BPMN2 Modeling in the Cloud with jBPM Designer

June 7, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-06-07 at 12.00.36 PM

I am happy to announce that jBPM Designer standalone version 6.0 is now ready for cloud deployment. You can give it a test run at

http://designer-tsurdilo.rhcloud.com/designer/

(you can log into the application with username “admin” and password “admin).

 

Setting up your own instance of jBPM Designer on OpenShift is super easy as well:

1. build jBPM Designer from master ( https://github.com/droolsjbpm/jbpm-designer )

1a. git clone https://github.com/droolsjbpm/jbpm-designer.git

1b. cd jbpm-designer

1c. mvn clean install -Dfull -DskipTests

2. create an account on http://openshift.redhat.com/

3. create a new OpenShift application (JAVA + JBOSS AS 7 .. follow the guided steps on the OpenShift website)

4. clone your application locally, for example:

git clone ssh://<MY-APP-ID>@<MY-APP-URL>/~/git/<MY-APP-NAME>.git/    (directions for this are also on the OpenShift website)

5. easiest thing is to do a straight war deployment

5a. cd <MY-APP-NAME>

5b. rm pom.xml

5c.  rm -rf src

5d. copy the jBPM Designer war you built in step 1. to the deployment folder, for example:

cp ~/devel/jbpm-designer/jbpm-designer-distribution-wars/target/jbpm-designer-standalone-jboss-as7.0.war ~/myopenshift/myappname/deployments

-5e. update the local standalone.xml in you git repo to add two system properties with for example:

vi ~/myopenshift/myappname/.openshift/config/standalone.xml

and add the following properties under the system properties section:

<property name=”org.kie.nio.git.dir” value=”${jboss.server.data.dir}”/>

<property name=”org.kie.nio.git.deamon.enabled” value=”false” />

5f. do a git commit on all your changes and push your changes with

git push

Your jBPM Designer should be ready now for use after your server starts.

Enjoy :)


jBPM Designer 6.0 – presentation

May 21, 2013

In case you are wondering what we have been up to lately, here is a small presentation of some of the new things that will be included in jBPM Designer 6 release.

 


Business Process Simulation in jBPM – presentation

May 21, 2013

Here is a presentation we put together on Business Process Simulation in jBPM.

 


BPSim and jBPM

April 12, 2013

JBPM_logo bpsim

jBPM has been an early adopter,supporter, and implementer of the Business Process Simulation Interchange Standard (BPSim). We believe that BPSim (which is a WfMC standard) will create a wide adoption of business process simulation in the BPM community, and are very happy to be part of that effort.

With the BPSim version 1.0 recently released, we have updated our jBPM core engine, simulation engine (which is based on the core engine) and our tooling (jBPM Designer) to this latest version of the specification.

If you are interested in learning more about BPSim and jBPM or just have any questions feel free to talk to us on our IRC channels.

Here is the link to the jBPM Designer business process simulation capabilities that I posted before. We are adding new features and usability enhancements to it that should be out soon, so stay tuned.


jBPM Designer runs on VFS

January 4, 2013

designer-menu

The new year is starting off with a big bang for jBPM Designer, the leading open-source web-based BPMN2 modeller.

To explain, so far Designer has always been a BPMN2 editor module inside Drools Guvnor and all process assets created/generated by Designer have been saved to the Guvnor JCR 2.0 repository. Running Designer as a stand-alone BPMN2 editor was only possible in “read-only” mode, and integration with other systems was not easily achievable.

Well, that is no longer the case. Designer now comes with a built-in Virtual File System based repository that provides:

  • default implementation that supports
    • simple (local) file system repository
    • git based repository
  • allows for pluggable VFS provider implementations
  • is based on standards – java NIO2

This means that users are able to run Designer standalone, or integrate it much easier with their existing storage options as well as other development/design apps and much much more.

Maciej Swiderski  has written a great blog post on this, giving an introduction to the VFS implementation in jBPM Designer. Make sure to read it and give us your feedback.

We will be blogging much more about this in the near future so stay tuned. As always remember that jBPM is open source so you can be involved and part of anything that we do so don’t be shy and contact us on IRC or the user forum and we will help you get started.


