One of the added-values included in the Bonita Open Solution Subscription Pack is the contexts feature. Contexts are useful to handle different “environments/status/contexts” of a process.
For example, by defining a “test context” and a “production context” and associating different variables to each context, there is no need to change variable values in connectors, forms, or other places where variables necessarily differ in different environments.
A context is a set of key-value pairings. Context keys (which will be replaced by a predefined value) can be used as input in most text variables.
At the process level, you’ll need to define resources needed needed at various steps in the process.
You can choose to define simulation parameters on individual tasks (e.g., data to fill variables, resources needed to complete a task, and more) and transitions (e.g., conditions using simulation variables, or probabilities that the process will take one path or another.)
And again at the process level, define a load profile which will be used to characterize the iterations of the process to be run in the simulation.
Running a simulation produces and exports a report which details what happened at the process and task level in the simulation.
Inside the documentation, there is a how-to tutorial for each of the simulation parameters that you might want to define (see below). There is also a new video available, Overview of Simulation Feature (thanks to Frederic Bouquet), that shows where to find the various places to configure simulation parameters and characteristics.
Overview of Simulation Feature is also available from the video library:
BOS 5.6 includes an example process called Delivery-Simulation, which illustrates how to configure a very simple simulation, using two processes with the same steps but slightly different flows. Try running both to see and compare the simulation reports. You can find this example from the Welcome page of Bonita Studio:
This gives you better visibility of your RCP preferences.
Next the idea is to build a new UI for this dialog, keeping the Eclipse PreferencePage mechanism. To show a quick preview of the result I made a mockup of this dialog using the WindowBuilder tool. With this tool, you can draw your UI very easily, though a background knowledge of SWT helps a lot.
Using mockups is a good practice to test your user interface and collect your team’s feedback. Here we clearly want to have an “OS X style” for our preferences. Once the mockup shows the interface the way you want it, you can go ahead with your implementation using the code generated by WindowBuilder. The generated code is pretty clean and easy to modify.
Eclipse preference API
Next the goal is to integrate the PreferencePages to the new Dialog. In Eclipse you can define a preference page using an extension point. Thus a PreferencePage is bound to an ID. To find them you can use the PreferenceManager like this :
In addition, I found it useful to reuse the Eclipse keyword contributions linked to those pages. To achieve this, I implemented my own listener inspired from the one in the default preference tree filter.
Reporting is critical to decision making and the administration of a business application. Yet, too few people know about the real power of reporting and its ease of use.
Here’s a short video that will introduce you to the built-in reporting features that Bonita Open Solution provides.
You’ll see the default user dashboard and how to configure it to include some basic reports such as: “Steps per priority”, “Average step pending time” and “Number of cases started”.
Extract valuable information from your application in a few clicks!
You can use this feature to monitor runtime issues – solving them leads to better performance management, for instance, detect tasks that are exceedingly time-consuming and perhaps improve the process design to get rid of the bottlenecks.
Also, reporting can provide additional information needed when performing load balancing. For example, by detecting a variation in the volume of cases started; you may allocate more or less resources to it (be it servers or human operators).
Designing forms for end users is already pretty straightforward – it’s relatively simple to define and configure the fields in a form using the drag-and-drop widgets provided in Bonita Studio Form Builder. Did you know you can adjust the widget palette to change the way it displays the widgets available — and even customize it to show only the widgets you use most often?
There are 3 different display views of the widget palette. Right-click on the palette to see the options. Use “customize” to select which widgets to hide from your custom palette (or to show them again).
If you want the maximum amount of space for your form grid, hide the palette completely.
This video shows how!
(For maximum whiteboard space, you can hide the Overview and Details panels too.)