Thursday, October 1, 2015

Barcelona JUG October 6th

Next week the Drools & jBPM engineering team is having a team meeting in Barcelona, and we would like to give the local community the opportunity to meet the team and get an overview of what is there and where we're going !

We're therefore giving a presentation for the Barcelona JUG on Tuesday the 6th of October in La Fontana in Barcelona at 7pm.

Places are limited so make sure to register.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Discount code on book: Mastering jBPM6

More good news this week, not only did we release jBPM 6.3.0.Final, but Packt Publishing has been so kind to provide us a 50% discount code on their recent book "Mastering jBPM6" as well, valid for two weeks.

Discount code: MJBPM50
Valid until: October 12, 2015

Note that you still have to add the discount code manually to your cart to receive the discount, it is not automatically applied when clicking the link below.

(Click here or on the image to go to the publisher website)

If you're interested in this book, make sure to not miss this opportunity.

Monday, September 28, 2015

jBPM 6.3 released

jBPM 6.3.0.Final has been released !

In this release we focused on bringing a bunch of (typically smaller but powerful) features that our users were asking for.  A quick highlight is added below, but full details can be found in the release notes.

To get started:
Release Notes

Ready to give it a try but not sure how to start?  Take a look at the jbpm-installer chapter.

jBPM 6.3 is released alongside Drools (for business rules), check out the new features in the Drools release blog.
Thanks to all contributors! 

Core engine improvements
  • Support for JavaScript as script / constraint language in processes
  • Asynchronous processing improvements, including
    • the (re)introduction of asynchronous continuation (where you can mark a transition as to be executed asynchronously in a separate transaction)
    • ability to mark signal throw events as asynchronous
    • jbpm-executor (our asynchronous job executor) got configurable retry mechanisms and improved performance due to new JMS-based triggering
  • Signal scopes for throwing signal events, so you can better decide who the event should be sent to (process instance, ksession, project or external)
Configurable and extensible task and process instance list
  • Custom filters:
    The process process instance list and task list in the workbench can now be configured even more by the end user by adding custom filters.  This allows you to create new tabs that show a subset of your tasks (or process instances), based on parameters you decide yourself.
  • Domain-specific columns in the process instance list
    You can show now show (domain-specific) data related to the process instance variables in the process instance table directly, by creating a custom filter that restricts the data to one specific process.  Doing this allows you to then add domain-specific columns: additional columns can be added to the table that show the value of variables of that specific process.

Data mapping in Designer

When you have a lot of data being managed in your process, defining the data flow among all the nodes can become pretty complex.  A new data mapper has been added to Designer to simplify this task: it has the ability to do all you might need in one place (like adding new data inputs / outputs while you've already started doing the data mapping) and simplifies data assignments (either by giving a direct value or by mapping an existing variable).

Embeddable process / process instance image 

New operations were added to the remote API to allow retrieving the process image or annotated process instance image (showing which nodes are active / completed).  This image is similar to the one you were already able to access inside the workbench already, but is now also available remotely for embedding in external applications.

JPA support in the Data Modeler

The data modeler in the workbench now also exposes properties that allows you model a data object as a JPA entity.  When a data object is modeled as a JPA entity, it is not stored as part of the process instance state but stored in a separate (set of) database table(s), making it easy accessible from outside as well.

Case management API

The core process engine has always contained the flexibility to model adaptive and flexible processes. These kinds of features are typically also required in the context of case management. To simplify picking up some of these more advanced features, we created a (wrapper) API that exposes some of these features in a simple API: process instance description, case roles, ad-hoc cases, case file, ad-hoc tasks, dynamic tasks and milestones.

Support for these features in our workbench UI is being worked on for version 7.0.

Unified execution server

A lot of work went into the creation of unified, highly configurable, minimal execution server - ideal for cloud-based or micro-services architectures.  Since v6.0 the workbench has included an execution server that could be accessed remotely.  This was however embedded into the workbench and designed to operate in a symmetric way when deployed in a clustered environment (all nodes in the cluster were able to execute all processes / requests).  In Drools v.6.2 a new minimal decision service was introduced that allows only deploying specific rule sets to specific containers, giving the user full control over deployment.  This has now been unified, resulting in a lightweight execution server where you can execute your processes, rules, tasks and async jobs.  It can be set up as a single execution server for all your projects, or different execution server instances (possibly one for each project).

Friday, September 4, 2015

New feature: JavaScript as process dialect

Since the 6.3.0.Final release is coming soon (we just pushed out second candidate release), there are quite a few exciting new features, and this blog will highlight one.

When defining your process logic, you can use scripts (small fragments of code) in various locations in the process definition.  You can use different languages (also called dialects) for this, and until now you had to choose between Java and MVEL as dialects (or if you're an expert you could implement your own dialect) for action scripts and code constraints.

