Skip Headers
Oracle® Fusion Middleware Business Process Composer User's Guide for Oracle Business Process Management
11g Release 1 (11.1.1.7)

Part Number E15177-11
Go to Documentation Home
Home
Go to Book List
Book List
Go to Table of Contents
Contents
Go to Master Index
Master Index
Go to Feedback page
Contact Us

Go to previous page
Previous
Go to next page
Next
PDF · Mobi · ePub

4 Working with BPM Projects

This chapter describes how to create and use BPM projects using Oracle Business Process Composer.

This chapter includes the following sections:

4.1 Introduction to Oracle BPM Projects

A BPM project is the core element of an Oracle BPM application. BPM projects contain the resources used to create and support a business application. These include business processes and components of the business catalog, including data objects, services, Business Rules, Human Tasks, and roles.

You can create new projects directly in Business Process Composer or you can create and edit projects based on project templates created using Oracle BPM Studio.

BPM projects promote collaboration between process analysts and process developers. Business Process Composer and Oracle BPM Studio users can share projects using the BPM repository. See Section 4.1.2, "Introduction to the Oracle BPM Repository" for more information.

You can validate BPM projects and deploy them to runtime using Oracle Business Process Composer. See Chapter 15, "Deploying a BPM Project" for more information.

4.1.1 Introduction to Project Components and Resources

Each project contains one or more business processes and may include other resources used by the business processes or application. These include reusable resources that enable you to connect your application to other applications and systems or define the user interface of your application.

Business Process Composer enables you to create, test, and deploy a fully-functioning BPM application. However, there are some advanced features that can only be performed using Oracle BPM Studio. These include:

  • Create project templates

  • Configure advance human task parameters

  • Create and view ADF forms

  • Create external references

  • Create exceptions

4.1.1.1 Editable Project Resources

Using Business Process Composer, you can create and edit the following project resources:

  • Processes

    A business process is the core element of a business application. A process is defined as a related set of tasks or activities. An Oracle BPM application can contain one or more processes. Business Process Composer enables you to create and edit BPMN processes.

    From the BPM Project navigator you can create new processes and edit existing ones. See Chapter 5, "Working with Processes and the Process Editor" for information on creating and working with processes.

  • Human Tasks

    Oracle Business Process Composer enables you to create and edit human tasks. Human tasks are used to define how users interact with your process-based applications.

    From the BPM Project navigator, you can create new human tasks and edit existing ones. See Chapter 11, "Working with Human Tasks" for more information. After creating a human task, it is accessible within the business catalog.

  • Activity Guides

    An activity guide is a part of Guided Business Processes that enables you to define milestones for a project. Each project contains one activity guide where you can define multiple project milestones. Business Process Composer enables you to create and configure milestones.

    See Section 4.5, "Using Guided Business Processes to Create Project Milestones" for more information on creating and using project milestones.

  • Oracle Business Rules

    Oracle Business Rules are statements that describe business policies or describe key business decisions. Using Business Process Composer you can create and edit business rules. Business rules are editable components of a project, but they also appear as part of the business catalog.

    See Chapter 13, "Using Oracle Business Rules" for information.

  • Web forms

    Web forms define the interface that your application users see in Process Workspace. Business Process Composer enables you to create this interface from the ground up, or you can create a web form based on the existing data structure of a human task.

    See Chapter 9, "Working with Web Forms" for more information.

    Note:

    Although web forms are a resource of a BPM project, they can only be created and edited in Business Process Composer. They cannot be viewed or edited in Oracle BPM Studio.

  • Simulation definitions and models

    Use simulations to test the performance of your business processes. Simulations definitions and models define parameters used in a simulation and are stored as part of a BPM project.

    See Chapter 6, "Simulating Process Behavior" for more information.

4.1.1.2 The Business Catalog

You can use Business Process Composer to create and edit business catalog components. The business catalog is a container of reusable, shared implementation assets available to all the processes within a BPM Project.

After creating these elements, you can assign them to specific BPMN artifacts.

Business catalog components are accessible from the component palette. The reusable resources in the business catalog are:

  • Human Tasks

    Human tasks define how end users interact with your BPMN processes. You can add human tasks to your business process by using the user task. You can assign a human task from the business catalog to each user task in your business process. See Section A.3, "Adding User Interaction to Your Process" for information on using human tasks within a BPMN process.

