Flowable 6.0.0 release

February 15, 2017 by Flowable


Today we released the first official Flowable 6 engine version (6.0.0). After a long period of Flowable 6 development, getting community feedback, implementing new features and bug fixes and writing documentation the version 6 is now officially out of beta.

The 6.0.0 release has the following highlights:

Highlights

  • First official release of Flowable 6!
  • Documentation has been updated to Flowable 6 and a DMN and Form Engine user guide have been added.
  • Various small bugfixes all around.

Release remarks

  • We consider the Flowable 6 Engine stable and ready for use
  • We plan to release a 6.0.1 within a few weeks, so we hope to get a lot of feedback on the 6.0.0 release that we can include in a 6.0.1 release
  • The documentation has been extended with a DMN and Form Engine focused user guide, however the main user guide is still the BPMN user guide. We expect to do more documentation updates in the next few weeks.

A big thank you to the whole Flowable team for making this release possible. You can use the forum to ask specific questions about the 6.0.0 release, any feedback is welcome.

Flowable 6.0.0.RC1 release

December 15, 2016 by Flowable


Today we released the first Flowable 6 engine version (6.0.0.RC1). This release is a major milestone before the final 6.0.0 release and we consider the version feature complete. The focus now is to get as much feedback from the community as possible before we can release the final 6.0.0 version. Any help in this is really appreciated.

The 6.0.0.RC1 release has the following highlights:

Highlights

  • Package renaming to org.flowable, and renaming of config files to flowable.cfg.xml and flowable-context.xml. It was not an easy decision to go this route, but for the clear distinction and separation of the Flowable project this is the best way forward. The discussion for this choice can be found in this forum post http://forum.flowable.org/t/opinions-on-package-renaming-for-flowable-6-to-org-flowable/118/13
  • Class name renaming to use Flowable instead of Activiti where needed.
  • The identity functionality is separated in the IDM engine, and the identity database tables are managed by this engine. By default the IDM engine is enabled when starting the Flowable engine, but it can be disabled with the disableIdmEngine property.
  • Introduction of a content engine, which provides a simple file store for attaching files/documents to a task or process instance.
  • Support for non interrupting event sub processes. Until this version only interrupting event sub processes were supported, but now it's possible to handle events and let the main process execution continue as well.
  • The task app has been refactored into 3 separate web applications. There's a Flowable Modeler app that contains the modeling repository functionality + the BPMN, form and DMN editor. The second app is the Flowable IDM app that manages the users and groups and handles authentication for each app. For example the Flowable Modeler will redirect to the Flowable IDM app when no valid cookie is found. After logging in to the Flowable IDM app, a redirect to the Flowable Modeler is executed and you can access the Modeler repository. This is done to allow for single sign-on between the different apps. The third app is the Flowable task app, that allows you to start process instances and work with tasks and fill-in forms.
  • Introduction of the Flowable Admin application that allows for querying the BPM, DMN, Form and Content engines.
  • Introduction of Docker images to make it easy to start all apps in a convenient way. In the docker folder several docker start scripts can be found that use a Docker compose file. In an upcoming blog post we will share more information on how this can be used.
  • Persistency logic that was written in Hibernate has all been rewritten to MyBatis to have a common framework for all persistency logic.
  • Various and many small bugfixes all around.

Release remarks

  • This a major milestone to get to the final Flowable 6.0.0 release. All parts of the release are now considered feature complete, so the remaining work will be bug fixing and smaller features.
  • We will continue to improve the docs for the 6.0.0 release.
  • At this point all community testing is extremely important for the quality of the 6.0.0 release. So every contribution is this area is very welcome.

A big thank you to the whole Flowable team for making this release possible. We'll do a number of blog posts in the coming days and weeks to explain the different components in the Flowable 6.0.0 RC1 package. In the meantime you can use the forum to ask specific questions and again to make the 6.0.0 release stable and well tested, please help us by testing your process definitions with this release.

Flowable Eclipse Designer 5.22.0 release

November 1, 2016 by Flowable


Today we released the first Flowable Eclipse Designer version (5.22.0). This is a fork of the Activiti Eclipse Designer with support for Eclipse Mars and Neon versions, and with a number of smaller fixes and features.

The code can be found on Github https://github.com/flowable/flowable-designer.