We have now also added support for JavaScript, which means you can write small fragments of JavaScript code as part of your process, both as action scripts (typically for manipulating variables) and constraints (in diverging gateways):
  • As action script:
    • Action script inside a Script Task
    • On-entry or on-exit actions scripts (in tasks supporting these, e.g. user tasks, call activity, rule tasks, etc.)
  • As constraint:
    • In diverging gateways (to decide which branch to take)

Inside these JavaScript fragments, you automatically have access to various properties (similar to how Java and MVEL actions scripts work):
  • Direct access to 
    • process variables
    • globals
  • A 'kcontext' variable giving access to the ProcessContext (and through this you can get access to the active ProcessInstance, NodeInstance, KieSession, etc. and set variables)
To use the new dialect, simply select "JavaScript" as the script language (in one of the above describe situations), both in the web-based designer or the Eclipse Modeler.

For example, you could define an action script like:

kcontext.setVariable('surname', "tester");
var text = 'Hello ';
print(text + kcontext.getVariable('name') + '\n');
try {
} catch(err) {
    print(err + '\n');
// this is comment
print( + '\n');

Or a constraint like: == 'krisv'

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Book: Mastering jBPM6

A new book was published about jBPM6, targeting the latest 6.2.0.Final release.  I haven't been able to review the book yet (I will add details to this blog if I get the chance to), but wanted to share this opportunity already.

(Click on the image to go to the publisher website)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

jBPM on Red Hat Summit / DevNation

From June 21st - 26th, Boston will be the place to be for the Red Hat Summit and DevNation 2015 conferences.

This year, I'll be presenting two sessions on Summit:

Process-driven application development using Red Hat JBoss BPM Suite
Kris Verlaenen — jBPM Project Lead, Red Hat
Wednesday, June 24 (10:40 am - 11:40 am)

Enabling business users to update their applications and processes is an integral part of business automation. Doing so requires rich client web technology and a powerful workbench to customize and extend business rules management (BRM) and business process management (BPM) solutions.

Red Hat JBoss BPM Suite is a flexible and powerful BPM platform, offering business process modeling, execution, and monitoring capabilities for numerous use cases. It can be used in different environments, and, as a result, the platform can be integrated in multiple architectures and configured in detail. The platform can be customized to provide customer-specific enhancements.

In this session, you will:
  • View a live process-driven application demo.
  • Discover the top technical things you need to know about the latest version of JBoss BPM Suite.
  • Get answers to some of the most asked questions.
  • Learn the truth about BPM myths.
  • Find out what’s next for JBoss BPM Suite.

Continuously improve your processes with Red Hat JBoss BPM Suite
Kris Verlaenen — jBPM Project Lead, Red Hat
Thursday, June 25 (1:20 pm - 2:20 pm)

Business process management (BPM) lets your business operate smoothly and in a controlled manner. But to get the results you want, you have to be willing to continuously improve your processes. Join us to see how jBPM and Red Hat JBoss BPM Suite help you continually improve your processes.

We will explain and demo how to:
  • Collaborate on designing processes.
  • Manage your processes using multiple repositories and projects.
  • Promote business assets (from development to production).
  • Execute different versions of your processes in parallel spaces.
  • Perform process instance migration.
  • Implement a new functionality as a process. 
[Credits for this proposal go out to Maciej, who did most of the work]

I won't be presenting on DevNation this year, but I'll definitely be around as well, for some late night coding and if necessary some beers :) Let me know if you're planning to attend and would like to meet up at some point !

There will be numerous other interesting Summit presentations where jBPM will be involved as well, for example:
And a lab as well, on integration with Fuse:

Monday, April 27, 2015

jBPM in GSoC 2015

We try to participate every year in the Google Summer of Code, where students can contribute to their favorite open-source project (and even get paid for it).

This year we again have three proposals accepted for jBPM:

Dynamic visual BPMN2 Diff tool for jBPM Web DesignerRoman Procopenco 
A visual diff tool created for JBPM Web Designer. The tool will provide Change Tracking Graphs that will give to the users an immediate idea about the changes made on the business process. The tool will have different options to help the users understand the changes made on the process such as a comparison of the whole graph, as well as comparison between two sub parts of the process.

Application Development with jBPM and MGWTrorogarcete 
[Based on a previous prototype where we use GWT for Mobile to develop a mobile UI]  I'll improve the design of the application by doing two things: 
1. Migrate existing application to version 2.0 of MGWT. 
2. Add new functional features that support the mobile world in a clear and transparent way devices.

jBPM on AndroidSupun Athukorala 
jBPM is a flexible Business Process Management (BPM) Suite which can be accessed by a web based workbench. But cannot be accessed by mobile users. Therefore the idea of the project is to create an [Android] mobile UI of the jBPM-console where mobile users can interact some of the features of the jBPM-console. The jBPM core engine itself is a lightweight workflow engine which can be run on android as well. Therefore apart from the mobile UI, a prototype of jBPM on android will be also created.

Congratulations and good luck to the students, and I'm sure we'll get some great results!

These 3 proposals where amongst the 13 accepted proposals as JBoss.