Salesforce.com today broadened its cloud development platform with new services for business process management. The new services are called Visual Process Manager.
Salesforce customers can subscribe to Visual Process Manager for a US$50 monthly fee per user, which covers all users. It is comprised of a process designer, wizard builder, process simulator and a real-time process engine.
The process designer is populated with a library of presentation components, such as forms, questions and choices; and logic components, such as task assignments, decision trees and approval processes, according to the company.
Components are added to process trees through a drag-and-drop interface, and there is no programming involved. There are built-in wizards for approvals, workflows and custom processes.
However, the services that they create must be run in Salesforce’s cloud, and process models are not transferable to other tools.
Process models are published as XML schema and are accessed like other metadata on the Salesforce platform, said Ariel Kelman, vice president of platform product marketing at Salesforce. The company is considering supporting the Business Process Modeling Notation standard in the future, he added.
Visual Process Manager has access to Force.com’s integration functionality, and can invoke Web service-enabled applications that reside behind the firewall, Kelman said.
Processes may be published as employee-facing applications or as public Web applications. Business rules are enforced by the platform’s process engine.