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Business Process Modeling in NetBeans IDE

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Gaurav Gupta is a senior software engineer working on the BPMN workflow engine. He's created several plugins for NetBeans IDE, notably the JS CSS Minify Compress plugin (here) and the  jBPMN plugin, which is the topic of this interview. The plugin provides NetBeans IDE tools for working with  Business Process Modeling Notation  (BPMN).

The plugin can be accessed here, including for NetBeans IDE 7.4 and 8.0 Beta, together with screencasts and tutorials:

Hi, Gaurav, why did you create the BPMN plugin?

Business Process Modeling Notation is an increasingly important standard for process modelling  and has enjoyed high levels of adoption, so the specific intent of the jBPMN plugin is to create a BPMN Modeler that supports the complete BPMN specification and can be integrated by multiple BPMN engine vendors into NetBeans IDE. As a result, different BPMN engine vendors will not need to create separate BPMN modelers for NetBeans IDE.

Another reason I created this plugin was to bring the NetBeans community closer to the BPM community because BPMN has become the de-facto standard for business process modeling.

Also, when we talk about "NetBeans vs Eclipse", the basic conclusion is that NetBeans is much more intuitive and easy to use, while Eclipse has a wider range of third-party plugins support from more companies. In that context, I have taken this initiative to create the BPM plugin to help the NetBeans community.

What would you consider to be the best features of the BPMN plugin?

  • The jBPMN NB Modeler is a graphical modelling tool which allows the creation and editing of BPMN Process diagrams.

  • It provides Debugging supports for jBPM 5.0.

  • It is BPMN Engine vendor neutral, can be used by any vendor or generated XML, and can run on any BPMN engine which adopts the BPMN 2.0 standard.

Here's another screenshot:

What are the future development plans for this plugin?

  • To cover the complete BPMN Ssecification with user friendly GUI and properties support.
  • jBPMN currently supports only the BPMN process model, it will also support the BPMN conversation model.

  • It will also provide support to extends the modeller with your own Palette Elements, Properties, and Generated XML Tags.

  • It will provides Debugging supports for jBPM 6.0, Activities, and also extensions so that any BPMN Engine Vendor can integrate debugging functionality within jBPMN.

  • It will also provide a NetBeans Modeler Platform API, which any business modeller can use to easily build solutions such as a BPMN Conversation Model.
Published at DZone with permission of its author, Geertjan Wielenga.


Zoran Sevarac replied on Sat, 2014/02/01 - 5:07pm

 This looks great! Is this Visual Library and is the source code available?

Torche Djamel replied on Sun, 2014/02/02 - 3:47am

 Is it open source ?

Gaurav Gupta replied on Thu, 2014/02/13 - 12:47am in response to: Torche Djamel

Yes , it is open source .

SVN Repository : jBPMN and NBModeler API .

Gaurav Gupta replied on Thu, 2014/02/13 - 12:45am in response to: Zoran Sevarac

It is created using SVG Widget . Source code Repository : jBPMN and NBModeler API .

Netbeans Modeler API : Contains functionality - basic core api for modeler and Extended Visual Widget API (implementation used in BPMN Process Modeler and BPMN Conversation Modeler ) and Forked VMD Widget (implementation used in JPA Modeler  ) .

* NBModeler API codebase is in initial state .

Zoran Sevarac replied on Thu, 2014/02/20 - 4:01pm in response to: Gaurav Gupta

 Great! I'll take a look at it. I like the idea about NB Modeler API. We're working on UML Plugin so we it would be cool if we use the same API and share code in future. We wont move to this right away since we want to get basic functionality working first, but I'll keep this in mind. Modeler API would be very cool!

Alexander Schugg replied on Wed, 2014/04/23 - 10:26am in response to: Gaurav Gupta

Hello Gaurav

I'm new to netbeans, but I installed the JPA-Plugin and tried to do the roundtrip. It works not so bad, I can almost made a roundtrip.

The only problem I have is, that after building my first UML Class-Model I wanted to do the java-programming in the classes and then build my persistence-unit and also update the UML Class-Model. Building the persistence worked fine.

If i right-click the diagram-package in netbeans then -> new JPA Diagram from Reverse Engineering (Classes):
- I have to add the classes (I added all classes)
- then next -> I have only to define the FileName (package is "diagram", then -> finish...

Unfortunately it doesn't create any diagram.

Can you help me?

Thanks in advance.

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