Just wanted to say ....


LAC 2013: De Onderscheidende Architect (Dutch)

Op 27 en 28 november jongstleden ben ik voor de Computable naar het Landelijk Architectuur Congres 2013 geweest. Hierbij een kort verslag:


OpenText Process Suite 10.5 platform


With the acquisition of Cordys this year, i was curious about the integration with OpenText. At the Enterprise World 2013 some insight is already given. This will be a short recap.
You may also listen to Brian Wick here.

Process Suite 10.5 Platform

There was a tweet from @r that showed the content of the process suite platform of OpenText.

It also shows that Cordys is rebranded to "OpenText Cordys 10.5". The platform and BPM offering of OpenText can be visualized as:

The suite is composed of several components:

  • OpenText Cordys 10.5This is the core component of the suite with BPM and Case Management 
  • Unified UIThere comes a unified UI with HTML5 support that is integrated within BMPM, Case360, Process360 and Execute360
  • BPM EverywhereThis is a new social platform that lets users collaborate on cases.
  • AppWorks GatewayThis gives a set of RESTfull APIs on top of OpenText EIM produkts to integrate the data, taken from EIM, with the processes.
  • Process IntelligenceComponent for businesss intelligence and analytics
  • Process Component LibraryThis is a set of components that can be used by IT or business to assemble applications.
  • Cloud ProvisioningAll developed apps can be made available to the Cloud using the Cloud Provisioning component

There are a few ways to develop BPM apps:

  • Packaged AppsThese are apps that are fully pre-developed and only need some configurations. This way customers have a fast solution.
  • Assembled AppsWith the use of the Process Component Library customers can easy and quickly develop new apps.
  • Model Driven AppsWith the use of the BPM development environment, customers can make custom apps.
  • Coded AppsWith the use of the AppWorks gateway, customers can easily expose data with this API.

Also more information can be found on Process Suite 10.5: 

Process Suite 10.5


ArchiMate certification

The previous two weeks I had two days of training on ArchiMate 2.0 from BizzDesign and today I had my exam. I passed and it is a good addition to my knowledge as a Solution Architect.


The exam and the notation itself is not very difficult, especially when you already know UML. When you study the materials of BizzDesign, this should be enough.

Go using it ...

Now starts the harder part: actually using the language. There are a lot of tools that support the ArchiMate language. One of the free tools is Archi. Depending on you stakeholders you can design your vieuws and tell your architecture story.


Use your common sense

Nowadays there are a lot of standard processes within healthcare, school and IT. That takes away our ability to think for ourselfs. I see that people use the processes as an excuse and do not think for themselves anymore. How can i help my customer for the best, or how can i teach this child for the best.

I have read the following book of Barry Schwartz: Practical Wisdom

I really liked the book and i can recommend it, because it gives inspiration to think about.
How can i help my customer for the best?
Is this the solution that will help my customer?
I understand that we need rules, standards and processes, but that does not mean that those are the holy grail.
That's why i like a more Agile approach than working out big plans, that may have changed before you even finished the plan. Sitting together with the customer thinking about the best solution at that time.

Very inspiring book !


Dream Event 2013

On Thursday the 12th of september I visited the Dream Event in Houten. This is a small recap of the event.


Dream stands for Dutch Requirement Engineering And Management and is the only event within the Netherlands specifically about Requirements. The event had some very interesting speakers, of which James Taylor is probably the most famous one. The presentations were very diverse and with some kind of relation towards requirements of course.

James Taylor - Simpler, smarter and more agile processes

His talk was about making processes simpler, smarter and more agile by using business rules. So looking at if-the-else constructions within the processes, that have high impact on the processes. Not the best presentation i have seen, but this is my personal opinion. It was very formal and not much new information for me. It should be common practive when you want to have your processes flexible and agile. I do understand though that this is probably not common sense in most organisations.

Rini van Solingen - Survival of the fittest, bringing business value quick

This was a very entertaining and interested presentation of Rini. The presenation was done without the usual powerpoints, but he draw things on a flipover. He stated (among other things) that planning does not work anymore in this fast society. In the past he argued that there was time to grow. He used the example that it took the telephone 75 years to reach 50 million users. Nowadays Angry Birds reached this figure within 13 days. The statement is clear because organisations are organized as fabrics of the 19th century. And this does not work (at least not for a lot of produkts) any more. He states that Agility is key with timeboxing, steady teams and steady quality.
I think he has some good points, but steady teams and steady quality can be difficult to achieve.