Generating process image with jBPM Designer and OpenJDK7

November 28, 2012

Our community member Cristiano Nicolai has shared a great find and solution to an issue of generating the process image on OpenJDK7.

Here is a link to his post and a link to the  related OpenJDK bug report.

Thanks Cristiano!


jBPM Designer 2.4.0.Final released!

November 27, 2012

jBPM Designer 2.4.0.Final released!

We are very happy to announce a new release 2.4.0.Final of jBPM Designer, the Web-based Business Process Editor for jBPM 5.

Here is an overview of new features and most notable bug fixes in this release:

New Features

Notable Bug Fixes

You can download jBPM Designer version 2.4.0.Final from Sourceforge. If you are upgrading from an older Designer version, make sure to clear your browser cache before start using the new one.

You can clone jBPM Designer or just browser its source at GitHub.

Roadmap

For the next release we will strongly focus on

  • Add enhancements to Process Simulation capabilities
  • “Smart Properties” – more usable ways for users to enter in execution properties to their models
  • Alternative asset storage options
  • Overall usability enhancements

jBPM Designer is open-source and of course free! If you would like to be part of Designer development and discussions or just want to ask questions feel free to talk to us on the User Form, the Mailing List, or IRC.

You can also follow the latest news about the jBPM Designer on it’s Blog.

Enjoy :)


Workflow Patterns support in jBPM Designer

November 15, 2012

Modelling business processes requires of course knowledge of your business domain, but for untrained business users having to describe processes using BPMN2 is a daunting task at times. Having to go through 500+ pages of the specification (and understanding/learning it) is one thing, but then having to apply it as well requires experience just like with anything else that’s new.

I believe that tooling support is critical for BPM modelling. Probably as critical as the specifications itself. Good modelling tools for BPM (especially ones that are free and open source) are hard to find and I do believe that jBPM Designer is the top open-source modelling tool out there currently. The problem however arises with introducing intuitive design that allows users to focus on their business domain, and not the underlying specification(s). One of the ways to approach this is to introduce multiple layers of “building blocks” or abstractions on top of the core BPMN2 expressive nature and thus decreasing the amount of work that does not pertain to the actual creation of the business process requirements.

 
We are in the near future going to put a lot of effort in building a number of these building blocks in jBPM Designer. These include custom stencil sets based on the process dictionary or existing processes, data templates, as well as look into alternative ways of creating processes such as checklists, decision-table-like structures, etc.

To get there however we have to take small steps and the first one is the introduction of Workflow Patterns in the BPMN2 stencil set:

Workflow Patterns in stencil set

You can think of Workflow Patterns as a catalog of lower level building blocks for process execution. They include multiple nodes that are already connected with each other to form a common pattern that can be typically used (and re-used!) in a business process model.

Currently we support 11 workflow patterns and users have the ability to create their own as well.

Let’s take a look at an example on how to use Workflow Patterns in jBPM Designer (click on the images to enlarge. Description are within the images).

How to start using Workflow Patterns

Workflow Pattern drawn on the canvas

Combining Workflow Patterns

Combined Workflow Patterns

Create your own Workflow Patterns

Let us know what you think and have fun :)


Local History support in jBPM Designer

November 13, 2012

We have added a new and very useful feature to jBPM Designer – Local History support.

Local History automatically stores your process model information to the browser using HTML5 Web Storage on a preset interval. This allows you to

- Be able to restore previous versions of your model even if you did not / forgot to save your model.

- Be able to restore your work in cases your computer/ browser crashes, or you go offline.

- View all changes in your process between model saves.

- Have more assurance that your work will not get lost.

So let’s see what this looks like (click on the images below to enlarge). Description of the features are contained within the images.

Local History Menu

View Local History Entries for your process model

View the Process Image for each entry

Restoring an entry from the Local History

Configuring Local History via xml

We would like to thank our community contributor Gábor Farkas for his idea for this new feature as well as the initial commit for it. Gábor is a Java EE developer at Doctusoft Ltd and has been involved with the jBPM community for a while now – Thanks Gábor!


Using jBPM Designer in IE

October 4, 2012

Eric D. Schabell has written a great article that describes how to set up the jBPM Designer to be used on Internet Explorer. This setup is needed because of traditionally bad support for SVG and JavaScript in IE. With this the jBPM Designer is supported on all major browsers.


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