Apache Airflow vs IBM Business Automation Workflow comparison

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13,533 views|9,821 comparisons
96% willing to recommend
IBM Logo
3,692 views|2,592 comparisons
76% willing to recommend
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Executive Summary

We performed a comparison between Apache Airflow and IBM Business Automation Workflow based on real PeerSpot user reviews.

Find out in this report how the two Business Process Management (BPM) solutions compare in terms of features, pricing, service and support, easy of deployment, and ROI.
To learn more, read our detailed Apache Airflow vs. IBM Business Automation Workflow Report (Updated: April 2024).
771,862 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"Apache Airflow is easy to use and can monitor task execution easily. For instance, when performing setup tasks, you can conveniently view the logs without delving into the job details.""The most valuable feature of Apache Airflow is creating and scheduling jobs. Additionally, the reattempt at failed jobs is useful.""I found the following features very useful: DAG - Workload management and orchestration of tasks using.""The reason we went with Airflow is its DAG presentation, that shows the relationships among everything. It's more of a configuration-driven workflow.""The solution is quite configurable so it is easy to code within a configuration kind of environment.""Apache Airflow's best feature is its flexibility.""The solution's UI allows me to collect all the information and see the code lines.""Since Apache works very well on Python, we can manage everything and create pipelines there."

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"This product is tightly integrated with the RPA automation process.""The solution's most valuable aspect is the fact it is highly configurable. We can do configurations very easily.""It is the only product that includes capture content management and a process suite, as well as rules in RPA.""IBM Business Automation Workflow is useful for helping us design custom user interfaces and processes we require.""The most valuable feature of IBM Business Automation Workflow is cost management.""It performs the basic tasks that are required for the BBM solution as part of the overall integration with ECM or enterprise contact management.""It has integrated UI and deployment models, and it has a deep set of consultant and service provider ecosystem features.""One of the most valuable features is the way that they are adapting to the market. Initially, it was doing only workflow. Now it has started bringing all the other components like rules within the workflow and then the integration with RPA."

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Cons
"Technical support is an area that needs improvement.""The dashboards could be enhanced.""The scalability of the solution itself is not as we expected. Being on the cloud, it should be easy to scale, however, it's not.""We need to develop our workflow description and notations because out of the box, Apache Airflow does not provide some features that are needed.""The graphical user interface can be improved.""The automation capabilities could be improved; a visual workflow designer and a graphical tool to reduce coding would be very helpful. But for now, it's sufficient for our simple workflows.""Airflow should support the dynamic drag creation.""For admins, there should be improved logging capabilities because Apache Airflow does have logging, but it's limited to some database data."

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"Integrating the solution with existing systems can be complicated and it needs careful planning and execution.""IBM Business Automation Workflow could improve the integration.""Sometimes, we feel like we are not getting the full features of the content management capabilities.""The SCADA Systems are very sophisticated and have a hard time integrating with our older scales. The technical support in regards to the partner side needs some improvement.""IBM Business Automation Workflow is not a very user-friendly solution.""The main areas which need improvement are specifically around reporting and analytics.""Every client is moving to the cloud. We are still a little behind with IBM, but we are catching up from my point of view.""The development UI is sometimes a little slow."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "Apache Airflow is a free solution that can be downloaded and ready for use at any moment."
  • "The pricing for the product is reasonable."
  • "Although Airflow is open source software, there's also commercial support for it by Astronomer. We personally don't use the commercial support, but it's always an option if you don't mind the extra cost."
  • "We are using the open-source version of Apache Airflow."
  • "We use a community edition of Apache Airflow. It is open source and free."
  • "Apache Airflow is open-source and free of charge."
  • "It's open-source."
  • "The solution is open source so is free."
  • More Apache Airflow Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "The solution has saved us time."
  • "There is still a relatively high total cost of ownership to actually implement, support, and stand up solutions."
  • "Nowadays, clients are looking at pricing as one of the major factors. For IBM products, they always think it is expensive for them. We are still educating our clients on the IBM FlexPoints licensing."
  • "When you compare with Laserfiche and M-Files, IBM is expensive."
  • "Licensing varies by use-case."
  • "IBM Business Automation Workflow has a flexible pricing mode, but the price is expensive. The price of the solution reflects the quality of the solution which is very high. The technical support is an additional cost."
  • "Our license is on a three-year term."
  • "It is on the expensive side, but it provides excellent supportability and an ecosystem that is proven to be a great fit for our organization."
  • More IBM Business Automation Workflow Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:Camunda Platform allows for visual demonstration and presentation of business process flows. The flexible Java-based option was a big win for us and allows for the integration of microservices very… more »
    Top Answer:Apache Airflow is easy to use and can monitor task execution easily. For instance, when performing setup tasks, you can conveniently view the logs without delving into the job details.
    Top Answer:We researched both IBM solutions and in the end, we chose Business Automation Workflow IBM BPM has a good user interface and the BPM coach is a helpful tool. The API is very useful in providing… more »
    Top Answer:The most valuable feature of IBM Business Automation Workflow is cost management.
    Ranking
    Views
    13,533
    Comparisons
    9,821
    Reviews
    22
    Average Words per Review
    492
    Rating
    8.0
    Views
    3,692
    Comparisons
    2,592
    Reviews
    7
    Average Words per Review
    477
    Rating
    7.6
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Airflow
    Business Automation Workflow
    Learn More
    Overview

    Apache Airflow is an open-source workflow management system (WMS) that is primarily used to programmatically author, orchestrate, schedule, and monitor data pipelines as well as workflows. The solution makes it possible for you to manage your data pipelines by authoring workflows as directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) of tasks. By using Apache Airflow, you can orchestrate data pipelines over object stores and data warehouses, run workflows that are not data-related, and can also create and manage scripted data pipelines as code (Python). 

