Integrate FileNet BPM with IBM Content Manager, Part 4: Create an Auto Insurance Claim Process using FileNet Workplace

An example using the ABC Company scenario

This is the last in a series of four articles that describe how to integrate FileNet® BPM with IBM® Content Manager. In this article, learn to create a business process to use the newly created component queue. You'll create a business process definition using the work performer created in Part 3 to meet ABC Company's business requirements. You will also execute the business process to validate your solution.

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Yei Wei Song (songyiw@cn.ibm.com), Software Engineer, IBM Content Manager Development, IBM

Yei Wei SongYiwei Song is a software engineer in IBM China Software Development Lab (CSDL). He works on IBM Content Manager development. He has also worked as software engineer of FileNet development.



ErXing Zhao (zhaoerx@cn.ibm.com), Software Engineer, IBM Content Manager Development, IBM

ErXing ZingErXing Zhao is a software engineer in IBM China Software Development Lab (CSDL). He works on IBM Content Manager development.



XiaoYang Yang (alexyang@cn.ibm.com), Senior Software Sales Specialist, IBM

XiaoYang Yang is a senior software sales specialist.



29 May 2008

Also available in Vietnamese

Introduction to FileNet P8 Component Integrator

In the ABC Company Auto Insurance Claim system, there are three different roles: CSR, Adjuster, and Supervisor. To create three new work queues for these three roles, open the Workplace Process Configuration Console.

In the Process Configuration Console, right-click on Work Queues and add three new ones: CSR, Adjuster, and Supervisor. Then click Save and select Continue in the pop-up dialog.

Figure 1. Create new work queues for different roles
Create new work queues for different roles

Use Active Directory to create user groups and users for the roles

Now create the user groups and users for these three work queues in the Active Directory or LDAP server.

In the Active Directory Users and Computers console, select Users, then click the Create new user group button in the toolbar to create a group for CSR, Adjuster, and one for Supervisor. At last, create three users for each of the group, like Mary as CSR, Mike as Adjuster and John as Supervisor. In this figure, you can see the three specified security groups in the Active Directory Users and Computers console.

Figure 2. Use Active Directory to create user groups and users
Use Active Directory to create users and user groups

Use Process Designer to create a business process

You can use the FileNet P8 Process Designer to create a business process definition using the component queues and work queues.

You need to identify the key parameters for the process execution before drawing the Auto Insurance Claim business process. The claimAmount is the key parameter for this process since a routing condition needs this field value. Other parameters are claimID, claimStatus, claimAmount, eventID and description. Create these parameters as the workflow data fields so that you can manipulate these attributes in the business process.

In the main menu of the Workplace: Process Designer, select Workplace Properties. Select the Data Fields tab and then click Add. Enter the Name and Type for the new property, such as claimID/String, claimStatus/Integer. Figure 3 shows these steps:

Figure 3. Create workflow data fields
Create workflow data fields

Now you should draw the workflow definition. You can create a general step and specify this step destination to one work queue or one participant if you want a step which interacts with the user. In this way, this step does not belong to one specified role. Take the "Collect Accident Detail" step as an example. CSR collects and inputs the LossEvent information into the system in this step.

As Figure 4 illustrates, in the Workplace Process Designer, drag and drop Collect Accidental Detail from a General step in the BPM Palette to the drawing area. In the Properties window, in the Name field, specify Collect Accident Detail, choose the Work Queue as the Step Destination, then select CSR.

Figure 4. Create a general step to interact with users
Create a general step to interact with human

You need also to specify the parameters which will be shown in this general step's UI. For the "Collect Accident Detail" step, choose the parameters which CSR will input in this step and specify the access rights to these parameters. Choose any item of the Available Parameters list, and click the Arrow button to add it to the Selected Parameters (for example, like eventID, eventType). For any highlighted parameter, you can configure its Read/Write Access rights by selecting from the drop-down menu. Figure 5 shows these steps.

Figure 5. Choose the parameters
Choose the parameters show in step general step

After the CSR inputs the LossEvent information, this attribute's values are all stored in the Process Engine database as temporary data. You should call the Java Business Entities methods to save the data into the IBM Content Manager repository.

As Figure 6 shows, create a component step as you did before. In the Properties field, select an operation method, like the "createLossEvent" component step. Choose Operation Selection and then select ICM_Operations as the component type. After the CSR inputs the LossEvent value and clicks the submit, the subsequent component step in this process is automatically executed.

Figure 6. Create a component step
Create a component step

You need to specify the operation parameters mapping rule. In the runtime, the specified data field value is put into the corresponding operation method's parameter. In the Properties field, make sure that createLossEvent is the name you are working with. Under Component Parameters, you map the data fields value to the "createLossEvent()" method parameters by configuring the Expression column. Figure 7 shows this step.

