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A new OEM agreement between eXo Platform (news, site)  and open source business process management( BPM) developer BonitaSoft means that from here on, eXo’s document management software will be integrated with an open source BPM system that has full development and support services for easy deployment.

The agreement between the two follows a number of years working together which resulted in the release of eXo’s DMS with Bonita’s BPM earlier this year. With this new agreement, the two companies will be offering users dedicated support and services for the new product that includes a document collaboration and validation system as well as automated records management.

eXo Platform’s DMS v2.5

Earlier this year, eXo Platform upgraded its document management software to v2.5 giving users a number of improvements and ultimately the ability to change unstructured content into structured content.

As a system made for business users, it was designed to be familiar to non-technical users working the same way as File Explorer on Windows and File Finder on MacO -- in other words, it was widely accessible to everyone.

Upgraded Functions

eXo DMS is one of the core components of eXo's enterprise content management suite. Amongst other things that eXo DMS 2.5 did was to improve user productivity and experience by making it easier to find files and give users the option to customize their environment to suit their needs.

At the time of its launch, eXo said its focus was to offer a product that would shorten the learning curve generally associated with these systems.

It also introduced a number of other upgraded functions that would make the integration of BPM relatively easy. These included:

  • Interface extension that enables the creation of extensions and plug-ins to File Explorer. The company says it is expecting a lot of development in this respect providing plug-ins for all.
  • Customized action buttons leading to simplified work functions so that all areas of the system can be accessed quicker. They can be customized to suit the document type.
  • Customized taxonomy management enabling users to define where they will store documents and, more importantly, how they will retrieve them.
  • Simplified access to important folders through ‘short cuts’ that link users to a short cut file that they can work on, leaving the real file intact.
  • Enhanced contributor collaboration with Google Gadgets support.

What Is BonitaSoft?

And BonitaSoft? BonitaSoft was created in 2009 by Miguel Valdés, Rodrigue Le Gall and Charles Souillard, and is the public face of the Bonita software project, which was co-founded in 2001 by Valdés, a computer science engineer at the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA) .

The idea behind the company is to provide an open source BPM system that is scalable and easy to deploy in a commercial market that is dominated by vendors who can provide BPMs, but only as proprietary systems and only after a considerable amount of re-engineering.

In contrast, Bonita’s open BPM can add processes with a single click, or so they say, and can be adapted to any existing IT architecture in medium-to-large enterprises.

Originally made available through the OW2 Consortium as an Open Source alternative to existing commercial BPM solutions, by now it has been downloaded several hundred thousand times.

Applications that can be deployed with Bonita cover the whole range of BPM implementations, with their current open solution v5 combining a design studio for designing your own applications, a business process management engine and what the company describes as a breakthrough interface.

Available through GNU General Public License, you really need to download it to see how these features work.

Combined, eXo Platform and BonitaSoft appear to have all the makings of a powerful partnership. And as eXo only took its open source products state-side last month, it's likely that over the coming months users in the US are going to be hearing a lot more about both companies.