Chapter 1. Overview of Red Hat Process Automation Manager on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform

You can deploy Red Hat Process Automation Manager into a Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform environment.

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 to provide as few or as many containers as required for a particular component. You can use standard OpenShift methods to manage the pods and balance the load.

The following key components of Red Hat Process Automation Manager are available on OpenShift:

  • KIE Server, also known as Execution Server, is the infrastructure element that runs decision services, process applications, and other deployable assets (collectively referred to as services) . All logic of the services runs on execution servers.

    A database server is normally required for KIE Server. You can provide a database server in another OpenShift pod or configure an execution server on OpenShift to use any other database server. Alternatively, KIE Server can use an H2 database; in this case, you cannot scale the pod.

    In some templates, you can scale up a KIE Server pod to provide as many copies as required, running on the same host or different hosts. As you scale a pod up or down, all of its copies use the same database server and run the same services. OpenShift provides load balancing and a request can be handled by any of the pods.

    You can deploy a separate KIE Server pod to run a different group of services. That pod can also be scaled up or down. You can have as many separate replicated KIE Server pods as required.

  • Business Central is a web-based interactive environment used for authoring services. It also provides a management and monitoring console. You can use Business Central to develop services and deploy them to KIE Servers. You can also use Business Central to monitor the execution of processes.

    Business Central is a centralized application. However, you can configure it for high availability, where multiple pods run and share the same data.

    Business Central includes a Git repository that holds the source for the services that you develop on it. It also includes a built-in Maven repository. Depending on configuration, Business Central can place the compiled services (KJAR files) into the built-in Maven repository or (if configured) into an external Maven repository.

  • Business Central Monitoring is a web-based management and monitoring console. It can manage the deployment of services to KIE Servers and provide monitoring information, but does not include authoring capabilities. You can use this component to manage staging and production environments.
  • Smart Router is an optional layer between KIE Servers and other components that interact with them. When your environment includes many services running on different KIE Servers, Smart Router provides a single endpoint to all client applications. A client application can make a REST API call that requires any service. Smart Router automatically calls the KIE Server that can process a particular request.

You can arrange these and other components into various environment configurations within OpenShift.

The following environment types are typical:

  • Authoring: An environment for creating and modifying services using Business Central. It consists of pods that provide Business Central for the authoring work and a KIE Server for test execution of the services. For instructions about deploying this environment, see Deploying a Red Hat Process Automation Manager authoring environment on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform.
  • Managed deployment: An environment for running existing services for staging and production purposes. This environment includes several groups of KIE Server pods; you can deploy and undeploy services on every such group and also scale the group up or down as necessary. Use Business Central Monitoring to deploy, run, and stop the services and to monitor their execution.

    You can deploy two types of managed environment. In a freeform server environment, you initially deploy Business Central Monitoring and one KIE Server. You can additionally deploy any number of KIE Servers. Business Central Monitoring can connects to all servers in the same namespace. For instructions about deploying this environment, see Deploying a Red Hat Process Automation Manager freeform managed server environment on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform.

    Alternatively, you can deploy a fixed managed server environment. A single deployment includes Business Central Monitoring, Smart Router, and a preset number of KIE Servers (by default, two servers, but you can modify the template to change the number). You cannot easily add or remove servers at a later time. For instructions about deploying this environment, see Deploying a Red Hat Process Automation Manager fixed managed server environment on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform.

  • Deployment with immutable servers: An alternate environment for running existing services for staging and production purposes. In this environment, when you deploy a KIE Server pod, it builds an image that loads and starts a service or group of services. You cannot stop any service on the pod or add any new service to the pod. If you want to use another version of a service or modify the configuration in any other way, you deploy a new server image and displace the old one. In this system, the KIE Server runs like any other pod on the OpenShift environment; you can use any container-based integration workflows and do not need to use any other tools to manage the pods. Optionally, you can use Business Central Monitoring to monitor the performance of the environment and to stop and restart some of the service instances, but not to deploy additional services to any KIE Server or undeploy any existing ones (you cannot add or remove containers). For instructions about deploying this environment, see Deploying a Red Hat Process Automation Manager immutable server environment on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform.

You can also deploy a trial or evaluation environment. This environment includes Business Central and a KIE Server. You can set it up quickly and use it to evaluate or demonstrate developing and running assets. However, the environment does not use any persistent storage, and any work you do in the environment is not saved. For instructions about deploying this environment, see Deploying a Red Hat Process Automation Manager trial environment on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform.

To deploy a Red Hat Process Automation Manager environment on OpenShift, you can use the templates that are provided with Red Hat Process Automation Manager. You can modify the templates to ensure that the configuration suits your environment.