For everyone in the BPM space, the biggest surprise anouncement from IBM @ Impact 2011 is that of next version of IBM WebSphere Lombardi Edition (WLE) which will be known as IBM Business Process Manager (IBM BPM) version 7.5. IBM releasing the new version was probably expected, but whats in it is definetly a surprise.

IBM BPM, will be a combination of the WebSphere Lombardi Edition and WebSphere Process Server (WPS), and seems to be thoughtfully designed combining best of both the tools. IBM BPM takes the Process Center of WLE driving both the human workflow centric Process Designer (same as WLE Authoring Environment) and the Integration Designer (or WPS). On the backend, IBM BPM takes the Depolyment Manager from WPS giving WLE which is very powerful and user-friendly compared to the currect WLE deployment process.

IBM BPM will come in 3 flavors:

Express Edition, is similar to the current WLE Express Edition and will be bundled with WebSphere and DB2 for quickly setting up a trial environment.

Standard Edition, will include just the Process Designer for developing human-centric workflows. This will be similar to the current WLE and this is what will be included for the WLE customers as part of existing license.

Advanced Edition, will aditionally include the Integration Designer.

Personally I am very excited to see these 2 products bundled as ONE giving the users the ability to use the most appropriate tool.