Just weeks after our initial release of the Enterprise edition of Activiti, we’ve added a new capability to make the design of Business Processes even easier.
“Hang on,” I hear you say, “did I miss that Activiti is now a supported Enterprise product from Alfresco? Let alone new features!”
As the clamoring for an Enterprise edition of Activiti had been increasing from both the Activiti Community and Alfresco customers, Alfresco made the decision to raise the Activiti BPM project to an enterprise-grade product, with the first release of that product coming last month. We also see this as a great time to get more active in BPM, as that market is evolving and the synergies between BPM and ECM are increasing. A perfect opportunity!
The first release of Alfresco Activiti Enterprise is built on the enterprise-grade Activiti BPM Engine, with a new Administrator app and new Process Editor. Plus, there will be a lot more coming over the next few months!
First up in terms of new features is a brand new, unique and incredibly useful capability called Stencil Sets. A stencil set defines the palette of process elements available to a user when designing a process in the Activiti Editor and a stencil set is created through a simple UI. Why would you want to do this? Well, there’s a bunch of reasons, but two key ones are to provide a business user with a greatly simplified set of tools to model a process, or to provide a highly customized palette based on business specific processing, extensions or integrations. In the screen shot below, you can see the creation of an HR Process stencil.
You can add new process items to a stencil and define icons, colors, groupings, process variables, and even custom Java classes. You can make it as simple or as rich as is necessary for the intended user. Once created, a stencil set can be selected for designing a process model.
Not only can you create and use stencil sets for yourself, you can share them in exactly the same way the Activiti Editor allows you to share process models. Choose someone to share a stencil with, giving them edit rights if you’re happy for them to make changes to your stencil too, and you’re done – they can use that stencil next time they create a new process model.
There’s a blog by Tijs Rademakers, one of the Activiti architects, here that has more detail on the Stencil Set capabilities.
You can sign up to use the online Activiti Editor for free at http://activiti.alfresco.com although the Stencil Set feature is only available to Alfresco Activiti Enterprise subscribers — contact us for more information.