Planning a Red Hat Process Automation Manager installation

Red Hat Process Automation Manager 7.5

Red Hat Customer Content Services

Abstract

This document describes the different Red Hat Process Automation Manager installation options.

Preface

As a system administrator, you have several options for installing Red Hat Process Automation Manager.

Chapter 1. Red Hat Process Automation Manager versioning

Red Hat Process Automation Manager versions are designated with a numerical Major.Minor.Patch format, such as 7.4.1. In this example, the major release is 7.x.x, the minor release is 7.4.x, and the patch release is 7.4.1. Major releases often require data migration, while minor release upgrades and patch updates are typically managed with update tools provided with the Red Hat Process Automation Manager release artifacts.

The following are the general types of releases for Red Hat Process Automation Manager:

Major release migrations

Major releases of Red Hat Process Automation Manager include substantial enhancements, security updates, bug fixes, and possibly redesigned features and functions. Data migration is typically required when an application is moved from one major release to another major release, such as from Red Hat JBoss BPM Suite 6.4.x to Red Hat Process Automation Manager 7.0. Automated migration tools are often provided with new major versions of Red Hat Process Automation Manager to facilitate migration, but some manual effort is likely required for certain data and configurations. The supported migration paths are specified in product announcements and documentation.

For example migration instructions, see Migrating from Red Hat JBoss BPM Suite 6.4 to Red Hat Process Automation Manager 7.0.

Minor release upgrades

Minor releases of Red Hat Process Automation Manager include enhancements, security updates, and bug fixes. Data migration may be required when an application is moved from one minor release to another minor release, such as from Red Hat Process Automation Manager 7.4.x to 7.5. Automated update tools are often provided with both patch updates and new minor versions of Red Hat Process Automation Manager to facilitate updating certain components of Red Hat Process Automation Manager, such as Business Central, Process Server, and the headless Process Automation Manager controller. Other Red Hat Process Automation Manager artifacts, such as the decision engine and standalone Business Central, are released as new artifacts with each minor release and you must re-install them to apply the update.

Before you upgrade to a new minor release, apply the latest patch update to your current version of Red Hat Process Automation Manager to ensure that the minor release upgrade is successful.

Patch updates

Patch updates of Red Hat Process Automation Manager include the latest security updates and bug fixes. Scheduled patch updates contain all previously released patch updates for that minor version of the product, so you do not need to apply each patch update incrementally in order to apply the latest update. For example, you can update Red Hat Process Automation Manager 7.5.0 or 7.5.1 to Red Hat Process Automation Manager 7.5.2. However, for optimal Red Hat Process Automation Manager performance, apply product updates as they become available. Occasionally, unscheduled patch updates may be released outside the normal update cycle of the existing product. These may include security or other updates provided by Red Hat Global Support Services (GSS) to fix specific issues, and may not be cumulative updates.

Automated update tools are often provided with both patch updates and new minor versions of Red Hat Process Automation Manager to facilitate updating certain components of Red Hat Process Automation Manager, such as Business Central, Process Server, and the headless Process Automation Manager controller. Other Red Hat Process Automation Manager artifacts, such as the decision engine and standalone Business Central, are released as new artifacts with each minor release and you must re-install them to apply the update.

To ensure optimal transition between releases and to keep your Red Hat Process Automation Manager distribution current with the latest enhancements and fixes, apply new product releases and updates to Red Hat Process Automation Manager as they become available in the Red Hat Customer Portal. Consider also enabling product notifications in the Red Hat Customer Portal.

Chapter 2. Red Hat Process Automation Manager components

Red Hat Process Automation Manager is made up of Business Central and Process Server.

  • Business Central is the graphical user interface where you create and manage business rules. You can install Business Central in a Red Hat JBoss EAP instance or on the Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform (OpenShift).

    Business Central is also available as a standalone JAR file. You can use the Business Central standalone JAR file to run Business Central without needing to deploy it to an application server.

  • Process Server is the server where rules and other artifacts are executed. It is used to instantiate and execute rules and solve planning problems. You can install Process Server in a Red Hat JBoss EAP instance, on OpenShift, in an Oracle WebLogic server instance, in an IBM WebSphere Application Server instance, or as a part of Spring Boot application.

    You can configure Process Server to run in managed or unmanaged mode. If Process Server is unmanaged, you must manually create and maintain KIE containers (deployment units). A KIE container is a specific version of a project. If Process Server is managed, the Process Automation Manager controller manages the Process Server configuration and you interact with the Process Automation Manager controller to create and maintain KIE containers.

    The Process Automation Manager controller is integrated with Business Central. If you install Business Central on Red Hat JBoss EAP, use the Execution Server page to create and maintain KIE containers. However, if you do not install Business Central, you can install the headless Process Automation Manager controller and use the REST API or the Process Server Java Client API to interact with it.

  • Red Hat Business Optimizer is integrated in Business Central and Process Server. It is a lightweight, embeddable planning engine that optimizes planning problems. Red Hat Business Optimizer helps Java programmers solve planning problems efficiently, and it combines optimization heuristics and metaheuristics with efficient score calculations.