Some other statements he made:
  • You learn more by doing things than by thinking about it
    I agree on this when it comes to software development and this is also why Agile development is such a "hype" at the moment. We are not able to specify each requirement in such detail, so that it does not change anymore. You have to see it working.
  • The organisation F-Secure uses the following KPIs
    - Lead time must go down
    - Value throughput must raise
    - Net promotion score mus raise
    - Number of unfinished work must go down
    So faster time to market, with higher business value and high customer satisfaction, but the work must be finished.
Some conclusions he made:
  • Make cross functional teams
  • Fast csutomer value
  • Focus on results and transparency
  • Realy change the game
  • Making mistakes is a MUST

Arjen  Uittenbogaard - 7 essential characteristics of an agile professional

The most interesting and inspiring presentation came from Arjen. He is a real storyteller with a great sense of humor and great presentation skills. He also used no powerpoints and also no flipover. He talked about three books:
  1. Intensieve menshouderij - Jaap Peters (Dutch)
    Within this book it is argued that "measuring is not always knowing". Numbers is narrowing your view. SMART is not always smart.
    Be aware of the language of the customer and do not "frame". Discover the metaphors used.
  2. Practical Wisdom - Barry Swartz
    The short message is: Does making Rules and following rigid processes really improve the work?
    The statement of the book is that it is disastrous for craftsmanship. The examples in the book are mainly on healthcare and law, but i agree that rules must not be followed blindly but always used within the context and as a tool.
  3. To save everything click here
    This is a more philosophical book about the question if innovations are really the solution to a problem. 
I bought all three books and i am very excited about them. Real eye-openers !


A real nice organised conference with a lot of interesting speakers. Happy i could attend.


Cordys bought by OpenText. And now?

OpenText has bought Cordys.
Some links:




From these articles we can conclude for now that:

  • OpenText wants to expand on BPM and Case Management
  • OpenText want to become leader within Cloud and PaaS marketplace
  • Cordys will be referred as OpenText Cordys 

As a certified Cordys Solution Architect I wonder:

  • What will remain of the Cordys produkts?
  • How will current clients be supported by OpenText?
  • What will be used of the strong Cordys Cloud proposition with its multi-tenant concept?
  • Will the user interfaces of Cordys be adapted, so a uniform interface will be used on multiple process engines?
  • How will Cordys be integrated within the current BPM offerings of OpenText
  • Will Cordys get a greater customer base?

We will find out the next months ...


First Cordys Certified Solution Architect

I am a proud man !

Today i received my Cordys Solution Architect Certification. I am the first Certified Solution Architect and thats why what makes it so special.

I started the certification program back in 2012 with the Cordys Solution Architect program. It was a three days course on several aspects of the Cordys BOP produkt.
After that I got myself three certificates:
* Cordys Fundamentals
* Cordys BPMS
* Cordys Solution Architect

For each certification you had to go through three phases: theoretical exam, practical exam and an interview where you have to defend your practical solution.

More can be read here: https://wiki.cordys.com/display/cordyscert/Home


Trends in BPM

On Friday morning I left Geldrop for the Conference "Trends in BPM" in the picturesque town Hoevelaken. The theme this year was "Samenwerken in de keten: mens, methodes en impact" (Collaboration within the chain: people, methods and impact). It was held in the Koninginnestraat 1 at Intres. It was a very long street and each traffic sign said "1 straight ahead", but in the end the street ended and no nr 1 was found. Also not Intres. When I drove the whoel street for the third time and asked three people for Intres and nr 1, i finally parked my car at Euretco. I went inside to the reception and asked where i could find Intres. It appeared that the name Intres was renamed to Euretco, so in fact i was at the correct place! Maybe a hint to write the correct name on the invitations !?

So I went inside and soon noticed that i was a little bit underdressed. This was my own fault, because most of the times these conferences are packed with suits. But nevertheless I went into the first session hoping to hear which direction BPM is going ...

