Brazos Portal: Now in Beta
- June 19, 2014
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[ Editor’s pre-amble: First announced at IBM Impact, Brazos Portal is now in Beta! Brazos portal is one of the most significant developments in BPM UI that I’ve seen in the last 10 years, and we couldn’t be more excited to release it to the community.
With Brazos UI, Brazos Charts, and now Brazos Portal – IBM BPM customers have never had a better way to deliver beautiful user interfaces for their business processes- and I believe our BP3 team is delivering the most interesting user interfaces in BPM.
Brazos Portal is free with registration. We’ll release a GA version in the next 4-6 weeks. Because it is a beta, of course there will be defects. Please help us by reporting any issues you see and we’ll do our best to address them. We think you’ll have fun with it.
We’re including the overview from our support site below. But really, there’s nothing like trying it yourself – the Task Drive is mesmerizing. And if you think it is mesmerizing on your laptop or desktop – try it on your iPad or iPhone… ]
The Brazos Portal is a new approach to BPM end user task management. It includes several differentiating features:
- Users can organize their work the way they want in Brazos Portal. This makes it easier to find the work you care about first, and to re-arrange work when it isn’t presented the way you want. If the right filter isn’t there already, create a new one on the fly. Our innovative filtering technology is also fast!
- The TaskDrive let’s users filter and find their work without typing into a search field. The visual and touch interface is key to effective use on a mobile device.
- Brazos Portal adapts to the size of your browser or screen, so it works on any modern iOS or Android smart phone or tablet as well as your desktop.
A system administrator will need to install the Brazos Portal on your BPM server. The installation file can be downloaded from the BP3 Support Site after registering for the portal here. Once you are registered, download the install files here. (Registration and login to the BP3 Support Site is required to access the download.)
Once installed your Brazos Portal can be accessed by going to /brazos-portal on your server, i.e. https://your_server:9443/brazos-portal (port numbers may vary depending on your BPM install).
Brazos Portal was built with the individual in mind. It will allow you to organize your work in a way that makes sense to you. When you first log in, you will see a single gray group called Unfiltered, which contains every tasks that is assigned either to you or a group you’re a member of (it should match your task list that you see in the default IBM BPM Portal). Going forward, any tasks that doesn’t fit any filter criteria will be placed in your Unfiltered group.
Let’s start by creating a group by following these steps:
- Click the plus sign on your Unfiltered group.
- Enter a name in the Name field.
- Click the Add Filter Rule button.
- Choose Bpd Name from the Property combo box.
- Start typing the name of one of the processes that shows up in your inbox. Brazos Portal will help you by providing a list of values to choose from as you type.
- Once you have selected a name, click Save.
You should now see two groups: one with the name you entered and one called Unfiltered. Notice how the top group picks out any tasks that fit the filter criteria you set, and the rest end up in Unfiltered. You can continue to add as many groups as you want, but remember: no task will show up more than once in your inbox. That means if a task is in the top group, it will not show up anywhere else. You can re-order your groups by dragging and dropping them.
The next thing you’ll want to do is customize the columns you see in your group columns by following these steps:
- Click on the gear icon of the group you just created.
- Examine the Display Metadata section of the screen. This is where you determine the columns that will appear in your group.
- We recommend that you keep leave the first column set to Task Subject, although you’re free to change it.
- Try changing the second column to show a piece of business data associated with the process you chose earlier. This will help you to quickly identify the specific tasks you are looking for in your inbox.
- Choose another piece of data for the third column
- Click Save.
You should now see your group populated with useful data in the columns.
Now that you’ve got your groups set up, you should see some interesting activity in the Task Drive widget at the top of your screen. First, try typing in the Search box. This will search through all of the exposed metadata in your tasks, and filter your tasks at real time.
Whether you’ve typed in a search query or not, the Task Drive widget is a great way of visualizing the break-down of your tasks. The inner-most circle simply represents the groups you have defined. As you move away from the center, you will see additional break-downs of the metadata you chose for your columns. The order of the rings is determined programmatically by our engine. It is looking for common data elements among the tasks in that group. One common break-down would be task priority — you might see sections for High, Normal, and Low in your task drive circle.
Try clicking on sections of the task drive widget. This will filter your task list below and make it easier to see the Task Drive break-down. Think of this as a way of narrowing in on the tasks you’re looking for.
You can change the date range of tasks displayed in the portal by clicking the black “footer” bar task summary box. This will cycle through Today, Days (showing one week of Due tasks and one week of Completed tasks), Weeks (showing 8 weeks of Due tasks and 8 weeks of completed tasks), and Months (showing 12 months of Due tasks and 12 months of completed tasks).
Launching a service/process/dashboard
There are buttons located on the right side of the Task Drive that allow you to launch exposed services, processes, and dashboards.
Starting a task
Simply click on a task to run it.
Click the “i” button at the right of the task to open task/instance details.
Reassigning a task back to the group
You can reassign a task back to a group via the task details dialog.
Launching an ad-hoc task
If your process has ad-hoc tasks you can launch them via the task details dialog.
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