Problem with BPM Processes Deployed on Red Hat OpenShift

I love Red Hat OpenShift. It is a great PAAS product relying on Kubernates and Docker containerization technology. Red Hat brings his own improvements to the table that Kubernates does not have, improvements that I love. But they are not the subject of this post.

This post is about a disappointing “missing feature”/ “compatibility problem” (or whatever you may call it) of OpenShift when it comes to deployment of business processes modelled with Red Hat BPM Suite.

Statement of the problem:

In our project, we will be modelling/developing many business processes for our client using Red Hat BPM Suite. We will also be deploying our modular web applications on Red Hat OpenShift because we want to take advantage of dynamic scaling capabilities (along with many others) provided by OpenShift. If you have used it before, you know that Red Hat BPM Suite comes with 2 important components:

  • A Business Central where you can manage and administer your processes and tasks
  • A BAM (Business Activity Monitoring) capability to monitor KPIs (key performance indicators) for running processes and activities

Problem is you won’t have these goodies when you deploy your processes on OpenShift. I submitted a couple of support tickets to Red Hat about the problems this would result in and the answers were always the same. What you can deploy on OpenShift is only the engine part of BPM Suite which is called IPS (Intelligent Process Server). BAM and Business Central are not deployed. The reason behind seems to be the scaling. Understandably, Red Hat thinks scaling of these web parts would not be part of an optimal solution when it comes to performance and scalability concerns.

But when these 2 components are not the part of the deployment of business processes on OpenShift, then administering and monitoring these processes becomes hard and introduces additional development effort that you need to perform. As the number of processes deployed separately increases so does the number of IPSs and the number of process databases that need to be queried (by you) for management and monitoring. For big BPM projects, this additional development effort would be huge and would be a real source of pain. I asked, in another support ticket, if it was possible to somehow “attach” these IPSs living inside OpenShift to a Business Central installation living inside another POD in OpenShift or deployed outside of OpenShift and unfortunately as of writing this post that also is not possible.

I am hoping sometime soon this “attachment” becomes possible and deploying BPM processes on OpenShift becomes more manageable and meaningful.

 

Hope this helps.
Good Luck,
Serdar