5 Things to Know About IBM Business Process Manager Basic Case Management
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I am an IBM BPM Architect in IBM Software Services and some of my clients have been asking me about the basic case management features that were added in IBM BPM V8.5.5 Advanced. My clients were not exactly sure how they might leverage this new feature in their future projects. I thought about this question and I realized that there are some core concepts about IBM BPM case management that would be good to share. So, here is what I settled upon:
A case is expected to have digital documents attached to it. It is possible to have a case with no documents attached to it, but most use cases involve documents attached to cases.
There is an embedded ECM in IBM BPM V8.5.5 Advanced (not included in IBM BPM V8.5.5 Standard). The embedded content repository is restricted to support the basic case management documents and folders for development. The restricted use content repository can be extended to support unlimited content management use cases with IBM ECM.
You can access the embedded ECM system (IBM Content Foundation) with the URL
Internally in IBM BPM there is not much difference between the two because a case instance is equivalent to a process instance. The difference comes in how each is applied. A typical business process definition (BPD) process workflow is procedural in that all of the activities are wired together. Although the process workflows can follow different paths, those paths are defined at development time.
A case, on the other hand, has activities that are not wired together at all. Also, these activities are grouped into two categories: required activities and optional activities. Case activities run because of some run-time condition that occurs, for example, a file is uploaded to the case folder or a variable is changed to a particular value. Required activities must run for a case to complete.
Yes. A case activity can be implemented in three ways: as a user task, as a linked process and as a subprocess. A user task is always a client-side human service. A linked process is a method where the case activity calls a BPD process. A subprocess is a process flow that is embedded in that activity and it cannot be shared.
And… I’ll give you an extra question for free
Client-side human services are a new feature added in IBM BPM V8.5.5. When you use client-side human services, you can use web technology to improve human-service performance and provide support for case management and process management. You create and edit client-side human services in the Process Designer web editor, run them on the client-side in the web browser, and use them to call the server for data when necessary.
When you build a client-side human service, you use coaches, client-side scripts, services, and events to create a service flow that is run, tested, and refined entirely in a web browser. Enhanced authoring capabilities such as WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) and responsive design elements help you build user interfaces for case and process instances and ensure scalability for mobile devices.
With client-side human service, the focus is on reducing the back and forth interaction between the client and the server to get the data. The approach is to cache an entire piece of the whole process, known as human services, on the actual mobile router. This approach helps deliver a quicker response and reduce server calls. The objective is to improve performance. It enables more concurrent users, reduces the amount of data that is transferred over the network and these are all key requirements for mobile. You can find more information on using client-side human service, basic case management, and mobile technologies in the IBM Redbooks publication Exte
Owen Cline is a member of the IBM Software Services for Websphere team based in San Diego, CA. He earned a BS in Computer Science from the University of Pittsburgh and a MS from San Diego State University. He has over 20 years of experience in software development. Owen holds four software patents, has written several IBM Redbooks publications, and he is a frequent speaker in technical conferences. In recent years, Owen has specialized in IBM Business Process Manager, IBM Operational Decision Manager and JEE application development and deployment (with a special emphasis on the WebSphere platform). Owen worked as IBM BPM architect for many clients in North and Latin America. Owen is a co-author of the IBM Redbooks publication Exte