5 Replies Latest reply on Jan 25, 2010 1:41 PM by Ronald van Kuijk

    Some questions and feedback from beginner

    Maciej Swiderski Master

      Hi,

       

      I have recently started to explore jBPM (as part of evaluation for possible candidate for my company) and so far I am very impressed. Thou I ran into some issues that are not covered in user or dev guide. So I decided to try to find some answers here. Hope this is the right place...

       

      Currently I am trying jBPM on Tomcat, version of jBPM is 4.3.

      Some questions:

      1. Is it possible to start a process from jBPM console when process requires variables to be provided at startup? So far I was getting exception while starting but no message that would indicate what is the cause of it.

      2. As far as I understand jBPM 4.3 supports BPMN 2.0, is that correct? I looked thru some documents about BPMN and there are bit more artefacts available that in jBPM GPD editor. Are there any plans to support all of them? I am mainly interested in events that can be modeled (start and intermediate) and data objects and annotations. I am sure that business users will demand that

      3. Is it possible to (any tools available) for transforming jPDL to BPEL?

      4. Is there any remote service available for accessing jBPM runtime (web service) for signaling or the API is the only way to do it?

      5. Is it possible to browse thru already finished processes via jBPM console? I mean is it possible to see what nodes were executed for given process instances?

       

      And now time for a small feedback (hope it can be useful to someone):

      In general everything works as described in documentation delivered with the product, which was a positive surprise. The only problem I encountered was related to reports in jBPM console. Firstly, all reports crashed due to lack of jdbc driver for hsqldb, which I assumed was present in tomcat lib directory. But obviously that was not enough. After some investigation the problem was caused by BIRT that assumed jdbc driver to be present in completely different location (CATALINA_HOME/birt/ReportEngine/plugins/org.eclipse.birt.report.data.oda.jdbc_2.3.2.r232_v20090212/drivers). By placing hsqldb driver there two of the reports started to work properly. But another problem pop up with other reports. It tried to load MySQL driver instead of hsqldb. The issue was that some of the reports configuration in CATALINA_HOME/birt were pointing to MySQL driver. Changing that resulted with all reports being available.

       

      Ok, that's it for now. I will keep exploring jBPM and hopefully it ill be less and less issues and more and more good features.

      Thanks for your replies.

      Maciej

        • 1. Re: Some questions and feedback from beginner
          Ronald van Kuijk Master

          Hi, welcome

           

          1: no, not implemented. File a issue on the BPMC project

          2: No, jBPM 4.3 supports part of the BPMN 2.0 spec. See the docs on a general roadmap and the jira for specific functionality. The GPD does not support BPMN 2.0 as output (yet, help always welcome, e.g. testing in accordance to the spec).

          3: No, why would you want to? There is a huge mismatch between the two and for good reasons.

          4: The console has a kind of rest service which you can (ab)use. Or use the remote command interface.

          5: No, see the jira

           

          Regarding the feedback, post that in the console forum... (different project)

           

          Hope you like the rest you encounter to.

          • 2. Re: Some questions and feedback from beginner
            Maciej Swiderski Master

            Thanks for your anwers.

             

            I would defenetely like to join to help in any way and at the moment help with tests sounds the best. Will try to convince some people at work that it is worth investing some time into it. Need to go thru BPMN 2.0 spec first.

             

            If it comes to jPDL transformation to BPEL I was thinking about having a possibility to move the same process between different products (as mentioned I am doing evaluation of BPMS for my company). BUt as I said, I am new in the subject so please correct me when I am wrong.

             

            BTW. Post placed on GWT Console forum.

             

            Cheers

            Maciej

            • 3. Re: Some questions and feedback from beginner
              Ronald van Kuijk Master

              Now I think of it, the BPMN2 spec is not publicly available (yet)... So testing while using it is currently maybe what is max doable.

               

              Regarding running on multiple systems, even with BPEL engines themselves processes were only limited portable due to custom extensions.

               

              And it will not be better with BPMN2, just look at the jBPM docs for BPMN (in the dev guide) and you'll see that the 'java' service task and how task assign assignment is done is 'proprietary'. Not that we want it to be that way, it is just not in the spec... So I'd not get my hopes up to high

               

              Ronald

              • 4. Re: Some questions and feedback from beginner
                Maciej Swiderski Master

                I found beta release of the spec so at least something to start with.

                 

                 

                Isn't that true that jPDL is a kind of BPEL?! In fact it instructs the engine what needs to be done and when.

                 

                I was wondering if there is how should it be understood - since BPMN is language independent, there is no item like java or sql, hql, etc. I found this a bit confusing from business export point of view. I was investigating possible usage of jbpmeditor web application for business user point of view and the first comment I got was what is java element on the diagram. Isn't that more of interest for developers that will implement the process and not subject matter experts that do create processes?

                 

                I found the answer for my question number 1 - it is possible to start the process that requires variables from console. It needs to have a form attached to start node. As simple as that .

                • 5. Re: Some questions and feedback from beginner
                  Ronald van Kuijk Master

                  Hi,

                   

                  Isn't that true that jPDL is a kind of BPEL?! In fact it instructs the engine what needs to be done and when.


                  Sure, just like Cobol is a kind of java, it instructs a cpu to do things... So infact no... No comparison.

                   

                  I was wondering if there is how should it be understood - since BPMN is language independent,there is no item like java or sql, hql, etc.

                   

                  No, it is not... It is Webservice oriented. There is a service task which in default implementation is a webservice one. Webservices are as much a 'language' (more interface) as a java one is. The fact that you can hava a java service task, or whatever is just hidden from view. Could have been done in jPDL to, but that choice was not made. An initial design could have just a state/node also in jPDL which later would become a java node by a developer... It's ALWAYS a joint effort (search for posts on this by Tom Baeyens)