BPA Server and Independent Research Firm's "Automation Wheel"

by graham taylor, in Inside Development, posted 12/8/09

Forrester Research published an October 2009 report entitled “The Shifting Sands of IT Compel  A New Landscape For IT Automation Tools”, in which they introduce the concept of the “Forrester Automation Wheel”.*

The “Forrester Automation Wheel” defines the three different functional categories that automation tools in the market address:

  • Task execution tools
  • Process flow tools
  • Decision trigger tools

It is Forrester’s assessment that most automation tools can be placed into one or more of these categories. Based on Forrester’s description of each of these functional categories, Network Automation believes that AutoMate 7 clearly falls into all 3. Furthermore, BPA Server will continue the evolution of AutoMate towards “closed-loop automation”, where the automation solution has an ability to “sense-and-act” in an automated fashion.

AutoMate’s workflow capabilities and web service actions deliver “sense-and-act” functionality that enables enterprises to automate the execution of  business processes (“act”) based on the realization of a specific  event (“sense”) or the execution of a certain task.

A further evolution  of the “sense-and-act” concept, is the two-party “command-response” handshaking system between a controller and the instrumentation that is being controlled, where a command message tells the instrumentation what must be done, then the instrumentation performs the action, and then sends a response message back to the controller to notify it of the results.  AutoMate BPA Server will continue to be architected to behave in this manner and will deliver this functionality across all actions through a distinct functional separation of BPA Server (controller) orchestration functions accompanied by AutoMate agent (instrumentation) actions.

In summary, AutoMate BPA Server is designed and will continue to be developed to meet the ever changing needs of IT automation, or as Forrester puts it “the shifting sands.” By listening to our customers, we have been able to stay ahead of the curve of delivering functionality and solutions that meet the swiftly changing needs of business and IT automation.



* Source: Forrester Research, Inc.