Managing tasks and business processes using Business Space powered by WebSphere

Getting started with BPM V6.1.2 Business Space using the BPM V6.1.1 Clips and Tacks tutorial

Learn how to create WebSphere® BPM V6.1.2 Business Space dashboards using the run-time artifacts from the WebSphere BPM V6.1.1 Clips and Tacks tutorial. You'll create a business space to manage the tasks and business forms input, run some processes that use forms, and finally create a business space you can use to monitor the process and tasks.

Billy Rowe, Senior Software Developer, IBM

Billy RoweBilly Rowe is a senior architect and manager focused on BPM strategy and partner integration within the IBM BPM suite of products. Billy has held various positions within IBM as a developer, architect, and consultant. You can reach Billy at browe@us.ibm.com.



Dr. Johny Mathew, Senior Software Engineer, IBM

Johny Mathew photoJohny Mathew is an architect with the IBM Business Process Management (BPM) suite of products. Prior to this, he worked on Tivoli® products as an architect and designer, and Communication Server products as Chief Programmer and developer. Johny received his doctorate in Electrical Engineering (Computer Networks) from City University of New York. You can reach Johny at jmathew@us.ibm.com.



Alfredo da Silva (afdasilv@us.ibm.com), Advisory Software Engineer, IBM

Alfredo da Silva photoAlfredo da Silva is an Advisory Software Developer on the Websphere BPM Content team. He has been working on Web services, BPM and Web-related technologies for several years. You can reach Alfredo at afdasilv@us.ibm.com.



17 September 2008

Prerequisites

To complete the steps in this article, you must have the following software installed:

  • WebSphere Integration Developer V6.1.2 (Integration Developer)
  • WebSphere Business Monitor (Monitor) V6.1.2 Toolkit

Set up the projects

To get started, you need to get the sample, generate the user interface and J2EE projects, and deploy the projects.

Step 1: Get the sample

To get the sample, do the following:

  1. Start Integration Developer with a new workspace. If the welcome page is not displayed, open it by selecting Help => Welcome.
  2. Select Samples / Tutorials, then select Retrieve next to Online Samples, and select Clips and Tacks: Getting started with the IBM BPM suite of products.
  3. Once the download is complete, click Import to import the Clips and Tacks artifacts into your workspace.

Step 2: Generate the user interface

Generate the user interface for the Clips and Tacks project by doing the following:

  1. After the import is finished, right-click ClipsAndTacksF1 and select Generate User Interfaces.
  2. In the Client Generator Selection window, change Generator type to Business Space Client Generator and click Next, as shown in Figure 1.
    Figure 1. Client Generator Selection window
    Client Generator Selection window
  3. Select HTML, then click Browse for the Web project. In the pop-up dialog, click New Web Project, as shown in Figure 2.
    Figure 2. Create Web project
    Create Web project

    Note: You need to select HTML instead of Lotus Forms because of a known problem with submitting a Lotus form for an invocation task.

  4. In the Dynamic Web Project dialog, specify ClipsAndTacksUI as the Project name and ClipsAndTacksUIEAR for the EAR Project Name, then click New as shown in Figure 3.
    Figure 3. Specify project information
    Specify project information
  5. Click Finish in the New EAR Application Project dialog, as shown in Figure 4.
    Figure 4. Specify EAR Application Project information
    Specify EAR Application Project information
  6. In the Open Associated Perspective dialog, click No, as shown in Figure 5.
    Figure 5. Open Associated Perspective dialog
    Open Associated Perspective dialog
  7. In the New Dynamic Web Project dialog, click Finish.
  8. Click No in the Open Associated Perspective dialog.
  9. In the Select a Web project window, expand the ClipsAndTacksUI node, select WebContent, click OK, and then click Finish, as shown in Figure 6.
    Figure 6. Select WebContent project
    Select WebContent project
  10. Click OK when the Client generation completed dialog displays. Close the WebDiagram.gph page.

