Kubernetes for Small and Medium Organisations

With Imixs-Cloud we started a new open infrastructure project, providing a lightweight kubernetes cluster for small and medium-sized organizations. This projects goal is to build, run and maintain business applications in a production ready and self managed kubernetes cluster. The main objectives of Imixs-Cloud are simplicity, transparency and operational readiness.

The runtime environment is based on Kubernetes and provides an easy way to setup and maintain a medium-sized kubernetes cluster environment hosted on virtual servers or bare metal. The project is open source and constantly under development. You can join the project on Github.

The project contains information how to setup a kubernetes cluster on bare metal servers or cloud servers.

Continue reading “Kubernetes for Small and Medium Organisations”

Web Based BPMN Modelling

We are currently creating a completely new modelling opportunity within the Imixs workflow project. This new web based modelling approach is build on top of the impressive open source project bpmn.io.

BPMN Models created in Eclipse with the existing powerful Imixs-BPMN Modeller can be viewed and modeled directly in the web based modeler and vice versa.

The new project Imixs-BPMN.io is hosted on Github. The goal is to transfer more and more functionality from the Eclipse Platform to the web-based solution. We are only at the beginning and are grateful for any kind of support. We invite you to join the project!

Multi-Model Support

With the next upcoming version of Imixs-Worklfow 5.1.10 we will introduce the new Multi-Model Support. With this function, a long-running business process can easily be distributed into separate model files without having to split up a running process instance or create a new sub-process. This will make modeling much easier and clearer.

In difference to the the already existing feature of the Split Events, the model version can be changed within a running process instance by simply adding a link-event:

The outgoing event describes the new model version in the workflow result definition:

<model>
  <version>approval-model-1.0.0</version>
  <event>42</event>
</model>

The Imixs-Workflow engine will execute the new event immediately within the new model and automatically assigns the already running process instance. The consistency of the process will be guarantied by the Imixs-Workflow Kernel.

This modeling approach is particularly interesting for long-running, complex business processes with multi-stage approval procedures because it significantly increases the maintainability and overview in such models.

Find out the latest releases on Github.

“I Love Free Software Day”

Every year, the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) encourages supporters to celebrate Valentine’s Day as “I Love Free Software Day,” a day for supporters to show their gratitude to the people who enable them to enjoy software freedom, including maintainers, contributors, and other activists.

We at Imixs support this initiative and encourage companies and organizations to pay attention to the value of free software.

Read more.

Monitoring Imixs-Workflow with Grafana

The Imixs-Workflow engine has a build-in metric service which is based on lates vdrsion of Eclipse Microprofile 3.2. This metric service can be used to monitor the Imixs-Workflow engine and its running processes. The Imixs Metric Service provides fine-grained metrics to monitor individual business processes or even individual process steps within a specific workflow.

The Data format is based on the common Prometheus format and can be analyzed in real-time with different kind of Tools.

Howto Setup

To setup the imixs-metrics you just need to enable the metric service by a environment variable:

METRICS_ENABLED: "true"

The Imixs-Workflow engine will start automatically collecting all relevant metrics during document updates or the processing life-cycle of a custom business process.

Next you can start a Prometheus Server to collect the metrics by using the following prometheus.yml file:

global:
  scrape_interval:     15s # By default, scrape targets every 15 seconds.

  # Attach these labels to any time series or alerts when communicating with
  # external systems (federation, remote storage, Alertmanager).
  external_labels:
    monitor: 'imixs-monitor'
     
  # Imixs-Microservice - payara metrics
  - job_name: 'imixs'
    scrape_interval: 5s
    metrics_path: /metrics
    static_configs:
      - targets: ['imixs-workflow:8080']   

This will collect metrics from the service endpoint ‘http://imixs-workflow:8080/’. Prometheus will scrape the metrics every 15 seconds and stores the result into its own database.

From the Prometheus Dashboard you can test the data within your web browser:

Monitoring Metrics with Grafana

To monitor you workflow you can easily connect your Prometheus server with a Grafana Instance. This allows you to visualize your metrics in an individual and more detailed dashboard.

There are a huge amount of functions available in Grafana to analyze and monitor data. You can also activate individual alerts to notify your process owner about the load of your business processes.

New Imixs-Admin Client V5.1

Today we released the next version of the Imixs-Admin client Tool. Version 5.1 has a new UI based on Vue.js and runs on Payara Micro.

As always, the Imixs-Admin Client also shows insights how to build modern, lean web interfaces based on the Imixs Rest API. The new version is realized as a Single-Page-Application using the Imixs-Script library. The self-contained microservice can connect to any Imixs-Workflow instance via Rest. The backend also integrates the latest version of the Imixs-Melman sub project.

