IBM has merged WebSphere Lombardi Edition (WLE) and Lombardi TeamWorks with WebSphere Process Server. The new combined product is now called IBM Process Manager 7.5. Understanding the various pieces within it can be very confusing. I spent a whole week playing with the server and development products. Below is a summary of what I found. This by no means will answer all questions. But, it’s a start.
All my experiments have been with the Advanced editions. In places, I try to make note of other editions.
The Server Runtime
IBM Process Manager Advanced edition gives you two types of profiles that you can create.
- Process Server – This is basically the same runtime as the old WebSphere Process Server. It can run BPEL processes as well as BPMN processes. Support for BPMN is obviously new. This comes from the Lombardi side of the family. (Note: In Standard and Express editions, only BPMN support is available).
- Process Center – This profile has all the features of Process Server mentioned above. In addition, you get the Process Center piece. Process Center is a central repository for BPEL and BPMN business processes. Development tools can publish and retrieve model elements from this repository. Since the process server runtime is included, you can run BPMN and BPEL process applications. You can also promote process applications from the repository to a production or test server.
The key thing to note here is that a Process Center profile contains a Process Server. Generally speaking, for test and production environments, you will create a Process Server profile. Process Center profile should be used in development only.
The installer for Process Manager gives you an option to create a Process Server or Process Center profile. These are standalone profiles, meaning, the nodes do not belong to any pre-existing cell and the servers are not clustered. Generally speaking, you should use this option to quickly setup a server runtime suitable for development and testing. In a production environment, it is recommended that you manually create a profile using the Profile Management Tool (PMT).
In passing, I should mention that Derby (Cloudscape) is no longer supported as a database. You must use DB2 or Oracle. IBM ships DB2 along with the Process Manager media.
To develop BPEL processes and SCA modules, you will need to use IBM Integration Designer (IID) 7.5. This is essentially an upgrade of WebSphere Integration Developer (WID).
To develop BPMN processes, you will need IBM Process Designer (IPD). This tool will eventually replace WebSphere Business Modeler (WBM). Just like in WBM, you can model a process using BPMN notation. You can assign KPI metrics and run simulations. A key difference is that, in IBM Process Manager 7.5, a BPMN process is not just a modeling artifact. You can actually execute it in a server runtime. Consequently, IBM Process Designer lets you test and debug BPMN processes. BPMN exists in a parallel universe from BPEL. The BPMN runtime supports its own idea of adapters, human workflow and business objects. The technology does not use SCA. Adapters do not use JCA.
While IID and IPD have very different intents, they can exchange artifacts through the Process Center repository. For example, BPEL and BPMN processes can invoke each other.
IID install media contains a cut down version of the IBM Process Manager Advanced server runtime. This runtime can create a Process Server profile only. There is no way to create a Process Center profile. This seems rather odd, since, Process Center is something that is used mainly in the development world. If you must use Process Center from IID, take these steps:
- Install IID without any test environment.
- Install IBM Process Manager and choose to create a Process Center profile at the time of installation. This is the quickest way to create a fully functional server runtime.
- From IID, create a server of type IBM Process Server v7.5. Point to the directory where IBM Process Manager was installed (C:\IBM\BPM\v7.5 by default).
Now, the same server can be used by IID and IPD. You can use it as a repository as well as the runtime to execute BPEL and BPMN processes.
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