Step 3: Generate the J2EE projects for the monitor model

To generate the J2EE projects for the monitor model, do the following:

  1. Switch to the Business Monitoring perspective, and expand Clips => Monitor Models.
  2. Right-click clipsbpm.mm and select Generate Monitor J2EE Projects, as shown in Figure 7.
    Figure 7. Generate Monitor J2EE Projects selection
    Generate Monitor J2EE Projects selection
  3. Click Finish, then Finish again, as shown in Figure 8.
    Figure 8. Generate Monitor J2EE Projects window
    Generate Monitor J2EE Projects window

Step 4: Deploy the projects to the server

To deploy the executable projects to the server, do the following:

  1. Select the Servers tab at the bottom of the workspace.
  2. If it is not already started, right-click WebSphere Business Monitor Server v6.1 under WebSphere Process Server and select Start.
  3. Once the server is started, right-click WebSphere Business Monitor Server v6.1 and select Add and Remove Projects.
  4. Click Add All then Finish, as shown in Figure 9. This deploys the executable business process, the UI for the business process, and the executable monitor models for the business process.
    Figure 9. Add/Remove Projects window
    Add/Remove Projects window

Configure Business Space to execute the process

In this section, you'll configure Business Space powered by WebSphere (hereafter called Business Space) to execute the business process.

Step 1: Log in to Business Space

To set the default browser and log into Business Space, complete the following steps:

  1. In Integration Developer, select Window => Preferences => General => Web Browser. Make sure that the browser is not set to Internal Web Browser, which doesn't have all of the required functions. The browser should be set to Default system Web browser or any other listed browser other than the internal browser.
  2. In the Servers view of Integration Developer, right-click WebSphere Business Monitor Server v6.1 under WebSphere Process Server and select Business Space.
  3. In the Business Space login page, enter admin for both the user ID and password (or your own administrator user ID and password if you've changed it), as shown in Figure 10.
    Figure 10. Business Space login page
    Business Space login page

Step 2: Create a new business space

In the Business Space Manager window, as shown in Figure 11, you need to create a business space called ClipsAndTacks and two pages called C & T Task Creation and C & T My Tasks.

Figure 11. Business Space Manager page
Business Space Manager page

To do this, click the Create New Business Space icon. In the Create New Business Space dialog, specify ClipsAndTacks as the business space name and click OK.

You can create a business space from a template, such as one for monitoring or managing human tasks, however in this article, you'll learn how to create business spaces from scratch using the wizard, as shown in Figure 12.

Figure 12. Create New Business Space window
Create New Business Space window

Figure 13 shows the resulting ClipsAndTacks business space. You can change the Owner and Theme by clicking the corresponding Change buttons, however we won't do that in this article.

Figure 13. Add Clips & Tacks business space
Add Clips & Tacks business space

Run the process in the business space

In this section, you'll add human task widgets to the business space. Then you'll run the business process and monitor the progress of the human workflow in the human workflow diagram.

Step 1: Add a Create Tasks page

To add a Create Tasks page to the business space, do the following:

  1. Click the Create New Page icon to create a new page.
  2. Name the page C & T Create Tasks, then select the second layout on the second row and click OK, as shown in Figure 14.
    Figure 14. Create a new page window
    Create a new page
  3. Figure 15 shows the resulting C & T Create Tasks page in the business space.
    Figure 15. Create Tasks page added
    Create Tasks page added

Step 2: Add widgets to the Create Tasks page

Now you need to add widgets for Task Creation, Tasks Created By Me, and Task Information to the new page, by doing the following:

  1. Open C & T Create Tasks.
  2. Select Add a widget on the left side of the page and select Task Creation from the menu, then click OK.
    Figure 16. Add a widget window
    Add a widget window
    Alternatively, you could have clicked on the widget palette at the top right of the page, and dragged and dropped the Task Creation entry and onto Add a widget on the page.
  3. Select Add a widget on the right side of the page and select Tasks Created By Me from the menu, then click OK.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the last Add a widget link and select Tasks Information from the menu, then click OK.
  5. Select Assistance from the menu in the upper left corner of the page to remove the remaining Add widget links from the page, as shown in Figure 17.
    Figure 17. Remove unwanted links
    Remove unwanted links
    The finished C & T Create Tasks page should look like Figure 18.
    Figure 18. Finished Create Tasks page
    Finished Create Tasks page

Step 3: Create a process instance

Next, we'll create a process instance and submit the Clips and Tacks form:

  1. Create a new instance of the Clips and Tacks Order Handling process by checking OrderHandling(Future 1)Receive, and selecting Select action => Create, as shown in Figure 19.
    Figure 19. Create Tasks widget
    Create Tasks widget
  2. Scroll down the page to fully display the Task Information widget, as shown in Figure 20.
    Figure 20. Task Information widget
    Task Information widget
    Fill in the fields marked with an asterisk in the fieldlabel as shown in Figures 21, 22, and 23 and click the Submit button. The TotalPrice must be greater than $750.00 to force the process to flow to the Review Order task.
    Figure 21. C & T form - top
    C & T form - top
    Figure 22. C & T form - middle
    C & T form - top
    Figure 23. C & T form - bottom
    C & T form - bottom
    Note: The OrderStatus and PackageSlipNumber would not normally be filled in during order entry when you use Lotus Forms. However, as mentioned earlier, due to a known problem, we won't use Lotus Forms in the Business Space client in this article.

