Sunday, March 07, 2010

Review of jBPM Developer Guide




In a previous post I mentioned the review of this book from Packt Publishing. Last year I worked a bit with jBPM and JBoss.
I've written this review in Amazon.com.

Review: 3 out of 5 stars

The book is intended for newbie programmers. The contents are a nice tutorial for somebody interested in a hands-on guide.

Pros:
- This is a good starting point for Java programmers that are interested in developing process-aware information systems.
- There are many illustrated examples that can also be downloaded.
- The authors clearly explain how to set up the basic architecture (tools) for starting to work with jBPM (ch.3) and create the workflow/process models with jPDL (ch. 4, 5 and 10)
- From ch. 6 to 9, the authors detail very nicely how to use persistence with a human-oriented workflow, i.e. jBPM plus a data base.
- Ch. 11 shows possible issues that can be found in the execution environment, which gives a valuable point to this book. Ch. 12 gives an introduction to jBPM in an enterprise deplyment; however, this is so short.

Cons:
- The sections and subsections are not enumerated which is sometimes very confusing for the reader.
- The book is a good introduction to business process development, but it doesn't show any advanced techniques like: execution of BPEL processes for service composition, by using a system developed with jBPM in the architecture described in ch. 12 (p.325).
- Given the introductory level of the book, this looks like a tutorial to develop workflows as we already used to develop with other technologies, but now by using jBPM. The trade-off of using this new technology is that this still doesn't follow a standard like BPMN, BPEL or XPDL. So, I still doubt if there exists a mapping between JPDL and BPMN, and a mapping JPDL into BPEL.
- The authors expend just one chapter (ch. 12) in a more advanced, practical and interesting topic: applicability of jBPM in the enterprise, which should be the core of the book if the idea is to get more Java programmers, CIOs and practitioners into this new framework/technology.

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Ricardo Seguel

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