About a year ago, I posted a blog about SPARK Ignition, our attempt at building a No Code solution to automate IBM BPM processes. Since then, the product name has been changed from SPARK Ignition to SPARK Quick Process Builder (“QPB”). However, it wasn’t just the name that changed, we completely revamped our approach to No Code Process Automation for IBM BPM. Thus, we decided to rebuild and rebrand the product, while still keeping the spirit of what we were trying to achieve alive. The journey from SPARK Ignition to QPB has been another initiative towards providing customers with the best solutions for process improvement.
When we initially built Ignition, the idea was to enable the business to “lead for longer.” In other words, allow the business to be able to stay involved longer in the design and creation of business processes. However, we missed the mark on where they would like to do this. In particular, we missed the mark on how they would like to do this. The overall concept was good and spot on, however, the implementation and direction we took with the idea was not.
Thus, Salient Process started over and built SPARK QPB, our new No Code Process Automation for IBM BPM tool. The concept remains the same. As you can see from the drawing below, the idea is to extend and greatly increase the contribution business users can give to an IBM BPM process effort. While previously it was practically inconceivable in IBM BPM for a business user to create processes and UIs on their own, now it is not only conceivable, but desirable.
Before, our big focus was on being able to import from IBM Blueworks Live (BWL) to IBM BPM and have an executing process. However, it turns out the majority of our users aren’t concerned with that transition. They would like to be able to easily create forms and tasks in a highly user-friendly environment. So, we gave them this ability by creating an incredibly easy and user-friendly set of UIs in the IBM BPM Portal. This allows a business user to not only create forms, data, and tasks necessary for business process improvement and implementation, but also to deploy that to production. Of course, the BWL to IBM BPM transition is still there, it is just that you don’t have to start there; and in fact many of our users prefer not to.
The other big change is the form/UI creator. Ignition did not really have a form/UI creator. You had To-Dos, References, and other pre-made UI elements you could leverage, but you couldn’t build a custom UI/form on your own without leveraging IBM BPM Process Designer. With SPARK QPB, a business user can now easily build beautiful UIs, and it requires no technical skills whatsoever. Business process improvement can now be achieved by anybody. The business user can build a UI, rearrange it using either configuration or drag and drop, and preview it all within the IBM BPM Portal.
When done, users can deploy to Production, or any other runtime environment depending on your governance settings for QPB. More importantly, what has been built can be extended using IBM BPM, because what is built and deployed is a standard IBM BPM process application. (READ: THE DIFFERENT CODING LEVELS OF PROCESS AUTOMATION IN IBM BPM: NO-CODE, LOW CODE, PROGRAMMING)
The overarching concept between Ignition and QPB has not changed at all. We expect process applications built using QPB will become the foundation of your process life-cycle, and will be easily extendable to handle much more complex scenarios using standard IBM BPM functionality. While business users build solutions to handle simple process scenarios, development teams can easily extend these process applications to add integrations, rules, and highly custom User Interfaces.
The SPARK revolution continues. We will not rest until the “Business” part of Digital Business Automation has taken its rightful place on the throne. At Salient Process, our purpose is to enable organizations to focus on higher level thinking in the name of process improvement. SPARK QPB continues our history of introducing products to the market which enable higher level thinking and allow users to focus on value adding work.