BBC2011 – quick review

As is now “tradition”, the Business Rules Forum / Building Business Capability conference followed RulesFest (from last week), each covering the opposite side of the rules spectrum in terms of audience (analysts versus rules programmers), size (~1000 vs ~120), and even location (California vs Florida). It’s an interesting fracturing of the “decision and rules community”, which actually makes sense (i.e. business vs IT) – and both deserve to grow next year (RulesFest should be 2x-3x in size, BBC could probably easily grow 30%).

One of the interesting trends here at BBC2011 is the growth of the business analyst focus, which of course means “rules engine vendors” make much less sense to be seen here versus “rules management” or even MDM vendors, and those less so than the business modelling community. In the CEP space, vendors tend to cover both business and IT camps: for example TIBCO BusinessEvents includes event / concept modeling, state modeling and decision modeling, but for automation not business documentation. And both IBM and Red Hat have business user interfaces with event processing (with a rumor of a 4th CEP vendor about to buy their way into the decision management space).

So the main focus for business analysts attending BBC were very much at the TIBCO Nimbus level of process documenting / discovery (and indeed, decision documenting / discovery). And the surprise was the lack of business modeling tools (with the notable exception of Sparx systems – folks known from the UML world). Maybe this will change next year?

TIBCO Software exhibited this year too (with the aforementioned TIBCO Nimbus as well as ActiveMatrix BPM), and we contributed to 2 sessions (“The OMG Decision Model and Notation standard” co-presented with IBM, and “What Analysts need to understand about Business Events“). The latter was interesting to present, as events participate in many analyst models: I’ll post a precis of this session later.