BPM 101 Series: Collaborative Process Modeling using MDS, Composer and Jdev

MDS is the metadata repository used by many pieces of the Oracle Fusion Middleware product stack.  There are times when you can combine MDS repositories but for the most part these repositories exist to support their individual pieces of the stack.  In the context of BPM the MDS repository is used as a means to share project artifacts and attributes between the web based composer environmnet and jdeveloper.  Jdeveloper is geared towards the developer while Composer is geared towards process analysts and business users.  It should be stated that the statement of direction for Composer is to grow  the functionality and include much more in terms of functionality and satisfaction of use cases.

That brings us to our need to share between the composer and jdeveloper environments.  a generic slide that has been referenced often is the ability to continuously develop and refine the process models using collabortion between business owners, process analysts, developers and other stakeholders.

social bpm

Using the Composer Space within Webcenter Spaces is one way to collaborate around process models and can include various stakeholders to the process.  The use case referenced here is the sharing of composer models between the web based composer application and jdeveloper.  From within Jdev you can create a connection to MDS and use that connection to push and pull versions of the process model that may get implemented in Jdev.  A simple use case could involve the first cut of a process model that now needs to have a simulation run on it from within Jdev.  A developer would need to create a connection to the MDS repository and pull down the process models and then create simulation artifacts and run simulation against that candidate process model. 

The two main connection resources that need to be created in Jdev are the application server connection and the actual MDS database connection.  Once you wrap the MDS db connection with an mds resource configuration piece you can easily pull down existing projects and snapshots to the local Jdev environment.

       mds db connection
+     mds resource configuration
+     application server configuraton
= ------------------------------------------

Below are the steps to create an MDS connection:

1. Select to view the MDS Navigator by clicking on View > MDS Navigator.

2. Click on the 'Configure Connection' icon.

3.  Click on the add symbol to create a new MDS Connection 

4. Specify a name for the new connection and click on the plus sign if you are not yet connected to your WLS application server instance.

5.  Specify a name for your app server connection.

6. Specify the username/password for the WLS server.  In a dev environment this should probably be an administrator on the WLS server. Click next.

7.  Enter your hostname, port and domain name.  Click next.

8. Test your connection. Click next after receiving 'success' for all 9 tests.

9. Click 'Finish'

10.  You are returned to the 'New BPM MDS Connection' panel.  Click the 'add' symbol in the 'SOA MDS' location.

11. A new panel opens.  Name your SOA mds connection and click on the 'add' symbol in the DB Connection section.

12. A new panel opens to create a database connection to your DB instance hosting the MDS schema.  Input connection information and click 'Test' to test the connection.  Once complete click 'Ok'.

13. The new connection should now show up on the 'Create SOA-MDS Connection' panel.  The obpm partition should also show up automatically in the 'Select MDS partition' section.  Test the connection by clicking the 'Test Connection' button. Click 'Ok'.

14. You should now see your create connection name, application server and soa MDS connection name showing in your original BPM MDS Connection panel.  Click the 'Test' button.  Upon success click 'Ok'.

15. Click 'Ok' on your original 'Configure Connection' panel. 

16. Congratulations! You now have Composer projects that you can 'check out', 'export' or otherwise interact with.

Our next BPM 101 series article will go into the use case scenarios for securing and sharing BPM Composer projects between Business Analysts and Developers.

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