REVIEWER: Paula Guerrero, lead product developer, BMC Software.


BACKGROUND: BMC Software, Inc. is a leading global provider of enterprise management solutions that empower companies to automate their IT and align it to business needs. Delivering business service management (BSM), the company’s solutions span enterprise systems, applications, databases and service management. The company’s BSM solution dynamically links business-focused IT services to the underlying IT infrastructure. A business-focused IT service may be a specific IT service or part of a business process, but it must support a significant, visible business metric for a business owner.


HARDWARE PLATFORMS: To serve the needs of a business, BMC’s IT environment is typically built on an assortment of technologies.


PROBLEM SOLVED: BMC Atrium activates BSM by providing a shared set of enabling technologies, bringing business relevance to a user’s BMC and third-party IT solutions through a single, federated configuration management database, business service model and common views. With this shared set of technologies, there is tighter integration across the tools making up the overall IT environment, thereby saving time and money for the business. From a component standpoint, the typical client user has a dashboard (consisting of prepopulated and user-defined performance indicators and metrics), a data integration layer and various data sources. Some of these data sources are proprietary BMC sources, such as the “Remedy” (product) Action Request (AR) application with capabilities including change, product and incident management. The AR application can run on various platforms including Oracle, Sybase, DB2 and others. The dashboard’s typical target is the CIO. Strategic outputs include information such as typical metrics (number of incidents caused by a change), number of service level agreements in compliance and if a given key target is being missed. In addition, Web sources can be brought in as well as custom data sources (typically by the user). A key aspect is the ability to have JDBC connectivity. Clients may have many custom types and sources of data that cannot be anticipated up-front. So the ability to respond to a dynamic pattern of data input is important to BMC and its clients. As a result of many corporate acquisitions, the number of expected data sources into applications has dramatically increased. Therefore, a primary value proposition was to build a better way to integrate all these sources without having to maintain point-to-point APIs. Composite’s role is to federate across the various data sources, provide caching to ensure quick responses to dashboard requests and minimize the impact of these requests on the underlying data stores.


PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The Composite Software toolset delivers a real-time approach to data integration, enabling enterprises to respond faster to business requests, reduce their data integration costs and keep pace with ever-changing business needs. BMC’s dashboard products provide aggregated performance indicators in a single pane, so that customer management can quickly understand the state of operations. Composite Software pulls these diverse and disparate data sources together, thereby rendering transparent to users the complexities of data location and access.


STRENGTHS: One of Composite’s main strengths is its ability to cache data and permit the parameterization for data filters from extremely large database environments to permit quick access to user applications such as dashboards, minimize the impact on the underlying databases and keep cache refreshes to a minimum.


WEAKNESSES: Although the majority is automated, we still tailor some implementations because, as an OEM software company, we must anticipate a broad array of complex requirements for custom files and views. The indexing of the documentation could use improvement to make it easier to find information.


SELECTION CRITERIA: The price was right, and Composite’s toolkit was really the only product on the market that met our needs.


DELIVERABLES: We currently deliver Composite-supported views of complex data into our dashboard, providing best practice IT metrics for asset, incident, problem, change, service impact, service level and service request management.


VENDOR SUPPORT: Vendor support is consistently reliable and the best I have ever worked with.


DOCUMENTATION: The Composite Software training and documentation are easy to use and support our needs for rapid application deployments.


Composite Information Server 4.5
Composite Software, Inc.
2655 Campus Drive, Suite 200
San Mateo, CA 94403
(650) 227-8200

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