Eric D. Schabell: December 2013

Monday, December 30, 2013

Year in Review 2013 - JBoss, Cycling, Travel, and telling stories

My last article for 2013... the year in review where I wander through the highlights of my work, play, cycling, writing, and travels for the past year.

This year marks the second year in my current role at Red Hat as a JBoss Technology Evangelist, covering the Integration & BPM technology products. This was a handful, requiring coverage of JBoss SOA-P, EDS, BRMS, BPM-Suite, Fuse, and messaging products.

While I was alone it was really hard to keep ahead of the wave of great technology products we put out, but luckily I got assistance from Kenny Peeples and have been able to focus much more on JBoss BRMS & BPM Suite products.

I am very excited at the coming releases of these products and have been around the world talking about them this year as you can see in the Travels section below. Looking forward to my continued involvement with the JBoss MW Business Unit in 2014 and continued interaction with some of the smartest people I have ever worked with in Engineering, Product Management, and Marketing divisions of Red Hat.


The writing continued in 2013 with blogging, articles and a revision submitted for OpenShift Primer that should be released in early 2014.

I focused mainly on (98 articles), (33 articles), (23 articles), and for the technical writing I do throughout the year. I covered a wide range of topics and provided quite a few demo projects that you can also browse over on

I also wanted to challenge myself to write something different so I started working on short stories but only got one pushed out before turning to sport journalism (amateur). In April I applied and got accepted to help staff the site, attempting to publish daily articles during the Red Sox baseball season. This was a magical task as I attended several games this year in Boston and following the team so closely while they went all the way and won the World Series was indescribable.

I plan to continue with all these writing tasks in 2014, so stay tuned!


This year I spent a lot of time on the bike, cycling to prepare for my first vacation in the French Alps near Annecy. I got to climb top category mountains and several in the 20th stage of the 2013 Tour du France. This was fantastic and I wrote up a nice article including the tracked rides around Lac Annecy.

I also participated in the second annual Ries van der Velden Classic, going almost five and a half hours over 130 km's. It was a windy and long day but had a great time cycling in Red Hat kit for the cause.

I logged around 1500 km's over the year, a bit low for my normal season but a lot of these were spent climbing mountains and it was amazing!


I went on the road 18 times this last year and visited 22 cities in 10 countries. I got a few new destinations where I had never been to before, which is really nice. Here is a look at the destinations:

  • Madrid (4x)
  • Paris
  • Munich (3x)
  • Geneve
  • Boston, MA (3x) - attended MLB:  Red Sox vs Angles, Red Sox vs NYY 
  • Dallas, TX
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Emerald Isle, NC
  • Washington, DC - attended MLB: Nationals vs Rays
  • Singapore
  • Chicago, IL - attended MLB: Cubs vs Pirates
  • Hamburg
  • Aarhus, DK
  • London (2x)
  • Barcelona
  • Antwerpen
Many of these were for JUG's, JBUG's, conferences, and events. See the links for details as they are too numerous to list here.

That about sums up 2013. I am looking forward to 2014 as a year I am again privileged enough to share my stories with all of you.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

OpenShift Primer - a JBoss Business Resource Optimizer Preview

While working on a revision of the existing OpenShift Primer book I came up with a few new quickstart projects. One of the more exciting things coming soon the to the Red Hat JBoss products is the JBoss Business Resource Optimzer, based on the OptaPlanner project.

What is the OptaPlanner?

"OptaPlanner optimizes business resource usage. Every organization faces planning problems: provide products or services with a limited set of constrained resources (employees, assets, time and money). OptaPlanner optimizes such planning to do more business with less resources.

OptaPlanner is a lightweight, embeddable planning engine written in Java™. It helps normal Java™ programmers solve constraint satisfaction problems efficiently. Under the hood, it combines optimization heuristics and metaheuristics with very efficient score calculation."

To get you started I have put together a quickstart project based that allows you to preview the abilities of the JBoss Business Resource Optimizer in the form of two demos. It will optimize a data center for cloud usage and show you how to optimize a vehicle routing puzzle.

The example is available on OpenShift:

It is more fun to put together your very own example, so here you can find the instructions as outlined in the demo project

Create an account at
Create a JBoss EAP 6 application
rhc app create optimizer -t jbosseap-6
Add this upstream openshift-businesss-resource-optimizer repository
cd optimizer

git remote add upstream -m master git://

git pull -s recursive -X theirs upstream master
Then push the repo upstream
git push
That's it, you can now checkout your application at:


Monday, December 23, 2013

Devoxx 2013 Parleys Channel Adds JBoss OpenShift Primer

As I mentioned previously, I was at Devoxx 2013 talking OpenShift Primer and how you can spin up a lot of JBoss into the Cloud along with almost any other application.

