JBoss.orgCommunity Documentation

Chapter 3. Installer

3.1. Prerequisites
3.2. Download the installer
3.3. Demo setup
3.4. 10-Minute Tutorial: Using the Eclipse tooling
3.5. 10-Minute Tutorial: Using the jBPM Console
3.6. 10-Minute Tutorial: Using Guvnor repository and Designer
3.7. 10-Minute Tutorial: Using your own database with jBPM
3.7.1. Introduction
3.7.2. Database setup
3.7.3. Quickstart
3.7.4. Using a different database
3.8. What to do if I encounter problems or have questions?
3.9. Frequently asked questions

This guide will assist you in installing and running a demo setup of the various components of the jBPM project. If you have any feedback on how to improve this guide, if you encounter problems, or if you want to help out, do not hesitate to contact the jBPM community as described in the "What to do if I encounter problems or have questions?" section.

This script assumes you have Java JDK 1.5+ (set as JAVA_HOME), and Ant 1.7+ installed. If you don't, use the following links to download and install them:

Java: http://java.sun.com/javase/downloads/index.jsp

Ant: http://ant.apache.org/bindownload.cgi

First of all, you need to download the installer. There are two versions, a full installer (which already contains a lot of the dependencies that are necessary during the installation) and a minimal installer (which only contains the installer and will download all dependencies). In general, it is probably best to download the full installer: jBPM-{version}-installer-full.zip

You can also find the latest snapshot release here (only minimal installer) here:


The easiest way to get started is to simply run the installation script to install the demo setup. Simply go into the install folder and run:

ant install.demo

This will:

This could take a while (REALLY, not kidding, we are downloading an application server and Eclipse installation, even if you downloaded the full installer). The script however always shows which file it is downloading (you could for example check whether it is still downloading by checking the whether the size of the file in question in the jbpm-installer/lib folder is still increasing). If you want to avoid downloading specific components (because you will not be using them or you already have them installed somewhere else), check below for running only specific parts of the demo or directing the installer to an already installed component.

To limit the amount of data that needs to be downloaded, we have disabled the download of the Eclipse BIRT plugin for reporting by default. If you want to try out reporting as well in the jBPM console, make sure to put the jBPM.birt.download property in the build.properties file to true before running the installer.

Once the demo setup has finished, you can start playing with the various components by starting the demo setup:

ant start.demo

This will:

Once everything is started, you can start playing with the Eclipse tooling, Guvnor repository and jBPM console, as explained in the next three sections.

If you do not wish to use Eclipse in the demo setup, you can use the alternative commands:

    ant install.demo.noeclipse
    ant start.demo.noeclipse

The following screencast gives an overview of how to run a simple demo process in Eclipse. It shows you:

  • How to import an existing example project into your workspace, containing
    • a sample BPMN2 process for requesting a performance evaluation
    • a sample Java class to start the process
  • How to start the process

Figure 3.1. 

Do the following:

  • Once Eclipse has opened, simply import (using "File -> Import ..." and then under the General category, select "Existing Projects into Workspace") the existing sample project (in the jbpm-installer/sample/evaluation directory). This should add the sample project, including a simple BPMN2 process and a Java file to start the process.
  • You can open the BPMN2 process and the Java class by double-clicking it.
  • We will now debug the process, so we can visualize its runtime state using the debug tooling. First put a breakpoint on line "logger.close()" of the ProcessTest class. To start debugging, right-click on ProcessTest.java in the com.sample package (under "src/main/java") and select "Debug As - Java Application", and switch to the debug perspective.
  • Open up the various debug views: Under "Window - Show View -> Other ...", select the Process Instances View and Process Instance View (under Drools category) and the Human Task View (under jBPM Task) and click OK.
  • The program will hit the breakpoint right after starting the process. In this case, it will simply start the process, which will result in the creation of a new user task for the user "krisv" in the human task service, after which the process will wait for its execution. Go to the Human Task View, fill in "krisv" under UserId and click Refresh. A new Performance Evaluation task should show up.
  • To show the state of the process instance you just started graphically, click on the Process Instances View and then select the ksession variable in the Variables View. This will show all active process instances in the selected session. In this case, there is only one process instance. Double-click it to see the state of that process instance annotated on the process flow chart.
  • Now go back to the Task View, select the Performance Evaluation task and first start and then complete the selected task. Now go back to the Process Instances view and double click the process instance again to see its new state.

