What's new in WebSphere Integration Developer V6.2

New enhancements to IBM® WebSphere® Integration Developer V6.2 support the latest features and standards provided by WebSphere Process Server and WebSphere ESB V6.2. This article introduces you to these new capabilities and provides examples of how they work. You'll learn about the solution view, editor enhancements, and services gateway pattern support, and be introduced to new features like business calendars and support for the Web Services Feature Pack. You'll also learn about improved testing and problem determination, along with enhancements for migration. This content is part of the IBM Business Process Management Journal.

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Marc Fasbinder, Consulting I/T Specialist, IBM

Photo of Marc FasbinderMarc Fasbinder is an I/T Specialist at IBM with the WebSphere Technical Sales team in Southfield, Michigan.


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04 December 2008

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Introduction

IBM® WebSphere® Integration Developer is the development environment for WebSphere Process Server and WebSphere ESB. Based on the Eclipse platform, WebSphere Integration Developer includes an integrated test server and the tools required to create service modules, assemble components, test, and export for deployment.

This article is based on the WebSphere Integration Developer V6.2 Beta release.

New features

WebSphere Integration Developer V6.2 has been enhanced to support the latest features and standards supported by WebSphere Process Server and WebSphere ESB V6.2. Support for the WebSphere Application Server Web Services Feature Pack enables SOAP 1.2 to improve interoperability, while giving easier access to headers and improved problem determination.

WebSphere Business Modeler interaction

Eclipse V3.4 is now supported, enabling shell sharing with IBM Rational Application Developer V7.5 as well as IBM WebSphere Business Modeler V6.2. Timetables from WebSphere Business Modeler can now be leveraged for execution. Forms defined in WebSphere Business Modeler can now be refactored. When users of WebSphere Business Modeler leverage the new direct deploy feature, integration developers can assist in testing and problem determination using WebSphere Integration Developer.

WebSphere Business Modeler visualization enables you to see the process diagram as it appears in Modeler. The path the process took is highlighted, and you can click on an individual activity to see the detailed trace information. You can then view and analyze the details of any system exceptions. Optionally, the generated modules can be loaded as projects into the WebSphere Integration Developer workspace. The execution trace can then be viewed using the generated WS-BPEL, rather than showing the activities in the business model. You can then attempt to recreate the process using the integrated test environment, and then correct any problems.

WebSphere Integration Developer V6.2 can detect that an asset was generated from WebSphere Business Modeler. If you created a business rule in Modeler, then attempt to edit it in WebSphere Integration Developer, you are given a warning, recommending that you make your changes in WebSphere Business Modeler to avoid any synchronization problems as Figure 1 shows. An option enables you to not show the warning again.

Figure 1. Generated file warning
Generated file warning

Solution view

The Solution view is a new view that shows how your modules, mediation modules, and libraries relate each other. Previously, there was no visual indication that one module invoked components from another module, or which modules had dependencies to which libraries. The integration solution view enables you to view the modules and libraries in graphic form, as well as performing common functions such as check-in/check-out, publish, and test. As Figure 2 shows, you can set a color for each module in the solution. An option enables you to show any libraries used. You can show just the module, or double-click to show the components inside the module. Another option enables an overview of the entire solution at the bottom right, for large complex solutions with too many modules to fit on one screen. You can move the rectangle representing the screen to scroll the diagram. This new view enables you to visualize how your modules connect. See a larger version of Figure 2. -->

Figure 2. Integration Solution View
Integration Solution View

To create the integration solution:

  1. In the project explorer, select New => Project => Integration Solution.
  2. Enter a name, and then click Next.
  3. Select the modules and libraries you would like to add, and then click Finish. The diagram will display.
  4. A plug-in from Adobe Systems is required to view the diagram. If the plug-in is not detected on your system, you are prompted with the option to install it.

Editor improvements

WebSphere Integration Developer has been enhanced with several usability improvements in the BPEL, Assembly Diagram, Mapping and Message Flow editors.

