3 ways to effectively prepare for process improvements in your digital journey

In our journey to transform our ways of working, our focus on our customers wishes and our plans to pivot to a digital business there is always a need for process improvement.

While the transformation to a digital business can encompass many aspects that are new to your organization, there are always existing investments in technologies and processes that need to be evaluated.

Some can be modernized and migrated on to the new infrastructure that will support the digital business and others end up remaining in place as legacy systems of record.

One thing is for sure, evaluating existing business processes and looking to improve their effectiveness is going to be a necessary step. With that in mind, here are three ways to effectively prepare for process improvements in your digital journey.

1. Effective BPM theory

The first step in any journey is to plan effectively and gather as much information from the experts as you can. For this step you have many options, but the following example previews the open technology and tooling that will ensure you are ready to tackle process improvements.

2. Inventory existing processes

Identifying the list of existing processes in a business, both automated and non-automated processes will be the next step on the journey.

Businesses have processes in place that might be automated in some form, but showing signs of age or lack of effective execution. Others might have partial automation and exhibit a need for further automation at the time of evaluation. Finally, there can potentially be processes in your business that are crying out for automation and are hindering other processes with their lack of automation.

Collect all this information for evaluation without regard for size, level of automation or making decisions on priority for the next step.

3. Short list processes

Now that you’re able to browse all processes in your organization, identifying the short list where quick wins on process improvements is critical to the project’s success.
Everyone wants to see gains and building momentum with processes that can be improved both quickly and effectively builds confidence. Identify processes that have impact, are visible and can be effectively improved without having major impacts to the existing architecture or business process owner perceptions. This will be different for every organization, but crucial to building success and ensuring a smoother transition on your digital journey.
Armed with these three guidelines you’re ready to effectively prepare for process improvements in your digital journey.

How to integrate business logic in processes with JBoss BPM

In June 2016 the Manning Early Access Program (MEAP) started for the book Effective Business Process Management with JBoss BPM.

What is a MEAP?

The Effective Business Process Management with JBoss BPM MEAP gives you full access to read chapters as they are written, get the finished eBook as soon as it’s ready, and receive the paper book long before it’s in bookstores.

You can also interact with the author, that’s me, on the forums to provided feedback as the book is being written. So come on over and get started today with Effective Business Process Management with JBoss BPM.

The way the MEAP works is that every month or so Manning puts a new chapter online. As of this week chapter 5 is available and those already in the MEAP will have access to start reading the chapter.

This is a large chapter and it is one of the harder topics to confine to a single chapter. I do expect to split this chapter up in the future so that you have the basics and then more advanced topics regarding learning to effectively implement your business logic with JBoss BPM.

To give you an idea of what’s available so far:

You can read this excerpt online before you decide, but I look forward to hearing from you on the content and stay tuned for more.

 

See more by Eric D. Schabell, contact him on Twitter for comments or visit his home site.

How to get started with JBoss BPM

If you are evaluating, exploring or just plain interested in learning more about Business Process Management (BPM), then read onwards as this is what you have been waiting for.
While there are quite a few resources online, often they are focused either on community project code that is constantly changing or disjointed in such a manner that it is very difficult for you to find a coherent learning path.
No more.
Just a few months back, in June, the early access program for Effective Business Process Management with JBoss BPM kicked off. This book is focused on a coherent path of learning to get you started with BPM and it focuses on JBoss BPM Suite as the Open Source BPM solution of choice.
The first chapters have been put online and you can both read along as the book is written, while interacting with the author in the online forums.

Deal of the Day

Today only, half off the price of Effective Business Process Management with JBoss BPM, so head on over and grab yourself a copy using the code dotd081716au to get started with JBoss BPM Suite.

The deal will go live at Midnight US ET and will stay active for ~48 hours, running a little longer than a day to account for time zone differences.

If you would like to help out with socializing this news, here is a tweet you can cut and paste into your social networks:

 

See more by Eric D. Schabell, contact him on Twitter for comments or visit his home site.

 

Upcoming Webinar: Migrating to Open Source Integration and Automation Technologies

Balaji Rajam (principal architect) and Ushnash Shukla (senior consultant) from Red Hat will be conducting a webinar about the ability to integrate data from disparate sources with people and processes. This is a crucial part of strategies for data integration.