Pascal Ravesteijn opened the event with a survey of an investigation that was held under >100 people, on the maturity of BPM within organisations. The conclusion was that the maturity was decreased in comparison with 2010. Due to crisis or more focus on BPM maturity of organisations? He could not tell, but this was the fact. After this the sessions began ...

Optimalisatie door diversiteit in standaardisatie
(Optimization through diversity within standardization)

The first session was a case in which Ton Arrachart (CIO of Oord Dredging & Marne) told about the challenges he faces within the world of Dredging. The story was about standards used within the processes especially when it comes to the security of his employees. Furthermore the standardization of the ships, because this way ships can be build faster and employees can change between ships, because of procedures and processes on the ships are the same. 

Gezamenlijk sturen op gedeelde informatie, simpel toch?
(Steering together by using shared information, easy right?)

This session held by Bas van der Raadt (Senior ICT Architect at Schiphol Group), was about a CDM system build by EuroControl. CDM stands for Collaborative Decision Making. The system helps in coordinating the planes within the European air. The process looks fairly simple, but there were a lot of challenges, for example:
  • The interpretation or definition of the terms used within the field are not always the same within companies. For example: A flight. For KLM this meant the whole route from beginning to the end (with stops in between). Within the context of Schiphol it is just the incoming and outgoing of the plane.
  • Political issues
  • Involving the right people
Within the process there are milestones defined, which are important for the process on which is steered.

Hoe blijf je in controle over je process?
(How to stay in control of your process)

This session (held by Tom Kastelein) was about a new banking concept (knab). It is a new bank build from the ground and with the client in the lead. He told about the process of vision towards real implementation of the concept. By selecting the right people, with the right mindset and innovation, they managed to build up a new banking company with a different approach. Within lies a BPM architecture that makes it possible to automate a lot of client processes. For example they claim to register a new customer within 3 minutes, by the use of this BPM platform.

After this session we had a break with the usual coffee and soda's. After the break we started off with an enthusiastic session.

In control met regelbeheersing
(In control with business rules)

This session was held by Mark Mastop (Chief Innovation Officer, Aquima). Aquima was one of the sponsors of this event (thanks !). The talk was about how organizations can be flexible by centralizing its business rules, so that these rules are made traceable. This way the business rules become far more transparent and can be easily changed, so that the company can be flexible.
He talked about Decision Modeling Notation, a standard for describing business rules.
Furthermore in the new produkt version of Aquima, they are going to work together with James Taylor who is a known figure within the DMN field. See also on the LinkedIn group to follow discussions on this subject.

Software is Eating the World

Software is anywhere. That was the statement of Marco van Heerde en Wilbert Baan. They had an inspiring session that software is eating the world. They also states that we are living in a network society. Joi Ito has written down 9 principles for this new way of living.

These principles look like the Agile Manifesto :-)
They showed some very interesting websites like:
  • Kickstarter (A crowd funding site on which you can place an idea that can be funded by the crowd)
  • Scanadu (You own personal house dokter)
  • 23andme (where you can investigate your own DNA)
  • Nike's Fuelband (keeps track of walking/running information)
This presentation (again) showed that we as people/client are becoming in control.

After this presentation I left the building and went for a nice diner at De Foep.

In this nice setting I thought about the conference and this is what I thought:
  • Some nice customer cases were presented using BPM
  • Not many new insides into the direction of BPM
  • Very inspiring session about Software is everything
  • Curious to see how BPM will fit within the new 21rst century, in which people are more and more in control in which (i think), standard processes will disappear and social collaboration, and internet of things is the future. These internet of things will be available anytime and anywhere.


Installed Cordys BOP4.2 CU1

When i installed Cordys Bop4.2 CU1 i ran into two problems which i wanted to share with you.
My environment: Windows Server 8 R2, MySql 5.5, Java 1.7

I followed the installation documentation of Cordys: https://wiki.cordys.com/display/bop42/Cordys+BOP+4.2+Documentation

I was able to install CARS without any problems. The I installed BOP with default configurations. I had a clean database, so I let Cordys create the database, but then the installation failed with a "Could not execute database scripts". I contacted Cordys and this appeared to be a known bug. You have to create the database schema first:

GRANT ALL ON Cordys.* TO root IDENTIFIED BY '%password%';

So happy that this worked, I installed it again and it went fine. Until the base packages had to be installed. It failed with a NULL pointer exception with an error message I did not understand. 

