In Part 3, you'll learn how to monitor a BPMN process application. In this section, we assume you have both IBM Business Process Manager 7.5, Standard Edition, and IBM Business Monitor installed, and have a standalone profile augmented for both products. You'll run processes and their monitor models in the same JVM. We'll use the Hiring Sample process application (Process App) provided with Business Process Manager V7.5.
Open the application in IBM Process Designer
To open the sample process application in Process Designer, do the following:
- Launch IBM Process Designer, by selecting Start => All Programs => IBM => IBM Process Designer =>IBM Process Designer 7.5.
- Enter your User Name and Password, and click
Login, as shown in Figure 1. In this series, we use
tw_adminas both the User ID and the password.
Figure 1. Log in to Process Designer
- The Process Center view opens, showing you what Process Apps
you have installed. In the entry for Hiring Sample, click Open in
Designer, as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2. Open Hiring Sample application in Designer
The Designer view displays.
Enable the application for monitoring
To enable the application for monitoring with Business Monitor, do the following:
- Click Setup on the left, then double-click Process App
Settings, as shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3. Open Process App settings
- In the Process App Settings dialog, check Enable Process
Monitoring through IBM Business Monitor, as shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4. Enable process monitoring
- Click Save.
- Click on Processes on the left, then double-click on HR Open
New Position, as shown in Figure 5.
Figure 5. Open the sample process
- Take a look at the process diagram to familiarize yourself with the
process. Now click HR Open New Position Process on the left, as
shown in Figure 6. Notice that Enable Autotracking is checked
by default. This process-level setting, combined with the Enable
process monitoring through IBM Business Monitor Process App
setting you enabled earlier, ensures that events with business data
will be emitted to Business Monitor whenever this process executes.
Figure 6. Using Autotracking
Specify metrics to track
To specify the custom metrics you'd like to track, do the following:
- Click Variables at the top of the diagram.
- Click to expand requisition (Requisition), then click reqNum (String).
- Check Track this Field, as shown in Figure 7.
- Repeat the previous step for every field under requisition, currentPosition and replacement, so that each shows [Tracked]. Note that some will already be marked as [Tracked] in this sample.
- You'll also need to specify a custom Tracked Short Name for the
date field, such as reqDate, to avoid using a
Figure 7. Specify fields to track
- To confirm what is being tracked, click the Tracking page. You
should something similar to Figure 8.
Figure 8. List of tracked fields
Work with KPIs
Now let's take a look at a KPI, which we'll see later in the dashboards.
- Click on Process KPIs, then click Total Time (Clock).
You should see a screen like Figure 9.
Figure 9. Process KPIs
- You can also see KPIs specific to a given activity of your process. Return to the Diagram tab and click the Submit job requisition activity.
- Choose KPIs on the left, as shown in Figure 10, then click the
desired KPI, such as Cost.
Figure 10. Activity KPIs
We won't edit KPIs here; instead, we'll do that using the dashboards in Part 4. This is just so you'll recognize the KPIs that you'll see in the dashboards later.
- Click the Save icon.
Deploy monitoring for Process App
You're now ready to deploy your monitoring for this Process App. To do this, click File => Update Tracking Definitions, as shown in Figure 11.
Figure 11. Deploying to IBM Business Monitor
This operation, which generates a monitor model and deploys it to the server, will take several minutes. A progress window is displayed, as shown in Figure 12.
Figure 12. Progress window
A message is displayed when this operation completes.
Figure 13. Definitions sent message
At this point, the monitoring for your process has been successfully deployed, and a dashboard has been generated for monitoring your process.
Run a process instance
Now, let's run a process instance, so you'll have something to see later in the dashboards.
- Click the play icon in the upper right, as shown in Figure 14.
Figure 14. Start a new process instance
- You'll see a Switch Perspective message, as shown in Figure 15,
notifying you that you need to switch to the Inspector
perspective. Click Yes.
Figure 15. Switch to Inspector perspective
- You'll see a row for the process instance in a table with two sides.
Click the right side, so you can work on the human task that the
process is waiting for, then click the play icon, as shown in Figure
Figure 16. Work on the human task
- A web browser opens, displaying a simple Create Job Requisition
form. Specify whatever values you want here, but make sure to choose
Existing under Position Type. You'll later see this
information in the dashboards. For example, enter the information as
shown in Figure 17, then click Next.
Figure 17. Fill in Create Job Requisition form
- The Fill Existing Position form is displayed. Again, enter
whatever values you prefer. You'll see these values later in the
dashboards. Then click on Next.
Figure 18. Fill in Fill Existing Position form
- Finally, the Confirm Position Details form is displayed, as
shown in Figure 19. Click Submit and close the browser, when
Figure 19. Confirm Position Details
- Back in Process Designer, click the Refresh button in the upper
right. You should see that the process instance has reached a state of
Closed, as shown in Figure 20.
Figure 20. Process instance is complete
You'll see information about this process instance in the dashboards shortly. You now have one completed process instance.
Work with dashboards
Now let's take a look in the dashboards, where a custom dashboard for this Process App was automatically created for you.
- Minimize the Process Designer window
- Launch a web browser and go to the Business Space (by default:
http://localhost:9080/BusinessSpace) and log in (we use
tw_adminas the User ID and password).
- Click the Go to Spaces link at the top, then click the newly
generated space, which will be named something like
HiringSample_Main 20110605-163517 (the latter part of the
name is the timestamp from when you deployed the monitor model from
Figure 21. Select the Hiring Sample space
- A new space should display, containing four pages: HR Open New
Position Instances, HR Open New Position KPIs, HR
Open New Position Reports, and HR Open New Position
Diagrams. You'll recall that HR Open New Position was
the name of our process within our HiringSample Process App).
The HR Open New Position Instances page should be displayed by default. You'll need to scroll horizontally to see everything, but if you do, you'll see that all of the data you had entered in the form earlier is indeed displayed here, as well as some extra columns, such as the Total Time (Clock), the State, and others. You'll learn to customize this page to show just what you want in Part 4.
Figure 22. View instance data for the Hiring Sample
- Click the HR Open New Position KPIs page. Some of the
activity-specific KPIs, which we saw earlier in Process Designer, have
no value, because we didn't implement them (in the interest of time).
The first two KPIs, for the time and the count, should be correct
based on the process instances you ran through the Inspector. In Part 4, you'll learn how to add a custom KPI specific to one
of the custom metrics, such as Number of Austin Employees.
Figure 23. View KPIs for the Hiring Sample
- Click on the HR Open New Position Reports page. You can drill
down on the bar shown to see more detailed information. However, this
isn't very interesting when you only have a single instance, so go
back to Process Designer and "play" a few more process instances
through the Inspector, using the same approach as you did earlier, and
specifying whatever values you prefer in the coaches (leave at least
one instance in an incomplete state, so you can see multiple bars in
the reports). Then watch as the dashboards update in real time to
display the latest state (you can always choose the Refresh
item in the widget menu to make it refresh immediately, rather than
waiting for the next scheduled refresh).
Figure 24. View dimensional reports for the Hiring Sample
- Click the HR Open New Position Diagrams page. This shows the
process diagram (as you saw in Process Designer), annotated with KPI
(aggregate) information. By default, it shows an average, across all
instances, of the total time spent at each step.
Figure 25. View process diagram for the Hiring Sample
Congratulations! You have now successfully monitored a BPM Process App, using the default visualizations. In Part 4, you'll learn how to customize this Hiring Sample dashboard to better meet the needs of a business audience.
- 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.