Friday Feb 28, 2014

Code Coverage for BPMN by Mark Foster

Introduction

I visited a customer recently who asked a very interesting question…. they’d been performing a series of stress tests of their Business Process Management project made up of many & complex Business Process Management processes and they wanted to know if there were any activities/paths in any of their processes which they hadn’t traversed… sort of like “Clover” for Business Process Management, This led me to thinking about Business Process Management auditing and cross-referencing this with the Business Process Management activities.

BPMN Code Coverage: The Theory

CBPM_01

Let us take a look at the relevant tables in the SOAINFRA schema….


BPM_AUDIT_QUERY

Providing that the audit level has been set sufficiently high (for example “Production” would do), this table stores details of all BPMN activities instantiated at any given time.

BPM_CUBE_ACTIVITY & BPM_CUBE_PROCESS

These tables are a static view of all activities in all deployed process at any given time.

Deployed Business Process Management activities not in BPM_AUDIT_QUERY

It became obvious that selecting all activities in the join of BPM_CUBE_ACTIVITY and BPM_CUBE_PROCESS for a given deployed process/composite which did not exist in BPM_AUDIT_QUERY during a given time period would highlight activities not invoked as part of out testing. As a result I ended up with a piece of SQL thus….

…i.e. which activities in processes “BpmClover” and “BpmCallable” were not traversed in the last 24 hours.

BPMN Code Coverage: The Practice

I needed a fairly simple process to test with, not too complex but with a good selection of activities, human tasks, boundary events, gateways etc… and ended up with the following (not BPMN best practices by any means)….
…i.e. a main process and a callable sub-process. Read the complete article here.


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Monday Jan 06, 2014

BPM Auditing Demystified by Mark Foster

I have heard from a couple of customers recently asking about BPM audit table growth, specifically BPM_AUDIT_QUERY. It led me to investigate the impact of the various audit levels in SOA/BPM on these table and to propose options to them.

It is important to note up-front that BPM is a human-centric workflow application and therefore should be expected to audit often and in detail the reality is that business users probably will want to know who did what and when, and also who did not do what when they were supposed to. BPM auditing is very rich and can provide this kind of information and more. The “downside” of this is that audit tables can grow at a faster rate than expected, and BPM_AUDIT_QUERY is normally the most prominent of these.

Clearly there are well documented strategies for archiving/purging and partitioning which can control/limit the impact of table growth but there may also be simple changes to the BPM audit settings which can prove beneficial in certain business situations.

Audit Settings

There are essentially three places where the auditing of BPM applications can be controlled Read the full article here.

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Thursday Nov 21, 2013

Case Management In-Depth: Cases & Case Activities Part 2 – Case Rules by Mark Foster

In the previous blog entry we started to look at case artefacts, specifically case activities and how we should design these at the correct level of granularity.

In this entry we’ll look at case rules, the “glue” that connects case artefacts together at the level of the case.

Case Artefacts & Case Rules

As of PS6, the design-time for Case Management inside Business Process Management Studio has no “holistic” view of the case and its artefacts, however this is planned for a future release. In the absence of this I’ve been trying to understand how it would be possible to visualize everything that makes up a case and how these things are interrelated.

A Mind Mapping Approach

My colleagues Prasen Palvankar & Ravi Rangaswamy came up with a neat use of mind-mapping to show the case & its relationships.

… I find this great for understanding the questions that need to be asked in the design of a case from within Business Process Management Studio…”who are the stakeholders”, “what are the case activities”, “which documents can be attached to the case” etc. but from this I could still not immediately grasp what my case looked like and the relationship between the artefacts. Read the full article here.

SOA & BPM Partner Community

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Monday Oct 28, 2013

Case Management In-Depth: Stakeholders & Permissions by Mark Foster

We’ve seen in the previous 3 posts in this series what Case Management is, how it can be configured in BPM Studio and its lifecycle.

I now want to go into some more depth with specific areas such as:.

  • Stakeholders & Permissions
  • Case Activities
  • Case Rules
  • etc.

In the process of designing a Case Management solution it is important to know what approach to take, what questions to ask and based on the answers to these questions, how to implement. I’ll start with Stakeholders & Permissions.

Stakeholders

The users that perform actions on case objects, defined at a business level, e.g. “Help Desk Agent”, “Help Desk Supervisor” etc. Read the full article here.

SOA & BPM Partner Community

For regular information on Oracle SOA Suite become a member in the SOA & BPM Partner Community for registration please visit www.oracle.com/goto/emea/soa (OPN account required) If you need support with your account please contact the Oracle Partner Business Center.

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Saturday Oct 26, 2013

Case Management In-Depth: Cases & Case Activities Part 1 – Activity Scope by Mark Foster

In the previous blog entry we looked at stakeholders and permissions, i.e. how we control interaction with the case and its artefacts.

In this entry we’ll look at case activities, specifically how we decide their scope, in the next part we’ll look at how these activities relate to the over-arching case and how we can effectively visualize the relationship between the case and its activities.

Case Activities

As mentioned in an earlier blog entry, case activities can be created from:

  • BPM processes
  • Human Tasks
  • Custom (Java Code)

It is pretty obvious that we would use custom case activities when either:

  • we already have existing code that we would like to form part of a case
  • we cannot provide the necessary functionality with a BPM process or simple Human Task

However, how do we determine what our BPM process as a case activity contains? What level of granularity?

Take the following simple BPM process Read the full article here.

CMPS6_5_03

SOA & BPM Partner Community

For regular information on Oracle SOA Suite become a member in the SOA & BPM Partner Community for registration please visit www.oracle.com/goto/emea/soa (OPN account required) If you need support with your account please contact the Oracle Partner Business Center.

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