jBPM Eclipse Plugin

The jBPM project has an Eclipse plugin that simplifies developing applications with jBPM, make it easy to get started, etc.

The jBPM5 plugin supports the following features:

  • jBPM library: A classpath container that contains the required dependencies when writing a jBPM application.
  • Support for multiple runtimes: Users can select which jBPM version they want to use in their application.
  • Wizards for creating a new jBPM project, etc.
  • Validation: Problems that are detected in one of the processes process files are shown in the Error Log.

We are currently using the Drools Eclipse plugin to support the creation, editing, testing and debugging of your business processes.  The graphical editor allows you to drag-and-drop your nodes and connections and use the properties view to fill in additional details.

A new BPMN2 graphical Eclipse editor is currently being developed to support full BPMN2 editing using BPMN2 terminology.  More details will be provided soon, so keep your eyes on the blog!

The plugin supports:

  • Design: This is where the actor creates (or updates) a business process, mostly by using graphical representation. This includes drawing the control flow of the process by dragging and dropping various nodes onto the canvas, filling in the properties of these nodes, etc. Several tools might exist, each targeted to a different type of actor (e.g. business analyst vs. developer)
    • Domain-specific extensions: One feature that can prove to be invaluable is the ability to create domain-specific processes. Domain-specific languages are targeted to one particular application domain and therefore can offer constructs that are closely related to the problem the user is trying to solve. The ability to extend the business process with high-level, declarative, domain-specific extensions usually makes processes easier to author, understand and self-documenting.
  • Testing: Once a process has been defined, it should be possible to test specific process scenarios, and to bundle these as a test suite.
  • Debugging: To figure out what is going on during the execution of your processes, debugging capabilities allow you to temporarly halt the execution, inspect the state of your process instances, what happened so far, etc.
  • Simulation: This allows you to completely similate specific use cases (and could thus be seen as an extension of testing and debugging). It includes user-friendly visualization of progress, the ability to manipulate the clock, sending triggers and validating assertions at specific points during the execution, batch processing, etc.

 

The following screencast shows you how to get started and create your first process in jBPM5.