It turned out that the Cordys Monitor could not be started. So I contacted Cordys again and this appeared another issue.
Today I saw this on the Cordys Wiki: https://wiki.cordys.com/display/PI/2013/06/06/Issue+with+Java+Update+21


Kabisa ESB

Today i came accross an ESB of Kabisa ICT. They have a produkt called Kabisa ESB.
This is a short blog item just to write down what i came to know about this ESB.

Well first of all it is based on Apache Camel (for routing and mediation) and Apache Service Mix.
Service Mix is an implementation of JBI (Java Business Integration) standard.

On top of that Kabisa has made a graphical designer (FlowDesigner) to integrate your systems and to setup complex workflows and data streams.

No more information on the site w.r.t FlowDesigner, so i asked for documentation. Hope to blog on this tool more soon ....


Cordys BPMS Certification in da house !

Friday i received my official Cordys BPMS Certification.
With proud i present you:

Next goal is the Cordys Solution Architect Certification ....


Cordys Solution Architect Certification

Tomorrow i have my first theoretical exam of the Cordys Solution Architect Certification.
For this theoretical part you have to know:

  • SOA
  • CAF
  • CWS
  • Security parts
I did not have much time to prepare the exam, so i am curious tomorrow....

The next part of this certification is a handson that takes 15 calendar days.
The third part is that you give a presentation of a business case where you took part of as a Solution Architect.
The fourth part is that you publish a new article, solution pattern, or best practice on the community.

So a lot to go for, ....




One of my favorite tools is TweetDeck, so in fact Twitter.
I use TweetDeck to tweet what i am doing and thinking. But most of all i use it to see what is going on within the field. This blog item describes the way i use TweetDeck.

Tips and Tricks

Of course you need a TwitterAccount to tweet.

1 - Use Lists

I follow a lot of people and therefore my stream is very large. So how can you filter your stream?
You can create as much List as you like and assign twitter accounts to Lists.

I use the Lists as follows.
* I use list for Interesting tweets
* People i know: Know

You can add Twitter Accounts to Lists:
  • Click on the Account

2 - Use Columns

You can add Columns in which you can show all type of Tweets. I use it to show Lists i currently interested in or i use it for topics i currently interesting in. For example on Cordys.
  • You select Add Column
  • Select the Search and type Cordys

Now you will see all tweets related to Cordys:

You can choose to add a lot of other Column types. Try them.

I find TweetDeck a very usefull tool !


Oracle BPM Case Management compared to Cordys Case Management


Oracle announced its new BPM produkt.

I found it interested that also (Adaptive) Case Management was added and i was curious what the difference is between the Oracle and Cordys approach w.r.t. Case Management. In this Blog item i will discuss some of the the differences and resemblance.

Adapative Case Management

Both Cordys and Oracle agree on the fact that there are processes that are not defined ahead and a knowledge worker can define the path as the case progresses. So that's good news.
Also both in Oracle and Cordys the case management and normal BPMN processes can be mixed.

Case Modelling 

Users can define a Case and associate it with a set of Case Activities. In addition to Case activities, the Case definition consists of case data, case documents, case rules, case events, case milestones, case stakeholders, and case outcomes. The progression of a case is indicated via case milestones. A case milestone signifies completion of a stage in a case and is useful as it provides high-level snapshots for management to validate the progress of a case. A case is said to be complete when a case outcome is reached.

The case activities could be BPMN based processes or human workflow tasks or notifications or could be
even an automated system step. These activities could be mandatory or optional and become available
to the case worker at various points as the case progresses. The activation of a case activity can be
manual or automatic based on case rules or case events or reaching of a case milestone. In addition to
pre-defined case activities, the platform also supports creation of case activities by a case worker.

After creation of a Case Management Component in Oracle BPM two components of the implementation are created: a Case object and a Case related rules set.
The true engine behind the case management is Oracle's Rule Engine. Their you can define what should be happen when an event occurs.

(Asynchronous) processes can be used within Cases and the rule engine when promoted to case activity.

Cordys takes a more modelling approach. It uses Functional States to model the possible states within the case (i.s.o. Milestones). The activities can also be human tasks, processes or automated steps. The case model is visualized.