Data is increasingly moving from being an asset within an organization to one of the key business drivers and products, regardless of industry. The ability to integrate data from disparate sources is a crucial part of business digital strategy. Many organizations have been locked into proprietary and closed software solutions like TIBCO, but as the IT environments transform again into microservices, agile, and cloud-based infrastructures, those proprietary systems may not be able to keep up – or it may be too cost-prohibitive to try. Open source offers standards-based approaches for application interoperability with potentially lower costs and faster development times. This webinar looks at three key aspects of effectively moving from proprietary to open source solutions:

  • Recommendations for migrating from TIBCO to open source applications
  • Performing data integrations
  • Defining automated business processes and logic

Registration is open. The webinar is August 9 at 11:00am Eastern Time (US).

register_now

Fun Follow Up: Webinar Q&A

I will collect any questions asked during the webinar, and I’ll do a follow-up post on Friday, August 12, to try to capture the most interesting questions that arise.

How To Import Any JBoss BRMS Example Project

This tips & tricks comes to you after I have been asked the following repeatedly over the last few weeks by users of the JBoss BRMS demos:

“How can I import the projects associated with the various JBoss BRMS demo projects into my own existing installation?”

What this means is that users want to have an example project in their personal installation of the product without using the projects installation process. This is certainly possible but not totally obvious to everyone.

Below I will walk you through how the various example projects for JBoss BRMS are setup, how the actual rules projects are loaded into JBoss BRMS when you set them up and why. After this I will show you how to extract any of the available rules projects for importing in to any previously installed JBoss BRMS server.

Figure 1: In JBoss BRMS open the Administration
perspective with menu options, Authoring -> Administration.

Background on how it works

The normal installation of a JBoss BRMS demo project that I have provided uses a template. This template ensures that the process is always the same; download, unzip, add products and run the installation script. After doing this, you are done, just fire up the JBoss BRMS for the adjusted experience where you open up the Authoring perspective to a pretty process designer with the demo project displayed for you to kick off a demo run.

These projects have a demo template that provides some consistency and you can read about how it works in a previous article.  For the initial installation run of any of these demo projects, a folder is copied from support/brms-demo-niogit to the installation at the location target/jboss-eap-{version}/bin/.niogit. 

Figure 2: To import a new project, open the Clone repository
from the menu Repositories. This will allow you to bring
in any rules project to your JBoss BRMS.

This folder contains all of the project and system Git repositories that are formatted for the version of the project you have downloaded. By installing this directory or complete repository, when JBoss BRMS starts up the first time, it will pick up the state I left it in when designing the experience around you using this demo project.

Get your hands on a specific rules project

The problem I want to help you with in this article is to show you how to extract only the rules project from one of these examples and import this into your own installation of JBoss BRMS.

Figure 3: Cloning a repository is how you import an
existing project, which requires the 
information shown.

The following list is the order you do the tasks, after which I will explain each one:

  1. Download any JBoss BRMS demo project and unzip (or clone it if you like).
  2. Log in to your own JBoss BRMS and open Administration perspective via menu: Authoring -> Administration.
  3. Setup the new rules project you want to import: Repositories -> Clone repository -> fill in details including import project URL
  4. Explore the new project in the Authoring perspective: Authoring -> Project Authoring
I am going to assume you can find a JBoss BRMS demo project of your liking from the link provided in step 1 and download or clone to your local machine.

I will be using the JBoss BRMS Cool Store Demo as the example project you want to import into your current JBoss BRMS installation instead of leveraging the standalone demo project.

In your current installation where you are logged in,  open the Administration perspective as shown in figure 1 by menu options Authoring -> Administration. This allows you to start importing any existing rules project. We will be importing the Cool Store rules project by using the feature to clone existing projects found in menu options, Repositories -> Clone repository as shown in figure 2.

Figure 4: Once the project has been imported (cloned), you
will receive this message in a pop-up.
This will produce a pop-up that asks for some information about the project to be imported, which you can fill in as listed below and shown in figure 3:
  • Repository Name: retail
  • Organizational Unit: Demos    (select whatever org you want to use from your system)
  • Git URL:  file:///[path-to-project-you-downloaded]/brms-coolstore-demo/support/brms-demo-niogit/coolstore-demo.git
Figure 5: Explore your newly imported rules project in the
authoring perspective within your JBoss BRMS installation.

