Differences or Improvements from IBM BPM v7.x to v8.x

All these days I was working on IBM BPM V8.0 but missed noticing many differences in Suite  except the obvious ones. I know there are many developer like me out there. In this post I would like share few differences which I noticed.

IBM BPM Process portal

This is an obvious difference that any one who worked on lower versions of IBM BPM will notice. There are so many new features introduced along with the change of look any and feel of the process portal by using Web 2.0 technologies to enhance user experience and productivity.
Below are some of cool features introduced in IBM BPM v8.0

  • Users can add comments and attach documents to a specific process or task.
  • One-click subscription to process instances a user is interested in, providing process-related on-screen notifications and activity updates in the subscribed user's activity stream.
  • Activity streams that display activity updates, such as task creation and completion, user comments and actions, and notifications that are related to tasks that are owned by a user or related to particular process instances that a user is following. 
  • Few enhancements to user profile information, such as avatars and configuration of notifications are introduced.
Enhancements in Process Designer
Below are some of the coll new features of IBM BPM v8.0 to name a few.
  • Automatic starting of the next task
Many a time your process involves a sequence of activities that needs to be performed by the same person, one right after the other. You can configure these individual activities to start automatically if they are assigned to the same person as the previous task. In Process Portal, if the owner of the current task is the same as the owner of the next task, the next task starts automatically when the current task is complete.
  • Restricting ad-hoc actions by milestone or participant group
You can configure ad-hoc actions, also called user-initiated actions, to be available for only a particular phase(milestone as in ibm bpm terminology) of a process or for a particular user group by restricting the visibility of the associated ad-hoc event to a particular swimlane or milestone in the business process definition (BPD).
  • Configuring activities for inline completion
Sometimes in your process there are tasks which  involve a simple decision, such as to approve or reject a request or to choose between a set of options,etc. You can configure user tasks for inline completion, so that the business user can complete the task in Process Portal without having to open the Coach for the task.. Instead, users simply click a button or select an option with a single click.
  • New reusable user interfaces and behavior for Coaches
In IBM Business Process Manager V8, the Coaches are completely redesigned to contain Coach Views. Coach Views are newly introduced, reusable user interfaces that you can create and customize. Coach Views can comprise one or more other Coach Views. Coach Views include data bindings, layout information, and behavior. If placed in toolkits, Coach Views are reusable, thus providing consistent user interfaces and behaviors throughout a solution. 

Template Coach Views can be used as basis for other higher-level Coach Views. The Content Box feature allows for derived Coach Views to add their own layout information. Additionally, derived Coach Views can modify the behavior of base Coach Views, such as visibility (either directly by overriding exposed parameters or using CSS stylesheets) or runtime behavior (by providing or modifying associated AJAX services).Coach Views developers can create new Coach Views that are based on third-party libraries such as jQuery, YUI or Dojo
  • Enhanced support for error handling
Now there are more options when throwing and catching exceptions using error events in BPDs, subprocesses, and services (including Advanced Integration Services (AIS), which prior to V8 did not support exceptions). You can throw a specific error object by selecting a variable, and you can catch specific errors and map the caught error data to a variable.
  • Termination handling
For process instances, you have more flexibility in defining the scope of a Terminate end event. You can designate whether all activities in the process instance are ended, even the parent processes. In earlier versions, terminating the entire process instance was the only option. New feature in V8 allows to terminate only the subprocess where the exception was thrown.

  • Shared Object

A new feature of Business object called Shared Object has introduced in bpm v8.0, making the business object and its values accessible for update to other instances or in parallel threads in the same instance.

You can find more enhanced features listed in IBM  developer works site.
courtesy: Ibm Developerworks

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