - http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/websphere/bpmjournal/1106_chang/1106_chang.html?ca=drs- 
- IBM Blueworks Live sneak-peak [sic], Column 2 BPM blog - http://www.column2.com/2010/11/ibm-blueworks-live-sneak-peak/
- Blueworks Live Update, April 4, 2011 by Scott Francis, BP3 BPM blog - http://www.bp-3.com/blogs/2011/04/blueworks-live-update-april-2011/
- IBM Announces Blueworks Live, 'Lite' SaaS Based BPM, by David Roe, CMS Wire - http://www.cmswire.com/cms/enterprise-cms/ibm-announces-blueworks-live-lite-saas-based-bpm-008844.php
- Blueworks Live: A Curate’s Egg, Mike Gammage, November 11, 2010, posted in "Cloud", Business Computing World - http://www.businesscomputingworld.co.uk/blueworks-live-a-curates-egg/
- "Blueworks Live feature list". Blueworkslive.com. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
- "Column 2, BPM Trends in Business, Blueworks Live sneak-peak". Column2.com. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
- David Roe (@druadh20) (2010-10-12). "CMS Wire, Blueworks Live announcement". Cmswire.com. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
- "ZDNET article". ZDNET article. 2010-10-13. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
- "BPM geek blueworks live description". Bpmgeek.com. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
- "IBM business bpm journal". Ibm.com. 2011-06-29. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
- "BP3 BPM Blog, Blueworks live test". Bp-3.com. 2011-04-04. Retrieved 2011-12-18.