Chapter 3. Available installation platforms

Every Red Hat Process Automation Manager release is certified on a variety operating systems, JVMs, web browsers, and database combinations. Red Hat provides both production and development support for supported and tested configurations in both physical and virtual environments, according to your subscription agreement. See the following pages for information about supported configurations and version numbers:

Red Hat Process Automation Manager 7.5 is available for the following application platforms:

  • Red Hat JBoss EAP
  • Red Hat JBoss Web Server
  • Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform
  • Oracle WebLogic Server
  • IBM WebSphere Application Server

3.1. Red Hat JBoss EAP 7.2

Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (Red Hat JBoss EAP) 7.2 is a certified implementation of the Java Enterprise Edition 7 (Java EE 7) full and web profile specifications. Red Hat JBoss EAP provides preconfigured options for features such as high availability, clustering, messaging, and distributed caching. It also enables users to write, deploy, and run applications using the various APIs and services that Red Hat JBoss EAP provides.

You can install both Business Central and Process Server in a single Red Hat JBoss EAP instance. However, in production environments you should install them in separate instances.

3.2. Red Hat JBoss Web Server

Red Hat JBoss Web Server is an enterprise-ready web server designed for medium and large applications, based on Tomcat. Red Hat JBoss Web Server provides organizations with a single deployment platform for Java Server Pages (JSP) and Java Servlet technologies, PHP, and CGI.

You can install Process Server and the headless Process Automation Manager controller on Red Hat JBoss Web Server 5.1.0.

3.3. Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform

Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform (OpenShift) combines Docker and Kubernetes, and provides an API to manage these services. Openshift enables you to create and manage containers.

In this solution, components of Red Hat Process Automation Manager are deployed as separate OpenShift pods. You can scale each of the pods up and down individually, providing as few or as many containers as necessary for a particular component. You can use standard OpenShift methods to manage the pods and balance the load.

You can install both Business Central and Process Server on OpenShift.

3.4. Oracle WebLogic Server

Oracle WebLogic Server is a Java EE application server that provides a standard set of APIs for creating distributed Java applications that can access a wide variety of services, such as databases, messaging services, and connections to external enterprise systems. Users access these applications using web browser clients or Java clients.

You can install Process Server in an Oracle WebLogic Server instance and then use the headless Process Automation Manager controller and the REST API or the Process Server Java Client API to interact with Process Server. You can also use standalone Business Central to interact with Process Server.

3.5. IBM WebSphere Application Server

IBM WebSphere Application Server is a flexible and secure web application server that hosts Java-based web applications and provides Java EE-certified run time environments. IBM WebSphere 9.0 supports Java SE 8 and is fully compliant with Java EE 7 since version 8.5.5.6.

You can install Process Server in an IBM WebSphere Application Server instance and then use the headless Process Automation Manager controller to interact with Process Server. You can also use standalone Business Central to interact with Process Server.

3.6. Development options

Developers can develop assets in Red Hat Process Automation Manager. However, you can optionally integrate Red Hat CodeReady Studio with Red Hat Process Automation Manager to enable developers to write complex applications and leverage code auto-completion.

Red Hat CodeReady Studio is an integrated development environment (IDE) based on Eclipse. It integrates tooling and runtime components by combining Eclipse, Eclipse Tooling, and Red Hat JBoss EAP. Red Hat CodeReady Studio provides plug-ins with tools and interfaces for Red Hat Process Automation Manager. These plug-ins are based on the community version of these products. For this reason, the Red Hat Process Automation Manager plug-ins are called the jBPM and Drools plug-ins.

Chapter 4. Supported repositories

4.1. Git repositories

Git repositories are used internally within Business Central to store all processes, rules, and other artifacts that are created in the authoring environment. Git is a distributed version control system. It implements revisions as commit objects. When you commit your changes into a repository, a new commit object in the Git repository is created. When you create a project in Business Central it is added to the Git repository connected to Business Central.

If you have projects in other Git repositories, you can import them into Business Central spaces. You can use Git hooks to synchronize the internal Git repositories with external repositories.

4.2. Apache Maven

Apache Maven is a distributed build automation tool used in Java application development to build and manage software projects. You can use Maven to build, publish, and deploy your Red Hat Process Automation Manager projects. Maven provides the following benefits:

  • The build process is easy and a uniform build system is implemented across projects.
  • All of the required JAR files for a project are made available at compile time.
  • A proper project structure is configured.
  • Dependencies and versions are well managed.
  • The is no need for additional build processing because Maven builds output into a number of predefined types, such as JAR and WAR.

Maven uses repositories to store Java libraries, plug-ins, and other build artifacts. These repositories can be local or remote. Red Hat Process Automation Manager maintains local and remote maven repositories that you can add to your project for accessing the rules, processes, events, and other project dependencies. When building projects and archetypes, Maven dynamically retrieves Java libraries and Maven plug-ins from local or remote repositories. Doing this promotes sharing and reuse of dependencies across projects.

Chapter 5. Installation environment options for Red Hat Process Automation Manager

With Red Hat Process Automation Manager, you can set up a development environment to develop business applications, a runtime environment to run those applications to support decisions, or both.

