Before you start using IBM Business Process Manager V7.5, it's helpful to get familiar with what IBM Business Monitor V7.5 has to offer to the dashboard user. In this article, we'll use the Showcase model that is provided with IBM Business Monitor V7.5 and installed using the First Steps tool. The Showcase includes sample data and a predefined dashboard, so that you can quickly see what kind of experience you'll later be building yourself.
Note: if you are already familiar with past releases of WebSphere Business Monitor, you may want to skip directly to Part 3 to begin learning about monitoring IBM Business Process Manager.
Preparing the Showcase sample
In this article, you'll install and begin to explore the Showcase model to help familiarize yourself with the dashboard features in Business Monitor V7.5. This sample presents a banking industry scenario, providing visibility into the mortgage lending at a fictional company called Better Lender.
- Launch the First Steps tool, by selecting Start => All Programs =>IBM =>Business Monitor 7.5 => Profiles => profile name => First steps.
- Select Showcase model, as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Install the Showcase example
A progress window will appear, displaying the status of the sample installation. This will take several minutes.
- Once the installation is complete, click Business Space, which launches a web browser that will load the page: http://localhost:9080/BusinessSpace (your host/port may vary).
- Log in to Business Space, as shown in Figure 2. In this series, we use
tw_adminas both the User ID and the password.
Figure 2. Log in to Business Space
The Welcome page displays.
- Switch to the Showcase space, by clicking on Go to Spaces, as
shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3. Available spaces
- The Go to Spaces dialog displays. Click Better Lender
Space, as shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4. Select the Showcase space
You should now see a customized dashboard for the Better Lender company.
Exploring the Showcase dashboards
The business users at the Better Lender company now have a dashboard providing multiple kinds of visualizations of the performance of their mortgage lending business. In this section, we'll explore each page available in this sample dashboard, seeing a wide variety of widgets, and will interact with those widgets to customize the display of the data
- The first page in the Better Lender space is the Business at a Glance
page, as shown in Figure 5. In the widget at the top, you'll see a
simple diagram, annotated with colored bars to highlight information
of interest. In the widget at the bottom, you'll see a collection of
KPIs. Notice how, as you hover over them, these KPIs display the KPI’s
target, ranges, and current value. You'll also see a text widget on
the right further explaining the sample.
Figure 5. Business at a Glance page
- Click the Business Alerts page at the top of the browser
window. You'll see a simple process diagram, as shown in Figure 6,
which has been annotated to show problematic activities in red. You'll
also see a collection of alerts. Click on an alert to see its details.
Figure 6. Business Alerts page
- Click the New Loan Applications page. As shown in Figure 7,
here you'll see some additional KPIs, under KPIs –
Month-to-date Loan Exceptions, and you can view
individual process instances under Instances – New Mortgage
Loans. You can click the Show Instances
button for a KPI to have it update the displayed instances to just
those that apply to the selected KPI. This is an example of
inter-widget wiring, where the KPI widget tells the Instances widget
how to filter the list of process instances to match the data filter
in the KPI definition.
Figure 7. New Loan Applications page
- Now click the Other Loan Applications page. Here you'll see two
widgets showing individual process instances. Let's filter the list in
the top widget, to have it show only the Loan processes that Gerald
Mander has worked on. Click on the (highlighted) arrows to the right
of the Loan Officer column, then choose Begins with,
Gerald, as shown in Figure 8, and click Enter. The list should update to show just Gerald’s loans.
Figure 8. Other Loan Applications page
- Click the Reports and Analysis page. As shown in Figure 9, you
should see three widgets: a Report Viewer, a KPI History and
Prediction graph, and another Report Viewer. Try the following two
examples to see how you can interact with the information of this
- Right click on a bar in the report and choose to Drill Down or Drill Up, or to Change Display Type, for example, to a pie chart visualization.
- You can also mouse over the line in the KPI History and Prediction graph to see the exact value of the KPI on a specified day.
Figure 9. Reports and Analysis page
- Click the Management Tools page to see tools you can use to
author new Alerts or KPIs. Select Better Lender BAM Showcase
from the Model drop-down menu in the KPI Manager widget to see
KPIs for this model, as shown in Figure 10.
We’ll use these tools in Part 4 of this series, where we'll create a report, a KPI, and an alert.
Figure 10. Management Tools page
- You can now close the browser.
Congratulations! You're now used the canned monitor model and dashboard to become familiar with some of the capabilities of the IBM Business Monitor V7.5 dashboards. In Part 3 of this series, you’ll learn how to define and use your own monitor model and customized dashboard for an IBM BPM Process App.
- IBM Business Process Monitor V7.5 Information Center
- Monitoring your business applications with WebSphere Business Monitor (developerWorks series, 2011)
- Building IBM Business Process Management Solutions Using WebSphere V7 and Business Space (IBM Redbook)
- developerWorks BPM zone: Get the latest technical resources on IBM BPM solutions, including downloads, demos, articles, tutorials, events, webcasts, and more.
- IBM BPM Journal: Get the latest articles and columns on BPM solutions in this quarterly journal, also available in both Kindle and PDF versions.