about processes and engines

OpenWFEru 0.9.17 released

Writing documentation can be painful, but it’s a necessity. So my main task these days about OpenWFEru is writing down an example, it’s about the Tea Testing Team. This piece of documentation is not yet complete, but it might be a good start.

The example is based on the latest Densha, a Ruby on Rails based web application wrapping a workflow / BPM engine. It adds a small worklist implemented thanks to ActiveRecords, that makes a quite decent BPMS (business process management system). So this eye-candy Densha is used in the Tea Testing example to demonstrate what OpenWFEru is about.

(Somehow, supporting this example is the main motivation behind this release of OpenWFEru + Densha 0.9.17)

There is an online demonstration of Densha at

I’ve written before about the main feature this 0.9.17 Densha brings, I labeled it process gardening, cancelling pieces of business process instances. Well, the 0.9.17 goes a bit further, you can download as yaml a part of a process instance, modify it, then reload it in the engine… Business process modifications on the fly (these are admin features, you don’t want your users to directly modify process instances, whatever their IT literacy level is).

Densha has a ‘fluo’ component, it’s a javascript library that turns the process definitions into graphical process representation (the graphical notation used is BPMN, as far as possible). It’s implemented in javascript so it can be reused in other web interfaces, whatever the web framework (or the language).

It’s one of my goals to provide soon a web process designer leveraging this ‘fluo’ javascript library.

For the edition of workitem payloads, Densha uses a very limited forms system, just string and hashes. It should be enhanced a bit in the upcoming releases, but I shall write soon documentation on how to use custom forms (up to one custom form per activity / participant). It would be nice to have xforms as well.

Densha itself is not meant to be a state of the art Ruby on Rails application, it’s rather an example, a proof of concept and others have already used pieces of it (or simply as an inspiration) for building their own systems.

OpenWFEru shall reach 1.0 soon. I’d like to work on a few simplifications before that, then it will be ready.

The quickstart for OpenWFEru is available at :

The quickstart for Densha is at :

As always, feedback is welcome on the OpenWFEru users mailing list.

Incidentally, this is my 300th post. Long way.

Written by John Mettraux

March 17, 2008 at 3:29 pm

Posted in bpm, bpms, openwferu, ruby, workflow

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