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New Creation of Bend Points in Oryx

buttons to create a docker The old way to create (and remove) bend points: Click the button in the toolbar and then add bend points to an edge.

ghostpoint to create a docker Bend points in a new fashion: Hover over an edge and a ghost point will be shown. Drag it to create a bend point.

With our latest update, we did not only fix a handful of major bugs, e.g., mispositioned text boxes when editing the label of an edge* or a node and buggy behavior of some UML stencils, we also introduced a new method to add bend points, also known as dockers, to an edge. These bend points allow you to route an edge around other objects or along a path you like.

Up to now, the only way for this was to use the buttons add/remove docker. To be fair, this was quite cumbersome and we felt that users were not really happy. Robert, one of our students, implemented a more natural way. When you hover over an edge with your mouse, a "ghost point" will be displayed that transforms into a draggable bend point, if you drag it a bit. Simply. Removing an edge is just as simple. Just drag the bend point you want to remove in a way that it forms a straight line with the two bend points around it, and it will disappear. Give it a try!

Hint: Edges in Oryx are, by default, not draggable if they are connected to a node. If you add a new edge to the canvas, e.g., from the shape repository, you can drag it around, and the ghost points will not show up. As soon as you connect an edge to a nod,e dragging will be disabled and ghost points enabled.

* Thanks to the processwave.org guys for helping us out, here.

Oryx delivers Process Sketches

Polished models are nice. A shiny result of all the work that you have out into them. But what if your (process) model is in an intermediate version and you want to invite feedback? People might be reluctant to fundamentally criticize your shiny model.

a Sketchy Process Model A sketchy process model, taken from Oryx.
Oryx can now render all diagrams as sketches. This founds an improved discussion base, lowers the barrier to provide constructive criticism, and invites other type of feedback.

the available export formats pane in the process repository Sketchy Models export in the Oryx Repository.
This feature is now available for all model types. While it has been optimized for BPMN and EPCs it provides surprisingly good results for all stencil sets. You can access this feature from the "Available export formats" pane in the Oryx Model Repository.

For this improvement, we needed to update the batik libraries in the Oryx trunk (here and here). Please keep in that in mind, when updating from our code repository.
Acknowledgments for this features go to the Oryx team at BPT, especially Helen (implementation) and Philipp (integration, deployment).

New: Oryx

Over the beginning of the new year, we released an updated version of our extensible modeling platform Oryx. You may have noticed some hiccups during the last few days of the old year and the first ones of the new. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Along with the current release come many improvements. We did not only move the system on more stable hardware that provides a 60% performance increase -- we also moved to a new domain http://oryx-project.org which reflects our ambition to provide current research results for a complete platform around process modeling, process model repositories and process model reuse. Due to that, model links that target to the old domain (http://oryx-editor.org) are not valid anymore. Your models are not lost, they are still available under the same path, but with a new domain, e.g., http://oryx-editor.org/backend/poem/model/5103/self changed to http://oryx-project.org/backend/poem/model/5103/self.

We also fixed many bugs and added new features to the process model editor.

Complete Modeling Support for BPMN 2.0

!BPMN 2.0 is the new standard of the OMG that will replace BPMN 1.2 mid or end of 2010. While it is not officially released yet (a specification draft can be found here), we already offer complete modeling support for all BPMN 2.0 diagram types:

We also joined with some exciting partners to update the famous BPMN 1.2 poster to the upcoming version, which can be found here.

Profiles for Oryx Labs

You may notice that the URL that appears in your browser when you loaded the model editor changed. We implemented a new feature called Profiles that allows us to run the editor with different configurations regarding to plugins, stencil sets and stencil set extensions. Thus, we could reduce the amount of content loaded, when the editor starts. Plugins or stencil set extensions that are not part of a profile can be loaded dynamically, by clicking on the according buttons in the toolbar. (See picture below.)

New Shape Menu

The shape menu -- the small menu on the right of a selected model element displaying possible subsequent shapes -- has been cleaned up for faster modeling. Only the most frequently used shapes are included now, e.g. simple tasks and generic events in BPMN. If you want to choose a more specific shape, we added a morph menu to the bottom of the shape that allows you to choose between shapes of the same kind. By that you could, for instance, morph a task into a collapsed or expanded subprocess, an XOR gateway into an AND gateway, or a generic event into any other kind of events (and BPMN 2.0 has many of them).

picture of the new shape menu Shape Menu -- reduced clutter

picture of the new morph menu Morph Menu -- morph one shape into another of the same type

Layouting Support

When you draw an edge between two nodes, than this edge will be automatically laid out to consist of right-angled bend points instead of diagonal lines, because this is perceived more aesthetic by most modelers.

If you move an existing node on the canvas, guide lines will appear to layout the current node relative to other nodes. This makes it, for instance, easier to align nodes centered beneath each other.

We also added an experimental auto-layout feature for BPMN that can create nice and aesthetic layouts from models, based on the structure and connections between shapes.

picture of the guidelines feature Layouting Guides and Automatically Laid Out Edges

Property Window

The property window has been extended and initially shows only the most popular properties of a shape. Not so popular properties can easily be disclosed by expanding the list "More Properties".

Feedback

We also improved the feedback plugin, you may not have noticed the earlier one, since it was hidden quite well. We removed much clutter and made it easier and quicker to provide us with your ideas, questions, and problems. We hope that you use it and thus contribute to the Oryx community with valuable feedback. This is also the first choice to go for, if you experience difficulties or problems using the platforms. For development support, please join our discussion group.

picture of feedback dialog Feedback -- Quick and simple help right at your hand (on the left bottom corner)

 

 

The Oryx Mashup API

The Oryx Mashup API makes it even easier to build applications on top of Oryx.

Check it out

Developing with Oryx

Google code project








Oryx is an open platform for developments regarding business process modeling. Everyone is invited to contribute new process modeling languages, features and knowledge to Oryx. The number of contributors is growing rapidly and the developers come from all over the world. The project is hosted as a Google Code project under MIT license. Just check it out!

On our Google Code project site we offer various documentation for developers in the wiki and the download section.

Facts for Developers