The following activity within the case can be defined using Automatic, Free or Intermediate. The Free follow-up activities can be selected by the Knowledge worker within that particular functional state. Automatic activities are executed automatically when the previous activity is finished. Intermediate activity is an activity that can be selected by the knowledge worker as a kind of side step.

Events or when activities are completed within a functional state are used to define transitions between states.

Cases and BPMN processes can be mixed within Cordys as well.


Oracle integrates with its Oracle Web Center Content product component. Oracle BPM also supports integration with 3rd party content management systems via CMIS (Content Management Interoperability Services) interfaces.

Cordys integrates default with JackRabbit. Also custom CMS integration is possible when adhered to JSR 170 compliant interface.


Oracle an entity modeler to define the case data.
Cordys uses an XML editor to define the case data.

Oracle uses a  rule engine table to define the case using events, activities and milestones.
Cordys takes the modeling approach using functional states, events and activities.

Oracle has good integration with its document store system.
Cordys takes the open source Jack Rabbit as its default document store system.

Of course both products have a lot of more features, but this gives you already some overview.
More can be found:

Some BPM Misunderstandings

Like to pose some  misunderstandings about BPM.
Maybe some BPM tool vendors will disagree and also some BPM consultancy firms, but then again this is my own humble opinion. Feel free to react, add your own, discuss.

Lets begin with a delicate one.

BPM makes my organisation flexible

A lot of people will say that BPM makes your organization flexible. It can be the case but then there must hold a couple of pre-conditions:

  • You must know where you want flexibility
    In this case you have to know the future and you do not know it.
  • You must have a good IT SOA architecture
    This is needed to be flexible to define your processes. Using Services will enable reuse and consistency throughout the architecture
  • It is only design time flexibility
    The statement that the business can change the process on the fly is mostly false. I have not seen it yet and is probably only a couple of configurations that can be changed so that parameters within the process are changed. This way you can steer the process but the process itself remains the same.

BPM is about tooling

  • It is a classic mistake that BPM is a IT party
    It should be an enterprise wide initiative because BPM is most of the time stretched horizontally concerning multiple business units. It should help the business in doing its business. The implementation of BPM should not be taken lightly, because it concerns a lot of implementation time. The visual BPMN diagrams can be drawn quickly but making it executable will take some time. Especially when a good SOA infrastructure has not yet been setup.

BPM is a visual programming tool

  • With the BPMN diagrams it looks like the BPM implementation is finished, but this is not the case. The model must be made executable so needs actual service implementation. Also it is sometimes used as implementation tool to implement services. I would not recommend this, because that is not where BPMN was originally designed for. It should orchestrate your business processes using services and business rules. Also BPMN does not perform well when using for big loops.

BPM lets the business change their own processes

  • The business can and must help defining the processes, but the processes itself can not be changed runtime (or on the fly). At least i have not seen such a BPMS suite yet. What mostly will happen is that business rules or parameters of the processes can be adapted by the business. Of course these kind of  tools must be build in within the process implementations at design time.


Cordys monitoring using Hyperic


Cordys servers are a very complicated environment including lot of different JVM's (java virtual machines) and lot of connections to databases and other external systems, and in a Cordys cluster, different Cordys instances.
Therefore Cordys servers can run in trouble for many reasons, for example:
    •        Maximum heap memory exceeded
    •     Broken connections
    •     Load too high
    •     Lack of memory
    •     Slow database
It is the task of Cordys administrators to maintain and monitor Cordys servers in production environments in order to meet the SLA requirements of customers. For every Cordys Service Container the administrator must do the following:

  • Check if heap memory usage is not exceeding maximum memory
  • Check if it is available and restart it if necessary
  • Check the performance of its webservices
  • Check the performance of the databases used by the service container

Another task of the Cordys administrator is to optimize performance by adding more resources. For this the administrator needs to know the bottlenecks and the peak loads. So he needs lot of data accumulated over large periods and visualized in clear graphs.
So Cordys administrators needs a monitoring tool helping him to detect problems fast and to analyze trends of resource usages. This monitoring tool must be able to do the following:

  • Send alerts (mail and sms) when a critical threshold is exceeded
  • Data accumulated over large periods of time
  • Show clear graphs
  • Provide a dashboard summarizing the health of the Cordys server
  • The graphs must support drilldown: after the problem is found it must be possible to get more details about the problem by clicking on the graphs

