Archive for the ‘Activiti’ Category

Upgrading from jBPM3 to….

Posted: 4 August, 2011 in Activiti, jBPM

Funny that moving from jBPM3 to Activiti is not considered upgrading, while moving from jBPM3 to jBPM5 is… So upgrading is only if you stay in in something with the same name… IE6 -> Firefox 5 is not upgrading either than…but IE6-> IE7 is… wow… (not saying jBPM 5 such a small step)

I personally think the differences in language between jBPM3 (jPDL) and Activiti (BPMN2) are comparable to the differences between jBPM3 (jPDL) and jBPM5 (BPMN2), at least the last time I checked. The migration of the definition should (almost) be identical. The difference in API is also of a comparable difficulty so the only difference in ease of migration could be in the runtime data (instanciated processes). I have no clear picture on that anymore, but personaly I would not even try to migrate that and just let one slowly take over the other. This is even mentioned in the jBPM forum

There are some more remarkable remarks in this topic, but since I don’t want to start a flamewar, I won’t go into them… (but had to mention there are, sorry)



Activiti in Action

Posted: 9 March, 2011 in Activiti

aia cover

I’m not realy a book buying guy, especially not technical ones since often they are outdated the moment you buy them. In some cases that does not matter since they are a good reference anyhow. So when I noticed that Tijs Rademakers and Ron van Liempd were writing Activiti in Action I hesitated a little for the obvious reason that I’m kind of familiar with Activiti already. Last week however at the NLJUG Activiti university session (a ‘labs’ oriented hands-on free training) held at the Atos location in Utrecht, they surprised us with free vouchers to the MEAP version of the book and a full electronic version when it comes out (thanks for that btw). Since you should not look a gift horse in the mouth (did not expect the translation of this proverb from Dutch to English to be so literal) I started reading and with great joy I must admit. Chapter 4 was released today and so I think it is to early to write an indepth review! But anyone starting with Activiti should pay the lousy €25.15 and buy the book. It already contains well written, good to read, easy to understand,… well I think you get the picture. Oh and in addition, the example code is avaiable to so anyone wanting a jumpstart with Activiti: do not hesitate

Funny thing is that when talking to them about the book, they admitted it was twice as hard to keep up with Activiti since te community and the contributions from the communiti keep growing with each release and with e.g. the businessrule task and the designer they can partly blame themselves. Still I think it is a great buy.

Keep up the good work.

EDIT: According to a tweet by Tijs Rademakers: Use the following code to get 40% of all versions of the #Activiti in Action book: activi40.

Where does the experience really starts?

Posted: 22 February, 2011 in Activiti

Scott Francis often write interesting small blogs about things related to BPM. His latest blog (as of this time of writing), The Experience Starts in the First Minute, is about perceiving a BPMS in relation to it’s installation. I agree with him that getting things up and running without expensive consultants is a plus. But…as always the proof of the pudding is in the eating, or using it in case of Rick Hightower and Activiti.

Einstein already said it: “IT should be as simple as possible, but not simpler” (IT being my own addition ;-). Why do I get to this? Simply because I think there is a downside to making things too simple. I’ve seen it happening with jBPM and with Activiti now as well. Tom Baeyens has always advocated that BPMN has both a technical and business aspect to it, Activiti Cycle being the one of the results. But if the installer is that simple any ‘suit’ might think he can do it all by himself, without IT. Yeah… right, would be the same as me saying I do not need sales people to sell my ‘product’ (anyone ever tried cold acquisition?).  The fact that this is true can be seen by the level/quality of the questions in the forums. If things get simpler, you get way more noob questions… People that do not know how to use search(engines), understand reporting issues, understand that the demo setup is just that, a demo setup and nothing to be tweeked for production use. This does not happen on the mailinglist of BetterForm, a great XForms engine. The ‘demo setup is also not difficult there, but you quickly become aware that you need to use it in combination with IT (and this is not critique).

So my suggestion: Pose a question to the user when he (she?) executes ‘ant demo.setup’ asking him if he wears a suit. If he answers ‘yes’ , we should register his ip-address and only allow access to a ‘beginners’ forum for at least a year (yes even if he is from a high-profile consultancy firm ;-)) since experience comes with the years and not in the first minute.

FOSS Projects and communities

Posted: 28 January, 2011 in Activiti, jBPM

A lot has happened the last months in the field of opensource bpm(n2). Activiti getting a jumpstart in many areas, jBPM4 getting ‘killed’ but jBPM in general getting a relaunch with Droolsflow/jBPM5 and Bonita quietly getting better and better. It might not surprise you that I have a strong personal opinion about how things went, but no, this won’t be a rant, since I think nobody gains anything by that and I do not want people I like to feel bad (cause they shouldn’t) nor do I want to diminish any company. Yet, you have to make choices now and then. (more…)