Product Review - TIBCO Business Studio

OK, so TIBCO Business Studio is not a new product.  It has been around a while, but it is new to me.  I recently used version 3.1 to do the business process analysis and documentation for a project and I have been very impressed.  I have been doing business process analysis for a number of years as a way to help customers gain a better understanding of how to leverage technology to improve the effectiveness of their business processes and to drive time and costs of operations down.  It is a remarkably effective technique and I find that a thorough business process analysis leads to the design and development of much more effective software.

I have been using Metastorm ProVision for a number of years,

Sample Business Process Sample Business Process

mostly because it was the package used by Bill McKibben - the man that taught me the art and practice of business process analysis and documentation.  Unfortunately, Metastorm has recently changed their pricing model making their products completely unaffordable to me.  A colleague recommended that I check out TIBCO Business Studio and that is the product I used for our project work this week.

I have been extremely impressed with the TIBCO Business Studio product.  Its Business Process modeler is thorough, intuitive and powerful.  It does a nice job of allowing the analyst to create visual models of business process quickly and easily and document the essentials of the process thoroughly.  It only took me a couple of hours to feel really comfortable with the tool and to feel comfortable using it as an interview documentation tool.  While the ability to capture relationships between problems and opportunities in other process is not as richly developed as in ProVision, the documentation generation capabilities are probably better and certainly easier to use.

The Business Object Modeler is similarly easy to use

Sample Business Object Model Sample Business Object Model

and I found that I could very quickly create high level table definitions so that I could have reasonably detailed conversations with the customer about data structure definitions and document those discussions on the fly.

All in all, I have been very impressed with the TIBCO Business Studio product and would recommend it without hesitation as an entry level business modeling tool set.  You can't beat the price.  (FREE)  And for those with more complex enterprise requirements and associated budgets, there is a very solid upward migration path to TIBCO's enterprise products.