You could also create a new project using the jBPM project wizard. This sample project contains a simple HelloWorld BPMN2 process and an associated Java file to start the process. Simply select "File - New - jBPM Project" (if you cannot see that (because you're not in the jBPM perspective) you can do "File - New ... - Project ..." and under the "jBPM" category, select "jBPM project" and click "Next"). Give the project a name and click "Finish". You should see a new project containing a "sample.bpmn" process and a "com.sample.ProcessMain" Java class and a "com.sample.ProcessTest" JUnit test class. You can open the BPMN2 process by double-clicking it. To execute the process, right-click on ProcessMain.java and select "Run As - Java Application". You should see a "Hello World" statement in the output console. To execute the test, right-click on ProcessTest.java and select "Run As - JUnit Test". You should also see a "Hello World" statement in the output console, and the JUnit test completion in the JUnit view.

Open up the process management console:


Log in, using krisv / krisv as username / password. The following screencast gives an overview of how to manage your process instances. It shows you:

  • How to start a new process
  • How to look up the current status of a running process instance
  • How to look up your tasks
  • How to complete a task
  • How to generate reports to monitor your process execution

Figure 3.2. 

  • To manage your process instances, click on the "Processes" tab at the left an select "Process Overview". After a slight delay (if you are using the application for the first time, due to session initalization etc.), the "Process" list should show all the known processes. The jbpm-console in the demo setup currently loads all the processes in the "src/main/resources" folder of the evaluation sample in "jbpm-installer/sample/evaluation". If you click the process, it will show you all current running instances. Since there are no running instances at this point, the "Instance" table will remain empty.
  • You can start a new process instance by clicking on the "Start" button. After confirming that you want to start a new execution of this process, you will see a process form where you need to fill in the necessary information to start the process. In this case, you need to fill in your username "krisv" and a reason for the request, after which you can complete the form and close the window. A new instance should show up in the "Instance" table. If you click the process instance, you can check its details below and the diagram and instance data by clicking on the "Diagram" and "Instance Data" buttons respectively. The process instance that you just started is first requiring a self-evaluation of the user and is waiting until the user has completed this task.
  • To see the tasks that have been assigned to you, choose the "Tasks" tab on the left and select "Personal Tasks" (you may need to click refresh to update your task view). The personal tasks table should show a "Performance Evaluation" task for you. You can complete this task by selecting it and clicking the "View" button. This will open the task form for performance evaluations. You can fill in the necessary data and then complete the form and close the window. After completing the task, you could check the "Process Overview" once more to check the progress of your process instance. You should be able to see that the process is now waiting for your HR manager and project manager to also perform an evaluation. You could log in as "john" / "john" and "mary" / "mary" to complete these tasks.
  • After starting and/or completing a few process instances and human tasks, you can generate a report of what has happened so far. Under "Reporting", select "Report Templates". By default, the console has one report template, for generating a generic overview for all processes. Click the "Create Report" button to generate a realtime report of the current status. Notice that the initialization of the reports might take a moment, especially the first time you use the application.

The Guvnor repository can be used as a process repository to store business processes. It also offers a web-based interface to manage your processes. This includes a web-based editor for viewing and editing processes.

Open up Drools Guvnor:


Log in (if necessary), using any non-empty username / password (we disabled authentication for demo purposes). The following screencast gives an overview of how to manage your repository. It shows you:

  • How to import an existing process (in this case the evaluation process) from eclipse into guvnor
  • How to open up the evaluation process in the web editor
  • How to build a package so it can be used for creating a session

Figure 3.3. 

If you want to know more, we recommend you take a look at the rest of the Drools Guvnor documentation.

Once you're done playing:

ant stop.demo

and simply close all the rest.

At the moment, this quickstart does not work with JBoss AS 5. However, an update to the quickstart (and installer) is forthcoming which will fix that (and make it work with JBoss AS 5). [01/2012]

The following 4 files define the persistence settings for the jbpm-installer demo:

Do the following:

  • db/persistence.xml:

    This is the JPA persistence file that defines the persistence settings used by jBPM for both the process engine information and the logging/BAM information. The installer ant script moves this file to the expanded gwt console server war before the server is started.

    In this file, you will have to change the name of the hibernate dialect used for your database.

    The original line is:

    <property name="hibernate.dialect" value="org.hibernate.dialect.H2Dialect"/>

    In the case of a MySql database, you need to change it to:

    <property name="hibernate.dialect" value="org.hibernate.dialect.MySQLDialect"/>

    For those of you who decided to use another database, a list of the available hibernate dialect classes can be found here.

  • task-service/resources/META-INF/persistence.xml:

    The task service (that the installer starts) uses the JPA Persistence settings described in this file.