Figure 7. Specify the operation parameters mapping rule to the workflow data fields
Specify the operation parameters mapping rule to the workflow data fields

For the activity diagram in Figure 5 of Part 1, we create a workflow definition for the ABC Company's Auto Insurance Claim system business process. The process definition is shown in Figure 8 which contains work queue steps, component steps and routing conditions. You can download the workflow definition file and use the Process Designer to open this file.

Figure 8. The Auto Insurance Claim business process definition for ABC Company
The Auto Insurance Claim business process definition for ABC Company

The FileNet BPM has a step processor which lets users execute a workflow right away without writing one line of code. But before executing this workflow, you can use the Process Designer to validate it. Then add this workflow definition file into the repository. This workflow definition is now under the version control.

To do this, in the Workplace Process Designer, click File in the menu and then select Validate to validate the drawn process. Click FileNet Add New to import the process to FileNet CE. Figure 9 shows this step

Figure 9. Validate and add the workflow definition into the repository
Validate and add the workflow definition into the repository

You can use the FileNet Workplace to locate and transfer this workflow definition. One workflow definition may have several versions, though only the transferred version can be executed. You need to transfer one version of the workflow before executing it.

To transfer the workflow definition, bring up FileNet Workplace, click Browse and then Bp8ObjectStore in the left navigation menu. Find the imported workflow definition in the workflow folder. Right-click on the document, and select Transfer Workflow in the context menu to transfer it.

Figure 10. Transfer the workflow definition
Transfer the workflow definition

Launch and play with the business process

In this section, FileNet Workplace default step processor is used as user interface in order to make this sample simple. For building real applications on top of FileNet BPM, Process Engine API is usually used directly to leverage the full capabilities of BPM. What's more, developers can use any user interface technology such as JSF demanded by customers.

To launch the workflow in the Workplace client to perform the business process, bring up FileNet Workplace as in Figure 10. Again, select Browse and then Bp8ObjectStore in the left navigation menu. Find the imported workflow definition in the workflow folder, right-click on the document and select Launch. Figure 11 shows this step.

Figure 11. Launch the workflow definition
Launch the workflow definition

In the pop-up FileNet Workplace Step Processor, the CSR should collect and input the accident detail information. After all the information is entered,the CSR clicks Complete to continue the business process. This step is shown in Figure 12.

Figure 12. CSR collects and inputs the accident detail information
CSR collect and input the accident detail information

In the runtime, you can use the FileNet Process Tracker to track the process, check the runtime progress and any exception. The FileNet Process Tracker is shown in Figure 13.

Figure 13. Use FileNet Process Tracker to track the business process execution
Use FileNet Process Tracker to track our business process execution

Use IBM Content Manager Client to check the interaction result

Now the business process will automatically call the component step, invoke the Java Business Entities to create the specified "LossEvent" item in IBM Content Manager repository. To validate this component step and the implementation of the work performer, you may use the IBM Content Manager Windows Client to see the created item in Figure 14.

Figure 14.Login the IBM Content Manager Windows Client
Login the IBM Content Manager Windows Client

You can search the item type "LossEvent" and verify whether the created item is there. Figure 15 shows this step.

Figure 15. Use IBM Content Manager Windows Client to validate the result
Use IBM Content Manager Windows Client to validate the result

Then you can continue to execute the workflow by yourself. We'll skip the descriptions.

Now you have finished all the steps to implement the solution which can integrate the FileNet BPM and IBM Content Manager using workplace built-in step processor. We used the sample ABC Company case as an example to describe how to design and develop an application where BPM uses IBM Content Manager as its content repository. We created an 'Auto Insurance Claim' application step by step to show how to do the integration. In real customer cases, if customers need a more flexible and fancy user interface, they can also develop a new stand-alone vertical client or extend an existing client directly using PE API. Figure 16 shows a screen shot of a stand-alone sample AutoClaim client application for your reference.

Figure 16. A stand-alone sample AutoClaim client application
A stand-alone sample AutoClaim client application

Conclusion

In Part 4 of this series, you've used the FileNet P8 Process Designer to create an Auto Insurance Claim workflow definition matching ABC Company's business process requirement. In this workflow definition, you used the registered custom java object's methods to deal with the interaction between FileNet P8 BPM and IBM Content Manager. In such a way, you can enable FileNet BPM to use the IBM Content Manger as its content repository. Furthermore, you can also use the similar solution to make FileNet BPM use relational database or MDM as its back-end repository if there are any requirements.


Download

DescriptionNameSize
Process definition for Auto Insurance Claim systemAutoClaimProcess.pep12.7KB

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  • Download FileNet Content Manager demo to see how IBM FileNet P8 integrates content, process, and compliance to streamline, manage, and optimize an auto claim handling process.
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