News

Imixs-BPMN Modelling Tool 1.4.4 Released!

With the latest version 1.4.4. of the BPMN modelling Tool Imixs-BPMN, the open source project ‘Imixs-Workflow‘ provides several enhancements in modelling human centric workflows. Among other new features it is now possible to model scheduled events on a working day basis. This allows scheduling events in individual time frames ignoring weekends. Another enhancement is the visualisation of custom task properties. ACL settings or custom editor settings are now visualized by info icons. Also the Process-ID of a Imixs-Task element is now displayed in the graphical representation of a BPMN model.

bpmn2-customtask

Some bug fixes align the new release with the latest version of Eclipse BPMN2 for the Mars Release. The new version can be downloaded and installed from the Eclipse Marketplace. Further information about the BPMN modelling tool can be found on the project homepage www.imixs.org.  Take also a look into the tutorial “How to Create a Workflow Model“.

Architecture Development

How to Run a Custom Build of Imixs-Office-Workflow Using Docker

The Imixs-Workflow project supports Docker and provides also a Docker image for the workflow management suite ‘Imixs-Office-Workflow‘. Imixs-Office-Workflow provides a full featured business process management suite and can also be used to be extended in various ways. With Docker it becomes easy to setup a custom build for development, test and productive environments.

Setup a New Custom Build

To setup a new custom build of Imixs-Office-Workflow you can use the Imixs-Office-Archetype maven project, which provides a simple starting point for custom development. To run you custom build using Docker you should add a docker folder into your project with the following structure:

-/.data
-/.deployments
-/configuration
 |-standalone.xml
-docker-compose.yml
-Dockerfile

Customize Wildfly standalone.xml

First you can use the standalone.xml file located in the /configuration folder to configure your wildfly server to your project needs. Typically this will be a data-pool configuration and a security realm. This is an example of a custom database pool configuration which can be run in a docker container to access a postgres database running in another Docker container:

...
  <datasource jta="true" jndi-name="java:/jdbc/office-test" pool-name="office-test" enabled="true" use-ccm="true">
 <connection-url>jdbc:postgresql://postgres/office-test</connection-url>
 <driver-class>org.postgresql.Driver</driver-class>
 <driver>postgresql-9.3-1102.jdbc41.jar</driver>
 <security>
 <user-name>postgres</user-name>
 <password>adminadmin</password>
 </security>
 <validation>
 <validate-on-match>false</validate-on-match>
 <background-validation>false</background-validation>
 </validation>
 <timeout>
 <set-tx-query-timeout>false</set-tx-query-timeout>
 <blocking-timeout-millis>0</blocking-timeout-millis>
 <idle-timeout-minutes>0</idle-timeout-minutes>
 <query-timeout>0</query-timeout>
 <use-try-lock>0</use-try-lock>
 <allocation-retry>0</allocation-retry>
 <allocation-retry-wait-millis>0</allocation-retry-wait-millis>
 </timeout>
 <statement>
 <share-prepared-statements>false</share-prepared-statements>
 </statement>
 </datasource>
 ...

Note that the connection-url points to the host ‘postgres’ which need to be linked later to this container.

The Dockerfile

Next you can create a custom Dockerfile to describe you Imixs-Office-Workflow container for your custom build:

FROM imixs/office-workflow:latest
# add custom standalone.xml file
ADD configuration/standalone.xml /opt/wildfly/standalone/configuration/

The Dockerfile is quite simple. It extends the office imixs/office-workflow container and adds the new custom configuration file standalone.xml into the container

Docker-Compose

We use now docker-compose to describe the environment where we run a PostgreSQL Server, a WildFly Application Server and our custom build of Imixs-Office-Workflow.

 postgresloml:
  image: postgres:9.4.6
  environment:
    POSTGRES_PASSWORD: adminadmin
    POSTGRES_DB: office-test
  volumes:
    - ./.data/db:/var/lib/postgresql/data

 officetest:
  build: .
  environment:
    WILDFLY_PASS: adminadmin
  ports:
    - "8080:8080"
    - "9990:9990"
  links: 
    - postgresloml:postgres
  volumes:
   - "./.deployments:/opt/wildfly/standalone/deployments"

The docker-compose.yml file describes the PostgreSQL container with a custom database named ‘office-test’ (see the standalone.xml file), and a new imixs/ofifce-workflow container running our custom build of Imixs-Office-Workflow. The volumes parameter binds the local ./deployments/ folder which is used for autodeployments our application artifacts and also to configure hot-deployment during the development phase.

To start the environment simply run:

docker-compose up

That’s it! Now you can deploy your application aretfact of Imixs-Office-Workflow together with ah postgresql-jdbc.jar file into the local ./deploymetns folder.

