Posts in Category: Uncategorized

Terry Pratchett: Choosing to die

I rarely post non-technical stuff on this blog. When I do, you can be sure it is something really worth it.

The documentary below this text is touching and sad in a strange way. It spooked through my mind for several days after watching it. I wouldn’t recommend it if you are feeling down at the moment.

Terry Pratchett (yes, Discworld-Terry Pratchett) explores a rather difficult subject: medically assisted death. Having been diagnosed with Alzheimerโ€™s disease in 2008, Terry considers how he might choose to end his life as his condition progresses. In this moving documentary he meets those who, like him, would like to control the way they die including a men suffering from degenerative conditions and he is with a British motor neurone sufferer as he carries out an assisted death at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland.

( source:

Activiti 5.0.alpha4 released

A new month, a new release … the Activiti team keeps its pace!

Things are shaping up, and this will be the last release before we’re into beta.

Download the 5.0.alpha4 release here!

This release packs a bunch of goodies, which I’m sure will make you happy:


  • MySQL support
  • Support for method expressions on sequence flow
  • Revised ActivityExecution API
  • Added ConcurrencyController API
  • Process Event Bus
  • Taskforms: added date and date picker support
  • Explorer: changed process definition drop down list to a separate page

New features

  • BPMN parallel gateway
  • BPMN manual task
  • BPMN (embedded) subprocess
  • BPMN call activity (subprocess)
  • BPMN Java service task
  • Spring integration (experimental, no docs yet)


  • Made engine compatible with BPMN 2.0 beta process models
  • Fixed exception on windows and linux when using boundary timer event
  • Expression cannot have whitespaces event tomorrow

Tomorrow, the JBoss User Group Belgium is organizing its third event. Since I’m co-founder of the user group, I’ll obviously hang around!

There is still room left last time I checked, so don’t hesitate to register (free) for the event here!

Great opportunity to network, learn and chat about what’s happening around us. Hope to see and chat with you there!!

JBoss @ Fosdem 2010

This weekend, Brussels is again the place to be for every open-source enthousiastic. For the first time ever and with some help from the JBoss User Group Belgium, there is now a JBoss devroom where different JBoss talks will be given. The event is completely free, so no reason not to be there!

There will also be a jBPM talk, done by our friends at Camunda.

The complete program can be found here:

Hope to see you at the JBoss booth!
I'm going to FOSDEM, the Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting

Devoxx 2009 slides and pictures

Two weeks ago, you could already read here that jBPM would be well represented on the Java conference of Europe, Devoxx. And it simply was a blast. As an open-source developer, there is nothing more rewarding than talking with the end-users that employ our software for their day-to-day jobs. We’ve received tons of feedback, use cases and appreciation to keep us goind until next year!

University session & BOF

Our adventure started out Monday morning, where Tom and I were scheduled for a University session of 3 hours.

The presentation went smooth, lots of people in the room (I’m guessing 250-300, including some very heavy jBPM addicts) and the Demo Gods also named Murphy didn’t intervene during the live demo. In my opinion, this was one of my best talks of jBPM ever, certainly content-wise. If you’re starting out with jBPM, there is in my opinion no better introduction than this talk. So do check out Parleys to see the whole talk (currently non-free).

Guerilla marketing before the talk

Tom in action (picture by Devoxx team)

University session slides

You can find the slides of the University session on Slideshare:


Later that day, we were also scheduled for a BOF. Some interesting topics were touched, including ‘graphical vs xml’ modeling. Many thanks to our Greek friend Paris are due here, he really was able to spark the discussion with his statements (still get the laughs when I think about his discussion with Pete Muir about Seam during the BOF). He was able to join us for a drink afterwards, and we learned that he was actually using jBPM in a big high-demanding project. Interesting fellow.

Tom @ BOF

Conference session

The conference session was basically a slimmed-down version of the uni talk. The main difference was that we now used the Train Ticket demo and that Tom was now giving live demos (different one from the uni talk). Of course, the Demo Gods did intervene and made Tom’s laptop freeze. Luckily he managed to get everything up and running before it was his time to speak…. but I can tell you: I was sweating it while doing the intro talking ๐Ÿ˜‰ Luckily it wasn’t really showing, as you can see on the picture:

Me in action (picture by the Devoxx team)

Me in action (picture by Devoxx team)

You can find the slide again on Slideshare:

See you next year!