The project is available on Github. Imixs-Admin 5.1 will be evolved with new features in the upcoming releases.

Imixs-Workflow 5.1 Released!

We proudly announce out latest release of Imixs-Workflow. Version 5.1 is a big step forward on the road to greater flexibility and support for a modern microservice architecture.

Imixs-Workflow 5.1 introduce a new indexing concept that allows to provide different implementations for a full-text-search and structured-search. Now users can switch between the Apache Lucene Core search engine or the Apache Solr Search engine. Solr is a highly reliable, scalable and fault tolerant search engine. Solr supports distributed indexing, replication and load-balancing. Especially for a high scalable microservice architecture this search engine is the best choice.

Also the support for Eclipse Microprofile is now completed. With Eclipse Microprofile microservices and business applications can be developed faster and more resilient. Build on Eclipse Microprofile and Jakarta EE now Imixs-Workflow can be deployed on all modern application servers and is tested with Payara, Wildfly, OpenLiberty, TomEE.

Version 5.1. is already included in the latest version of Imixs-Microservice which provides a lightweight architecture for business transaction in a microservice environment.

See the latest release notes.

BPMN Rule Engine

With the latest version 5.1.0 the Imixs-Workflow project introduces a BPMN based Rule Engine.

The BPMN Rule Engine uses Conditional Events to evaluate a business rule. This is a powerful mechanism to describe rules in a BPMN model and evaluate a given workitem.

The BPMN Rule Engine provides an easy way to describe also complex business rules based on a visual model. The rules are evaluated as a chain of conditional events. The engine evaluates the data of a given workitem.

A single condition is defined in a conditional sequence flow. The conditional expression is based on JavaScript but other Script languages are also supported.

To initialize a BPMN Rule Engine a Imixs BPMN Model instance need to be loaded first.

bpmnRuleEngine=new BPMNRuleEngine(model);

workitem = new ItemCollection().model(MODEL_VERSION).task(100).event(10);
workitem.setItemValue("a", 1);
workitem.setItemValue("b", "DE");

// evaluate rule
Assert.assertEquals(200, bpmnRuleEngine.eval(workitem));

The model instance can either be taken from a running instance of the Imixs-Workflow engine or loaded on demand from the file system:

// load BPMN model from input stream
Model model = BPMNParser.parseModel(inputStream, "UTF-8");

The workitem can contain any kind of data to be evaluated by the business rules. Internally the Imixs BPMN Rule Engine is based on the Core-RuleEngine which supports various script languages to describe a rule.

The example BPMN model can be downloaded from Github . Install the Imixs-BPMN Modeler to examine the example.

More details about the Imixs BPMN Rule Engine can be find on the project site.

Imixs-Workflow – Version 5.0.2 Released

Today we released version 5.0.2 of the Open Source Workflow Engine Imixs-Workflow.

The new release includes – beside the general new support of Eclipse Microprofile – some important new features. The main feature of this release is a new implementation of Imixs Adapter API. This API supports now two kinds of adapter interfaces.

  • The SignalAdapter can be used to implement a fine grained control of the event processing life cycle.
  • The GenericAdapter interface provides a model independent extension point to implement generic API features.

One of the first implementations is the new AccessAdapter class. This adapter controls the ACL defined by the Imixs-BPMN Model definition. This adapter can also be a good starting point of custom generic adapters.

Together with the Imixs Plugin API the Adapter API now provides developers with a strong and flexible extension mechanism to implement all kind of human-centric and microservice based workflow applications.

Imixs-Workflow & Eclipse Microprofile

With the upcomming version 5.0.0 the Imixs-Workflow engine is integrated into the Eclipse Micoroprofile API.

The Enterprise Java technology has evolved with the industry for nearly two decades to support distributed application architectures based on RMI/IIOP, Web Services, and REST. The MicroProfile is the next step in that evolution. Since Imixs based on Java Enterprise technology stack, it is consistently to expand the technology to the new standard. As a developer this will bring you more features and a much smarter way to run the Imixs-Worklfow engine within a microservice architecture.

The Version 5.0.0 will provide the following APIs:

  • Metrics – This allows you to monitor Imixs-Workflow with Tools like Prometheus or Grafana
  • Health Check – The Health Check API can be used to probe the state of an Imixs-Worklfow instance from another machine (i.e. a kubernetes service controller)
  • Config API – Configuration data can now come from different locations

We will provide soon more documentation and examples on how you can run Imixs-Workflow in a Microservice Infrastructure. If you have questions please joint our community!