The most interesting bit here is the Git URL, which is normally something hosted online, but this project we want to import is positioned locally in our filesystem, so we use a file based URL to point to it. Click on Clone button to import the project and you should see a pop-up that looks like figure 4 stating that you have successfully imported your project.

Now you can explore the new imported project in your authoring perspective and proceed as you desire with this project as shown in figure 5. This will work for any project I have put together for the field that is based on the standard template I use.

I hope this tips & tricks helps you to explore and enjoy as many of the existing rules examples offered in the current collection of demo projects.

 

See more by Eric D. Schabell, contact him on Twitter for comments or visit his home site.

Upcoming: Webinar on Design Approaches for Business Automation

Justin Holmes is a business automation practice lead with Red Hat. It is essentially his job to come up with practical solutions to business problems. He is conducting a webinar next week to go over design practices to more effectively develop and deliver software products, with a heavy emphasis using business rules and process automation to make testing and deploying software more controlled and easier. This webinar will look at two historically separate development processes — engineering-driven development and business rules-driven automation — and how it is possible to develop a design model using the strengths of both.

He has more details on the Services Speaks blog.

register_now

This event is free. It will be Tuesday, July 12, at 11am Eastern time.

Thank you JBoss partners

Thank you JBoss partners. You made our decade.

In the open source world (and I would say increasingly in the software world in general), the success of a new technology begins with active and vibrant communities that crank out compelling and useful technologies.

When the technology gets out and increases in popularity, early customers begin to trust it and it faces the challenge of being adopted by the mainstream market, which is composed predominantly by customers who are pragmatists in nature and that find it difficult to use a new product unless it has support in the market (other customers) and it has an ecosystem of partnerships and alliances with other vendors that serve their industry.

That’s why partners are key to technology products. The larger the partner ecosystem, the more trust customers can have and the better the chances of widespread adoption.

JBoss had started to create that partner ecosystem before it became part of the Red Hat family back in 2006. Many things have happened since those early years, and we’ve probably done a few right things along the way, as Red Hat has become the first open source company to surpass the two-billion-dollar revenue mark, and for the fourth consecutive year we have been awarded a 5-Star rating in the CRN 2016 Partner Program Guide – where vendor applications are assessed based on investments in program offerings, partner profitability, partner training, education and support, marketing programs and resources, sales support, and communication.

However, at the end of the day, it is really the partners who decide which technology partners they choose to pursue success in the marketplace.

In anticipation of the launch of Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 7 (JBoss EAP), and of the 10th anniversary of JBoss becoming part of the Red Hat family, we offered our partners the opportunity to tell the world about out our collaboration.

So don’t take our word for it. Let our partners do the talking.

We are fortunate to have partners that have worked with JBoss for a long, long time. Some of them, such as Vizuri, were a JBoss partner before it became part of the Red Hat product family. Joe Dickman, senior vice president, explains that the widespread adoption of JBoss in the marketplace, especially among Fortune 500 companies, is “a testament to the ‘power of community collaboration and innovation’ that Red Hat embodies, which has forever changed the way that software is developed and businesses operate.”

Another JBoss veteran is Viada in Germany. In words of Daniel Braunsdorf, CEO of Viada in Germany, “Ten years ago JBoss was the first open source application server being really ‘enterprise-ready’”, and today “we are talking about a full stack of middleware suite products serving our customers needs by giving them more flexibility, agility, and speed to deliver innovative applications.”

James Chinn, CEO of Shadow-Soft, sums it up well: “Over the last decade, JBoss has come a long way in terms of improving performance as well as truly innovating in regards to the way applications run and are managed. With the release of JBoss EAP 7 comes a host of new features including full support of Java EE 7 and Java SE 8 (…) Furthermore, JBoss EAP 7 has also been upgraded to reduce start-up time and optimize networking port utilization making it truly ideal for running within Linux containers.”

SCSK from Japan trust the power of JBoss EAP 7 to drive open standardization and TCO reduction. In the words of Hisanao Takei, Senior Executive Officer, “SCSK thinks JBoss EAP 7 is the best choice that customers want for building open and standard infrastructure and especially expects system TCO reduction for virtual and cloud environment.”