  • Oracle Business Rules

    Oracle business rules are statements that describe business policies or describe key business decisions. Business rules are integrated into a process using the business rules task.

    See Chapter 13, "Using Oracle Business Rules" for information on working with Oracle Business Rules using Business Process Composer. See Section A.5.2, "Introduction to the Business Rule Task" for more information on using the business rules task within a BPMN process.

  • Business Objects

    Business objects define the data structures used within your application. You can use simple data objects to define complex data objects using Business Process Composer. See Section 12.4, "Introduction to Business Objects" for more information.

  • Services

    Services define how a BPMN process connects other processes, systems, and services, including BPEL processes and databases.

    Using Business Process Composer, you can create new services based on web services. See Section 14.3, "Working with Services" for more information. You can also use services that were created as part of the project template.

    Within a BPMN process, services are implemented by assigning the service to a service task. See Section A.4.1, "Introduction to the Service Task" for more information.

  • External references

    References define the interface of your BPMN processes. References implement message events, send tasks and receive tasks. See Section A.4, "Communicating With Other Processes and Services" for more information.

4.1.1.3 Business Catalog Components that Can Be Edited or Created

Table 4-1 lists the components of the business catalog and shows which components can be created or edited using Oracle Business Process Composer.

Table 4-1 Business Catalog Components in Business Process Composer

Business Catalog Component Can be created? Can be edited?

Business rules

Yes

Yes

Human tasks

Yes

Yes

Business Objects

Yes

Yes

Services

Yes

Yes

External References

No

No

Errors

No

No


4.1.2 Introduction to the Oracle BPM Repository

The Oracle BPM repository is based on Oracle Metadata Service (MDS). Oracle MDS is a component of Oracle Fusion Middleware that stores information about deployed applications. Oracle BPM uses this repository when applications are deployed to Oracle BPM runtime.

Additionally, Oracle BPM also uses a partition in the Oracle MDS Repository to share projects and project templates between Oracle BPM Studio and Business Process Composer. Within the Oracle BPM repository there are two partitions that appear as folder to a Business Process Composer user. These folders store projects and project templates. These folders are:

  • Public: contains Oracle BPM projects.

  • Templates: contains Oracle BPM project templates.

Your system administrator installs and configures the Oracle BPM repository when installing Business Process Composer.

See Section 2.2, "Introduction to Business Process Composer Use Cases" for more information about sharing projects and project templates between Oracle BPM Studio and Business Process Composer.

See Section 4.4, "Creating and Working with Projects" for more information about opening projects in the Oracle BPM repository. See Section 8.2, "Introduction to BPM Project Templates" for information about creating and working with projects based on project templates.

4.2 Introduction to the Project Welcome Page

The Project Welcome Page provides access to information about a BPM project and access to common project-related features. Figure 4-1 shows the Project Welcome Page for the Sales Quote example project.

Figure 4-1 The Project Welcome Page

Description of Figure 4-1 follows
Description of "Figure 4-1 The Project Welcome Page"

4.2.1 The Project Information Panel

The project information panel displays general information about the project. Figure 4-2 shows an example of the project information pane for the SalesQuote demo process.

Figure 4-2 The Project Information Panel

Description of Figure 4-2 follows
Description of "Figure 4-2 The Project Information Panel"

This pane displays the following information:

  • Title: displays the title, creation date, and name of the user who created the project.

  • Description: provides an optional description of the project.

  • Approval workflow: specifies if an approval workflow is defined for the project.

  • Generate events: defines how events are generated for this project.

  • Edit mode: specifies whether the project is being edited or viewed.

  • Project language: specifies the current language of the project.

4.2.2 The Recent Activity Panel

The recent activity browser provides a history of the major changes made to the current BPM project. Figure 4-3 shows an example of the recent activity browser.

Figure 4-3 The Recent Activity Panel

Description of Figure 4-3 follows
Description of "Figure 4-3 The Recent Activity Panel"

See Section 4.4.11, "How to View the History of Changes Made to a Project" for information about viewing recent project activity.

4.2.3 Introduction to the Project Component Pane

Use the project component pane to view and create the following project components:

  • Processes

  • Rules

  • Human tasks

  • Web forms

  • Business Objects

Figure 4-4 shows how the project component pane appears in a project.