I’ve attented Devoxx for the last three years, but this one was really special due to the fact I was now attending as a speaker. Many thanks to the Devoxx team for scheduling three jBPM sessions, and of course many thanks to Tom for letting me co-present with him.

Of course, this limited post does no justice to the week we spent at Devoxx. I saw some really cool stuff (eg. project Arquillian), networked with tons of interesting people, talked with dozens of jBPM users and generally was only home after midnight ๐Ÿ™‚ Can’t wait until next year!

If you want to see more pictures, take a look at those taken by Eric Schabell. In a couple of them, Tom and me are also popping up. Imo, the best one is the JBoss booth shot when we were handing out free beer ๐Ÿ˜‰

jBPM @ Devoxx

Next week, the Java Circus is once again in town (or at least, in the country). That’s right, it’s time again for a whole week of edutainment in Devoxx!

jBPM is extremely well represented this year, and together with Tom we’ll be doing 2 talks (uni & conference) and a BOF. Koen has also promised to fly back from the States, which means that 3/4 of the jBPM team is attending Devoxx. Don’t miss the opportunity to convince us of your issues/features for jBPM ๐Ÿ˜‰

More information like agenda and content can be found on Tom’s blog:Planning Your Devoxx Schedule’.

Until next week!

[off-topic] The Way To A Man’s Heart Is Through His Stomach

People that know me in real life, will not be surprised by this title. I can really enjoy the finer things in life: food, wine and of course Coffee.

So when I received yesterday a Nescafรฉ Dolce Gusto machine from my wife for my birthday, I was ecstatic. It seems to be contagious among developers, this ever-burning love for good coffee. That’s the reason why I wanted to share my experience here on my blog, because I just know that a big part of the audience will be interested. Note that I’m not a big fan of strong espresso, so this machine is a perfect fit for me (although it can make espresso). Plus, it is small enough for my little home office and works extremely easy and fast (shot is ready in less than a minute!).

The taste and the look of the coffee is just perfect. I’m definitely hooked. The only downside is that cups are hard to find here for the moment, since the machine is just less than a month on the Belgian market. But this is just a temporary problem of course. For those interested in a nice cup of coffee when coding your business processes, here are some pictures:

The box before unwrapping shows a perfect Macchiato … I’m a bit skeptical at this point if the end result will look like the box.

Duke – in the background – is also eager to try the machine.

The machine after installation and plugging it in. The futuristic look is perfect in my developers’ dungeon home office.

First comes the milk.

And then the cofee.

And there you have it. A perfect Latte Macchiatto … with an incredible taste!

And now after this intermezzo, back to some jBPM coding … with the aura of great coffee in the office ๐Ÿ™‚

JDD09 Krakow report

Last week, Tom and I found ourselves in Krakow, Poland for a jBPM4 presentation at the Java Developers’ Day 2009.

Of course, as the tradition requires we could not board the plane without some Starbucks magic juice in our veins.

The JDD conference and organisation really impressed me. The location, infrastructure, food and audience were of top-notch quality. Or perhaps it had something to do with the fact that they managed to get the most … interesting Polish ladies as boothbabes …

Anyway, we were scheduled as the opening keynote session. The next pictures gives an impression of the setup: 3 *huge* screens in a huge hall filled with 400+ Polish developers. Awesome! (By the way, on the pictures you can see Mark Richards, which was scheduled after our talk). Since the session was recorded and photographed several times, I’ll have better material soon.

Our talk was received very well. The technical level of the audience and the presentation was spot-on, which made it interesting for both sides. We used the train ticket demo, which I described in my previous posts. We also used the ‘one-minute-movie‘ which was received with a loud applauding when we ticked off at 57 seconds ๐Ÿ™‚

You can find the complete presentation here:

We really had a great time. The friendly people of JDD can ask us anytime to do a talk again!