    Apache Airflow Features

    Apache Airflow has many valuable key features. Some of the most useful ones include:

    • Smart sensor: In Apache Airflow, tasks are executed sequentially. The smart sensors are executed in bundles, and therefore consume fewer resources.
    • Dockerfile: By using Apache Airflow’s dockerfile feature, you can run your business’s Airflow code without having to document and automate the process of running Airflow on a server. 
    • Scalability: Because Apache Airflow has a modular architecture and uses a message queue to orchestrate an arbitrary number of workers, you can easily scale it. 
    • Plug-and-play operators: With Apache Airflow, you can choose from several plug-and-play operators that are ready to execute your tasks on many third-party services.

    Apache Airflow Benefits

    There are many benefits to implementing Apache Airflow. Some of the biggest advantages the solution offers include:

    • User friendly: Using Apache Airflow requires minimal python knowledge to get started.
    • Intuitive user interface: The Apache Airflow user interface enables you to visualize pipelines running in production, monitor progress, and also troubleshoot issues when needed.
    • Easy integration: Apache Airflow can easily be integrated with cloud platforms (Google, AWS, Azure, etc).
    • Visual DAGs: Apache Airflow’s visual DAGs provide data lineage, which facilitates debugging of data flows and also aids in auditing and data governance. 
    • Flexibility: Apache Airflow provides you with several ways to make DAG objects more flexible. At runtime, a context variable is passed to each workflow execution, which is quickly incorporated into an SQL statement that includes the run ID, execution date, and last and next run times.
    • Multiple deployment options: With Apache Airflow, you have several options for deployment, including self-service, open source, or a managed service.
    • Several data source connections: Apache Airflow can connect to a variety of data sources, including APIs, databases, data warehouses, and more.  

    Reviews from Real Users

    Below are some reviews and helpful feedback written by PeerSpot users currently using the Apache Airflow solution.

    A Senior Solutions Architect/Software Architect says, “The product integrates well with other pipelines and solutions. The ease of building different processes is very valuable to us. The difference between Kafka and Airflow, is that it's better for dealing with the specific flows that we want to do some transformation. It's very easy to create flows.”

    An Assistant Manager at a comms service provider mentions, “The best part of Airflow is its direct support for Python, especially because Python is so important for data science, engineering, and design. This makes the programmatic aspect of our work easy for us, and it means we can automate a lot.”

    A Senior Software Engineer at a pharma/biotech company comments that he likes Apache Airflow because it is “Feature rich, open-source, and good for building data pipelines.”

    IBM Business Automation Workflow combines business process management and case management capabilities in one workflow solution. It integrates the capabilities of business process and case management into a single workflow offering. It unites information, process, and users to provide a 360-degree view of work to drive more successful optimized business outcomes. IBM Business Automation Workflow on Cloud provides the same capabilities that are offered in the IBM Business Automation Workflow offering, all within a ready-to-use, cloud-based environment that is hosted in IBM Cloud data centers and managed by IBM.

    Sample Customers
    Agari, WePay, Astronomer
    Key Bank, Barclays, Control€xpert, MIR Insurance Brokers, Conqord Oil
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider21%
    Financial Services Firm21%
    Media Company16%
    Pharma/Biotech Company5%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Financial Services Firm22%
    Computer Software Company14%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    Retailer5%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm64%
    Computer Software Company14%
    Engineering Company7%
    Government7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Financial Services Firm34%
    Computer Software Company12%
    Government7%
    Insurance Company7%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business28%
    Midsize Enterprise6%
    Large Enterprise66%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business16%
    Midsize Enterprise11%
    Large Enterprise73%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business24%
    Midsize Enterprise14%
    Large Enterprise62%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business15%
    Midsize Enterprise11%
    Large Enterprise74%
    Buyer's Guide
    Apache Airflow vs. IBM Business Automation Workflow
    April 2024
    Find out what your peers are saying about Apache Airflow vs. IBM Business Automation Workflow and other solutions. Updated: April 2024.
    771,862 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Apache Airflow is ranked 2nd in Business Process Management (BPM) with 31 reviews while IBM Business Automation Workflow is ranked 13th in Business Process Management (BPM) with 21 reviews. Apache Airflow is rated 8.0, while IBM Business Automation Workflow is rated 7.6. The top reviewer of Apache Airflow writes "Enable seamless integration with various connectivity and integrated services, including BigQuery and Python operators ". On the other hand, the top reviewer of IBM Business Automation Workflow writes "Good for case management, integration capabilities but lacks stability". Apache Airflow is most compared with Camunda, Informatica Cloud API and App Integration, IBM BPM, AWS Step Functions and Bizagi, whereas IBM Business Automation Workflow is most compared with IBM BPM, Camunda, IBM Case Foundation, AWS Step Functions and Nintex Process Platform. See our Apache Airflow vs. IBM Business Automation Workflow report.

    See our list of best Business Process Management (BPM) vendors.

    We monitor all Business Process Management (BPM) reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.