Figure 4-4 The Project Component Pane

Description of Figure 4-4 follows
Description of "Figure 4-4 The Project Component Pane"

4.2.4 Introduction to the Quickstart Menu

Use the Quickstart menu to quickly access the following common functionality within Business Process Composer:

  • Snapshots: opens the snapshot editor. Snapshots provide a record of the changes made to a project during the development life-cycle. See Section 8.4, "Working with Project Snapshots" for more information.

  • Organization: opens the organization editor which enables you to create and browse the roles defined for a project. See Section 4.6, "Defining the Roles Used in a Project" for more information.

  • Gallery: opens the gallery view which enables you to create and browse processes and human tasks. You can also browse business rules.

  • Activity guide: launches the activity guide editor that enables you to manage milestones within your project.

  • Business Objects Editor: launches the business objects editor. See Section 12.4, "Introduction to Business Objects" for more information.

  • Approval workflow browser: enables you to manage the deployment of BPM projects.

  • Business Indicators: launches the business indicators editor.

  • Process Player: launches the process player. This option only appears if process player has been enabled. See Section 7.1.2, "Enabling Process Player in Business Process Composer" for more information.

4.2.5 Introduction to the Oracle Business Process Composer Editors

You can use editors to work with various elements of an Oracle BPM project, including processes and components of the business catalog. Editors are displayed in the center of the Business Process Composer application.

Each editor appears as a tabbed pane in the Business Process Composer application, allowing you to open multiple resources at the same time.

The following sections describe the different types of editors available in Business Process Composer.

4.2.5.1 Process Editor

You can use the process editor to view and edit business processes. You can access the process editor by opening a process from the project navigator.

The editor window also contains a component palette. The exact components available depend on the following:

  • In projects based on project templates, the component palette contains BPMN flow objects and elements from the business catalog. This includes services, Human Tasks, and Oracle Business Rules defined by the project template.

  • In new projects created in Business Process Composer, the component palette displays BPMN flow objects and business catalog components that you have created. You can create services and human tasks directly in Business Process Composer.

See Chapter 5, "Working with Processes and the Process Editor" for more information.

4.2.5.2 Activity Guide Editor

Use the Activity Guide editor view, create, and edit milestones within an activity guide. You can access the Activity Guide editor by clicking the Activity Guide link in the Quickstart menu. See Section 4.5, "Using Guided Business Processes to Create Project Milestones".

4.2.5.3 Human Task Editor

Use the Human Task editor to create and edit human tasks included as part of the business catalog. See Chapter 11, "Working with Human Tasks" for more information.

4.2.5.4 Business Rules Editor

Use the business rules editor to create, view and edit Oracle Business Rules. To access the business rules editor, open a business rule from the project navigator. See Section 13, "Using Oracle Business Rules" for more information.

4.2.5.5 Data Associations Editor

Use the data associations editor to define the input and output for flow objects that contain implementations. To access the data associations editor, right-click a flow object within your business process and select Data Associations.

See Section 12.3, "Working with Data Objects" for information about using data associations.

4.2.5.6 Expression Editor

Use the expression editor enables to define the expressions used within data associations and conditional sequence flows. See Section 12.7, "Introduction to Expressions" for information on using expressions and accessing the expression editor.

4.2.6 Introduction to the Supporting Browsers and Editors

Business Process Composer contains additional editors for viewing and editing other project components. These appear in the lower portion of the application window.

Note:

These editors are not displayed by default. They appear after performing actions related to each window. However, to display them manually click the Restore Pane icon in the lower right corner of the Business Process Composer application.

4.2.6.1 Project and Process Validation Browser

The project and process browsers display any validation errors for each individual process or the whole project. See Section 4.4.9, "How to Validate a Project" for more information about validating projects.

4.2.6.2 Documentation Editor

Use the documentation editor to create and edit documentation for your processes. See Section 5.7, "Documenting Your Process" for more information.

4.2.6.3 Approval Workflow Browser

The approval workflow browser displays the status of a project within the approval workflow. Once all users defined as approvers have responded, users with the correct permissions can to Oracle BPM runtime. See Chapter 15, "Deploying a BPM Project" for more information.

4.3 Introduction to Project Sharing and Collaboration

Oracle BPM provides features for sharing BPM projects among Business Process Composer users. All BPM projects are stored in the BPM repository. You can control who has access to view or edit projects.

