Drools and jBPM Training

Hi there, I’m glad to announce the contents of our Drools and jBPM Training. I will be posting here the training material and some speaker notes about the training slides. Please feel free to give us feedback about the content and suggest us missing topics to include.

The roadmap

In this post I’m sharing the Roadmap for this training release, because it’s a work in progress I need some time to get the material published and ready for the community. Please share some feedback about the proposed topics. I will be glad to improve it in order to get a quality training from the everyone’s perspective!

  • Day 1: Theory introduction: All levels

    • Part 1: Introduction: A brief introduction about the company, the trainer, our position regarding JBoss projects, and our passions. We intend to cover as quickly as possible the needed knowledge and tools to understand and work through the demos given in this course, as well as present the different technologies and theoretical background we’ll cover in the course.

    • Part 2: Theoretical Background: We’ll explain in this section all relevant information regarding AI methodologies and principles on which rule and process engines rely on. We’ll cover topics from knowledge generation and gathering, how systems work around such knowledge to emulate domain experts, how rules apply to such mechanisms and in what way do rules work. Also, we’ll cover the theory behind BPM (Business Process Management), its history and life cycle. We’ll continue with topics such as planning problems and event processing, and how all these methodologies work together.

    • Part 3: Drools coverage: Once the theoretical background is covered, we’ll get an initial glimpse at all the tools that Drools provides to cover them. We’ll make a thorough review of the structure of business rules, events and processes. We’ll also see components of the Drools toolkit (for both versions 5.5 and 6.0) that allow us to handle a knowledge repository and how they interact with the rest of the runtime components.

    • Part 4: Architectural Overview: Once the technical components of the Drools platform are covered, we’ll take some special time to discuss best practices and known frameworks to handle different Drools based projects architecture. We’ll see how the components interact with each other, as well as how they fit in the overall structure of a system. We’ll discuss different approaches to handling rule and process executions, from embedded architectures to SaaS approaches, covering stateful and stateless executions.

    • Part 5: Practical quickstart: We’ll cover the basic steps to create your first drools and jBPM project, both using Drools version 5.5 and 6.0. We’ll introduce some “Hands On” projects for you to get familiar with the initial APIs, as well as demonstrations of the existing runtime tools to both create and execute knowledge creating very little to no code at all.

  • Day 2: Drools part 1: Medium technical level onward

    • Part 1: DRL Syntax: We cover all the details regarding writing DRL files (the syntax in which Drools technical rules are written). We introduce all components of a rule and all the syntax sugar that exists. How to define conditions, consequences, attributes, events, and queries. We cover as well the API needed to run rules both in Drools 5.5 and 6.0, as well as a Hands On exercise to get familiar with it.

    • Part 2: Drools Internal Mechanisms: We’ll study in detail how Drools transforms DRL files into an executable runtime, gaining a huge insight on how to make faster and better rules. We’ll cover the different elements in its execution network, as well as the full mechanism that activates rules in a runtime environment

    • Part 3: DSL and Decision Tables: We’ll study other ways that the Drools platform allows us to define rule based knowledge, DSL (domain specific language) to write rules in a natural language, and Decision Tables to write rules similar in structure in an Excell based stylesheet. We’ll see also a Hands On Exercise to get familiar with the API needed to run them.

    • Part 4: Drools Fusion Introduction: We’ll get into detail on the event processing mechanism of the drools platform. We’ll cover all the different temporal operators, handling data entry points, time correlations and processing events as both isolated events or streams of events. We’ll cover the API to run them both in Drools 5.5 and 6.0.

    • Part 5: OptaPlanner Introduction: We’ll learn the deatils of planning problems and how to solve them using this Drools component. We’ll see different example problems solved by the tool as well as how were they implemented. We’ll cover the configuration tutorial and optimization tools, along with a Hands On exercise to see how to run it using Drools 5.5 and 6.0.

    • Part 6: Debugging, Logging and Tuning: Once all components are thoroughly covered and we are already familiar with the APIs, we’ll start seeing different tools to trace the rules behaviour as well as process executions. We’ll see different tricks that will allow us to identify errors and unexpected behaviour in our rules and processes just as if they were in our everyday code.

  • Day 3: Drools part 2: Medium technical level onward

    • Part 1: Drools Guvnor – KIE Workbench Definitions: We’ll learn in this module about the different versions of the Knowledge Management System (KMS) provided by the Drools platform. We’ll learn to define a model and to author our own knowledge assets, scuh as rules, DSLs and Test Scenarios.