Unfortunately Cordys does not provide such a monitoring tool. But Cordys supports JMX offering lot of information about the performance of the service containers. These JMX counters can be monitored in a tool supporting JMX.
Most customers only use JConsole of JVisualVM for monitoring these counters. However these tools have important limitations:

  • No data aggregation over large periods of time
  • Very limited dashboard en graph options
  • Lot of knowledge required for addressing the right counters and visualizing them

Hyperic User Interface


The dashboard is an overall view of the server's health and has a menu for looking up and creating monitored resources and their alerts. The dashboard is implemented as a portal with portlets showing different aspects of the resources.

Auto discovery

The Auto-Discovery portlet shows all resources found on the server. The administrator can select them and add them to the set of resources monitored by Hyperic. Thanks to the Cordys plugin the auto discovery is also able to locate the Cordys Service Containers, see the screenshot below for an example: 

Note: This autodiscovery plugin has been written by Ciber

Recent Alerts

The Recent Alerts portlets shows all spawned alerts. After solving the cause of these alerts the administrator can mark them here as fixed.

Alerts can be triggered, for example, when a service container is not available or when the heap memory exceeded a critical threshold. The application administrator will receive an email or an sms so that he can fix the problem fast.

Resources, Groups and Graphs

Hyperic shows graphs for every available metric for both groups and individual resources. The graphs of the groups are an aggregation of its members. This group view enables for a quick analysis of bottlenecks and drilldowns.
First analyze the metrics on group level:


Hyperic together with the Ciber plugin is a perfect tool to monitor the Cordys resources and can proactively warn administrators that something is (going) wrong, before the system is down, or that business processes are halted.


Cordys BOP4: Use of Functional Roles


Within your Cordys projects you have functional- and technical roles. These Roles can be used on services and in user interfaces to define ACLs (= Access Control Lists).
This small blog describes a best practice of how to set up the Roles. Currently i always use it like this within my projects and it works fine.


In my opinion there is a big difference between a functional role and a technical role within Cordys. You can define both.

"Is Functional Role" can be checked for a functional role.

Functional Roles should be used for Roles that are known by the business. These are the Roles that are used within Business Processes. These are the Roles that are used to assign Tasks to.

It is best practice to define functional roles within a separate Cordys project.

Within the Functional Roles you can define the UIs that are allowed to be used by that Role.

This has the consequence that there is a dependency from the Organisation project to the project where the UI is defined.
Furthermore within the Sub Roles you put other Functional Roles or Technical Roles that are to be defined within the projects itself. This way you can define what services can be used by the Functional Roles.

Cordys BPMS Certification

This month i started the BPMS Certification of Cordys. I already have my Fundamentals Certification.
My final goal is to get the Solution Architect Certification.

The certification has three parts:

  • Theoretical exam
  • Handson exam
  • Interview
Within the theoretical exam you are supposed to answer 60 questions within 1 hour. The questions can be made online and are quite detailed. You really have to know your stuff. In fact in my first attempt i only got 71% and you have to get 75%. So i took it too lightly.

The handson is one big case that you have to work out. It is also bigger (of course) than the exercises you get with the Fundamentals. You have 10 working days for the handson.

After the handson you get an interview. In this interview you have to explain your solution and you get answers about the handson.

Some tips:
  • Really dive into the learning path. You do not really have to follow a training course, you can do it self paced. 
  • Also install the Cordys VM and practice
  • Especially focus on the themes you do not often use in practice (especially BAM in my case)

I have my interview on the 8th of April, so looking forward to it and up to the Solution Architect exam ! ....

To be continued ....


Chain integration with Cordys?


In several projects I have been using Cordys BOP4 platform. I really like the multi-tenancy possibilities within the project. Also the Provisioning Component of the produkt is highly appreciated and used.
However there is one thing that i sometimes run into.

Chain integration

Within the projects we have several Organisations that participate in the process of chain integration. They work with each other and they handover tasks to each other.

However currently the modelling of such "inter Organisation processes" is not possible. You can sent tasks to other Organizations but you can not model this with BPMN models.
This is a pitty because you loose the control and monitoring of the total process. Maybe you can customize this and implement it, but it is not present (yet??) in the Cordys project.