Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Activiti 5.x BPM Beginner's Guide book

I've been offered a copy of the new Activiti 5.x BPM Beginner's Guide book by Packt publishing and wanted to share my reading experiences with you.

First a little step back. It's great to see a second book about Activiti getting published. My Activiti in Action book has been out there for a couple of years, and I really appreciate the effort that Zakir and Irshad and Packt publishing put into this new Activiti book. This should improve the possibility for Activiti users and community members to learn about Activiti in an alternative way than our user guide and articles and presentations that are available on the Internet.

The book is really meant for users wanting to learn about Activiti without too much background knowledge about it. It takes readers by the hand and explains BPMN, the Activiti Engine and the other components of the Activiti project in simple steps with lots of screenshots and code examples to make it easy to understand. After reading the book you'll know about the major components of the Activiti project and the Designer and Modeler to create BPMN process definitions. It also gives an introduction how to integrate Activiti with for example the Liferay portal and the Karaf OSGi container. So it's a good read for people that want to learn Activiti from scratch.

I also have to share some remarks / thoughts I had while reading the book. I'd hoped the book would cover the most recent version of Activiti, but it's working with 5.13. Fair enough. The code examples look a bit messy, but that might be my opinion only. A last remark I have is that it doesn't go beyond the beginner's level, so you shouldn't expect in-depth discussions or going beyond the basics of Activiti.

In summary, I'm glad to see a second Activiti book getting published. It shows the global reach of the Activiti project and the large community it has. It's a good book to read for people that are eager to learn the first steps of using Activiti and understanding the basics.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Activiti 5.15.1 released

Today we released Activiti 5.15.1, which is a bug fix release for a MySQL upgrade issue described on the Activiti forum. In addition we refactored the Activiti version upgrade logic so that you can install Activiti 5.15.1 without problems on an Activiti 5.15 database (and earlier versions of course).

Thanks for testing Activiti 5.15 on the day it was released. Sorry for any inconvenience this caused.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Activiti 5.15 released

Today we released a new version of Activiti 5.15 packed with new functionality and features. And of course it also includes bug fixes. The highlights of this release are:

  • Multi tenancy support added to Activiti, including the Java and REST API.
  • Added new event support to listen for events in the Activiti Engine, like task deleted, variable updated, process engine created and many more.
  • Introduction of data object support (thanks to Lori Small and team)
  • Improved Spring support with great and easy to use annotations (thanks to Josh Long)
  • Improved OSGi support + added OSGi unit testing using Tinybundles
  • Various fixes and improvements
A note for MySQL users. For MySQL 5.6 we improved the time precision for create and update dates. For MySQL 5.5 and lower this is not supported so we provided an additional upgrade script for MySQL 5.5 and lower. When you let the Activiti Engine apply the upgrade (with databaseSchemaUpdate=true), the correct upgrade script will be applied automatically.

We'll do additional detailed blog posts in the coming weeks to explain new functionality and features in more detail. We hope you'll the new release.

The Activiti team

Friday, February 28, 2014

Activiti Designer 5.14.1

Hi all,

We released a new version of the Activiti Designer Eclipse plugin (5.14.1). This release is a bug fix version, which solves the issues with form properties, task listeners and element id changes. The release is available on the following URLs (as always):

http://www.activiti.org/designer/archived/activiti-designer-5.14.1.zip (archived site)
http://www.activiti.org/designer/update (update site)

Note that the 5.14.1 release also includes improvements to the BPMN DI label positioning information. This however has a side-effect that diagrams already including labels could need some label repositioning. But the label positioning should now be compliant with the BPMN specification.

Have a good weekend!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Activiti Designer 5.14.0 released

With a bit more delay than we desired, the Activiti Designer 5.14.0 version is released and available for use starting from today. This release contains 3 major features:

  1. Kepler and Juno support. We moved to Graphiti 0.10.1 and this means the supported Eclipse versions for the Activiti Designer plugin are now Juno and Kepler.
  2. A lot of bug fixes. It's been too long since we released the Designer 5.12.0, so this release includes a lot of bug fixes. Mostly the overall stability of the BPMN editor has improved. This version also includes improved BPMN visual support, with icon indicators for multi instance activities and dotted lines for boundary events that are non interrupting. 
  3. A new component is introduced with Kickstart. Kickstart includes a simplified process editor and a form editor. The simplified editor helps to create BPMN processes without needing to know all the BPMN specification details. A JSON format is created from the simplified editor and from there Kickstart can generate a BPMN 2.0 XML process definition. In addition, Kickstart includes a form editor that allows you to create task forms with a DnD editor. At this moment, Kickstart is mainly targeted for the Alfresco platform, but the foundation of the plugin is designed to be used for plain Activiti process design. So in a new release, plain Activiti support might also get included, let us know if you are interested in that.

An example of a process definition using the improved multi instance and boundary event visuals is shown in the following screenshot.
We'll post a separate blog about the Kickstart component details, but here are already a couple of screenshots.

As you can see the modeling elements are fully different from a typical BPMN editor. This process definition describes a hiring process and eventually translates to the following BPMN process definition.

And finally a screenshot of the form editor.

With a column based layout a number of field controls can be used to create a task form that is connected to a human step / user task.

We look forward to hear feedback from you about this release!

Update site: http://www.activiti.org/designer/update
Archive: http://www.activiti.org/designer/archived/activiti-designer-5.14.0.zip

Monday, December 23, 2013

Activiti first journey article

For people wanting to get started with Activiti, Andrea Flesca has created an article introducing the Activiti Engine, Activiti Explorer and Activiti Designer. You can use the following link to read the full article:


Friday, December 13, 2013

Activiti in Maven central

Today we have published the 5.14 release of Activiti to Maven central. This means that you don't need to configure the Alfresco Maven repository anymore in your pom.xml and can just fetch all Activiti JARs from Maven central. Hope this helps to make it even easier to add Activiti to your project. Thanks to Sonatype for helping to get the Activiti artifacts published!