Process editor

The process editor has an improved look and feel. New WS-BPEL constructs from WebSphere Process Server V6.2 are supported, including Generalized Flows (formerly called Cyclic Flows), Repeat Until loops, and Collaboration Scope.

The palette includes icons for these new flow activities. The Basic Actions folder in the palette includes Business Object Map. In previous releases, business object maps were only used in the assembly diagram. Now you can use a business object map as a step of your business process.

The Structures folder in the palette now includes a Repeat Until Loop that repeats the activities in the loop container, until a condition is true. The Human Workflow folder includes a specialized version of a generalized flow, called a Collaboration Scope container activity, as shown in Figure 3. You can use a collaboration scope when you are creating a flow that will be modified on an ad-hoc basis, rather than having a highly structured flow. In this case, the expertise of the users drives which step is to be performed next. A variable called a folder is associated with a collaboration scope, of predefined type tCaseFolder. Business Space users can add and remove content in the folder.

Figure 3. Collaboration scope
Collaboration scope

In generalized flows and collaboration scopes, Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) icons are used to indicate flow of control, such as merging paths together. Fault links are supported as well, shown with double-lines in a different color. This provides an alternative to using a fault handler for the task. Both updates are shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4. Generalized flow in process editor
Generalized flow in process editor

When you add multiple links from one task in a generalized flow or a collaboration scope, the editor automatically inserts a diamond icon to represent an outgoing gateway. When selected in a generalized flow, the diamond has three options:

  • Split, in which only the first link (going left to right) with a transition condition of true is navigated.
  • Fork, in which all links are navigated in parallel.
  • Inclusive OR, in which all links with transition conditions of true are navigated.

In a collaboration scope, a split works differently. Since you can jump between activities in a collaboration scope, it is not possible to split into parallel paths. The properties for the outgoing gateway enable you to specify the order in which the links will be evaluated, as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5. Multiple links from one task in a collaboration scope
Multiple links from one task

When multiple tasks are connected to a single task in a generalized flow or a collaboration scope, a diamond is automatically inserted to indicate the merge. As Figure 6 shows, there are three options: Merge, where the process moves forward as soon as any of the incoming links are true; Join, in which the process waits for all of the incoming links; and Inclusive OR, in which case the process waits for all of the navigated links.

Figure 6. Join in a collaboration scope
Join in a collaboration scope

When adding a link in a collaboration scope, you are presented with an option to create a link or a fault link, as shown in Figure 7. Fault links are only navigated if a fault is thrown; otherwise the normal link is navigated.

Figure 7. Adding a link in a collaboration scope
Adding a link in a collaboration scope

Repeat Until Loops are similar to While Loops, except that the activities in the loop are repeated until a condition is true. Rather than checking the loop condition before each iteration, the condition is checked at the end of the iteration. This means that a Repeat Until Loop will always have at least one iteration.

A new feature enables you to click on a container activity such as a while loop, and zoom in with the editor to show only the loop, as shown in Figure 8. To know which level you are editing, a feature called “breadcrumbs” shows a trail to indicate where you are. Figure 8 shows that breadcrumb trail SimpleSample => Process2 => WhileLoop across the top bar of the process editor. You can click one of the breadcrumbs to navigate back to that level.

Figure 8. Drilldown in process editor
Drilldown in process editor

Sticky notes in the editors have been improved to enable URL links, as well as support for task tags. Predefined tags include TODO and FIXME, as well as support for custom tags.

Human task editor

The human task editor has been updated to support the new features of WebSphere Process Server V6.2, such as the option to bind a participating human task to the process lifecycle. The choice of people assignment criteria has been improved to only show the options thath are valid for the configured people directory. If a directory does not support the “Users by User ID” criteria for example, it will not appear in the list. This new feature improves debugging, eliminating the need to trace people assignment errors down to the directory level, only to find that the chosen assignment criteria is not supported.

