I tested NXJ 10.5 in the NWC Inc. business applications lab in Green Bay, Wis. (For details about NWC Inc., see inc.networkcomputing.com.) The installation went smoothly and included a full set of documentation and tutorials, as well as user and developer guides. I developed on a Windows 2000 SP3 platform, but NXJ also supports development on Windows 2003 SP1 and Windows 2003. The completed applications can be hosted on Hewlett-Packard HP-UX 11.11, IBM AIX 5.2, Windows 2000 SP4, Windows XP SP1, Windows 2003, Red Hat Linux AS 3.0, Red Hat Linux ES 3.0 and Sun Solaris 9. The program supports browsers Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher, Netscape Navigator 7.1 or higher and Mozilla 1.6 or higher.
Modeling the Process
The goal of my test was to replace the manual process of ordering, verifying, shipping, requesting restocks and billing with a fully automated system using NXJ for the application development, deployment and hosting. My first step was to model the manual process using the product's BPM (Business Process Management) Designer.
The entities included in the BPM Designer--Actors (users involved in the process), Policies, Activities, Operands and Statuses--can be arranged within a window that displays their activities, decision points, operations and user roles. When I completed my business process model, I saved it in the BPM Designer in XML; it was then deployed to the BPM Engine.
The BPM Engine, which resides on the NXJ server and manages each instance of the process, is the starting point for users and is accessed by default through the included NXJ Portal. The system also supports other portals, including BEA Systems' WebLogic Portal and Oracle AS Portal.