Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Oracle BPM 11g workshop which was held at Hotel Vianen, just after the Oracle SOA and E2.0 Partner Community Forum. A challenge for both instructor Niall Commiskey, Oracle PTS EMEA and attendees: cramming a four-day workshop into two. The workshop started off with a quick overview on Oracle’s BPM methodology, it’s lifecycle and how the Oracle BPM suite products fit in, covering design, modeling, implementation, optimization and monitoring business processes. The message here is that, regardless of the maturity level reached on BPM, the suite provides all the tools to get started.
After the intro it was time to fire up jDeveloper and open up Oracle BPM studio. Here, business process models are designed using BPMN notation, providing a clear and business friendly view, including organizational structures. We actually created a process model having real data objects, activities,conditional branches and user tasks. Generating the user tasks UI was a breeze, first we had to map the various roles to actual users before hitting “Auto-Generate Task form”. This generates an ADF application which ofcourse can be tailored to fit your needs, and if necessary, we were assured custom screens could be implemented by getting the task data from the java API’s.
After that, we learned how to simulate the process by creating models, which allow you to assign execution times, distribution and number of people associated with a specific role. And perhaps most important: processing costs. Running the simulation provided us the necessary figures including a nice graph. This gives business analysts a tool to find possible bottlenecks in the process.
Unfortunately, time was short and due to some network problems deploying the process and it’s user tasks on Amazon’s EC2 took quite a while: those smart enough to have the Oracle BPM server locally installed were more lucky. Ofcourse, deployment always comes with problems of it’s own so we took quite a bit of time resolving these.
The spare time left was used for some more theory on data mapping, the role of Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) and the Oracle BPM Workspace used for task management, tracking and performance dashboards. Still a lot I need to review and try out, but I learned enough in these two short days to keep an eye on Oracle BPM as this could well be a solution for closer Business/IT alignment on SOA projects.Oracle BPM 11g workshop,