about processes and engines

student project : OpenWFE IDE

We’re kicking off a new student project : OpenWFE IDE.

Lukas is on that project, as his master thesis. For the moment, we’re planning on building on Eclipse RCP platform as Lukas has lots of experience with it.

The other alternative would be to enhance OpenWFE‘s droflo. We discussed about putting some AJAXery in it, but it’s only a student project, not a full-blown open source project. Let’s do what we know how to do well.

The goals for Lukas are

1). to enhance what Christelle and Helena built before him
2). extend it with a ‘participant map’ editor and a webservice browser (mapping participants to webservices)

optional goals are

3). integrate an embedded OpenWFE engine for testing and simulation of defined processes and participant maps
4). extend this ‘monitoring’ capability ; make it capable of monitoring not only the IDE’s embedded engine but also external OpenWFE engines.

I would personally favour a web-based solution, it’s a platform with lots of constraints, yes, but something functional is possible. We’re not forced to go the AJAX way, we especially don’t need ‘XmlHttpRequests’. The deployment costs of such a solution being near zero, it makes it attractive, and I think that monitoring a process through a web interface is a must.
Anyhow, we’ll certainly go the Eclipse RCP way, and we’ll learn lots of things.

Student projects are good, but they have a serious drawback : the students then go away and someone has to maintain / integrate what they did, it’s not that easy, the sooner the thing goes into the project, the better. The closer the thing is to the project core, the better. Periphal addons are harder to maintain.

I’m quite glad that students get exposed to BPM thanks to Michael and OpenWFE, it’s a plus in their curriculum, especially in those days where BPM gets traction.

Written by John Mettraux

April 7, 2006 at 7:28 pm

Posted in bpms, openwfe, oss

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  1. […] Another step in the short term will be the extraction of the participant-map parsing facility to an implementation of a ParticipantMapFactory. This was requested by Lukas, who is currently working on his master project : an OpenWFE IDE based on Eclipse RCP. […]

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