Red Hat JBoss Middleware is at the core of many mission critical systems. And being intimately related with the other Red Hat middleware products, such as JBoss Fuse, enables our partners to support many different types of business customer needs. Hiroyuki Yamamoto, director at monoplus, Inc. in Japan, makes the point that “As business environments continue to evolve, we believe that JBoss Middleware will seamlessly contribute and support in the integration, co-operation and collaboration within businesses”.

Driven by the dynamism of information based sectors, it may be easy to forget that traditional businesses also need advanced enterprise systems to be successful. In such a traditional business as printing, our Japanese partner WingArc1st makes the point that “An enterprise printing platform needs to be highly reliable, stable and provide high performance for seamless operations,” and believe that “Red Hat Enterprise Linux and JBoss EAP 7 are important platforms” for the company’s SVF offering.

Matt Pavlovich, co-founder of Media Driver, abounds on how JBoss EAP 7 helps developers “to be more efficient by focusing their time on delivering business value versus fiddling with tech stacks.” No small feat, as he continues, “Whether it is deployed on-premise, in the cloud or via containers, JBoss EAP 7 provides deployment flexibility that can help DevOps teams avoid having to navigate tricky hurdles to get their environments up and running quickly.”

Regis Kuzel, senior vice president at LCN Services, takes pride at being an unbiased trusted advisor to their customers. “For LCN, the bottom line is you can’t do better than Red Hat JBoss EAP 7. It’s a well-thought-out platform. And it’s gaining market share because it works! We believe Red Hat JBoss EAP 7 is the best technology available at its core!”

In terms of innovation, Farhan Hussain, Founder and CEO, Open Source Architect has a clear view of the contribution of the new EAP7. “This new platform will help us provide reliable, cost-efficient and high-performing container-based solutions for on-site and cloud deployments, while enabling our joint customers to innovate and meet strict compliance, security, and regulatory requirements simultaneously!” says Farhan.

Heinz Wilming, Director, Red Hat JBoss Competence Center for our German partner akquinet, makes a point about the value that long term support provides to our common customers. As you are possibly aware, Red Hat JBoss Middleware product life cycles are generally three, five, or seven years in length, and for certain products can be extended by three (3) additional years (up to ten!), something not many vendors actually provide. In his words, “Long-lasting support, regular updates and interoperability ensure protection of investment and guaranteed future for both our customers and akquinet.”

Some of our partners have been supporting JBoss for a long time, and others have made investments more recently. This is the case of Opticca in Canada. Owner Ivan Cardona shares that “We’ve been deploying Middleware, SOA, and BPM platforms from the major providers for the past eight years. We’ve recently made a large investment In Red Hat’s JBoss solutions because our customers’ feedback led us to conclude open source is now a real option.”

A last word…

We are really happy we are getting this support from our partners. Many others share us in the 10th anniversary and you can learn more from our strategic alliances here. And find more in the JBoss partner ecosystem press release, here.

And for those that are still not in the ecosystem, please join us. We’re here to help you grow.

So let me conclude as I began.

Thank you, Red Hat partners. You made our decade. Ready for more?

PD: Keep reading here for blogs and additional quotes from partners worldwide about the new EAP7!

Red Hat Updates JBoss BPM Suite and JBoss BRMS Products

We’re pleased to announce the launch of Red Hat JBoss BPM Suite 6.2 and Red Hat JBoss BRMS 6.2, our business process management (BPM) and business rules management platforms. These updates introduce a number of feature enhancements and new capabilities designed to infuse greater speed, quality, and control into the day-to-day creation and management of business rules and processes.

Continue reading “Red Hat Updates JBoss BPM Suite and JBoss BRMS Products”

Red Hat announces availability of containerized middleware capabilities on OpenShift

A little more than two years ago, we announced Red Hat’s “xPaaS” initiative to provide Red Hat JBoss Middleware on OpenShift and introduce a new way of building and deploying enterprise applications. Our efforts in executing against that vision and roadmap have entailed a lot of work and have been very exciting.

Continue reading “Red Hat announces availability of containerized middleware capabilities on OpenShift”