Get Started on Process Driven Development with JBoss BPM

Are you interested in an introduction to the concepts of process management (BPM)?

Do you want to learn how your business can leverage process driven application delivery?

Are you looking for an easy to understand guide to mastering Red Hat JBoss BPM Suite tooling?

Do you need a step-by-step introduction to setting up JBoss BPM Suite including coverage of practical and important topics like data modeling, designing business rules and processes, detailed real world examples, and tips for testing?

For the last few years I’ve been working on putting years of experience with JBoss BPM Suite and community projects Drools and jBPM together into one easy to understand book.

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Extend Red Hat JBoss BPM Suite through the Service Repository

Introduction

Red Hat JBoss BPM Suite offers a really flexible BPMN engine that can be extended with Custom Reusable Services. Most users know them as Work Item Handler (the technical implementation name), but few of them know that it’s possible to expose them in a comfortable list of reusable services. In fact, you can create a repository of services and simplify the life of the BPMN designer that can easily pick and choose the right service.

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What’s New in Red Hat JBoss BRMS and BPM Suite 6.4

Red Hat has just released new versions of its popular business automation products: Red Hat JBoss BRMS &  Red Hat JBoss BPM Suite 6.4. In this post we will highlight the improvements and new features these releases brings. Apart from stability and performance improvements, version 6.4 brings new, highly requested, features that improve the platform experience in larger enterprises.

The new versions of the platforms are available both from the Red Hat Customer Portal (BPM Suite and BRMS) and the Red Hat Developers website. Installation instructions can be found in the “Getting Started Guide” for BPM Suite and BRMS and on the Red Hat Developers “Get Started” pages for BPM Suite and BRMS. Finally, the installation demo’s have been updated to target the latest versions:

  • https://github.com/jbossdemocentral/bpms-install-demo
  • https://github.com/jbossdemocentral/brms-install-demo

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Introducing Business Process Management with JBoss BPM

 

introducing business process management

(This article was excerpted from the book Effective Business Process Management with JBoss BPM by Eric D. Schabell.)

Organizations are constantly being tested in the markets in which they operate by shifting expectations of their customers, and by competitors looking to provide better value at a lower cost. This tension is the catalyst that continually pushes organizations to search for ways to improve their services, improve the speed which they deliver value to their customers, enable employees to get more done with less administrative overhead, and most importantly, to constantly grow by generating more revenue. This is the basis of BPM, to be able to identify and capture processes in an organization to create repeatable, measurable and consistent execution of goals to drive their business forward.

When an organization studies its operations, it discovers there are many processes used in its daily business. These processes are often not well thought out, or they were created to complete some aspect of the daily business, with little thought given to improving efficiency. At this point the organization looks for the first steps for improving through automation the processes that represent business value.

Business value could be anything that drives organizational goals forward to make customers happy, and thereby generate more revenue. This business value can be anything, such as keeping track of interaction with a customer. If that data could be captured, the marketing department could search a customer’s behavioral patterns to decide what products and services to market to a particular person. It would take mass marketing out of the equation and allow for direct, specific marketing towards individual customers’ needs.

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Account Management with JBoss BPM Suite

Red Hat’s IT department recently deployed JBoss BPM Suite to handle automated process workflow. JBoss BPM Suite is officially defined as:

An open source business process management suite that combines Business Process Management and Business Rules Management and enables business and IT users to create, manage, validate, and deploy Business Processes and Rules.

IT’s immediate use case is to replace our aging account management system, which is essentially a collection of perl and python scripts.  Some of these date back to the turn of the millennium. These scripts had the responsibility of handling all aspects of user life cycle management, including:

  • Pulling user data from the HRMS
  • Creating the user LDAP object
  • Creating the user group LDAP object
  • Creating application accounts (home directories, mailboxes, etc)
  • Updating LDAP objects with HRMS changes
  • Closing user accounts and removing LDAP objects upon termination
  • Syncing account information with third party systems (SaaS vendors, etc)

These legacy scripts would perform SQL queries directly against multiple data sources and call LDAP operations, application command line tools and make API calls. While this system worked well for many years, maintenance became an incredible burden. In essence, only one person knew the account automation system. New application integration requests would have to wait months for resources to free up. For applications allowing direct API integration, that meant some pour soul (me) would have to spend a fair amount of time just figuring out how this new application worked and what API calls were necessary. Moreover, when a vendor would suddenly change their API, that meant something was broken until there was time to fix it. The result was Service Desk team having to perform hundreds of manual operations in the mean time. Essentially, the maintainer could not scale with demand, let alone have the time to become an expert in every new application.

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