Thursday, June 12, 2008

Book Review: Business Process Management with JBoss jBPM

Probably all of you have a private list of technologies that you want to look more deeply at but don't have much time to do so because of other duties. BPM was one of those on my private list so when Packt Publishing asked me to write a review of their book "Business Process Management with JBoss jBPM" I decided it was the right moment to give it a try. Although a subtitle on the main page states that it is "A Practical Guide for Business Analysts" it turns out a perfect position for anyone who does a first look on the technology.

The author begins with a brief high level overview of what Business Process Management is and what benefits it can give to the enterprise. Then we are introduced to the example project case study - Bland Records Inc. and it explains the whole context of introducing BPM in real life and unveil all the non-technical aspects of it. Step by step we learn how to work with people to discover all the processes that are defined in the company and how to describe and improve them.

The book goes step by step through the whole process from gathering requirements to deploying complete system and introducing it to the real users. The amount of technical knowledge required from the reader is really low. At some points it can be even a bit boring for a JEE developer to read about how to install Java on Windows machine and configure MySQL database with JBoss Application Server, but it gives an opportunity to quickly learn all the basics of jBPM framework. Author shows how to leverage JBoss Developer Studio for most of tasks described in the book. It also covers Business Activity Monitoring and explains integration with the SeeWhy Business Intelligence platform.

All activities described in the book are illustrated with lots of screenshots, diagrams and dialogs. It is written with a very easy informative style. The author achieved a good balance between explaining the methodology behind introducing BPM in the company and technical details about jBPM framework. I can recommend this book to anyone who wants to quickly gain a base knowledge about jBPM.