Declarative Language Orchestrates New Business Model

From: Procession
Published: Thu May 01 2008

Procession is a UK-based and owned software house based in Chesham, Buckinghamshire. For the past ten years they have been delivering business systems developed using a declarative language of their own design. Procession has recently started to promote this to the IT industry and major corporations as an agile software development tool capable of orchestrating groups of enterprise wide applications. Benefits include:

• Reduced licence fee overheads: in a recent exercise Procession could replace between 50% and 80% of the software stack needed to develop and run an enterprise scale system.
• Reduced manpower: all but detailed and specialist routines such as actuarial calculations can be developed by business analysts and reviewed and understood in their native format by the end users who typically specify such systems.
• Reduced maintenance burden: as Procession can manage small modules with great ease, the resultant finer granularity makes it easier to isolate bugs. The GUI development interface allows analysts without any additional overhead to communicate in a form that end users will easily understand.

According to David Chassels, Procession’s CEO: "we always knew we had a great system, but we were way ahead of our time when we first launched in the 1990s. As a small company we almost took the benefits of our technology for granted, but we now realise our time has come and there is a great opportunity for others to benefit from the techniques we have refined in over ten years of real life use."

The first inkling of the market changing was in April 2007 when David Chassels received a tip off that Microsoft had filed patent applications which incorporated some of the core attributes of Procession’s technology. Microsoft has since acknowledged this prior art and are due to file this with the US Patent Office.

More recently some ‘Microsoft watchers’ have begun to report on a project code named ‘D’. [Note to editors: this shouldn’t be confused with the computer language ‘D’ which is a C++ spin off.] Further information was given by Bill Gates at Microsoft's 2008 Office System Developers Conference in San Jose.

Gates commented: "We’re investing very heavily … it, should take a tenth as much code as it takes today… You should be able to do things on a declarative basis… It's something that will change software development."

Procession is able to offer a mature alternative today with the same disruptive potential.

"We’ve got a staggering lead," said Chassels. "During the last ten years we’ve had time to iron out all the problems and develop the tools which are needed to address them. We have more than the core technology and it’s all been thoroughly road tested in real life by real users."

This is undoubtedly a very disruptive technology - an opinion also voiced by Simon Breese of Consilium consulting who has just completed an assignment to assist Procession with its message which was funded for be SEEDA (South East England Development Agency).

He said: "The implications of this approach are profound: the staffing pyramid of systems integrators or any corporate IT department will change out of all recognition, the cost model will change and this will challenge the position of software vendors who currently supply the conventional software stack. I see lots of ‘better mousetraps’ but to mix a metaphor, this one has legs!"

Procession has begun discussions with a number of consultancies, integrators and outsourcers. They believe the return on investment adds up to a compelling case: apart from the savings in licence fees for the software stack, the build user graphical interface is pitched at business level.

"This spans the communication gap between IT and business," continued Chassels. "Not only can business analysts use the powerful interface to drive development, but the presentation is so clear it can be used unchanged in discussions with users."

Procession claims additional soft benefits result in terms of agility, not just allowing iterative development but for future change. This encourages a much better dialogue and thus trust between systems developer and user department.


Notes for Editors:

Copies of Procession’s White Paper, ‘Simplify IT, More For Less’, are available on its web site or from

About Procession
Procession is a UK-based and owned company. Its core product is its Task Oriented Applicaion (TOA) which is effectively a function independent ‘generic’ application. At its core it uses a declarative technique which can orchestrate applications in a corporate environment.

This approach allows business analysts to manage large and complex systems easily, with much reduced IT support and a leaner IT infrastructure. It encourages an effective dialogue between business users, analysts and technicians helping restore IT to a position where it is a true enabler.

Procession’s design philosophy recognises that people are the source of all information and uses just 13 task types, human and system, which are needed to manage any business activity.

The environment can also orchestrate systems using architectures such as SOA which are otherwise difficult to manage. While it is suitable for discrete applications, Procession is fully scalable to enterprise level as it stores both process and data on an Oracle database.

The system is fronted by drag and drop graphical designer interface which sets up the data design and configures task objects as required. The joining up of the task types is achieved through task links. The application then is created direct from this model.

In the words of market analysts the Butler Group, Procession's unique, user-friendly technology "removes the disconnect between requirement and implementation." These systems can be added to or modified easily, giving unrivalled ‘agility’. They can also provide management information in real-time to support Performance Management with guaranteed compliance.

Further information from:
David Chassels, Procession:
Office: +44 (0)1494 781444
Mobile: +44 (0)7774 681773

Bob Little, Bob Little Press & PR
Office: +44 (0)1727 860405
Company: Procession
Contact Name: Bob Little
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 00 44 (0) 1727 860405

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