8 Replies Latest reply on Feb 3, 2012 9:25 AM by Mauricio Salatino

    Did JBPM 5+ drop jPDL support? Only BPMN?

    Jan Uhlir Newbie

      Hi guys,

       

      I did not follow JBPM development since, well, version 3 times. I am trying to asses the current state of things. It seems a lot of things changed. But most of all – the modelling language, I was so used to, seems to be gone!

       

      Was jPDL modelling language support droped?

       

      Was jPDL modelling language support droped, at least from the community JBPM version? There is no mention of jPDL process modelling language in JBPM 5+ documentation. Also, in “jbpm-5.2.0.Final-bin” there is no jpdl related JAR library. Does this signalize that jpdl is not supported by JBoss JPDL anymore?

       

      It would be quite disappointing for me. I quite liked jPDL. It does exactly what I want, it is Java centric, and I am a Java developer. It has quite wide and established user base, I was on several project using jPDL, including projects for major corporations. I liked how easy one can put Action (ActionHandlers) on nodes and transitions, multiple Actions per Node, having multiple transitions from a node. So I am concerned about the future of jPDL.

       

      Is there an external group still maintaining jPDL?

       

      RedHat SOA

      OK, let's look outside the community JBoss version. Main JBoss sponsor/owner/parent organisation - RedHat - seems to offer jPDL in its JBoss Enterprise SOA, even it the latest version.

      http://docs.redhat.com/docs/en-US/JBoss_Enterprise_SOA_Platform/5/html/JBoss_Rules_5_Reference_Guide/chap-quickstart.html
      RedHat BPM version, on contrary, offers only jPDL, as a modelling language for their platform. The only mention of BPMN regarding conversion utility
      http://docs.redhat.com/docs/en-US/JBoss_Developer_Studio/4.1/html/BPMN_Convert_User_Guide/overview.html
      ..the JBoss BPMN Convert module allows you to translate BPMN files to a basic JPDL.

      So contrary to community, the corporate side of JBoss, RedHat, stick with jPDL. Well no wonder considering its maturity and wide user base. Is it something temporary, are they just waiting for BPMN implementation to mature and then drop jPDL support?

       

      BPMN2 designers

      There is another blocking issue to embrace BPMN2 – situation in GUI process designers. The Eclipse ones seem not to reach  production quality yet. They struggle with latest Eclipse Indigo, allegedly implementing BPMN2 only partially, different implementations from different vendors (JBoss, CodeHoop, Eclipse EMF). I will post a new topic about my findings.

       

      It seems that only the web one - Oryx based – is ready for end users. It is distributed part of “jbpm-5.2.0.Final-bin”. Already in version 2.0. There are several online webcast. Is this supposed to be the prefered designer for JBoss JBPM? And currently the only one of a production quality?

       

      I would welcome some clarification on this.

      But most of wiki articles are just empty stubs.

       

      Best Regards

      Espinosa

        • 1. Re: Did JBPM 5+ drop jPDL support? Only BPMN?
          Tihomir Surdilovic Master

          >> Was jPDL modelling language support droped? <<

          Yes. In jBPM5 processes are represented via the BPMN2.0 standard. jPDL is/was a propriatary markup representation which did not follow any standards. You can however use the jBPM Designer to migrate your jPDL-based processes to BPMN2.0 ( see http://vimeo.com/30857949, http://www.schabell.org/2011/10/jbpm-migration-tooling-available-in.html ). This is currently consideted an experimental feature but should help you get started.

           

          >> RedHat SOA <<

          jBPM 3.x is still supported by Red Hat. Future versions of BRMS/SOA will include jBPM5 and thus also BPMN2.0.

           

          >> BPMN2 designers <<

          Currently you have the options of the Eclipre ruleflow editor ( http://www.jboss.org/jbpm/components/eclipse-plugin ) and the jBPM Designer ( http://www.jboss.org/jbpm/components/designer ). The Eclipse modeller is currnetly undergoing major work. We believe it will be ready for the community very soon.

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Did JBPM 5+ drop jPDL support? Only BPMN?
            Jan Uhlir Newbie

            Thank you Tihomir for prompt and insightful reply. Great community.

             

            Though you did not pleased me much

             

            Tihomir Surdilovic wrote:

             

            >> Was jPDL modelling language support droped? <<

            Yes. In jBPM5 processes are represented via the BPMN2.0 standard. jPDL is/was a propriatary markup representation which did not follow any standards.


            I know, but still it was very handy language.

            Glancing at BPMN 2 it seems like moving towards BPEL, towards a language of its own, except it does not rely heavily on web service. jPDL was more like a mapping process to a Java code. That's what I appreciated the most.

             

             

            >> RedHat SOA <<

            jBPM 3.x is still supported by Red Hat. Future versions of BRMS/SOA will include jBPM5 and thus also BPMN2.0.



            So the latest RedHat SOA (5.x) is based on jBPM version 3.x? Two major releases back?

            Is it similar with other components too? I mean such version lag.

