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Extending and Enhancing the Power of SharePoint® for Decision-Intensive Process Management

Sep 15, 2009

InRule Technology, provider of the premier .NET solution for authoring, managing and executing business rules and ShareVis, provider of business process management applications for the SharePoint environment, today announced a combination of their technologies that dramatically improves the ability of business users to automate and manage complex business processes and logic on the widely installed Microsoft SharePoint platform, without custom coding.

The SharePoint Market

Microsoft describes Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 as an integrated suite of server capabilities that can help improve organizational effectiveness by providing comprehensive content management and enterprise search, accelerating shared business processes, and facilitating information-sharing across boundaries for better business insight. Additionally, this collaboration and content management server provides IT professionals and developers with the platform and tools they need for server administration, application extensibility, and interoperability.

Typically an organization uses SharePoint for collaboration and lightweight document management. An example is an international direct marketing agency that keeps logos, legal copy, photos and other visual devices for multiple clients stored in a SQL Server database. They use SharePoint Lists to view and access these items, making it easy for individuals to find the assets they need and to create collateral that conforms to brand requirements. Different states require different legal text, and SharePoint’s filtering capabilities allow them obtain the right assets and conform to localized advertising requirements.

According to technology research firm Forrester, SharePoint is a dominant force in collaboration and document management: a third of North American organizations use Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and an additional 24% use other versions of SharePoint1. Based on a 2008 Forrester survey, 65% of respondents indicated that their timeline for implementing the full-featured SharePoint 2007 was either immediately or within the next six months2. However, without extensive customization SharePoint on its own doesn’t fully support the complex, decision-intensive processes that are central to enterprise operations.

How ShareVis and InRule Extend and Enhance the Power of SharePoint

Together, InRule and ShareVis extend SharePoint from a simple document lifecycle management tool to a logic automation solution with sophisticated process, form, and business logic automation. By adding ShareVis and InRule to a SharePoint environment, users can more easily deploy advanced solutions to manage key business processes.

“SharePoint is where many process efforts start. As SharePoint users extend their deployment beyond simple document management they need to manage more complex, decision-intensive processes,” said James Taylor, CEO of Decision Management Solutions. “InRule and ShareVis share a pragmatic approach that will be appealing to SharePoint users: native support for .NET and a focus on putting business processes and decision logic in the hands of business users not consultants.”

ShareVis’ context sensitive SharePoint solutions provide out-of-the-box Document Control and Forms-Based Business Process Management. Built from the ground up for the Microsoft SharePoint environment, ShareVis enables companies to implement and enforce their processes quickly, without consultants or custom coding.

InRule streamlines the business processes modeled and managed within ShareVis by externalizing frequently changing decision logic and calculations into business rules. These rules are easily managed and updated without affecting business processes, thereby enhancing an enterprise’s SharePoint investment.

Business People Manage Processes and Logic

With features built for business users (such as Business Language Authoring and automated forms display), InRule and ShareVis enable business people to manage complex processes and logic, without programming. Reducing the time and expense of custom programming means that decision-intensive processes are easier and less expensive to implement and maintain. Improved Compliance through Transparency, Consistency and Auditability of Processes and Decisions InRule surfaces the logic and calculations behind core processes, making it easier to find the rules that govern business decisions and improving the transparency of business applications. Centralized rule management allows business rules to be shared across processes and tracks changes to those rules, increasing the consistency of decision logic and improving auditability. Combination of the ShareVis and InRule technologies is complete. The two companies will offer the solution to their respective customer bases, and will jointly market the solution to the SharePoint user community. A public web seminar with technical demonstrations is scheduled for September 29, 2009.

1Microsoft Leads A Fragmented, Growing Content Management Market, June 22 2009, Forrester

2 The Forrester Wave™: Collaboration Platforms, Q3 2009, August 6 2009, Forrester