With a new release of its business process management (BPM) software available this week, Tibco Software said it is enabling a tighter link with service oriented architecture (SOA) and delivering a more integrated user experience.

Tibco iProcess Suite 10.6 also offers improvements in role-based usability as well as more granular process monitoring. Additionally, the company improved the product's ability to manage critical business processes.

With iProcess Suite 10.6, Tibco believes it bests rival offerings from companies such as IBM and Lombardi Software. "The first [advantage] is really bringing together SOA and BPM in a unified offering," said Jeff Kristick, Tibco vice president of marketing.

"There's a real synergy between BPM and SOA," Kristick said.

Featured in version 10.6 is a suite of application modules designed to provide end-to-end process management. Tighter integration with Tibco Business Studio, for process modeling and design, gives iProcess Suite users the ability to directly deploy business processes built in Business Studio.

"This release of iProcess Suite supports direct deployment from that design environment," Tibco Business Studio, to iProcess, said Kristick. Thus, there is no longer a need to export a file to an intermediary environment -- iProcess Modeller -- before it is deployed in iProcess.

"Basically, we're phasing [iProcess Modeller] out and going with Business Studio as our single design environment," Kristick said. The iProcess Modeler product is to be discontinued by early next year.

Fine-grained integration is offered between Tibco's SOA layer, provided by Tibco BusinessWorks, and its BPM layer, with iProcess Suite. Featured is the ability to query for details such as transaction case numbers, make audit-trail entries, graft sub-procedures and step through an SOA layer to a BPM process. More granular process monitoring capabilities are included, with users able to monitor sub-processes. An example of a sub-process could be a credit card check process reused in new account openings.

Also included in version 10.6 is iProcess Workspace, which packages user-facing functionality for a more seamless user experience for process designers and participants, Tibco said.

Role-based enhancements are offered in the product, determined by user profiling and analysis. Scalability, meanwhile, has been improved to monitor a broad range of business processes.

Tibco with the new product also improved in-memory caching, which allows for work items to be assigned out to individuals. Dynamic caching boosts performance.

At iProcess Suite user site Geisinger Health System, business process management has provided a reduction in manual effort as well as cost savings, said David Partsch, a programme director in the IT department at Geisinger. The new version bolsters access to functions in the programming layers, Partsch said.

"They just have more functions exposed than they previously had for talking to their BPM engine, the process suite engine, than they did in previous releases," Partsch said. The product is also expected to enable more efficient modeling of flows prior to implementation, Partsch said.

Version 10.6, which is available now, includes support for Microsoft Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Linux Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.0, and the IBM DB2 9.1 database.

Tibco iProcess Suite 10.6 pricing starts at $150,000 (£75,229).