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Re: [jwt-dev] Execute a Process in a Workflow Editor View

Hi Christophe

First thanks for your interest in JWT, and welcome to the JWT community !

I like your idea of simulating / executing a process "in the editor" by flagging steps in red or green. As you say, AgilPro has a desktop-based process simulator, but the simulation is not done on the editor.

However it's not that easy.

On the execution level :

Something as simple as a loop implies a step that gets a new instance in a given process each time the loop goes on (like in a validation / review process, where the reviewer doesn't approve but requires changes), and this requires to manage the state of steps.
Then you've got decision guard expressions that you have be able to evaluate, and variables that they might use, not to say anything of scripts.
So all of this requires almost a real engine - or you'll have severe limitations in the kind of processes that you can execute. We've thought about embedding one (ex. embeddable XPDL Bonita engine) in an OSGi bundle and using the JWT WAM WorkflowService (already implemented in OW2 Scarbo - ) to control it. But you could also use the AgilPro Simulator, I guess.

Now about using the JWT editor as UI of the executed process :

I'd separate : 1. displaying execution info on the process UI (like which step is done, what are the up-to-date values of the variables) and 2. using the process UI to let the user input information (like in a form).
I think that 1. is really doable, but I let our UI expert (Chris !) answer with more details.
On the other hand, 2. is harder, but even more so because at execution time, input has to be done at a fixed point in time and state variables are global to the executed process, which is the opposite of how things are at design time. I'd rather have a read-only graph, with runtime info displayed on it, and from time to time a (modal) form springs up to the user asking him to fill the required info.

So first, without going further, does it still match your needs ?

Marc Dutoo
Open Wide

Le 23/01/2011 21:25, ac2s a écrit :

I discovered JWT a few weeks ago (I tried the examples provided) and I'm very interested to use it in the context of a particular project.

My need is, from a provided "Workflow Process", to execute this Process in a "almost read-only" graphical view of the Workflow Editor, in which:

1) The user can see the entire Workflow.

2) The user can execute any Action (i.e launching the Application linked to this Action, by double clicking the Action or via contextual menu):
    If the Action was successful, it is marked "OK " (green flag for example) automatically or manually by the user.
    We can imagine that this Action status is an Output Data linked to this Action.
    The idea is also to prevent the execution of an Action (or display a warning) if the predecessors Actions (ingoing transitions) do not have a Status "OK".

3) The user can not change the Workflow Process, with the exception of some properties to set:
     - on the Applications associated with the Actions (path, tools settings to launch, ...),
     - on the Input Data for these Actions (file path),
     - on the "Status" output data associated with each Action.

Now my questions: to answer this need with JWT, what would be the easiest way ?
   - to allow the modification, in a WE graphical view, of certain properties only, and on specific items only,
   - to not allow creation / destruction of elements.

I think that this kind of use is not really possible via the available process simulators/engine (such as AgilPro).
Yet it seems that its implementation is much simpler, especially with the JWT framework.
My goal would be to exploit as much as possible the extension points already provided by JWT, and to change as few as possible code JWT itself.

Thank you in advance for any help or advice.

(Bordeaux, France)

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