4.3.1 Private and Public Projects

BPM projects are defined as either private or public. Only the project owner can view or edit private projects. The project owner and other users who have the correct permissions can edit and view public projects.

See Section 4.4.5, "How to Share a Project with Other Users" for information about how to share projects.

4.3.2 Edit Mode

Shared projects have an edit mode, which determines whether you can make changes or not. The edit mode has the following values:

  • Read-only: The project is open for viewing only. In this mode, some project functionality is unavailable.

  • Edit: The project is open for editing. In edit mode, you can make changes to the project. When a project is in edit mode, only the user editing the project can make changes. Other users with the correct permissions can view the project, but cannot make changes.

    See Section 4.4.6, "How to Edit a Shared Project" for information about how to set the edit mode.

You can determine the current edit mode for a project in the project information pane as shown in Figure 4-2.

4.3.3 Project Roles

Project roles define who has access to view and make changes to a project. There are three types of project roles defined as follows:

  • Owner: When a user creates a project, they are defined as the owner of the project. You can also define another user as the owner of a project. The owner of a project can perform the following:

    • Deploy a project

    • Create a project snapshot

    • Share a project with other users

    • Delete a project

  • Editor: An editor can make changes to a project. When a user with the editor role opens a project, by default it is in read mode. If no other users are editing the project, the user can begin editing it. See Section 4.4.6, "How to Edit a Shared Project" for more information.

  • Viewer: A viewer can view a project, but cannot make any changes to it.

4.4 Creating and Working with Projects

The following sections provide information on how to create and use Oracle BPM projects.

4.4.1 How to Access the Project Welcome Page

The Project Welcome Page is displayed by default when you open a project from the Application Welcome page. When you are editing a component within a project, you can return to the Project Welcome Page by clicking the Project Home tab as shown in Figure 4-5.

Figure 4-5 The Project Home Tab

Description of Figure 4-5 follows
Description of "Figure 4-5 The Project Home Tab"

4.4.2 How to Create a New Project

From the Application Welcome page, you can create a new Oracle BPM project. Before creating a new project, you must decide whether to create it based on an existing project template or to create a new project.

New projects are not based on project templates. These projects contain only basic business processes created by process analysts.

To create a new project using the project navigator:

Use the project navigator to create a new project quickly. After creating the project, you can edit additional project properties.

  1. Start Oracle Business Process Composer.

  2. From the project navigator, click New Project as shown in Figure 4-6.

    Figure 4-6 The New Project Dialog

    Description of Figure 4-6 follows
    Description of "Figure 4-6 The New Project Dialog"

  3. Click Next.

  4. Enter a name for the project, then click Create Project.

To create a new project using the main menu:

When you create a project from the main menu, you can configure project properties and select a project template.

  1. Start Oracle Business Process Composer.

  2. From the main menu, select New then Project.

  3. Enter a name for the project.

  4. Enter the following optional information:

    • Description: Provides a description of the project.

    • Folder: Specifies a folder in the BPM repository where the project is stored.

    • Use template: Creates the new project based on a project template. Click Choose to select the project template.

  5. Select an optional deployment option from the drop-down list.

  6. Click Finish to create the new project.

If you created a new project based on a template, the project includes the required processes and business catalog elements. If you created new project without using a template, you must manually add the required processes.

See Chapter 5, "Working with Processes and the Process Editor" for information about creating and editing processes.

4.4.3 How to Open a Project Using the Application Welcome Page

To open a project directly from the application welcome page, click on the name of the project.

4.4.4 How to Open a Project Using the Main Menu

When you open a project using the main menu, you can move directly from one project to another, for example, without having to return to the application welcome page.

To open a project:

  1. From the main menu, select Open, then Open Project.

  2. Select the project you want to open, then click OK.

4.4.5 How to Share a Project with Other Users

You share projects with other Business Process Composer users using the BPM repository.