To improve usability, the names displayed when selecting which directory to use are based on human readable strings, rather than JNDI names used in previous versions. You can set the names to use in the preferences, making it easier to configure the proper directory, as Figure 9 shows.

Figure 9. People directory in preferences
People directory in preferences

In previous versions of WebSphere Integration Developer, when entering descriptions, replacement variables were supported. WebSphere Integration Developer V6.2 improves this support by adding an “Insert Variable” button to select the variable from a list, rather than having to know the proper syntax, as Figure 10 shows. This button is available in both the process editor, and the human task editor. This eliminates the need to look up the proper syntax from the manual, improving productivity.

Figure 10. Insert variable
Insert variable

Assembly editor enhancements

The assembly diagram editor includes new palette entries. The Components folder now includes Mediation Flow. Outbound Adapters now include iSeries and Oracle. Inbound Adapters now includes iSeries, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and Oracle, as Figure 11 shows. New layout options improve the look of the diagram, as well as avoiding crossing lines when using autolayout.

Figure 11. Inbound Adapters palette
Inbound Adapters palette

Support for Web services imports has been improved. The WebSphere Application Server Web Services Feature Pack is now supported by WebSphere Process Server V6.2, enabling SOAP 1.2 and JAX-WS support. When adding a Web services import, you can select from the previous options of SOAP 1.1/HTTP using JAX-RPC or SOAP 1.1/JMS, as well as new options for SOAP 1.1/HTTP using JAX-WS and SOAP 1.2/HTTP using JAX-WS. If you drag and drop a WSDL onto the assembly diagram, the wizard shown in Figure 12 is able to determine which version of SOAP is being used, and only present valid options for configuration. Web Services bindings to not support SOAP with attachments, MTOM/XOP, SOAP 1.2/JMS, RPC encoded or JAX-RPC handlers.

Figure 12. SOAP dialog
SOAP dialog

When adding a service that requires the Web Services Feature Pack, WebSphere Integration Developer detects if the target server for the project has the Feature Pack installed, and displays a warning if it is missing, as shown in Figure 13.

Figure 13. Web Services Feature Pack missing dialog
Web services feature pack missing dialog

Policy sets

WebSphere Process Server V6.2 supports a new feature called policy sets. The assembly editor has been updated to provide support for policy sets. A policy set is a collection of different policy types. A number of default policy sets are provided. You can select a default policy set in the properties for a Web services import, as shown in Figure 14. A policy set can be specified for each operation in a WSDL. You can define new policy sets through the administrative console, export into an XML file, then import into WebSphere Integration Developer.

Figure 14. Selecting default policy set
Selecting default policy set

A new tab shown in Figure 14 has been added for JAX-WS Handlers. You can add a logical handler that has access to the message, or a SOAP handler that has access to the message as well as the SOAP headers. A wizard generates a Java™ class skeleton for the handler.

Mediation flow editor

The Mediation Flow editor has improved support for protocol specific headers, including CICS and IMS messages. Mapping has been improved to support very large business objects. Mediation flows and XSLT transformations can now be included in a business module, rather than needing their own module. Performance is improved by eliminating the hop between modules, improving efficiency. Multiple mediation components can now be placed into a single module, as Figure 15 shows. Since a mediation flow is treated like any other component now, there is no longer a need for a specialized mediation module. A mediation can be part of any module now.

Figure 15. Multiple mediation flows in a single module
Multiple mediation flows in a module

A new construct called a mediation subflow can be used to encapsulate reusable mediation logic. The subflow appears in the project tree, which you can then add into a flow by dragging and dropping. The mediation flow editor supports subflows and the other new mediation primitives provided by WebSphere ESB V6.2, as shown in Figure 16.

Figure 16. New mediation primitives
New mediation primitives

Other mediation flow primitives have been improved. Usability has been improved for Database Lookup. Message Element Setter supports additional XSD types. Fan In and Fan Out support asynchronous flows. Message Emitter and Message Logger enable the ability to turn logging on and off, as well as the option to log to a flat file.