  • Development environment: Typically consists of one Business Central installation and at least one Process Server installation. You can use Business Central to design decisions and other artifacts, and you can use Process Server to execute and test the artifacts that you created.
  • Runtime environment: Consists of one or more Process Server instances with or without Business Central. Business Central has an embedded Process Automation Manager controller. If you install Business Central, use the MenuDeployExecution servers page to create and maintain containers. If you want to automate Process Server management without Business Central, you can use the headless Process Automation Manager controller.

You can also cluster both development and runtime environments. A clustered development or runtime environment consists of a unified group or "cluster" of two or more servers. The primary benefit of clustering Red Hat Process Automation Manager development environments is high availability and enhanced collaboration, while the primary benefit of clustering Red Hat Process Automation Manager runtime environments is high availability and load balancing. High availability decreases the chance of a loss of data when a single server fails. When a server fails, another server fills the gap by providing a copy of the data that was on the failed server. When the failed server comes online again, it resumes its place in the cluster. Load balancing shares the computing load across the nodes of the cluster to improve the overall performance.

Note

Clustering of the runtime environment is currently supported on Red Hat JBoss EAP 7.2 and Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform only. Clustering of Business Central is currently a Technology Preview feature that is not yet intended for production use. For more information about Red Hat Technology Preview support, see Technology Preview Features Support Scope.

Chapter 6. Red Hat Process Automation Manager roles and users

To access Business Central or Process Server, you must create users and assign them appropriate roles before the servers are started. This section describes available Red Hat Process Automation Manager user roles.

Note

The admin, analyst, developer, manager, process-admin, user, and rest-all roles are reserved for Business Central. The kie-server role is reserved for Process Server. For this reason, the available roles can differ depending on whether Business Central, Process Server, or both are installed.

  • admin: Users with the admin role are the Business Central administrators. They can manage users and create, clone, and manage the repositories. They have full access to make required changes in the application. Users with the admin role have access to all areas within Red Hat Process Automation Manager.
  • analyst: Users with the analyst role have access to all high-level features. They can model and execute their projects. However, these users cannot add contributors to spaces or delete spaces in the Design → Projects view. Access to the Deploy → Execution Servers view, which is intended for administrators, is not available to users with the analyst role. However, the Deploy button is available to these users when they access the Library perspective.
  • developer: Users with the developer role have access to almost all features and can manage rules, models, process flows, forms, and dashboards. They can manage the asset repository, they can create, build, and deploy projects, and they can use Red Hat CodeReady Studio to view processes. Only certain administrative functions such as creating and cloning a new repository are hidden from users with the developer role.
  • manager: Users with the manager role can view reports. These users are usually interested in statistics about the business processes and their performance, business indicators, and other business-related reporting. A user with this role has access only to process and task reports.
  • process-admin: Users with the process-admin role are business process administrators. They have full access to business processes, business tasks, and execution errors. These users can also view business reports and have access to the Task Inbox list.
  • user: Users with the user role can work on the Task Inbox list, which contains business tasks that are part of currently running processes. Users with this role can view process and task reports and manage processes.
  • rest-all: Users with the rest-all role can access Business Central REST capabilities.
  • kie-server: Users with the kie-server role can access Process Server (KIE Server) REST capabilities. This role is mandatory for users to have access to Manage and Track views in Business Central.

Chapter 7. Available reference implementations

Three reference implementations are available that you can use as starter applications. They are provided in the Red Hat Process Automation Manager 7.5.0 Reference Implementations download, available on the Red Hat Process Automation Manager Software Downloads page in the Red Hat Customer Portal.

Employee Rostering reference implementation

The employee rostering reference implementation enables you to create an application that assigns employees to shifts on various positions in an organization. For example, you can use the application to distribute shifts in a hospital between nurses, guard duty shifts across a number of locations, or shifts on an assembly line between workers.

High available event-driven decisioning reference implementation

A reference implementation for high available event-driven decisioning on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform is available. You can customize this reference implementation to deploy Drools engine code that requires stateful processing, including rules developed with complex event processing, in an OpenShift environment. Doing this enables the decision engine to process complex event series with high availability.

Vehicle route planning reference implementation

The vehicle route planning reference implementation enables you to create an application that solves a vehicle route planning problem with real-world maps, roads, and vehicles delivering goods to locations, each with a specific capacity. For more information, see the read me file in the vehicle routing ZIP file, included in the reference implementation download.

Chapter 8. Integrating with Red Hat Single Sign-On

Red Hat Single Sign-On (RH-SSO) is a single sign-on solution that you can use to secure your browser applications with your REST web services and Git access.

When you integrate Red Hat Process Automation Manager with RH-SSO, you create an SSO and identity management (IDM) environment for Red Hat Process Automation Manager. The session management feature of RH-SSO enables you to use a single authentication for different Red Hat Process Automation Manager environments on the internet.

RH-SSO 7.3 is supported with Red Hat Process Automation Manager on Red Hat JBoss EAP 7.2.

Chapter 9. Additional resources

Appendix A. Versioning information

Documentation last updated on Thursday, October 31, 2019.

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