Flows for APEX Tutorial
We’ve created a series of short tutorials to take developers through the basics of creating and running a business process model in BPMN, using the Flows for APEX Flow Modeler and Flow Monitor.
If you work through this series of quick tutorials, you’ll be able to use Flows for APEX to model your business processes, and then execute processes in APEX. Each tutorial is a Flows for APEX model that explains how it runs and how it is constructed.
- Tutorial 1 - Getting Started
- Tutorial 2 - Process Control and Gateways
- Tutorial 2a - Basic Navigation with Gateways
- Tutorial 2b - Parallel Gateways - how to create sections of your process that execute in parallel
- Tutorial 2c - Inclusive Gateways - but not always all of the parallel sections…
- Tutorial 2d - Adding Pauses and Waits
- Tutorial 3 - Process Variables
- Tutorial 3a - Using Variable Expressions to set Process Variables from your Model
- Tutorial 3b - Substitution & Bind Syntax 🆕
- Tutorial 4 - Tasks Get your Work Done 🆕
- Tutorial 4a - Task Types - How to call APEX pages, scripts, and send emails in your process
- Tutorial 4b - Reminders and Timouts
- Tutorial 5 - Structure your Processes with SubProcesses and Call Activities
- Tutorial 5b - Introducing Sub Processes 🆕
- Tutorial 5c - Handling Sub Process Errors and Escalations
- Tutorial 5d - Introducing Call Activities to call other diagrams 🆕
- Tutorial 5e - Ship Goods (Called by Tutorial 5d) 🆕
- Tutorial 5f - Making your Diagram Callable. 🆕
- Tutorial 6 - Collaborations, Lanes and Reservations - modeling who does what
- Tutorial 8 - Advanced Topics
- Tutorial 8a - Everything you can do with Flows for APEX (we call this “The Full Monty”) - The top half!🆕
- Tutorial 8c - Background Session Configuration 🆕
Each tutorial is a Flows for APEX model that explains how it runs and how it is constructed. You can open each model in the Process Modeler, to see how it has been configured. You can modify and save your own copy of the model if you want to experiment. And you can execute the model using the Flow Monitor, stepping through the model, step by step.
Installing the Tutorials
If you are running the tutorials on your own system, you might need to run the tutorial installation script first to install the tutorials. Look in the distribution files for \bpmn_tutorials\install_tutorials.sql, which can be run from SQLDeveloper, SQLcl, etc.
Getting Started in the FlowsforAPEX Application
- Start off in the Flow Management tab. Select this from the APEX Navigation Menu on the Left.
- Find the ‘Tutorial 1 - Getting Started’ model, and then on the row menu select ‘Show Details’ to see information about the Tutorial 1 process model.
- Click on Edit Flow Diagram button to open the Modeler.
- Read the model text. Use the Properties Panel on the Right Hand Side if you want to see the detailed configurations.
- If you have edited the model & want to execute it, use the ‘Save As New’ icon to save your own copy. This saves the BPMN model as an XML object into the database, and creates a parsed copy of it in the Flows for APEX tables ready for execution.
- Go to the Flow Monitor tab using the APEX Navigation Menu on the Left.
- From the Flow Monitor, click the ‘+ Create a New Instance’ button (Top Right), select your process from the pull-down menu, and give the process instance some name.
- In the Flow Control region, view Flow Instances table, you’ll see that your process is now listed.
- Click the Start item from the row menu to start executing the process flow. Notice a copy of your process diagram in the Flow Monitor region at. the bottom of your screen.
- Use the Details quick action to show the Instance details.
- In the Flow Control region, now select the Subflows tab. You will see the execution subflows within your process instance. Use the ‘Complete’ button to move the process forward to the next process state. Notice the progress of your flow in the Flow Monitor. The Current Task(s) are shown in Green, completed tasks are shaded Grey.
- Step through your Model until it completes. Note then that there are no subflows still running.
If you wish to re-run the model, you can return to the Flow Instances tab, and click the ‘Reset’ button to restart your process. Note that this is not something you would do with a production process - you’d run a new instance of the process - but it’s useful as you learn how Flows for APEX works.
Now you’ve got the basics of how to build a process model using BPMN for Flows for APEX, take a look at our sample application “Expense Claims”. This uses an example business process of how a company might handle expense claims submitted by their employees. The sample app is part of the software distribution and can be installed by importing the app. A shared cloud version of the app is available here: https://apex.oracle.com/pls/apex/r/mtflows/expense-claims.
Tutorials For Existing Users - What’s New in v22.2?
Look at the following tutorials to see new features:
- Tutorial 5d - Introducing Call Activities to Call Other Diagrams
- Tutorial 5e - The called diagram
- Tutorial 5f - Making Your Diagram Callable
- Tutorial 8c - Background Session Configuration
- Tutorial 2a - Notice the New Gateway Routing Expressions, in addition to setting a Gateway Routing Variable
- Tutorial 3c - Substitutions and Binds
- Tutorial 4a - Adds Approval Task UserTasks
- Tutorial 8a - The Full Monty - now has Routing Expressions, Call Activities, and an Approval Task.