    The original file contains the following lines:

          <property name="hibernate.dialect" value="org.hibernate.dialect.H2Dialect"/>
          <property name="hibernate.connection.driver_class" value="org.h2.Driver"/>
          <property name="hibernate.connection.url" value="jdbc:h2:tcp://localhost/runtime/task" />
          <property name="hibernate.connection.username" value="sa"/>
          <property name="hibernate.connection.password" value="sasa"/>

    Please change these lines so that they look like this:

          <property name="hibernate.dialect" value="org.hibernate.dialect.MySQLDialect"/>
          <property name="hibernate.connection.driver_class" value="com.mysql.jdbc.Driver"/>
          <property name="hibernate.connection.url" value="jdbc:mysql://localhost:3306/task" />
          <property name="hibernate.connection.username" value="task"/>
          <property name="hibernate.connection.password" value="task"/>
  • db/jBPM-ds.xml:

    This step is only neccessary if you're using JBoss AS 5.

    This file is the configuration for the (JTA) datasource used by the jBoss AS 5 instance for the process engine persistence. The installer ant script moves this file to the jboss server deploy directory.

    The original file contains the following lines:


    Please change these to the following:

  • standalone.xml:

    This step is only neccessary if you're using AS 7.

    This file is the configuration for the standalone JBoss AS 7 server. When the installer starts the demo (using jBoss AS 7), it moves this file to the standalone/configuration directory in the jboss server directory

    We need to change the datasource configuration in standalone.xml so that the (JTA) datasource for the jBPM process engine and logging/BAM points to our MySQL database

    The original file contains the following lines:

            <subsystem xmlns="urn:jboss:domain:datasources:1.0">
                    <datasource jndi-name="java:jboss/datasources/jbpmDS" enabled="true" use-java-context="true" pool-name="H2DS">
                        <driver name="h2" module="com.h2database.h2">

    Change the lines to the following:

            <subsystem xmlns="urn:jboss:domain:datasources:1.0">
                    <datasource jndi-name="java:jboss/datasources/jbpmDS" pool-name="H2DS" enabled="true" use-java-context="true">
                        <driver name="mysql" module="com.mysql">
  • Start the demo

    We've modified all the neccessary files at this point, all that's left to do is run the demo.

    Of course, this would be a good time to start your database up as well!

    If you haven't installed the demo yet, do that first:

    ant install.demo.db

    If you have already installed and run the demo, it can't hurt to reinstall the demo:

    ant clean.demo; ant install.demo.db

    After you've done that, you can finally start the demo using the following command:

    ant start.demo.db

    If you're done with the demo, you can stop it using this command:

    ant stop.demo.db

    The stop.demo ant task will also work, although it might throw some exceptions.

  • Problems?

    If you this isn't working for you, please try the following:

    • Please double check the files you've modified: I wrote this, but still made mistakes when changing files!
    • Please make sure that you don't secretly have another instance of jboss AS running.
    • If neither of those work (and you're using MySQL), please do then let us know.

If you decide to use a different database with this demo, you need to remember the following when going through the steps above:

Some common issues are explained below.

Q: What if the installer complains it cannot download component X?

A: Are you connected to the internet? Do you have a firewall turned on? Do you require a proxy? It might be possible that one of the locations we're downloading the components from is temporarly offline. Try downloading the components manually (possibly from alternate locations) and put them in the jbpm-installer/lib folder.

Q: What if the installer complains it cannot extract / unzip a certain jar/war/zip?

A: If your download failed while downloading a component, it is possible that the installer is trying to use an incomplete file. Try deleting the component in question from the jbpm-installer/lib folder and reinstall, so it will be downloaded again.

Q: What if I have been changing my installation (and it no longer works) and I want to start over again with a clean installation?

A: You can use ant clean.demo to remove all the installed components, so you end up with a fresh installation again.

Q: I sometimes see exceptions when trying to stop or restart certain services, what should I do?

A: If you see errors during shutdown, are you sure the services were still running? If you see exceptions during restart, are you sure the service you started earlier was successfully shutdown? Maybe try killing the services manually if necessary.

Q: Something seems to be going wrong when running Eclipse but I have no idea what. What can I do?

A: Always check the consoles for output like error messages or stack traces. You can also check the Eclipse Error Log for exceptions. Try adding an audit logger to your session to figure out what's happening at runtime, or try debugging your application.

Q: Something seems to be going wrong when running the a web-based application like the jbpm-console, Guvnor and the Designer. What can I do?

A: You can check the server log for possible exceptions: jbpm-installer/jboss-as-{version}/standalone/log/server.log (for JBoss AS7) or jbpm-installer/jboss-as-{version}/server/default/log/server.log (for earlier versions).

For all other questions, try contacting the jBPM community as described in the Getting Started chapter.