We also managed to investigate Krakow, which is – in my opinion- one of the most beautiful cities of Europe. We also visited the (in)famous site of Auschwitz. It’s hard to find the right words to describe the experience – it’s quite a dark place but it also is interesting (altough ‘interesting’ isn’t the right word in this context, but I can’t find anything better).

I truly belief that everybody should go there once, it’s an eye-opener. For me, it could best be described by the words that were printed on one of the cellblocks during the tour: “The one who does not remember history is bound to live through it again (George Santayana)“.

And now back to some jBPM coding … the 4.2 release is getting close!

Speaking at JDD09 and Devoxx

After a marvellous honeymoon in Indonesia, it is now time to get back to my second love. The jBPM 4.2 release is quite close around the corner and Tom already showed me some nifty new features which you will definitely like. Be sure to keep an eye on our blogs to be the first to know when we unleash 4.2.

Also, in the next month, Tom and I will be talking about jBPM4 at two big conferences:

This Friday (16 October) we will be in Krakow, Poland, presenting ‘Pimp your domain model with jBPM‘ as the Keynote of the Java Developers Day 09.

I’ve never been to Poland before, so I’m quite curious to meet the Polish jBPM users and see the country. More information about our talk can be found on the JDD website.

Next month, from 16 to 20 November, it is once again time for the Nirvana of European Java Conferences. Yes, I’m talking about Devoxx. It makes my Belgian heart more than proud, to see what Stephan Janssens always manages to organize in our little country.

The last couple of years, I’ve always been lurking around as an attendant, but this year a childhood dream comes true. Together with Tom, I’ll be presenting two talks (one University and one Conference talk) and one BOF at Devoxx. I will make sure the talks will be worth the trip to Antwerp! See the Devoxx website for more information about the talks.

So, I certainly hope to meet you at one of these conferences. If you have any feedback for us, or you just are in the neighbourhood and want to have a little chat, don’t hesitate to come up to us. We are more than eager to meet the community people!

Of course, between the conferences we will not sit still and keep working at the world’s greatest BPM engine … Stay tuned!

Train Ticket Demo overview (final part) – Getting started with jBPM in less than a minute!

In the last two weeks, I’ve been putting articles online that discuss the various stages of the BPM lifecycle using a real-life business problem and of course jBPM. Now that all articles, the source and binaries are online, it’s time to give an overview such that people can easily get started with jBPM. If you’ve already read all the articles you can safely skip to the next section, because there I have a final screencast available for you!

In the future, we’ll definitely enhance and modify the demo. We’ll also be using the demo as a starting point for jBPM talks we’ll do in the coming months (eg. JDD & Devoxx). In the meantime, any feedback on the train ticket demo and these articles is greatly appreciated!


  • Part 2: coding the business process – Here, the business process model from the previous article is enhanced with business-specific Java logic. The article shows how easy it is to test jBPM processes in a regular Java environment. (screencast)
  • Intermezzo: how does jBPM fit into my architecture? In this article, I explain what benefits jBPM gives you when you design your architecture. It is shown that jBPM is extremely flexible and embeddable in any Java technology. Also be sure to read the comments, since there is some good content there!
  • Part 4: the end application – here you can download the complete demo application. This article shows also how the principles of the intermezzo article are applied in practice. (screencast)
  • Part 5: BI and BAMThis articles shows how easy it is to gather (SLA and KPI) metrics from business process executions and how to make shiny charts of them which managers do love so much. (screencast1 & screencast2)

Getting started with jBPM takes only one minute of your time

First impressions are important.

That’s why we at jBPM have taken care that getting started with jBPM can be done by issuing just a single command. Not having enough time also isn’t an excuse anymore, which is demonstrated by the following screencast. Here you’ll see the demo setup of jBPM in action, providing you with

  • a JBoss 5 application server
  • with the jBPM engine installed as a service, usable by other applications
  • also including: the Signavio editor to start the modeling
  • the jBPM console to start playing around with processes
  • a working Eclipse to start developing your business processes

Ow yeah. All of this you get in LESS THAN A MINUTE.


And now for me its time for some sweet relaxation after working hard to push these articles out to the world (I’m marrying tomorrow – so it’ll be quiet for some time here ;-)).