A new tutorial is included with the product, which teaches you how to create and deploy a mediation solution for WebSphere ESB.

Support for Services Gateway pattern

When using the Services Gateway pattern, see the Resources section for What’s in in WebSphere Process Server V6.2, a new wizard helps you create your project in WebSphere Integration Developer.

  1. Right-click the empty space in the Business Integration view.
  2. Select New => Project => From Patterns, as shown in Figure 17.
    Figure 17. Creating new project from patterns
    Creating new project from patterns
  3. Expand the Integration folder, select Services Gateway, and then click Next.
  4. Enter a name for the project, and then click Next.
  5. Select Dynamic for the gateway type, and then click Next.
  6. In the new services gateway dialog, select Query a WebSphere Service Registry and Repository (WSRR), and whether to log messages, and then click Next as shown in Figure 18.
    Figure 18. New services gateway dialo
    New services gateway dialo
  7. Select a transport protocol for the service gateway. If the gateway will use the message payload, select the checkbox. A series of native data formats is displayed for the protocol you have selected, as Figure 19 shows. Select one or more data formats, then click Finish.
    Figure 19. Selecting service gateway protocol
    Selecting service gateway protocol
  8. A new window appears with the wizard to configure your import bindings. For the MQ bindings, you must specify information on the queue manager, and the queues to be used.
  9. A mediation component is generated along with an import and export. These components appear in the assembly diagram for your project, as shown in Figure 20. Data types and interfaces are generated, and placed into folders for your project.
    Figure 20. Generated assembly diagram
    Generated assembly diagram
  10. A data handler is also added to your project, as shown in Figure 21.
    Figure 21. Data handler
    Data handler

Mapping editor enhancements

The mapping editor now has find support. When creating maps of large business objects, this eliminates the need to hunt for a field by hand. A new option enables element filters that hide elements except the ones specified in the filter, as shown in Figure 22.

Figure 22. Element filters in mapping editor
Partitioning applications into two copies

Business Calendar Editor

WebSphere Integration Developer V6.2 introduces a new editor for the business calendar construct supported by WebSphere Process Server V6.2. A business calendar is used to specify working time intervals, and exceptions. For example, working hours might be from 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m., Monday through Friday, with an exception period from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. for lunch. A color coded graphic view shows the time intervals on a monthly, weekly, daily or hourly basis, as shown in Figure 23. You can import calendars from WebSphere Business Modeler. When you create a new calendar in WebSphere Integration Developer, an option enables you to select a template. Default templates include a calendar with holidays predefined for different countries. A set of templates are provided for adding intervals to the business calendar, as shown on the right side in Figure 23.

Figure 23. Adding interval to business calendar
Adding interval to business calendar

Other editor enhancements

WebSphere Integration Developer V6.2 includes a number of enhancements to the various editors to support the latest features in WebSphere Process Server V6.2. The version for a module is set in the dependencies editor, as shown in Figure 24.

Figure 24. Specifying module version
Specifying module version

When connecting modules through SCA, you can specify a version number for the module you are connecting, as shown in Figure 25, or you can leave this field blank to use late-binding so that the newest version of the module is referenced. You can use a button to synchronize the version to the latest version of the referenced module in the workspace, so that you do not have to manually copy the version number through the cut and paste process.

Figure 25. SCA binding with module versioning
SCA binding with module versioning

The generated Lotus Forms client has a new option to store the forms in a module or a Web project. If using a Web module, the forms can be reused across multiple projects. When a business object used by a form is updated, a new capability updates the XFDL for the form.

Testing and problem determination

The integration test client now supports freeform editing of SOAP headers and bodies, either using a visual editor, or an XML editor. You can now import data in formats other than XML.

A new view has been added for server logs, enabling you to view logs, exceptions, and cross component traces. You can view the current server log, or load other server logs from a server console, server log directory, or from a file. The new view has find support, enabling you to quickly locate specific entries in large log files.

