LS2010 – AD117 – What’s left

Session is over, Simon and Che did a good job, but what’s left?

No official announcement – as foreseen.

I’m sorry about this, but not really surprised. Many one’s like me wanted to just grab that demomachine and run, just to get hold of something new regarding LWF.

LWF goes Xpages
Audience liked the presentation. Integration with Xpages utilizing a pure Java-API is shurely the right direction.

Some of the examples shown as best practice were really usefull – I wonder wether they put them for download somewhere. I suggested adding it to OpenNTF.

Again LS left me with mixed feelings about LWF. Speaking with the officials lets me think, they realy like to push out something new – but on the other hand they do not seem to know what.

LWF @Lotusphere2010

Well, being honest, there is not that much LWF arround here in Orlando. I met a couple of people lurking arround waiting for the session on Thursday.
Meanwhile Xpages gets some enhancments and a preview of a coming release. It is one of the core-technologies getting covered in coming releases. Anyway: It makes me wanting a Xpage-aware/enabled version of LWF even more!
Anyone I’m talking to about LWF is hoping for an official announcment on Thursday. In my opinion this will not happen, but I really like to correct me on this one ;o) – We’ll see!
If someone has questions to ask, but is not in Orlando: Feel free to post your question as a comment…

LS2010: More than one LWF-Session?

IBM asked the attendees of Lotusphere2010 to vote for sessions that might be interessting. One of these options was the former mentioned session AD117. But there is a second session mentioned:

Lotus Workflow as part of BPM suite

The goal of the session is to present an idea of integrating Lotus Workflow with WebSphere BPM product suite and setting the base for further discussion on the rationale of such functianality and future of Lotus Workflow product. During the session we plan to demo a prototype solution that allows importing WebSphere Business Modeler diagrams into Lotus Workflow Architect and an running example of monitoring Lotus Workflow process using WebSphere Business Monitor.

by Tomasz Rostkowski

It is not sure which of these sessions will make it to the final schedule, but the one mentioned here is not listed in the Overview of all sessions – the AD117 is.

IMHO the AD117 is the session we defnitley need more than a session in combination with WebSphere. One of the main benefits of lotus Workflow is, that the product is lean and easy – anyone saying this about WebSphere? ;o)

LS2010: AD117 – “Rein in” Your Business Processes with IBM Lotus Workflow

IBM gives us some hints about the sessions at LS2010. This one sounds interessting: AD117

IBM Lotus Workflow has been helping customers model¸ develop and manage human-facing workflows for a number of years.  This session will provide some best practices to help you to get the most out of your existing Lotus Workflow solution today. We’ll also share some prototypes for potential future features — you’ll see a prototype of new Java APIs that will allow Lotus Workflow to leverage the latest application development capabilities for Lotus Notes and Domino. We’ll show a demonstration of how an XPages iWidget and Notes plugin use the Java API to access workflow services.

Speakers:  Simon Butcher, Che Pan

XPages vs. LWF – fight!

No Question: The XPage-Feature introduced by Notes/Domino 8.5 is quite cool. Web applications look like modern webpages. But how can Lotus Workflow participate from this?

First of all, there is no integration/support out of the box. Quite a shame as more and more applications move towards this new technology.

Is there a workaround? Maybe! You can build your own custom controls. But which API to call? Call the agent used by official” API to do your work? – No good solution, this even does not work reliable. Of course you may alter items directly, but what about compatibility in the future? And what about exposing Tasks and Decisions? – There is no API for this features.

Seems to me, the only real solution is an official upgrade by IBM. Any other implementation may fail when upgrading to a new version or lack of functionality.

So, all we can do is sit and wait for Big Blue moving😦

There is already an idea on IdeaJam dealing with XPages – feel free to vote ;o)

To cluster or not to cluster…?

Lotus Workflow is not build to work within a clustered environment. The engine relies on an agent written in LotusScript, which is scheduled like any other agent. If this agent will run on different servers on the same documents this will cause numbers of save-conflicts. If it is tied to just one machine, the cluster is virtual worthless, because of the manual switchover in case of failure of that server.

Another component suffering in a clustered environment is the web-viewer: It is implemented as a servlet running on a the Domino server. I cannot tell why, but it does not work properly in clustered environments. The user will not receive the desired diagram, but will be presented an error message.

Some of this problems may be addressed. For example you may split your workflow application into smaller applications hosting just a single workflow. This gives you the chance to schedule different backgrounders to different machines. But, to be honest, this is not the sort of thing you want to do, when thinking about clusters. You just want your big application to work as if there was no cluster at all!

The web-viewer could be cheated by using a fixed server, f.e. by using a proxy and redirect calls to a single machine – Again a solution which is not just positive: What about a failure of the server hosting the web viewer?

I posted an idea on the LWF-IdeaSpace recently, which proposes to make Lotus Workflow aware of clusters. If you think that is a problem, please promote my idea.

Maybe you found other solutions to overcome the hassels of a clustered environment? Just let me know!

LWF-Session @Lotusphere2010?

After serveral years of absence, in 2009 there was again a Session at Lotusphere 2009 about Lotus Workflow.

2002, AD502 “Lotus Workflow – Advanced Programmability”
2004, AD109 “Managing Business Processes with Lotus Workflow and Lotus Workplace”
2009, AD219 “Lotus Workflow – Best Practices and New Possibilities”

But what about Lotusphere next year? Will there be a Lotus Workflow Session at Lotusphere 2010?

What do you think?