Earlier this year, Alfresco (news, site) entered the Business Process Management fray by hiring Tom Baeyen, taking him away from the jBOSS jBPM project. In May, Activiti's release candidate was made available. This week, the full version was made generally available with all the features they promised way back when.
Alfresco and Activiti
Alfresco had made no bones about the fact that an integrated business process management (BPM) software was part of its plans, but there were license issues, with talk that it had even asked Red Hat (news, site) to re-license jBPM. Red Hat, so the story goes, said no, and the rest is history.
Activiti is a suite of software products that aims to become the leading open source BPM software. It is now generally available following, as Tom Baeyens labels them in his blog post, "a couple crucial decisions." He says, the combination of the “liberal” Apache license combined with the new BPMN 2.0 “rock” -- so we have to assume that’s good.
BPMN (Business Process Modeling Notation), for those who don't know, is a standard for business process modeling and provides a graphical notation for specifying processes in a business process diagram. It aims to support BPM for both technical and business users by providing a notation that is intuitive, yet able to represent complex process semantics.
The release comes with 85 pages of documentation and an installation demo that will get it up and running in less than one minute.
What's in Activiti 5.0
The suite is made up of:
An embeddable JAR file with support for all common BPMN 2.0 elements enabling easy linking of any type of Java to process steps. It comes with a REST interface and full query API.
Activiti 5.0 overview with Activiti Engine at the heart
An application for end-users to manage task lists and execute process tasks, providing access to the Activiti Engine runtime for all users. It comes with task management, as well as viewing reports based on statistical history data and process instance inspection.
Activiti 5.0 Explorer
A new web application that offers admin and monitoring capabilities. Built for systems and administrators to keep Activiti Engine up and running, it monitors all systems and infrastructure.
Activiti 5.0 Probe
Contains new Activiti project and diagram wizards, it comes with graphical process modelling and forms support for Activiti extensions.
A new type of BPM component, it is a web based application that enables collaboration between business users, developers and IT operational people. It's based on the notion of the Process Cycle Layer.
Activiti 5.0 Cycle
A browser-based BPMN 2.0 process modeling tool for business analysts.
Activiti 5.0 Modeler
There are a number of other companies that have provided integrations. They include Spring and Liferay, as well as an iPad and iPhone client.