The update site can be found of http://flowable.org/designer/update. The zip file of the update site can also be downloaded from http://www.flowable.org/designer/archived/flowable-designer-5.22.0.zip

Please let us know if you encounter bugs or if you are looking for specific features on the forum http://forum.flowable.org, and by creating issues on the Github issues page https://github.com/flowable/flowable-designer/issues. The developers of the Flowable project are keen to help you answering your questions and helping out with possible issues.

Flowable 5.22.0 release

October 13, 2016 by Flowable


Today we released the first Flowable engine version (5.22.0). This release is a fork of Activiti 5.21.0. There have been no package renaming or config file name changes. The easiest way to start using it is through the Maven:

<dependency>
  <groupId>org.flowable</groupId>
  <artifactId>flowable-engine</artifactId>
  <version>5.22.0</version>
</dependency>

The version 5 code is on the flowable5 branch on Github https://github.com/flowable/flowable-engine/tree/flowable5.
The version 6 code is on master https://github.com/flowable/flowable-engine.

The 5.22.0 release has the following highlights:

  • First Flowable release. With a new Maven group (org.flowable) and artefact id (flowable-engine etc), there are no changes to package names or config file names in the fork of Activiti.
  • Introduction of transient variables. Transient variables won't be persisted in the process variable tables, but are still available on the execution for the duration of a single transaction. Transient variables can for example be used to store a REST response that is only needed to create a request to another REST service, or to use a Java service task result in the next Java service task without it getting persisted. You can read more about it here
  • Several bug fixes and smaller enhancements

A lot of people will also be wondering what will happen with the version 6 engine. It's our main focus to get a new beta release out as soon as possible and we want to get the final 6.0 release out shortly after.

We understand that there will be a bit of confusion around starting the Flowable project. We don't plan any package renaming or config filename changes for example. For now, please get in contact with us through the forum http://forum.flowable.org, and by creating issues on the Github issues page https://github.com/flowable/flowable-engine/issues.
The developers of the Flowable project are keen to help you answering your questions and helping out with possible issues.
The 5.22.0 release is the starting point for the Flowable project, a lot more releases will follow.

Flowable and Activiti: What the Fork?!

October 12, 2016 by Flowable


Ironically, the first thing we want to say is that we’re not fans of forking projects. We have been the core developers of the Activiti Java Business Process Management (BPM) project right from its beginnings to its current state, so this has not been an easy or quick decision. We acknowledge Alfresco’s stewardship of the Activiti.org project, and as employees we enjoyed considerable freedom to develop the project over several years. However, things didn't work out as we expected or hoped. We came to the conclusion the only way to continue evolving our ideas was to fork.

Forking Happens

There are many examples of forks in open source, as Swapnil Bhartiya has recently described in May the Fork Be with You, including mention of one of the live topics of discussion currently within the Docker community. With Docker, the main concern appears to be the mixing of competitive and commercial elements into a core used by different commercial organizations, with people voicing pros (e.g. Rob Hirschfeld and cons (e.g. Doug Davis). Let’s be clear about our intentions – the Flowable fork will remain liberal and open, and will be the focus of our future efforts in BPM, hosted on GitHub.

Forking Can Be Healthy

In the past, Matt Assay pointed out that forking is often good for innovation, which very much underpins our hopes. By keeping to our business process-oriented roots, we can innovate in the core of the BPM engine far more readily. Not all forks are successful, as Matthew Hughes highlights in Forking Good Great Ugly, but another recent fork, ownCloud / Nextcloud, where the development team became unhappy with the commercial management, seems to be succeeding NextCloud release OwnCloud fork ahead of schedule. In a similar vein, we have just pushed our first release of the fork for the V5 engine, including a powerful new feature, transient variables. We will be releasing an update to V6 soon as well.

Forking Can Confuse

Obviously, our biggest worry is the confusion to developers that a fork can introduce. Only time will tell if that can be overcome. If you’re unsure of jumping in, take a look at the authors in the code and the people working on the Flowable project. We are the people that know it best, and who have been driving the community, contributions and evolution over the years.

Thank You For Your Support

We've had a whole bunch of people contact us about their concerns with how things had been going (or more accurately, not going) and to show support in what we're doing with this fork. Please take a look and get involved. Now’s the time to make your business processes Flowable.