             

            Anyway

            Thank you very much

            Espinosa

            • 3. Re: Did JBPM 5+ drop jPDL support? Only BPMN?
              Tihomir Surdilovic Master

              >> So the latest RedHat SOA (5.x) is based on jBPM version 3.x? Two major releases back? Is it similar with other components too? I mean such version lag. <<

               

              jBPM 4 was never productized, thus the version lag you mention. jBPM 5 will be officially supported with JBoss BRMS 5.3 which is coming out soon. Until then the only supported jBPM version is as it has been so far jBPM 3.2.

              • 4. Re: Did JBPM 5+ drop jPDL support? Only BPMN?
                Jan Uhlir Newbie

                Well, this explanation on StackOverflow is even more explaininig:

                http://stackoverflow.com/questions/3545219/what-are-the-differences-between-jbpm-and-activiti-bpmn

                Citation from Amir Moghimi remark:

                ...

                jBPM is quite a famous name in the Java workflow engine domain and you may be surprised to hear that jBPM 5 is NOT the 5th version of that infamous old jBPM engine! In fact, it is a re-branding of another workflow engine developed by JBoss which was previously called Drools Flow; and as the name suggests, it was part of the Drools Rules Engine project, used as an integrated workflow engine inside Drools.

                 

                Actually, as far as I know, what has happened is that Tom Baeyens, who was the founder of jBPM, and Joram Barrez, who was a jBPM core developer, have left JBoss/Red Hat (and hence, jBPM 4) and joined Alfresco to start a new workflow engine: Activiti. So, JBoss has decided to stop further developing and maintaining jBPM 4 code-base and started investing its resources on jBPM's in-house competitor, Drools Flow. But they have re-branded it as jBPM 5 to use the existing reputation and fame that jBPM has built up. Therefore, when we are talking about jBPM 5, we are in fact talking about Drools Flow.

                ....

                This actually explains it all.

                As I evaluting jBPM5 more and more, I have only to agree.

                 

                There are more disturbing news:

                Citing again from Amir Moghimi):

                 

                Considering this little history, it's no surprise to see that jBPM 5 is a completely different workflow engine compared to jBPM 4 with a totally different API and documentation, lacking almost all the maturity and community support existing on jBPM 4

                 

                 

                Cheers

                Espinosa

                • 5. Re: Did JBPM 5+ drop jPDL support? Only BPMN?
                  Tihomir Surdilovic Master

                  I am not sure what you are "agreeing with" or what you find "disturbing" nor what you are trying to say in your post at all. The only thing I can tell is that you are trying to troll.

                   

                  It seems that you are evaluating jBPM based on if it supports jPDL or not, which IMO is silly to begin with, but even then

                  jBPM 3.2 is supported within the JBoss SOA-P until 2015 so you have many more years of using the propriatary jPDL markup if you so wish

                  • 6. Re: Did JBPM 5+ drop jPDL support? Only BPMN?
                    Mauricio Salatino Master

                    "Considering this little history, it's no surprise to see that jBPM 5 is a completely different workflow engine compared to jBPM 4 with a totally different API and documentation, lacking almost all the maturity and community support existing on jBPM 4"

                     

                    This is quite the opposite... the Drools and jBPM community join the forces to create a very good project. That's why the project is getting very good momentum. The same as BPMN 2.

                    Cheers

                    • 7. Re: Did JBPM 5+ drop jPDL support? Only BPMN?
                      Jan Uhlir Newbie

                      > Drools and jBPM community join the forces to create a very good project

                       

                      I hope for the best.

                       

                      But so far I struggle to create even simple workflow with a wait state. All my process just run throug. No equivalent of jPDL State. There is a "Wait State" on my jBPM plugin palette, but no documentation to it.

                      Only by examining the model source, i found it maps to intermediateCatchEvent and it expect some Drools expression.

                      No documentaiton. No explanation. No examples.

                      I will create a separate issue for it. I put it here just to demonstrate my point.

                       

                      I created such process in an hour or so when I started to learn jPDL. Hence my resentment.

                       

                      The best reading is the documentation for Drools Flow. I found out only recently.

                      And to make it more tricky, last documentation is for Drools Flow version 5.1. I guess because Drools Flow reemerged as jBPM in 5.2+ but with inadequate documentation.

                      (inadequate = not enough to learn you how to create a workflows except the most trivial)

                       

                      It seems that I stepped into jBPM5/BPMN with my left foot.

                       

                      Well, at least the forum is lively and responsive. I have not been so lucky with many other OSS projects.

                       

                      Cheers

                      Espinosa

                      • 8. Re: Did JBPM 5+ drop jPDL support? Only BPMN?
                        Mauricio Salatino Master

                        Any examples that you can build will be hihgly appreciated by the community. The BPMN 2 langauge have a full blow specification behind, that's why there is not thing such a wait state. You need to understand the new language to know how your process will behave acording the language specification. Did you get the specification doc?

                        The code, as in every project is provided with unit tests that you can find in github, each jBPM module contains tests shows that the functionality provided works well. If you want to improve the docs and help the community that you are using to ask questions for free, you can easily clone the repository and send your pull request. We will help you during that process as much as we can.. because we are doing this for free and in our spare time.

                         

                        Cheers