This talk was one of many JBoss talks recorded and released on Over on Arun's blog you can find a complete listing of what we all did there during Devoxx 2013.

Here is the link to my talk recorded live in Antwerp:

Friday, December 20, 2013

JBoss Business Optimizer Demo - Get Started with Tech Preview

With the coming release of the Red Hat JBoss BRMS and BPM Suite products, one of the new Technical Previews, JBoss Business Optimizer, might just get looked over unless you happen to be interested in optimizing your resources.

We are here to rectify this situation and give you a couple of demos all rolled up into a JBoss Business Optimizer demo project. This demo will give you the chance to preview the new technology that comes from the community project OptaPlanner.

Within this demo project you will find two ready to use examples of how the JBoss Business Optimizer can be used. They are pre-installed for you with a minimum of fuss:
  1. git clone
  2. read the file.
  3. see the installs/README and download the listed products from
  4. add the products to the installs/* directory.
  5. run the 
  6. enjoy the demos on http://localhost:8080/optaplanner-webexamples-6.0.0-redhat-6
The installation has a demo around vehicle routing and you can watch a video on the details behind the demo here:

The other demo is around resource planning in the Cloud, which also has a video on the background of the optimizer work being done here:

Thursday, December 19, 2013

JBoss BPM Suite - adding mock data to all demo projects

Previously I have announced the availability of demo projects that get you started with the Red Hat JBoss BPM Suite. There is the Generic Loan Demo, the Customer Evaluation Demo, and the Mortgage Demo.

The only thing really missing in these demos was a pre-installed set of mock data to fill the Process and Tasks dashboard with pretty graphics. Well, now we have added this to all three of the above mentioned demo projects!

Out of the box when you install these demos, behind the scenes 1000 instances are pumped into the H2 (in memory database used by these demos) to fill the dashboard with amazing graphical representations. Upon restart these will be re-populated, so each time you go there you will have a minimum of 1000 entries of mock data.

None of this mock data is related directly to the demo itself, but that is just fine, as each time you run an instance of the project process it will populate its results alongside the existing data. Just watch for your user name or process project name in the Process and Tasks dashboard.

For the latest versions that were tagged with these features we point you to these demo projects.
If all goes well you will see the installed mock data in the Process and Task Dashboard.

Dashboard filled with mock data.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

JBoss BRMS Primer at the Radboud University Nijmegen

Today I gave my annual guest lecture on Business Rules based on a real life open source product to the students of Stijn Hoppenbrowers.

He invites me yearly to present a real world solution for the students to contrast the rather theoretical examples and projects that they have used up to that point.

The students are taking a business rules course on the way to a Masters in Information Technologies.

They get a tour through the JBoss Business Rules Management System (BRMS) product and a live demo at the end where I dig into what was discussed.

Here is the slide deck for those interested in following up:

Thursday, December 12, 2013

JBoss BPM Suite - examining the migrated Customer Evaluation demo

Customer Evaluation

This Customer Evaluation demo project has been around some time now, originally setup to get you up and running quickly with the JBoss BRMS product.

The project was originally developed and designed to show you how to integrate rules with a BPM process. It contained all the elements that you needed to setup, run, and demo the project in both the products web tooling and JBoss Developer Studio IDE.

We spent some time digging into how to migrate this from the JBoss BRMS product over to the newer early releases of JBoss BPM Suite product. An extensive look at the process, the touch points, and what it looks like in a direct comparison between the old project and the new was published previously.

Feel free to review to get the complete picture of how we arrived where we are now.


With the coming release of the JBoss BPM Suite product, currently in Beta phase and available on the Customer Portal if you have a subscription, it was time to migrate this over to the new product. In this article we will walk you through the results, how it all works, and get you up and running with this
demo project.
Data Modeler

This article will not be diving into the migration details as this was covered in a previous article. We will start here at the point that you are just interested in how this particular demo works with the new JBoss BPM Suite product.

The installation of the demo project has been covered in the projects documentation directory and readme file which you can obtain from the github site, You can retrieve this with a simple 'git clone git://' after which you can follow the step-by-step guide found in the Quick Start Guide. This is provided in both ODT and PDF formats. It is all kicked off by the script you will find in the project, which is quite verbose and points you to the various steps you might need to take should you have chosen not to read the provided Quick Start Guide.


