Getting Started with BPM
This section describes how to model and run a simple business process.
Let’s consider that we want to create a process for reimbursement.
Three participants will be involved in the process:
an employee who asks for the reimbursement;
a manager who approves the reimbursement;
an accountant who transfers money to the account of the employee.
The model that we are going to create:
Start the application and open the BPM → Modeler screen.
When the modeler is first opened, the properties panel on the right displays properties of the process itself. Modify the fields:
Find the Documentation text area in the properties panel and write a process description there.
Click on the
StartEvent element on the canvas. The properties will be displayed on the properties panel.
The Form section describes the form that will be displayed to users when they start the process. Let’s specify the Input dialog as a start process form.
Then we need to specify the parameters that will be displayed to a user in the input dialog form.
Click the Plus button and in the Input dialog parameter edit dialog create a
requestNumber parameter with the following properties:
Caption – Request number.
Type – String.
Editable – true.
Required – true.
Create three more input dialog parameters:
Decimal (double), editable and required)
Date, editable and required)
File, editable and required)
After that create an input dialog parameter
manager with the
Entity type, required and editable. Select
User entity name. Specify
ComboBox UI component for user selection. We will leave the JPQL query field blank — that means that the default query
select e from smpl_User e will be used.
requestNumber field in the Business key lookup field under the list of input dialog parameters. A business key is a domain-specific identifier of a process instance.
After adding all the parameters, the Form section should look this way:
When a process is started, input dialog parameters will be saved in the corresponding process variables.
Let’s create the Approval user task. The start event should be selected on the canvas for displaying the pop-up menu. Click the Append task icon.
Then click the Change type icon (a wrench) and select the User Task there.
In the properties panel, specify a task name
Approval and a task id
We’ll use the Process variable assignee source. The drop-down list displays those fields and process variables that are of the
Entity type, and their entity class implements the
UserDetails interface. Select the
manager process variable from the list.
For the Approval task, we should also specify a process form. It will be an input dialog again. The dialog will display process variables from the start form and one more new parameter.
Create a new input dialog parameter and in the Process variable drop-down list select the
requestNumber variable. Make the field non-editable by unselecting the Editable checkbox.
In the same way create input dialog parameters for
document variables. They all must be non-editable.
Add a new dialog parameter with the
comment process variable name and the
Multiline string type. The field must be editable and non-required. This field will be used by the manager if the manager wants to make some notes when approving or rejecting the reimbursement request.
At the Approval step, the manager has two options: to approve and to reject the request. An easy way to support this is to use outcomes. For each outcome, a button will be displayed on the form and the result will be stored in a special process variable.
Let’s create the first outcome for the Approval user task using the corresponding button of the Outcomes section in the properties panel. In the outcome editor specify an outcome id
approve, a caption
Approve and select an icon
CHECK in the icons list.
Then create the second outcome: the id is
reject, the caption is
Reject, the icon is
After the Approval task is completed, the process must decide which path to choose using the outcome value. Let’s create an exclusive gateway.
Select the Approval task element and click the Append Gateway action of the context menu.
Click the gateway and with the help of the context menu create
User task. One sequence flow goes from the exclusive gateway to the
EndEvent element and another one to the user task. Give names to the sequence flows:
To specify a condition for the
approved flow, click on the element and in the sequence flow properties panel select the
User task outcome value in the Condition source combo box field. Select the
Approval user task and the
Do the same for the
rejected sequence flow, but select the
reject outcome value for it.
For the second user task set a task name
Payment and a task id
We will implement the following behavior: the task should be displayed for all accountants and any of them will be able to claim this task for himself. To achieve this we should not specify a particular assignee for the user task but should specify Candidate groups or Candidate users.
Let’s create Candidate group for accountants. Go to the BPM → User groups screen and create a new group called
Accountants with the
accountants code. Change the group type to
Users and add several users to the group.
bpm-process-actor-ui role should be assigned to these users to grant access to BPM screens and entities required for starting the process and working with user tasks. You can assign roles in the Application → Users screen.
Go back to the modeler, select the
Payment user task and click the edit button near the Candidate groups field in the Assignee section.
In the appeared dialog select Groups source value as
User groups and add the
Configure an input dialog form for the
Payment task. Add existing
comment fields. Make them all non-editable.
EndEvent element that goes after the
Payment user task.
The last thing we need to do is to specify who can start this process. If we want the process to be started by any user we may create and use a special user group.
Open the User groups screen and create a new group called
All users. Set its Type to
All users, which means that this group will automatically include every user. In the modeler, select the
All users group for process starter candidates.
Go back to the modeler and click on the free space on the canvas to display the process properties. Similarly to the
Payment task, we will define Candidate groups in the Starter candidates section.
The process model is ready to be deployed to the process engine. Click the Deploy process button on the toolbar.
To start the process, open the BPM → Start Process screen. This screen displays process definitions available for starting by the current user.
reimbursement process and click the Start process button.
The start form will appear. Fill in the fields, select
manager and click the Start process button.
The manager will see the assigned task in the BPM → My Tasks screen.
Double-click the task. Some fields on this form are read-only as we configured in the modeler and there are two buttons for outcomes: Approve and Reject.
Enter the comment and click the Approve button. Log in on behalf of any user who is a member of the Accountants user group. Open the BPM → My Tasks screen. You’ll see that the table is empty, but in the filter, there is an indicator that the user has a group task that can be claimed. Expand the Group tasks node.
All users of the
Accountants group will see the
Payment task among their group tasks until any of the accountants claims it. Open the task form. The form is read-only – you cannot do anything with the task until you claim it. On the bottom of the form, there are two buttons: Claim and resume and Claim and close.
Claim and resume button will remove the task from the list of group tasks of other users and will leave the task form on the screen. The form will become editable and buttons for completing the task will be displayed.
Claim and close will remove the task from other user task lists, the process form will be closed. The task will appear in the Assigned tasks list for the current user.
Click the Claim and close button. Select the
Payment tasks node from the Assigned tasks group. Open the task form and complete the task using the default Complete task button. When we don’t specify task outcomes in the model, this default button is displayed.
The process is completed.