Join us on December 15 for Looking Back to the Future: 5 Process Automation Trends in 2022

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On Oct. 19, we presented the Camunda Platform 7.16 release webinar, which included an overview of new features, live demos from Camunda product managers and a community update from our Developer Relations team. As usual, our awesome audience asked more questions than we had time to answer, so we’d like to share them here.

If you’d like to learn more about the Camunda Platform 7.16 release, you can watch the webinar on-demand and check out our release blog post.

Optimize

During the webinar, we took a look at Optimize’s friendly quick-start features such as advanced dashboard templates and support for bulk deletion. These are powerful tools for analyzing processes that include more flow node filters and support for external variable ingestion. In addition to having features that expand Optimize’s scope, particularly new multi-process reports with data filtering. These are a few of the questions that came up.

Q: Is Optimize part of the Camunda solution or is it a separate product?

A: Optimize is a component of Camunda Platform Enterprise Edition, so you must purchase an enterprise license to use it. However, if you’re using Camunda Platform Community Edition, you can sign up for a 30-day free trial and import your existing process data, so you can get an idea of what Optimize has to offer.

Q: Does Optimize allow you to filter on custom process data?

A: Optimize has extremely powerful filtering capabilities. There are two  ways to customize the data collected in your processes:

  1. Variable data – You can add custom variable data with many types of supported values to your process instances (or tasks), and then put a filter on it.
  2. Flow node data – You can customize the BPMN itself to provide more detailed data, then use flow node filters to only show processes that go through that flow node.

An example is below, based on a hiring process. I use both options.

I filter process instances by a variable called make_offer and by instances that went through a flow node called Make an Offer. These happen to be identical filters.

You have a huge amount of flexibility when customizing the data that goes into Optimize, so keep this in mind when modeling your process and its data structure.

Q: How many processes or process versions can be added to a single report in Optimize?

A: The current limit is 10. If you need more, please tell us.

Cockpit

During the webinar, we discussed new features that make it easier to use Cockpit at scale: 

We also highlighted our new integrations with Liquibase and Quarkus. Here are some of the questions our audience asked. 

Q: Does Camunda’s process migration feature create a new process ID, or does it keep the same process ID for migrated processes?

A: Migrating a process instance does not change its ID. It just updates the referenced process definition and modifies the state of the process instance.

Q: Can expressions be used to dynamically set the value of new migration variables based on existing variables that are already present?

A: Currently, you cannot use expressions to dynamically set variables during migration.

Q: Are there any limitations to the process migration capability in Cockpit?

A: The main limitation to be aware of is that you can only migrate tasks and activities of the same type. For example, if a process instance is waiting at a user task, you can only migrate that to another user task in the new version of the process model. 

Form Builder

Earlier this year, Camunda Platform 7.15 introduced the Form Builder, a drag-and-drop interface for creating user task forms in Modeler. In that release, we focused on delivering an end-to-end story of how you can create, deploy and embed forms in user-facing applications. With Camunda Platform 7.16, we focused on expanding the variety of elements you can add to forms. These are questions the audience asked about the Form Builder.

Q: Can I only use forms created in the Form Builder in Camunda Tasklist, or can I use them in my own application?

A: The open-source form-js library allows you to embed forms created in the Form Builder into your own custom business applications.

Q; Is there a specific form element for dates?

A: There is not yet a specific element for date fields, but you can use a regular expression to validate the entry in a text field and ensure it follows a specific format.

Q: Will forms support tables and file uploads in the future?

A: The ability to upload a file and advanced layout options such as tables are potential candidates for a future version of the Form Builder.

Q: Does the Form Builder allow you to add custom components?

A: The Form Builder doesn’t currently support custom components, but you can fork and extend the form-js library if you would like to add your own code.

Other topics

Q: When will Java 17 be supported?

A: Java 17 support will be part of the Spring 2022 release of Camunda Platform. Our user community has found that Camunda Platform 7.16 works with Java 17, if you add the 2.3.5 version of the Java Architecture for XML Binding framework (jaxb-impl). However, this approach is not officially supported, so we recommend thoroughly testing it with your implementation before use.

Q: What should we do to overcome the deprecation of Nashorn?

A: Because Java 15 and higher no longer include the Nashorn Javascript engine, Camunda Platform now supports GraalVM JavaScript as a replacement that allows you to keep using Javascript tasks in your processes. Note that if you’re running Camunda Platform with Java 14 or earlier, you can configure the BPMN Workflow Engine for Nashorn compatibility mode.

Q: Where can we find more information about the Camunda Helm chart?

A: Check out our blog post to learn all about the Camunda Platform Community Helm chart, and visit GitHub to get the code.

Ready for more? Attend our upcoming webinar on. Nov. 10 to learn how to foster the 3 Superpowers for Next Level Microservices Orchestration.