The eternal question: what is the best solution for the implementation of an application? Should I do everything myself or do I need to use the services of a software solution? Or does the answer lie somewhere in between the two?
With a little experience, it’s a safe bet that the software solution will provide such a level of service that it will be difficult to do without it. As part of professional collaborative applications, the functions undertaken by W4 BPM Suite are numerous and facilitate the provision of an application which is ready to use in most cases. However, there are cases where we have to go further and implement something which is impossible to model. In other words, describing the process is not sufficient. At present the open side of W4 BPM Suite solution is taking over and is giving a free hand to the developer in his favourite environment. His whole set of APIs, which are for Java as well as .NET, is the basis for the integration of the BPM functionality within the environments which clients already have.
For example, the suite’s execution server undertakes the traceability of the execution of files on the different processes which have been implemented. This information is collected automatically and thus, doesn’t require any action on the part of the developer on the level of the application, other than “process tasks“ or “end tasks”. On the other hand, if specific tasks must be performed within this same application, nothing will prevent the developer from inserting the necessary code into the appropriate place.
In the same way, connectors authorise the developer to insert his “professional” code into a structure provided by W4 BPM Suite, which will thus be the bridge between BPM’s services and the “professional” code.
In order to better respond to the expectations of the market, the architecture of the W4 BPM Suite software has been reworked at different levels. The programme interfaces (API) are reviewed to be inserted simply in a “Pure Java” universe, especially into the J2EE norm. In detail, from now on it will be supported on an RMI protocol. The API verbs have been selected to take over the terminology suggested by the Workflow Management Coalition (www.wfmc.org). A new generation model, JSF (Java Server Faces), is also available and is supported by this API. On the connectivity side, with the information system, the connector server has been replaced by an « Extension Bus » which , in addition to managing the existing connectors, also undertakes the management of document management functions (DAL). This last evolution is the basis of developments to come..
So, yes, development is more efficient, if you rely on the services of W4 BPM Suite, particularly, as it doesn’t prevent you from continuing to write classic code within the professional application, when it is necessary. It’s really not a question of replacing the creative capabilities particular to development, but of providing tools to accelerate the periods of implementation by offering a more advanced level of service to the application’s users.