Book Image

Business Process Management with JBoss jBPM

By : Matt Cumberlidge, Tom Baeyens
Book Image

Business Process Management with JBoss jBPM

By: Matt Cumberlidge, Tom Baeyens

Overview of this book

JBoss jBPM is a free, open-source, business process management solution. It enables users to create business processes that coordinate people, applications, and services. A business process is a sequence of activities triggered by a certain input that results in a valuable output. Business Process Management is about analyzing those activities in a structured way and eventually supporting their execution with a workflow application. This allows for the following results: Better management visibility of their business: improved decision making Low cost of inputs: de-skilled labor requirements, less waste, standardized components Better outputs: consistent quality, more customer satisfaction Businesses have always tried to manage their processes, but software such as jBPM brings the methodology and management theory to practical life. JBoss jBPM offers the following key features: Graphical process definition Flexibility to integrate code into the graphical process definition A customizable web-based workflow application that runs the process you’ve defined Easy programming model to extend the graphical process definition A process-oriented programming model (jPDL) that blends the best of process definition languages and Java. Easy to integrate with other systems through the JBoss middleware suite.
Table of Contents (13 chapters)

Preface

This book shows business analysts how to model business processes in JBoss jBPM and use these models to generate a fully-functioning workflow application. It shows how business analysts can use the tools to build a solution without the need for Java coding expertise. It also introduces more advanced functionality that can be implemented by Java developers in partnership with the Business Analyst.

This book takes a practical approach, with step-by-step instructions for business process management, model creation, and implementation. It uses a typical BPM project lifecycle case study to explore and explain the process in a realistic situation.

What this book covers

Chapter 1 discusses the background from which BPM has emerged, and how BPM fits into the wider scheme of enterprise application development. We define what BPM means for us, and look at the business scenarios where BPM is the right solution. Also, we introduce our suggested BPM project lifecycle, and see the tools that we'll put together as our open source-based BPM suite.

Chapter 2 covers all the major tools in the process analyst's kit bag, with a view to creating a deep understanding of the process we are seeking to systematize in our BPMS.

Chapter 3 covers the software installations—Java, the JBoss application server, the jBPM engine, and the jBPM Designer. Also, we take a look at the fundamental concepts that underpin JBoss jBPM and put these concepts into practice by building our first process definition for our proof-of-concept system.

Chapter 4 covers building the user interface that our proof-of-concept testers will use to interact with the process definition that we built in the previous chapter.

Chapter 5 covers putting the jBPM system on a server so our proof-of-concept testers can bash their test data into it and give us feedback on what they think. Also, how we can allow managers to prioritize tasks by design and on the fly. Most complicated of all, we see how our system can be integrated with other applications, both in house and external.

Chapter 6 looks at how we judge when we are ready to start planning to go live and also covers the essentials we need to consider when building an implementation plan. We show how the web console can be customized according to your own branding and we see how we can swap the default jBPM database for a more robust, enterprise-ready database server. We will also integrate and put to use the SeeWhy Business Activity Monitoring solution.

Chapter 7 covers how to assess our project and perform process analysis and ongoing improvement. We also put together business process documentation, and present ideas for further development of our BPM system.

What you need for this book

You will need access to an installation of the JBoss jBPM engine and the JBoss application server, along with the JBoss jBPM designer. There is a walk-through on how to install them in Chapter 3 of this book.

JBoss jBPM requires a working installation of the latest version of Java and a Java utility called Ant. Details about how to download, install, and configure them are given in Chapter 3 of this book.

You'll also need access to a MySQL installation in order to do some of the more complex pieces

Conventions

In this book, you will find a number of styles of text that distinguish between different kinds of information. Here are some examples of these styles, and an explanation of their meaning.

There are three styles for code. Code words in text are shown as follows: "We can include other contexts through the use of the include directive."

A block of code will be set as follows:

<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml"
      xmlns:ui="http://java.sun.com/jsf/facelets"
      xmlns:c="http://java.sun.com/jstl/core"
      xmlns:h="http://java.sun.com/jsf/html"
      xmlns:f="http://java.sun.com/jsf/core"

When we wish to draw your attention to a particular part of a code block, the relevant lines or items will be made bold:

      <task name="Hold auditions" swimlane="Talent scout" priority="1">
         <controller>
            <variable name="audDate" access="read,write,required" 
                                                mapped-name="Audition

New terms and important words are introduced in a bold-type font. Words that you see on the screen, in menus or dialog boxes for example, appear in our text like this: "clicking the Next button moves you to the next screen".

Note

Warnings or important notes appear in a box like this.

Tip

Tips and tricks appear like this.

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