    A new entry is added to the Tasks Created By Me widget, which lists the tasks created by the logged-in user, as shown in Figure 24.

    Figure 24. Tasks Created By Me widget
    Tasks Created By Me widget

Step 4: Add a My Tasks page

Add a new page called My Tasks to the business space by doing the following:

  1. Select Manage Business Spaces, as shown in Figure 25.
    Figure 25. Select Manage Business Space
    Select Manage Business Space
  2. Select Clips And Tacks and then click the Create New Page icon to create a new page.
  3. Specify C & T My Tasks for the page name, then select the second layout on the second row and click OK, as shown in Figure 26.
    Figure 26. New Page widget
    New Page widget
  4. Figure 27 shows the business space with C & T My Tasks added.
    Figure 27. C & T My Tasks page added
    C & T My Tasks page added

Step 5: Add widgets to the My Tasks page

Add the Available Tasks, Task Information and Human Workflow Diagram widgets to the My Tasks page as follows:

  1. Open C & T My Tasks.
  2. Select Add a widget => Available Tasks, then click OK. The Available Tasks widget lists unclaimed tasks that the logged-in user can claim and work on, as shown in Figure 28.
    Figure 28. Add Available Tasks widget
    Add Available Tasks widget
  3. Select Add a widget => Task Information, then click OK.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select the last Add a widget, then select Human Workflow Diagram and click OK.
  5. Select Assistance from the menu in the upper left corner of the page to remove the remaining Add widget links from the page, as shown in Figure 29.
    Figure 29. Select Assistance
    Select Assistance
    The completed C & T My Tasks page should look like Figure 30.
    Figure 30. Completed C & T My Tasks page
    Completed C & T My Tasks page

Step 6: Claim the tasks

The order handling process is waiting for the Review Order task to be approved as shown in the Available Tasks widget above in Figure 30. To claim the task, do the following:

  1. Check Review Order and select Select action => Accept and Edit, as shown in Figure 31.
    Figure 31. Claim the Review Order task
    Claim the Review Order task
    The Task Information widget now displays the Review Order form, as shown in Figures 32, 33, and 34.
    Figure 32. Review Order form - top
    Review Order form - top
    Figure 33. Review Order form - middle
    Review Order form - middle
    Figure 34. Review Order form - bottom
    Review Order form - bottom
  2. Ensure that the OrderStatus field has a value of APPROVED, then click Submit. The process progresses to the ShipOrderToCustomer task.

    Note: The OrderStatus field would normally be filled out here, but not PackingSlipNumber. However, you must also enter a PackingSlipNumber because of the problem with Lotus Forms.

    The Human Workflow Diagram widget displays the state of all the human tasks in the process instance, as shown in Figure 35.

    Figure 35. Human Workflow diagram
    Human Workflow diagram

Now claim the Ship Order to Customer task as follows:

  1. Check Ship Order to Customer and select Select action => Accept and Edit, as shown in Figure 36. If the Ship Order to Customer task is not in the Available Tasks widget, refresh the browser.
    Figure 36. Claim the Ship Order to Customer task
    Claim the Ship Order to Customer task
    The Task Information widget now displays the Ship Order to Customer form, as shown in Figures 37, 38, and 39.
    Figure 37. Ship Order to Customer form - top
    Ship Order to Customer form - top
    Figure 38. Ship Order to Customer form - middle
    Ship Order to Customer form - middle
    Figure 39. Ship Order to Customer form - bottom
    Ship Order to Customer form - bottom
  2. Click Submit.

    Note: You would normally need to specify the PackingSlipNumber here, however because of the UI generation we chose and the problem with Lotus Forms, you already entered it.

    The Human Workflow Diagram widget displays the state of all the human tasks in the process, as shown in Figure 40.

    Figure 40. Human Workflow diagram
    Human Workflow diagram

Figure 48 shows the Clips and Tacks process diagram.

You've just processed one instance of the Clips and Tacks OrderHandling (Future1) business process, or one order. Because the total price of the order was more than $750.00 and the available credit was less than the total price, the order went to the Review Order human task (either of the conditions would have sent it to Review Order). The Review Order human task approved the order and sent it to the Ship Order to Customer human task. The Ship Order to Customer human task gave it a packaging slip number and sent the order to the customer.