The new project setup deploys JBoss BPM Suite deployable EAP 6 war's into the JBoss EAP 6 application platform. The project has been updated completely to facilitate this install. You just need to get a copy of the project, provide copies of the products as described in the installs/README files, and run the provided script.
Process Designer

A target directory will be created, installing JBoss EAP 6.1.1, deploying JBoss BPM Suite components, copying over default configuration setting through the support/* files, and you are ready to rumble!

Deploying project

The initial setup to be demonstrated has two distinct parts. 

The first is the demo project that is supplied in a git repository that the installation has placed such that when you start the JBoss BPM Suite for the first time and login, you will be confronted with the project ready to go.

At this point you can wander around the various components and inspect the project artifacts as detailed in the Quick Start Guide. This project contains a rule, a process, and the data model in the form of two objects, a Person and Request. The data model you can view in the Data Modeler component.

To create the project maven artifact, you will need to Build & Deploy the project, see the Quick Start Guide for details. This is necessary to provide the rule, process, and data model for the development usage in the second part of this demo.

Japanese translation (日本語訳)
Running mvn install

Project integration

The second part of the project can be run after you have completed the Build & Deploy as described above. You will then be able to import the project you will find in projects/customer-evaluation-demo directory into your JBoss Development Studio and run the unit test that you find there.

This unit test is a demonstration of interaction based on the maven dependency you will find in the root pom file of the project. It states that it needs version 1.0 of the customer evaluation project. To pull this into your project you will need to run 'mvn install' from your JBoss Developer Studio with the JBoss BPM Suite running, giving you access to the maven artifact you built previously.

Once this artifact has been pulled into your local maven repository, the project unit test shows direct integration of your code with the artifact, running four tests over the demo process. Application development would now use the project maven artifact in this same fashion to call rules, interact with the process, and make use of the data model it provides.

Running unit tests

Feedback welcome

This is a quick dive into the details resulting from migration of an existing application to the new JBoss BPM Suite and can also be viewed as a standalone demonstration of rules integration with a BPM process. 

Please feel free to provide feedback and suggestions for this demo. We will take any and all pull requests that can improve the demo experience. We hope you enjoy this demo experience.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Open Source Conference Amsterdam 2013 - JBoss Integration & BPM together with a zeppelin Nemo fish

OSC 2013 in Amsterdam.

Previously I mentioned that I will be speaking at the Open Source Conference 2013 in Amsterdam, hosted by Red Hat in the Amsterdam Beurs van Berlage (the old stock exchange building) on the 6th of December.

It was an amazing day that included over 1000 attendees, over 160 attending my session with standing room only in the back (sorry about that guys), and fun had by all in the form of a flying zeppelin Nemo fish that zoomed around the Stock Exchange floor all day.
Flying zeppelin Nemo fish.

This fish was part of a competition to remotely try to get it to 'swim' through the air and through a large hoop that was hanging 10 meters over the Red Hat booth. It was a great idea and at the end of the day they gave the fish away to a young visitor (not sure how he got in to the event) just 6 years old. Apparently, he flew it through the hoop faster than any of the other adults in attendance!
JBoss Integration & BPM session.

My session covered JBoss Integration & BPM with a focus on the upcoming JBoss Fuse Service Works and JBoss BRMS / BPM Suite products. It was jam packed and I was approached at the booth afterwards by several attendees. There is a lot of interest in these coming products.

There were so many stands and people to talk to throughout the day that you were kept really busy. The Benelux team did a great job putting this event together and it was attended by some of the Red Hat big hitters.

My slides can be viewed online as well as the abstract as I previously mentioned.

There is also a promo video that was made of this event that includes an interview with Paul Cormier and you can see the fish flying around in the beginning of the video.

Friday, December 6, 2013

JBoss Developer Day in London 2013 - a day of integration, BPM, and OpenShift

Live demo of the BPM Suite & OpenShift

This week I was in London at the JBoss Developer Day to present in two session slots. The talks I posted previously, but the day itself was attended by a good group of customers and contacts that were both knowledgeable and engaged.

The setting was an intimate kind of theater workshop with an amazing cafe off the back with outstanding coffee for us in the breaks. I spent time chatting with many of them and also with several of my colleagues in sales, engineering, and support so the networking was as good as the sessions provided by the speakers.

The slides for both talks are provided here for your enjoyment.

A look into the crystal ball at JBoss BRMS and BPM Suite

OpenShift Primer - Get your applications into the cloud