Headless BPM

Headless BPM

In this video, Carmen Galicia walks through using external user interface tools to manage your digital process automation user experience. She highlights the benefits and challenges of "going headless."

Speaker 1: Whenever you're ready.

Interviewer: All right. Thanks, Carmen. Thank you for joining us today. Today, we're talking about headless BPM. Let's start by explaining, what exactly is headless BPM?

Carmen: Headless BPM is the concept of using IBM BPM process engine to execute workflows without actually using Coaches. What this means is that basically the process engine, it's going to be only the activity or user task orchestrator, but all the UI is going to be decoupled from the process. It's not going to reside on the IBM BPM process flows. It's going to be an external user interface.

Carmen: There's many ways to implement this approach. One of them is using external implementations, which is a type of component or asset in IBM BPM and there is using really completely external UI. It could be like different files. It could reside and be executed along with the rest of the API calls. They're equal to the process engine.

Interviewer: So really abstracting the user interface from the process engine and not really caring what the process engine is overall?

Carmen: Exactly. Exactly.

Interviewer: When might someone use this?

Carmen: Well, there are many use cases for this. I would say that probably the main use for this could be having to use a different technology. Let me tell you something. The Coach Framework is a really good framework, but it's really used for rapid development of prototypes. It allows you to do really, well, fast playbacks of the processes. It allows you to develop screen really fast, but it also has a lot of limits. One of those is the technology. If you are building a Coaches, you have to use the technologies that are really IBM BPM compatible or restricted to whatever is compatible with that framework.

Carmen: Using a headless BPM approach allows you to use any type of technology. It enables you more control of the user interfaces. It gives you more interaction. It can also give you a better performance because really the Coach Framework, it's a framework built in the same portal and it loads a lot of libraries. Sometimes those libraries are really not used at your own time, but those are still being loaded. Using an external UI allows you to really control, to have really control of your user interface.

Interviewer: Can you give me an example of when somebody might use this, when it would be important to use this?

Carmen: Some companies, for example, have really standard look and feel that could be done with Coaches with a lot of work. That also could have poor maintainability. There's a lot to be customized if you want to use Coaches, so external user interfaces could be excellent case for that, like having a look and feel that needs to be compliant with existing applications. There's also other times where companies have a specific architecture where the stack of technologies is important and has to be compatible. In those cases, it's necessary to use all this type of headless approaches.

Speaker 1: That was nice.

Interviewer: Well, thank you for joining us today and teaching us about headless BPM and headless Coaches.

Carmen: Sure. Thanks for having me.

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