What about CMMN (Case Management Model and Notation) ?

When we started our Case Management adventure the Case Management Model and Notation (CMMN) standard was still relatively new and unknown. (May 2014 the official 1.0 release was released). Both our design tool (Enterprise Architect) and implementation software (Oracle  Adaptive Case Management) did not support the CMMN notation so we created our own “way-of-modelling”.

In our teams that means that the process analysts/designers use powerful tools like SparxSystem Enterprise Architect (EA) with its integrated BPM(N) and SOA support. However manually adding text documents describing the relation the specific process or task has in the whole case. You would think that the CMMN notation could easily be integrated in one of the leading architecture and design tools out there. There are some niche products out there that see a market for CMMN modelling like Trisotech, however SparxSystem seems to have no plans at all.

What about the CMMN adoption by software vendors

It seems that only Camunda and IBM adopted CMMN in their business process management offering. Camunda even supports the beta CMMN 1.1 definition. The other (major) BPM vendors seem to hold back. If a small company like Camunda can do it, you would expect the other large vendors to be able to adopt the standard fairly easy as well.

I assume that the move to cloud, trends like big data and mobile (including new challenges like better API management) has been the primary focus for most software vendors. A big distraction away from extending the core functionality of their current BPM/CM offering. A shame, especially since Gartner states that currently case management software is a 8 billion dollar untapped market. Adoption of standards and especially gaining market share should sound interesting.

So these questions pop up and make me wonder:

  • What is the future of CMMN ?
  • Will companies like Oracle, Appian, TIBCO and PEGA eventually adopt CMMN in their on-premise BPM offering?
  • And with the Gartner prediction in mind and the unstoppable move to cloud, can we expect any Case Management cloud based solution in the near future ? And if so, will it support CMMN ?

I guess only time will tell.