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November 10, 2008

Appian Releases Enterprise 5.7

Appian, a vendor of business process management technology, has unveiled Appian Enterprise 5.7, the latest version of its BPM Suite, and Appian ShareBase, described by company officials as “a repository of BPM content contributed by customers, partners and Appian staff. “
The first product, Appian Enterprise 5.7, introduces features to help users “design, execute, manage and optimize key business processes,” company officials say: “These features are centered on enabling users to rapidly build process based applications that seamlessly integrate people and systems.”
Features of the 5.7 release include expanded support for custom data types in Appian Process Models. “Complex data types can be used to define process variables, which are available for use in process nodes, forms, and reports,” according to officials with the Vienna, Virginia-based company.
There’s also enhanced Web services support across a wide range of services and the latest standards. The product’s automatic creation of complex data types allows for more flexible mapping of Web Service inputs and outputs, company officials say.
Here’s how officials at Appian diagram their product:
The Web services for remote portlets supports WSRP 1.0 consumption, and easy publication of third-party WSRP content into Appian Portal Pages.
In June, TMCnet’s Tim Gray reported that Appian announced the availability of SharePoint, noting that the packaged integration “extends the value of the Appian Enterprise BPM Suite for users of the Microsoft (News - Alert) Office SharePoint Server 2007,” according to Matthew Calkins, president and CEO of Appian.
Specifically, Gray wrote, Appian for SharePoint “enables users of the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 platform to take advantage of the powerful process orchestration, task handling, and process reporting capabilities of the Appian platform,” as Appian SharePoint WebPart interfaces can be used to handle tasks and display any process performance reports in a native SharePoint dashboard.
Appian Enterprise 5.7 will be generally available Dec. 19. The Appian ShareBase repository is immediately available, and is free to use with an Appian product license. All content in the repository is contributed by the members of the Appian community, and includes Process Models, Smart Services, Form Libraries, Rules, enhancements and other extensions.
Appian has loaded Appian ShareBase with content, and will continue to add to it regularly, company officials say, adding that Appian ShareBase lets partners and customers of Appian “upload, review, and discuss content. Appian ShareBase can be accessed via Appian Access, the online collaborative network for Appian Enterprise users.”

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David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David's articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Michael Dinan

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