Jarvis Pizzeria: Setting up the Dynamic Process

In this blog we will implement a first version of the preparation of an order using a dynamic process. We continue where blog one stopped. The imported order process is extended with an example dynamic process.

We open the DynamicOrderProcess, which should still contains the example. We will build this so that it contains the Pizza ordering process. However, when opening the Process, we can see that the example is no longer there. Apparently, the example is not saved, maybe because we did not make any changes to it? Let’s create the example again, and then change it immediately.

The first step we take to make it our own is to define the stages. Rename the ‘First Stage’ in ‘Ordering’. The ‘Second Stage’ in ‘Preparation’ and add another third stage ‘Delivery’.

For changing the name of a stage, select the pencil in the title bar to get to to properties.

In there change the name. Use the add icon just above the pencil to add the third stage.

The result looks as below.

Now let’s save our changes and see what happens to this modified ‘example’. We close the Dynamic process, and then open it again.

However, our changes have disappeared as well. The whole example is gone once again. How is that possible? Is something thoroughly wrong with the application or is an example application just an example, and can it not be saved? Anyway, it is good to realize the example application is there as an example and not like a QuickStart application.

So let’s restart again. Now we will not create an example, but just add the different stages.

After doing this, yet again, let’s put it to the test. We save our application, close it and reopen it. Yeah! Alright! Now the changes persists, so it does have something to do with the example mode.

From here we will continue to build our dynamic process. First we will show the composition of the Dynamic Process and then we will explain how we come to this.

For the order phase we have chosen to only use a humantask. This is used to place an order. This is a mandatory activity in this phase. And it is also manually activated. When you select the activity and then click pencil this will open the properties of the activity.

Here we make the activity mandatory and say that it must be activated manually. We only want one order to create a dynamic process instance, so this activity is not repeatable.

In the preparation phase we have three activities. The structured Pizza preparation process, which is repeatable for every pizza of the order. A milestone that is set at the moment that all the pizzas of an order are ready. And finally the human task that is started to prepare the order for delivery. The table below shows the settings of these activities.

Repeatable Required Manually Activated
Prepare Pizza Yes Yes No
Prepared No Yes No
Compose Order No Yes Yes

Next we get into the delivery phase. In there we have the delivery process and the delivered milestone. The delivered milestone is set as soon as the order has been delivered and paid as well.

The payment can take place during the entire process, from the beginning of the order to the final delivery. As soon as the payment has been made, the milestone paid is set.

Repeatable Required Manually Activated
Deliver No Yes No
Delivered No Yes No
Payment No Yes Yes
Paid No Yes No

The first rough design

So that is how you set up a dynamic process. It takes a couple of stages that host the activities, tasks and milestones and you can configure the details. There is still a lot more to Dynamic Processes then the simplistic overview we gave in this blog post, but we will get there step-by-step.

How does these dynamic processes modeling compare to the on-premises ACM variant? In terms of features we covered in this blog post, there is nothing much new under the sun. But in terms of developing environment it is much more smoother. The on-premises case definition was unclear. It was hard to get a real grasp of your dynamic process without diving into both the case definition and the corresponding business rules. PCS on the other hand, gives you a comprehensive outline of your case definition. It shows you the stages, the activities, the milestones and the corresponding features (i.e. activities are required, repeatable, etc.) all in one overview! Although we haven’t covered the rules yet, we can easily say that setting up a new dynamic process is a piece of cake now!

In the coming blogs we will discuss features such as calling the process & human task, the run time representation of a dynamic process, the activation or disabling of activities, different ways to start a dynamic process and many more.