    • Part 2: Drools Guvnor for end Users: We’ll introduce the different components of the KMS from a user persective. We’ll get familiar with all the components in the action toolbar, metadata and version management, as well as package configurations to learn how to adminstrate our knowledge

    • Part 3: Drools Guvnor Administration Topics: We’ll get familiar with managing the KMS from an administrator perspective. We’ll see how to manage backup strategies, user permissions, logs, and verifications.

    • Part 4: Rules Design Patterns and Best Practices: We’ll cover best practices for creating and maintaining rules, how to manage the data model, best practices for fact classification, rules extensions and exception handling. We’ll learn as well about the life cycle of rules, and issues regarding performance and scallability, and how to tackle them.

    • Part 5: What’s new in Drools 6: We’ll cover the different aspects of the new Drools distribution in more detail. We’ll learn the reasons for the changes that have taken effect in the API, as well as the improvements in both functionality and usability of the platform. We’ll learn about PMML importing and Spring and Camel integration.

  • Day 4: jBPM part1: Medium technical level onward

    • Part 1: jBPM Introduction: We’ll get a quick introduction to the jBPM project history and it’s integration with Drools. We’ll cover the different jBPM runtime components and its functions, and an example of a business process. We’ll compare jBPM with other products, and we’ll see the advantages of jBPM by comparison. We’ll see the structure of a Business Process, how to define them using BPMN2 and how to run them using the jBPM APIs.

    • Part 2: BPM For Development: We’ll cover the different stages in BPM where development is more involved, as well as how is the best way to perceive the software writing work related to running effective Business Processes. We’ll finally see how this allows a best fit from an End User perspective.

    • Part 3: jBPM Components Overview: We’ll cover all the different components of the jBPM platform, and how they fit together. We’ll discuss several practices that allow for effective Business Process Management, and how the jBPM components fit best into those best practices.

    • Part 4: BPMN2 Writing and Using: We’ll learn in more detail an industry wide standard for writing proceses called BPMN2, its elements, and how jBPM covers it. We’ll see a code demo to jBPM, and how to handle and test different types of processes and subprocesses.

    • Part 5: jBPM Initial APIs: We’ll cover the different API components for both versions 5.4 and 6.0 of the jBPM platform. We’ll analyze the best way to test processes, how to configure its persistence, and how to work with human tasks.

  • Day 5: jBPM part 2: Medium technical level onward

    • Part 1: jBPM Basic example: We’ll learn a few different processes and we’ll see different tests to see how to interact with external services, handle rule execution from our processes, create process that react from external events, and how to pass and check data between tasks of a process instance.

    • Part 2: jBPM Domain Specific Processes: We’ll discuss the different extensions that BPMN2 process files and the jBPM runtime allow to interact with external applications in detail. We’ll see the different parameterizations allowed for that interaction and how they bind to the jBPM runtime. We’ll learn also about the difference between immediate and deferred external system interactions, with some examples and a Hands On exercise.

    • Part 3: jBPM Human Interaction: We’ll discuss in detail how the jBPM runtime deals with tasks performed by people, instead of external systems. We’ll see the special characteristics of human interaction, and existing standards to integrate it into applications, including security injection, task life cycle, and some examples with a Hands On exercise.

    • Part 4: jBPM Persistence: We’ll discuss the way jBPM persists information in detail, and how it is persisted. We’ll see how to configure the persistence and how to use it. We’ll see examples as well with a Hands On exercise.

    • Part 5: jBPM Advanced Topics: We’ll learn special tricks that will allow us to manage persistence from the session perspective in different strategies than the one used by the jBPM standard persistence. Also, we’ll learn a few tricks to handle external notifications regarding process execution, and tricks to use the process designer to its full potential. We’ll also learn how to debug process executions, which will allow us to identify errors and unexpected behaviour in our processes just as if they were in our everyday code.

Please, feel free to write me back and propose me more topics that interest you. I’m very flexible and I will do my best to reduce the learning times of this amazing project.

Stay tuned!

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2 thoughts on “Drools and jBPM Training

  1. Hi Marian, My understanding is that UberFire is a very important part of JBPM6, specially in the Business Intelligence part of the project. If that is the case, I believe you should add a module about it in the training

    • Great idea! It’s actually it is an important part for both Drools and jBPM users. I think I’m going to add a section for it on the first day. Thanks for the advice!

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