After you access Imixs-Office-Workflow from your web browser (http://localhost:8080/office-test) the default user account ‘admin’ with the default password ‘adminadmin’ will be created and can be changed from the Admin section

 

Architecture Development

Docker-Compose – How To Install

The Imixs-Workflow project supports Docker and provides several Docker containers to run business applications like Imixs-Office-Workflow on a Docker host. A business application like Imixs-Office-Workflow requires to start different containers to separate the database form the application/web server. With the help of the Docker Tool ‘Docker-Compose’ the  definition of multi-container Docker applications is quite simple. The Imixs project provides different Docker-Compose definitions stored in a docker-compose.yml file.

The Installation

The following installation guide is written for linux users. For other plattforms see the installation guide here.

Fist download docker-compose sources from GitHub and change mod with the following command:

curl -L https://github.com/docker/compose/releases/download/1.7.0/docker-compose-`uname -s`-`uname -m` > /usr/local/bin/docker-compose
 chmod +x /usr/local/bin/docker-compose

After installation you should verify the installation with the following command::

docker-compose --version

this should result in something like:

docker-compose version 1.7.0, build 0d7bf73

How to downgrade the docker-compose

Depending on you docker installation it can be result in a version conflict between Docker and Docker-Compose after a manual installation. You will see an errer message when starting docker-compose like the following:

client and server don't have same version (client : 1.18, server: 1.17)

In this case you can easily install a lower version of docker-compose with the curl command as shown above.

Run Docker-Compose

After you have installed Docker-Compose successfully you can start a multi-container Docker application with the following command:

docker-compose up

You can run the containers in background:

docker-compose up -d

to stop all containers run:

docker-compose stop

 

 

News

Imixs Joins Docker!

The Imixs-Workflow Project is now joining Docker. We provide a first image for a Wildfly application server container. This image will be used as a base for Imixs-Workflow projects like Imixs-Office-Workflow.

Read more about the imixs/wildfly container here. 

News

Imixs-Workflow 3.7.0 – Final Release

These days we released the latest version of Imixs-Workflow 3.7.0. The new release contains the following enhancements and bugfixes:

  • Enhancement: RestClient supports fileupload (Post request)
  • Enhancement: XMLItem supports Map and List values
  • Enhancement: EntityTableWriter supports formating item values
  • Enhancement: WorkflowKernel enhanced logging for followup activities
  • Enhancement: FieldMapping of BPMN models supports now static mapping of user groups
  • Enhancement: Removed TinyMCE support
  • Bugfix: ItemCollection setItemValue – handle list with null values throws exception
  • Bugfix: FileUpload Controller is now thread/session safe
  • Bugfix: EntityService saveEntity fixed wrong datastsructure durng multiple updates in one transaction
  • Bugfix: new Pug-In Exception when item tag is not closed in activity result

You can download the latest version from the Maven repository or GitHub.

News

BPMN modeling for martians!

Version 1.2.4 of the Eclipse BPMN2 Modeller Plug-In is now available for Eclipse Mars. The new release provides a lot of improvements and bug fixes. See the New & Noteworthy page for what’s new in Eclipse BPMN2 Modeller. The latest version can be installed from the Updatesite.
Version 1.2.4 can be installed together with the Imixs-BPMN Plug-In which is providing extensions to deploy a BPMN 2.0 model into the Imixs-Workflow Engine. Imixs-Workflow is an open source workflow engine for human-centric business process management (BPM) based on the Java EE technology stack. Read more about Imixs-Workflow here.

News

Imixs-BPMN- new Update available

Today we released a new minor update of the Imixs-BPMN Modelling Plugin for BPMN 2.0. This update contains some layout improvements and also updates to the latest Mars release 1.2.3 of the BPMN2 Plugin.

The new Imixs-BPMN Plugin now also provides a new feature to model schedule events by defining a time-period/delay in workdays. This new modelling feature will be supported with the next upcoming release of Imixs-Workflow 3.7.0.

The plugin can be installed from the Eclipse Marketplace or from the Imixs Update Site:
http://www.imixs.org/org.imixs.eclipse.bpmn2.updatesite/

The latest BPMN2 Plugin for Eclipse Mars can be installed from:
http://download.eclipse.org/bpmn2-modeler/updates/mars/1.2.3

News

Imixs-Workflow Version 3.6. released

This week we released the new version 3.6 of Imixs-Workflow. Version 3.6.1 includes several bug fixes and new features:

  • The AccessPlugin is now no longer merging the acl settings from process and activity entities
  • The OwnerPlugin supports now updating owner settings on task level
  • The ldap- and mail-plugins are moved into the new Imixs-Adapter project
  • New Lucene-Plugin provides an improved concurrency behavior
  • BPMNModelHandler did no longer import extensions with the property txtname
  • ModelService – findEnvironmentEntity – bugfix query implementation
  • LoginController supports now a better testing of user roles
  • Support Java 8 Compatibility (Scriptengine-Switch from Rhino to Nashorn)
  • BPMN Parser is now supporting collaboration diagrams with multiple workflow groups

The new release is also part of the latest version of Imixs-Office-Workflow.