Cross component trace shows the execution path of all SCA components, even if the project being referenced is not in the current workspace. The trace shows component invocations and exceptions, with their input and output data. You can import the trace into the test client for a detailed graphic view, or you can use the server logs view. WebSphere Integration Developer V6.1.2 required you to enable cross component trace from the administration console. WebSphere Integration Developer V6.2 eliminates this step.

Migration improvements

WebSphere Integration Developer V6.2 includes improvements for migration of processes from legacy IBM business process management runtimes.

WebSphere MQ Workflow

Import of Flow Definition Language (FDL) from WebSphere MQ Workflow has been improved. Data flow has been improved, resulting in fewer generated WS-BPEL variables. Fewer Java snippets are generated for branching and merging. New WS-BPEL constructs are supported. Process input defaults are now migrated, as well as the “staff from predefined members” option. Additional staffing scenarios are now migrated supporting tasks which exclude users, such as “not the starter of…”. Administrative tasks are now generated. A new option can be used to disable preparation for the reuse of a UPES that does not generate predefined data members and other artifacts, resulting in a simpler migrated process. Figure 26 shows the new options available in the FDL2BPEL migration wizard.

Figure 26. New FDL2BPEL options
New FDL2BPEL options

WebSphere Business Integration Server Foundation

Previous versions of WebSphere Integration Developer could import projects from WebSphere Studio Application Developer Integration Edition to migrate processes for WebSphere Business Integration Server Foundation. WebSphere Integration Developer V6.2 has a new capability to migrate an entire workspace rather than going project by project, making the migration simpler and improving the resolution of dependencies.

WebSphere Business Integration Server Foundation used Web Services Invocation Framework (WSIF), whereas WebSphere Process Server uses Service Component Architecture. WebSphere Integration Developer V6.2 includes tooling for the migration of WSIF interfaces inside Java code, reducing the amount of development required to migrate your process.

WebSphere InterChange Server

You can import projects from WebSphere InterChange Server into WebSphere Integration Developer. Version 6.2 enhances this capability with updated and enhanced functionality to accelerate the development process. WebSphere InterChange Server used WebSphere Business Integration Technology Adapters to communicate to WebSphere MQ, JMS, HTTP and EJBs. A new option enables migration of these adapters to SCA bindings. Another new option enables the migration of WebSphere Business Integration Adapters for JDBC, Flat Files, Email, SAP (BAPI) and PeopleSoft to the equivalent J2C WebSphere Adapter. Maps from WebSphere InterChange Server are converted for reuse with WebSphere Adapters.

Connector modules from WebSphere InterChange Server are now migrated to mediation flow components. Text-based data handlers from WebSphere InterChange Server are now migrated to custom data bindings. The WS-BPEL generated from a migrated collaboration is more efficient, using the forEach construct where applicable.

Other enhancements

The installer has been enhanced to make optional the installation of WebSphere Adapters, Portlet & Portal tools, Asset Repository client (for Rational Asset Manager), and Rational ClearCase SCM adapter. As with previous versions, you can choose whether to install WebSphere Process Server, and whether to create a profile for WebSphere Process Server and/or WebSphere ESB.

The Java editor has been enhanced to include content assist for the SDO API. Validation is performed to ensure that element names are correct, and that methods performed on elements use the declared element type. These enhancements reduce the programming and debugging effort when creating Java components.

Conclusion

In this article, you learned about the new features in WebSphere Integration Developer V6.2.

You learned about:

  • The solution view
  • Editor enhancements
  • Services gateway pattern support
  • Business calendars
  • Support for the Web Services Feature Pack
  • Improved testing and problem determination
  • Enhancements for migration

Resources

Learn

Get products and technologies

  • Download IBM product evaluation versions and get your hands on application development tools and middleware products from DB2®, Lotus®, Rational®, Tivoli®, and WebSphere®.

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