To share a project publicly with all users:

  1. Open the project you want to share.

  2. From the project menu, select the share button.

  3. Select the sharing visibility from the drop-down list.

    • Private

    • Team members only

    • Public

  4. Click Share.

  5. Click OK.

To share a project with specific users or groups:

  1. Open the project you want to share.

  2. From the main menu, select Share.

  3. Specify the users of groups you want to share the project

    1. Click Choose.

    2. From the drop-down list, select the scope:

      All:

      Users:

      Groups:

    3. Click Search.

    4. Select an item from the Available column, then click Move.

    5. Click OK.

  4. Select a role from the drop-down list.

    • Owner

    • Editor

    • Viewer

  5. Click Share.

  6. Click Close.

4.4.6 How to Edit a Shared Project

Shared projects open in view mode by default. If you have permissions to edit a project and the project is not locked by another user, you can edit it.

To begin editing a project:

To begin editing, click Edit at the top of the Project Welcome Page.

Once you have enabled edit mode for a project, you can begin making changes to it. See Chapter 5, "Working with Processes and the Process Editor" for more information.

4.4.7 How to Save Changes to a Project

You can save changes to your project as you are editing processes and other project components. Changes are saved directly to the BPM repository and the changes are recorded in the Recent Activity pane in the Project Welcome page. See Section 4.4.11, "How to View the History of Changes Made to a Project" for more information.

To save changes to a private project:

To save changes to a private project, click the Save button in the project toolbar. The project is saved in the BPM repository. You can continue make changes to the project as necessary.

To save changes to a shared project:

  • If you want to save your changes and continue editing the project, click Save in the process editor toolbar.

    All unsaved changes for each project component are saved. The project continues to be locked and you can continue editing.

  • To release the lock on the project, click Save and Release in the process editor toolbar.

    All unsaved changes for each project component are saved. If project sharing is enabled, other Business Process Composer and Oracle BPM Studio users who have permissions can begin editing the project You must switch to edit mode to make changes.

4.4.8 How to Discard Changes to a Project

While editing project elements, you can revert your changes and return to the most recent published version of a project.

To discard changes made to the current project:

  1. From the main menu, select Cancel.

  2. Click OK to confirm discarding changes to the current project.

Note:

After discarding your changes, they cannot be recovered.

4.4.9 How to Validate a Project

Validating a project enables you to check your project and processes for any errors. Business Process Composer displays these errors in the error browser. Business Process Composer has an error browser for the project and one for each process.

Figure 4-7 shows an example of the types of errors displayed in the project error browser.

Figure 4-7 The Project Error Browser

Description of Figure 4-7 follows
Description of "Figure 4-7 The Project Error Browser"

To validate a project:

  1. Open your project.

  2. Ensure that you are editing the project.

  3. From the main menu, select Validate Project.

After validating your project, any errors found are displayed in the error browser for the project or process.

Note:

You cannot deploy projects that contain errors.

4.4.10 How to Close a Project

To close a project, click Close Project in the upper right hand corner of the project home page. Alternately, you can select

4.4.11 How to View the History of Changes Made to a Project

To view the history of major changes made to a project, use the recent activity browser. This browser displays these changes, including the following:

  • Creating the project

  • Modifying resources

  • Creating processes or human tasks

To view the history of a project:

  1. Navigate to the Project Welcome Page.

    Project changes are displayed in the Recent Activity pane.

  2. To view the details of a specific change, click the expand icon next to it.

4.4.12 How to View and Edit Project Properties

To view and edit project properties, use the project information pane of the Project Welcome Page. The project information pane is shown in Figure 4-2.

You can edit the following properties of a project from this pane:

  • Description: Adds an optional description of your project. This is useful when sharing your project with other users.

  • Approval workflow: Defines the approval workflow for the project. See Section 15.1, "Configuring Approval Workflow for a Project" for more information.

  • Event generation: Configures how sampling points are generated for the project as a whole. Use sampling points to generate information about the performance of an flow object within in a running process. The data generated according to this configuration is stored in the Process Analytics Database.

    See Appendix B, "Common Properties" for information about setting sampling point generation for individual flow objects. See Oracle Fusion Middleware Business Process Management User's Guide for general information about sampling points.

You can view the following project properties from the project information pane:

  • Edit mode: Displays the edit mode for the project. See Section 4.4.6, "How to Edit a Shared Project" for information on changing the edit mode of a project.

  • Sharing: Displays the sharing configuration of the project.

  • Project Language: Displays the project language.

4.4.13 How to Mark a Project as a Favorite

You can mark important or frequently use project as favorites. In the project browser, you can choose to view only projects flagged as favorites.

