Friday, March 18, 2011

JBoss Asylum on jBPM5

I recently did an interview for JBoss Asylum. They bring us regular updates on what's new at JBoss by doing podcasts and inviting guests to talk about special topics.

With the release of jBPM 5.0, now was my time to get attacked by Max Rydahl Andersen, Emmanual Bernard and Michael Neale ;)

This episode had some bad luck with respect to the audio recording and took a while to get edited down to listenable quality. The news are therefore a bit out of date but the interview with Kris Verlaenen about jBPM 5 is all filled with great and interesting content.

The interview part has good audio and you can skip to the 22m33s mark to hear about jBPM 5.

We are again sorry that Emmanuel Bernard messed up the recording, but we will back soon with a new interviewee and with better sound ;)

If you got comments/feedback send it via mail or on twitter.

Get the episode from here

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Red Hat & Accenture: BRMS & BPMS Event (London, March 29th)

Business Rules and Business Process Management the Open Source Way

Join Red Hat and Accenture on Tuesday 29th March at Accenture Old Bailey to understand how Business Rules Management Systems (BRMS) and Business Process Management Systems (BPMS) can help businesses leverage technology more effectively and increase productivity. See how Enterprise Open Source is leading the way with powerful capabilities and industry-leading innovation.

There will be 2.5 hours of technical talks, starting at 9am. Full timings and agenda here.

Talks (from core developers, there are other talks too):

Introduction to Rule Based Systems (Mark Proctor)
Introduces Drools and explains what a rule based system is and how it works. We will also cover event processing on a rule based system.

Why BPMN2 Matters (Kris Verlaenen)
jBPM5 has just been released as premier Open Source BPMN2 implementation. Come and hear how this changes your whole legacy approach to BPM.

Using Guvnor for Enterprise Systems (Geoffrey de Smet)
Guvnor provides a web interface to your knowlege systems, such as rules and bpm. This talk provides a gentle introduction into Guvnor and how to use it.

Decision Tables in Depth (Michael Anstis)
Decision Tables is now a major focus for us, we want to show you why we'll have the slicket decision table environment out there.

Register here !

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

jBPM5 lightweight? Running on Android!

I recently bought myself a new Android phone, and as a developer, that obviously means I have to try and write my own application for it ! :)

And since we always claim jBPM is such a lightweight engine that you can embed it practically anywhere, I decided to give that a try: run the jBPM5 engine on Android. Some people might be thinking, why would I want to do that? Well, my primary goal was just as a proof of concept. But maybe, if we extend that proof of concept a little more and add more Android tasks, end users without any real development experience might be able to use it do model simple Android applications as well, who knows!

So after downloading the Eclipse tooling and following a hello world example, I decided to create a simple process that first asks the user for some keyword and then uses this keyword to search the jBPM community forum for entries containing that keyword (I know, not rocket science, you don't really need a workflow engine for that but it's just a demo example).

After adding the jBPM5 jars to the classpath, I updated my application to start this process when the application is started. I also created two domain-specific services for Android, one for requesting some input from the user (where I then bind this result to a process variable) and one for showing a web page (which shows a URL, which I created based on the input of the user).

And it worked almost[*] out of the box! So this is what it looks like (on the emulator, but it runs nicely on my phone as well). First you start the jBPM application ...

The first node in the process will ask you for a keyword you want to search for ...

And the last node will show the results of the query on the jBPM community forum in a browser ...

I'm pretty sure there are a lot of developers out there that try to play with new technologies like this, so if you're interested in playing with this and maybe extending this a little, let me know. Imagine we add a few more default services for showing an image, getting some file, getting GPS location, etc. Would be pretty cool if you could create more advanced applications like that.

I've uploaded the source code and the jbpm-android.apk so you can give it a try yourself !

[*] A small modification is needed in org.drools.util.CompositeClassLoader. Apparently, the Android JVM doesn't allow null as the parent classloader so I changed that to super(CompositeClassLoader.class.getClassLoader()) in the constructor, and that works fine.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Some interesting reads

A lot of activity in the jBPM5 community the last few weeks, so here's a list of links that caught my eye and might be an interesting read for you as well:
Let me know if I missed any, I'll add them to the list.

Finally, I've also done two interviews lately:
Lots of reading, enjoy !

New BPMN 2.0 Eclipse editor

We would like to show you our new and improved BPMN 2.0 Eclipse editor, which is currently being developed for jBPM 5.1 and will support a much larger part of the BPMN 2.0 specification (hopefully even including basic choreography and conversation).

For this, we've had a lot of help from the guys at Codehoop. They've been working on it for the last few months, and we believe it's currently at a stage where people can start to play it with and give us feedback.

(click on image to enlarge)

  • It supports almost all BPMN 2.0 process constructs and attributes (including lanes and pools, annotations and all the BPMN2 node types).
  • Support for the few custom attributes that jBPM5 introduces.
  • Allows you to configure which elements and attributes you want use when modeling processes (so we can limit the constructs for example to the subset currently supported by jBPM5, which is a profile we will support by default, or even more if you like).

Since it is still work in progress, there are still a few limitations or missing elements, but we should be able to clean it all up pretty soon, and include it as part of jBPM 5.1. But if you're looking for an open-source BPMN2 editor and might be interested in participating, let us know !

You can find the codebase here. We will be providing an easy-to-use update site for installation once we reach the final milestone, but if you already want to give it a go and build it from source:
  • Fetch the source and import the projects into Eclipse.
  • The project is reusing the Eclipse BPMN2 meta-model project for loading / saving BPMN 2.0 XML, so you will need to download and import the projects from the Eclipse BPMN2 repository (git:// as well.
  • If you then run as Eclipse application, a new Eclipse environment should come up.
  • Create a new BPMN2 diagram by selecting File -> New -> Other and then select BPMN2 Diagram Wizard (under BPMN2 category).
There is also a Wiki page that contains some screenshots useful information.

Codehoop is a small agency building Eclipse toolkits and Java+Scala enterprise middleware. The team has been excited to work with Fortune 500 companies as well as small startups. The result is a great variety of expertise on Eclipse technologies, ranging from database management to code editors, visual modelling and vector-based animation studio.

Let us know what you think !

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Recording of jBPM5 webinar available

The recording for the webinar on jBPM5 is now available here. For people that want to get access to the slides, I uploaded them here.

A lot of people attended one of the two available sessions, and as a result, there wasn't enough time to answer all the questions. But as promised, we are trying to answer each an every one of them. I will post a blog entry with the questions and answers as soon as possible.