Why should we port Remedy AR System "applications" to the jBPM platform?
This is clearly up to the user. If we develop kind of out of the box processes, these will never fit the need of the customers (nor will the Remedy ARS ones, trust me, I know ;-) )
Or do I misinterpret your question.
I was simply asking the question, and I don't think *you* should have to do it. The reason I ask is because one of the main uses for the AR System is to run a host of ITSM applications. There are many companies that would love to move away from such a system onto a proper J2EE based architecture for their ITSM needs.
My company spends a lot of time writing AR System integration applications, and it has occurred to us that we could write something to move AR System process definitions (and related workflow, etc.) to jBPM. However I don't yet know enough about jBPM to figure out how much work this would involve.
Therefore, I was hoping we may discuss what this could bring to the jBPM project.
It could be a spin-off, but not under the JBoss umbrella I think.
We internally (not JBoss but the company I work for) use ARS, with the applet ui. Lots, I mean lots of (expensive) customization (doesn't ITIL suppose to be a standard ;-) ) This is clearly a field where jBPM could fit in, but again, I think at least for the forseable future not under the JBoss umbrella.
The applet UI is really old! Remedy Web, if I recall? Remedy have tried to build a good web client a number of times, but seem to always fail (largely because they are trying to do what a web browser doesn't do).
ITIL is supposed to be a standard, but in reality, is just a set of guidelines. I took an ITIL course with a few Remedy Consultants, and we all came away disappointed.
Back on subject: I think it would be a useful addition, given JBoss currently does not compete in the ITSM/ITIL market (or at least, it doesn't get selected by a whole set of large players!).
Is there a noddy UI builder for jBPM?
with the upcomming 3.2 you can fairly flexible design your own ui. Currently the out of the box 3.1 ui doesn't allow flexible customization. It just renders each processvariable as a textinput. With 3.2 you can build your own ui per task. Look at the .xhtml files in the cvs with the example process definitions. It's facelets based so it would allow for a fairly good customization. Upload of files is partly in there to by using JCR (JSR-170)
That's a good start, it wouldn't take very long at all to output ARS forms (complete with tabs, etc.) as facelets xhtml files.
Does jBPM have a lot of client side workflow? Is there a set of examples/definitive list of actions? I am still suffering from an overload of marketing material ... :)
- Q: client-side workflow???
A: jBPM is server side, or do I mis something
- Q: a set of examples/definitive list of actions?
A: Care to elaborate? for examples look at the testcases or actions, there is a limited number (1, send email), but a very flexible way of adding your own (called actionhandlers)
There is a need for clientside workflow actions, as AR System provides. I'm not suggesting it should be complex, and a lot of the ARS stuff is just "a hack on a hack" (such as "events"), but basic event drive support to update fields - i.e. user selects something drop down box, presses 'search' and gets a list of returns....
ahh... ok... 'actions' in this sense. This could be solved with combining jsf with your own backingbeans in combination with jBPM (or look at seam, another jboss project)
I'm in the process of creating a web example that uses pageflow with jbpm with own backingbeans etc, without the dependency on seam or maybe even the jbpm form file (which will be in 3.2)
Maybe we could take a small ARS example... any suggestions?
A few examples:
(i) User selects a value from a help desk ticket summary from a drop down box. The clientside workflow then makes a call back to the server (with the id of the summary, I guess) and populates various fields (selects a value in a drop down box named category and puts the name of a support team in a text field).
(ii) User types in their username into a text field called Login. On movnig the focus away, or pressing enter, a workflow action fires and populates their full name and mobile number into another couple text fields.
(iii) When selecting the summary in step (i), a table is populated with possible resolutions.
It's this kind of noddy stuff (configurable by someone with almost no development experience) that makes up the AR System. Crack that and you shall have yourself a workflow engine capable of competing with the big players.
Once you've got an example together, I am keen to have a look so I can see how it works, perhaps provide some thoughts and maybe get involved so we can port Remedy apps across :-)
ok... 1 is another way of displaying a tasklist... we have to prevent this becomming to long (e.g. with some filters)
2 is not realy workflow, but more pageflow, should be done with normal jsf/facelets
3, same here, well maybe not completely.
No guarantees, but I will see what I can come up with in the comming week