IBM Case Foundation Review

A versatile product that can work with many different technologies

What is our primary use case?

I am a consultant and this is one of the solutions that I work with. This product is used by very large production companies for creating workflows.

What is most valuable?

It is well integrated with documents and document management from IBM. It's a data-driven solution that is very good.

It is easy to set up workflows that notify the user depending on certain events.

What needs improvement?

This product is still attached to some things from the past, on the way that it was built, and there are some things that should be improved, but those who work with it know how to work around these difficulties.

Once a workflow is launched then it stays static forever, which is a problem because if there is a change in the business then you cannot change the workflow. You either stop the process and relaunch it at the place that it was, or you're going to leave with a process that is running. There are other products like IBM Lombardi or IBM BPM where it's easy, under certain conditions, to change the running workflows to the new business logic.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with IBM Case Foundation since 1998, just over 20 years ago.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Case Foundation is a stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is a scalable solution. My clients for this product are very large companies such as banks, IT, phone companies, and government.

How are customer service and technical support?

In 2006, they were bought by IBM and the IBM technical support handles requests. The quality of support depends a lot on the people that you talk to. IBM has many people and many products, and sometimes you find people with different levels of experience. Because of this, it can take them longer to get answers to your question. That said, when you find the right person, it's okay.

How was the initial setup?

I think that the initial setup is usually okay if you just run the installation and use the default settings. You won't have any problems and it's easy, but there are a lot of technologies behind it. There is the verification server, IBM WebSphere or Oracle WebLogic. The database can be Microsoft SQL, IBM DB2, or Oracle, and they can be running either on Linux or Windows.

With so much technology that can be used in different configurations, if you aren't familiar with all of them then it could be hard. At the same time, the solution is versatile and can work well with many different technologies.

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody who is implementing Case Foundation is to keep the design as simple as possible because the workflows are very static. If you try to change it a lot, you will make it very complex and you will have problems. You should use and maintain business rules outside of the main workflow because if you have some rule that changes then the workflow stays the same, most of the time.

Overall, this is a good product.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
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