Development News

Imixs Provides New Maven Repository

The Imixs-Workflow project now provides a new public Maven Repositoy on GitHub. The repository is part of the Imixs-Workflow subprojects which are hosted under GitHub/imixs.

The artefacts deployed into the imixs-mvn-repo are mainly used for the open source workflow platform ‘Imixs-Office-Workflow‘. All new artefacts which are not available on the maven central repository will be deployed into the public repository. Artefacts will be available from the current version 2.5 and future versions.

The public repository can be configured into a maven project as follows:

<repositories>
    <repository>
        <id>imixs-mvn-repo</id>
        <url>https://raw.githubusercontent.com/imixs/imixs-mvn-repo/master/</url>
        <snapshots>
            <enabled>true</enabled>
            <updatePolicy>always</updatePolicy>
        </snapshots>
    </repository>
</repositories>

 

Development

Running Imixs-Workflow in a Docker Container

For the development of a business application, which meets the needs of a human-centric workflow, it is a good choice to use the Imixs-Workflow Engine to separate the business and workflow logic. On the other hand the separation of services is one of the core concepts of a modern microservice architecture. With the new Imixs-Microservice project, Imixs-Workflow provides a Docker image, which is containing the Imixs-Workflow Engine running in a WildFly Java EE server. This Docker image can act as a black box for any modern business application. In this architecture, the Imixs-Workflow is responding to RESTful API calls from any core business application.

The Docker Image

The Docker image, provided by the Imixs-Microservice project, can be used out of the box for testing purpose or as a template for a custom docker image to be used in a productive environment. Once the container is started from this image, a custom business process model can be developed and deployed into the workflow engine via the Rest Service API. The project provides a example workflow. This BPMN 2.0 model was designed with the Imixs-BPMN Modeller:

imixs-microservice-ticket

This workflow is a simple example how to track tickets by a support team in a call-centre or a customer-support. After a new ticket was created it is assigned to a support team. Each member of a support team can accept the ticket for further processing. The ticket can be reassigned to the team or closed by solving the ticket.

The following JSON request object shows how a new process instance for the ticket workflow looks like when using the RESTful API :

{"item":[
     {"name":"$modelversion","value":{"@type":"xs:string","$":"my-model-definition-0.0.2"}},
     {"name":"$processid","value":{"@type":"xs:int","$":"2000"}}, 
     {"name":"$activityid","value":{"@type":"xs:int","$":"1"}}, 
     {"name":"namteam","value":[
                {"@type":"xs:string","$":"admin"},
                {"@type":"xs:string","$":"eddy"},
                {"@type":"xs:string","$":"anna"}
                   ]},
     {"name":"_subject","value":{"@type":"xs:string","$":"Some usefull data.."}}
   ]}  

After this JSON object was send to the Rest Service by a POST request, the Imixs-Workflow engine creates a new process instance assigned to the task ‘New Ticket’ and triggers the Event ‘Submit’ to assign the ticket to the support team. The process instance is stored into a Postgres Database.

Each member of the team can now request a task list with all open tickets assigned to himself.

curl --user admin:adminadmin http://localhost:8080/imixs-microservice/workflow/worklist

Each workitem included in the result provides a set of attributes managed by the Imixs-Workflow engine. This information can be used to track the status of each ticket.

Using the Imixs-BPMN modelling tool each event can be modelled with a custom behaviour. For example using the Imixs Mail Plug-In a e-mail notification can be send automatically to the support team after a new ticket arrived. Imixs-Workflow provides a set of plug-ins to fit the needs of typical human-centric business tasks.

Access Control and User Management

One of the core features of a human-centric-workflow engine is the routing and user management of process instances. Each process instance running in the Imixs-Workflow engine is assigned to a dedicated list of owners and a read- and write-access-list.

Using this access control list (ACL), it is possible to manage also complex business tasks by managing the visibility of a process instance within an organisation. The ACL of a running process instance maps to the role- and user management provided by the Java EE Application server. The Imixs-Microservice provides a integrated user service which can be used to add new users or changing there access level within the workflow engine.

Conclusion

Running Imixs-Workflow as a black box workflow server is an exciting approach which can bring a new point of view to a modern microservice architecture. Providing a Docker file the Imixs-Microservice can be deployed and started easily, thus the configuration of a own server environment is no longer necessary. This is also a good starting point to develop a Docker container for productive environments.

Read more about the Imixs-Microservice on the project documentation.