Run the process

You need to run the process to completion multiple times so that there will be enough data to display in the monitoring widgets in the business space. To do that, create new process instances for the following order information. For the non-specified values, any value is acceptable as long as it doesn't repeat values for value-unique fields, such as shipping number.

  • Process tasks executed: Approve without review, Account in good standing, Ship
    • Form data to start this instance of the process:
      • Rating: 800
      • Available Credit: 800
      • Total Price: 200
    • Ship task
      • Packing Slip Number: Any unique value
  • Process tasks executed: Approve without review, Account not in good standing, Approve the order, Ship
    • Form data to start this instance of the process:
      • Rating: 800
      • Available Credit: 100
      • Total Price: 300
    • Review task:
      • Order Status: APPROVED
    • Ship task:
      • Packing Slip Number: Any unique value
  • Process tasks executed: Approve without review, Account not in good standing, Decline the order
    • Form data to start this instance of the process:
      • Rating: 800
      • Available Credit: 100
      • Total Price: 400
    • Review task:
      • Order Status: REJECTED
  • Process tasks executed: Do not approve without review, Approve the order, Ship
    • Form data to start this instance of the process:
      • Rating: 10
      • Available Credit: 100
      • Total Price: 900
    • Review task:
      • Order Status: APPROVED
    • Ship task:
      • Packing Slip Number: Any value
  • Process tasks executed: Do not approve without review, Decline the order
    • Form data to start this instance of the process:
      • Rating: 10
      • Available Credit: 100
      • Total Price: 800
    • Review task
      • Order Status: REJECTED

Monitor the process in the business space

Now you need to recreate the business monitoring dashboards from the BPM V6.1.1 Clips and Tacks tutorial in the business space.

Step 1: Create an Instances and Diagrams page

Create a new page called Instances and Diagrams, by doing the following:

  1. Log in to Business Space, using admin for both the user ID and password. You must log in as admin so that you can view the alerts that were set up in the WebSphere administrative console for Monitor's Action Services to be viewed by this user ID. In the Monitor toolkit environment, admin is the user that is automatically defined on the secured server.
  2. Click the Create New Page icon to create a new page.
  3. Specify C & T Instances and Diagrams as the page name, and click OK, as shown in Figure 41.
    Figure 41. New C & T Instances and Diagrams page
    New C & T Instances and Diagrams page
  4. Figure 42 shows the resulting business space with the C & T Instances and Diagrams page.
    Figure 42. C & T Instances and Diagrams page added
    C & T Instances and Diagrams page added

Step 2: Add an instances view to the Instances and Diagrams page

Add an instances view to the C & T Instances and Diagrams page as follows:

  1. Open C & T Instances and Diagrams.
  2. Select Add a widget => Instances and click OK, as shown in Figure 43.
    Figure 43. Add Instances widget
    Add Instances widget
    Note: Another way to populate the page with widgets is to click on the widget palette in the upper right corner of the page, drag the Instances icon and drop it on the Add a widget text on the page.
  3. Hover over the right side of the Instances tool bar and click the first icon, then select Configure, as shown in Figure 44.
    Figure 44. Select Configure
    Select Configure
  4. Under Select the monitoring context to personalize, expand clipsbpm (Across all Versions) and select OrderHandling (Future1).
  5. Under Select the columns to display, select City, Country, Order Status, and Total Price and move them to the Selected column, then click Set as default, as shown in Figure 45.
    Figure 45. Instance widget columns selection
    Instance widget columns selection
  6. Click OK. Figure 46 shows the resulting Instances view.
    Figure 46. Instances view
    Instances view

Step 3: Add a Diagrams widget to the Instances and Diagrams page

Add the Diagrams widget to the C & T Instances and Diagrams page by doing the following:

  1. Click on the widget palette to expand it, then drag the Diagrams icon from the widget palette and drop it on Add a widget.
  2. Select Configure, then select clipsbpm for Model and OrderHandling (Future1) as the Monitoring Context, and click OK to see the process diagram, as shown in Figure 47.
    Figure 47. Diagrams configuration
    Diagrams configuration
  3. The resulting Diagrams view is shown in Figure 48.
    Figure 48. Diagrams view
    Diagrams view

Step 4: Create a new page for KPIs and alerts

Create a new page to contain KPIs and alerts and add KPI and Alerts widgets to it, as follows:

  1. Click Manage Business Space to go back to the Business Space Manager, as shown in Figure 49.
    Figure 49. Back to Business Space Manager page
    Back to Business Space Manager page
  2. Click the Create new page icon.
  3. Specify C & T KPI and Alerts and click OK.
  4. Click C & T KPI and Alerts to open the page.
  5. Drag the KPIs widget from the widget palette and drop it onto Add a widget.
  6. Select Configure. Select the KPIs to display, as shown below in Figure 50.
    Figure 50. KPIs configuration
    KPIs configuraton
  7. Click Layout, select Half Gauge as the display type, and click OK, as shown in Figure 51.
    Figure 51. KPIs layout configuration
    KPIs layout configuration
  8. Figure 52 shows the resulting KPI view.
    Figure 52. Resulting KPI view
    Resulting KPI view

Step 5: Add an alerts view to the KPI and Alerts page

Next, add an Alerts view to the C & T KPI and Alerts page by doing the following. To do this, drag the Alerts widget from the widget palette and drop it below the KPIs onto Add a widget.

There are two alerts defined in the Clips and Tacks tutorial, one for shipped percentage and one for order processing time. However, due to a change in alerts and business situation events in BPM V6.1.2, the approach used in the V6.1.1 tutorial does not surface alerts in the V6.1.2 Alerts widget. Changing the tutorial's implementation of alerts and business situation events to match V6.1.2 is beyond the scope of this article; however, we'll walk through how to add the Alerts widget to the page, since it was part of the V6.1.1 tutorial dashboards.

Step 6: Add Human Task and Dimensions widgets

Create a new page and add a Human Task widget and a Dimensions widget as follows:

  1. Click the Create new page icon. Specify C & T Human Tasks and Dimensions as the page name and click OK.
  2. Click C & T Human Tasks and Dimensions to open the page.
  3. To create the Human Tasks widget, drag the Human Tasks widget from the widget palette and drop it onto the page.
  4. Select Configure for the widget.
  5. Select Creation Time, Owner, and Status from the available columns list and move them to the selected columns section, as shown in Figure 53.
    Figure 53. Select Human Task page columns
    Select Human Task page columns
  6. Click OK. Figure 54 shows the resulting human tasks view.
    Figure 54. Resulting Human Task view
    Resulting Human Task view
  7. To add the Dimensions widget, drag and drop the Dimensions widget onto Add a widget under the Human Tasks widget.
  8. Select Configure for the Dimensions widget.
  9. On the configuration screen, select the following values:
    • Monitoring Model: Global HT MM (All Versions).

      Note: This is the global human task monitor model that is automatically installed when you install the Monitor Toolkit.

    • Monitoring Context: Global Human Task.
    • From the Available dimensions list, select Task Name Dimension and click the right arrow next to Row Dimensions to select it as the row dimension.
    • Select Task Owner Dimension and click the right arrow next to Column Dimensions to select it as the column dimension.
    • Select Measures and click the right arrow next to Page Dimensions to select it as a paging dimension (page filter), as shown in Figure 55.
    Figure 55. Dimensions widget configuration
    Dimensions widget configuration
  10. Click OK. The Dimensions view displays the instances count based on task name and task owner, as shown in Figure 56.
    Figure 56. Resulting Dimensions view
    Resulting Dimensions view
  11. Double-click All Task Name Dimension and select All Task Owner Dimension to get more detailed information, as shwon in Figure 57.
    Figure 57. Get more detailed information
    Get more detailed information

Step 8: View the dashboard

To view the ClipsAndTacks business space dashboard, do the following:

  1. Select Manage Business Space.
  2. Select the ClipsAndTacks business space.
  3. The pages in the ClipsAndTacks business space are shown as tabs, as shown in Figure 58. Click any tab to view that page.
    Figure 58. View dashboard
    View dashboard

Verify the business space

First you need to export the business space for archiving, then import it into the Business Space Manager so you can view and verify it.

  1. To export the business space, select Manage Business Space => ClipsAndTacks => Export, then save space.data to a local directory.
  2. To import the saved business space to verify it, select Import Business Space in the Business Space Manager window. Click Browse and select space.data, then click OK, as shown in Figure 59.
    Figure 59. Import Business Space widget
    Import Business Space widget

Conclusion

In this article, you started with the BPM V6.1.1 Clips and Tacks tutorial and created a BPM V6.1.2 business space in which to execute and monitor the business process. You learned how to use Business Space to create custom pages containing process and monitoring widgets. In this article, you used only a few of the many widgets available to you in Business Space. You can explore the widget palette or refer to the WebSphere Business Monitor V6.1.2 Information Center for more about WebSphere Business Space.

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