To mark a project as a favorite, click the Mark project as favorite button in the upper right-hand corner.

4.5 Using Guided Business Processes to Create Project Milestones

The following sections describe how to use Guided Business processes and project milestones.

4.5.1 Introduction to Guided Business Processes

Guided Business Processes provide a guided visual representation of a process flow, improving the user experience by providing process participants with an encapsulated hierarchical view of the business process.

Process designers can use Guided Business Processes to direct process participants to complete a business process through a set of guided steps associated with the process. By following the steps outlined in a Guided Business Process, process participants require less training to complete a business process, and the results of the process are more predictable.

4.5.1.1 Introduction to Activity Guides and Milestones

A Guided Business Process is modeled as an activity guide based on a business process. The Activity Guide includes a set of milestones. A milestone is a contained set of tasks that the process participant must complete. A milestone is complete when the user successfully runs a specific set of tasks in the milestone.

Each milestone is a specific set of human workflow tasks. Each human workflow task is itself a task flow that may require the collaboration of multiple participants in various roles. Depending on the nature of the task flows, a participant can save an unfinished task flow and go back to it at a later time.

4.5.2 How to Configure the Activity Guide and Create Project Milestones

Use Business Process Composer to configure Guided Business Processes and add milestones to them.

To configure the activity guide for a project:

  1. Open your project.

  2. From the Quickstart menu, select Activity Guide.

    The activity guide editor is displayed.

  3. Enter a title for the activity guide.

  4. Configure the following optional properties:

    • Display Mode: Determines how milestones and tasks within the guided business process display links. If the milestone and tasks use another configuration, then the guided business process configuration is ignored.

      Possible values are:

      • Always: Always displays the milestone and task links for all the milestones in this guided business process.

      • When Instantiated: Displays the milestone and task links only when one or more of the user tasks in the milestone are instantiated, for all the milestones in the guided business process.

    • Task Access: After the task is completed, the guided business process uses this configuration to display the links. If the task mode is active only, the tasks links are grayed out. If the task mode is any state, the tasks links remain enabled and a message appears when you run the task.

      Possible values are:

      • Active Only: The link to the task is enabled only when the task is active and the user can update it. When you complete the task the link to the task, is grayed out.

      • Any State: After you instantiate a task, the link to it is always enabled, even after you complete it.

    • Root Process: Determines the process used for this Activity Guide. You can only define one guided business process per BPM project. This process is the root process.

    • Description: Provides an optional description for the Activity Guide.

  5. Click Save in the project toolbar.

To create a new milestone:

  1. Click New Milestone.

  2. Select the milestone you just created from the list.

  3. Configure the milestone as necessary.

  4. Click Save in the project toolbar.

To add a user task to a milestone:

  1. Open the process where you want to add a milestone.

  2. Right-click the user task you want to add to a milestone.

  3. Select a milestone from the list, then click OK.

4.5.3 How to Generate a Process Report for Your Project

You can generate an HTML report that lists each of the processes in your project and shows detailed information about each process. This information includes:

  • Process Properties

  • Process Image

  • Lanes

  • Process Steps

To generate a process report:

  1. Open your project.

  2. From the Application Main menu, select Process Report.

  3. Select the output, then click OK.

4.6 Defining the Roles Used in a Project

This section describes how to create project roles.

4.6.1 Introduction to Project Roles

Use project roles to model the users or groups that perform the work your business process represents. Roles define functional categories that correspond to job functions or responsibilities within your organization. Use Business Process Composer to create and edit the required roles within your process and assign them to swimlanes.

Use Business Process Composer to define the roles used by your BPM project. To perform more advanced mapping and configuration of project roles, including assigning users to the roles, use BPM Studio or Oracle Business Process Management Workspace. When a project is deployed to runtime, project roles can be mapped to the real-world users and groups of your organization.

Project roles are defined for the entire project. They can be shared by all the processes in your project. Within a process, roles are assigned to the horizontal swimlanes.

4.6.2 How to Create Project Roles

The following procedures describe how to create and delete project roles.

To create a project role:

  1. Access the Project Welcome Page.

  2. Expand Organization, then click the Add icon.

  3. Provide a name for the new role, then click Add Role.

To delete a project role:

  1. Access the Project Welcome Page.

  2. Expand Organization.

  3. Select the role you want to delete, then click the Delete icon.