In the latest round of development of the Lapis Server, we’ve added the following functionality:

Hot Folders

you can now add a watcher to monitor file system folders. When files are created, modified or deleted, workflows can be instantiated automatically.
Files that can trigger the workflow may need to match a regular expression. For example, when a new video file is created, a different workflow is instantiated than when a pdf document is modified.
The workflow can be instantiated with a given set of properties. An additional property “” is set to the file name which triggered the workflow instantitation.
Below is an example of the watch.xml configuration file:

The server property “” can be set to point to an xml document configuring the folders watch as well as the workflows to instantiate.
the root element is the “watch” element and it has one attribute, named “runAs”, which defines which user to impersonate when instantiating workflows from hot folders.
The watch element has any number of folder elements. Each folder element has two attributes, “path” which defines the path of the folder to watch and “recurse” which contains a boolean (true or false) indicating if sub-folders must also be watched, recursively.
The watch element also has any number of graph elements. The graph element has one attribute, “path” which defines the path of the workflow file to instantiate relative to the graph store (defined by the server property “lapis.workflow.graphs”).
the graph element has any number of event elements. the event element has one attribute, “kind”, which defines the type of events that may trigger the instantiation of the graph. The kind attribute accepts the following values: “ENTRY_CREATE”,”ENTRY_DELETE”, “ENTRY_MODIFY”, corresponding to file creation, deletion and modification respectively.
the graph element has any number of regex elements. The regex element has one attribute, “match”, which corresponds to a regular expression which is compared to the path of the file which is being modified, created or deleted. If both the event kind and the regular expression match, then the graph is instantiated.
the graph element has any number of parameter elements. the parameter element has two attributes, “id” which defines the id of the parameter and “value”, which defines the value of the parameter. The parameters are passed to the graph during instantiation and set as properties (duplicates are removed).
A specific property, “” is also added to the list of properties and is set to the path of the file which was created, modified or deleted.

Group tasks

Now that we’ve added the capability of users to belong to groups, the next logical step was to add a group task.
just like a node can e assigned to a user, the node can also be assigned to a group or a number of groups. A group task starts its life without ownership. A user must acquire the ownership of the group task before they can complete it. Only members of the groups mentioned can complete the token on a group node. Group tasks no yet assigned to a user require the ownership to be set to a member of the groups listed in its groups property before they can be completed.
The group node type requires the below node properties to be set:
groups: a comma-separated list of groups whose members can acquire the ownership of the task and complete it.

Graph execution and node token filters

Graph execution and node token filters can now be created to accept or reject graph executions or node tokens respectively. This is used to filter lists of graph executions, which we now use in the web application.
Graph executions can now be filtered by id, name, owner or description.
Node tokens can be filtered by id, name, owner, type (email, group, sub, etc…) and description, group and you can expand this list by creating your own filters. I am sure more will get created as time goes by.
Because of this the web application menus have been changed slightly to separate listing of graph executions and node tokens.
/wfe/graphexecutions list the graph executions unfiltered whilst /wfe/user/graphexecutions automatically starts with a “owner” filter set to the current user. The same logic is applied to /wfe/nodetokens and /wfe/user/nodetokens.
Below is a screenshot of the web application showing this:

Email tasks

email task now accepts users, groups and email address in to, cc and bcc fields.

  • Groups are expended into a list of users,
  • Users are expanded into a list of email addresses and
  • Email addresses are added to the corresponding fields

Command tasks

The command task now is a bit more stable and also accepts the working directory parameter. I have fixed an issue with the stdout and stderr output streams.

Chrome extension and Ubuntu application

I was playing a bit with this more than anything and thought i would be easier to start browsing if there was a chrome extension opening the web site for me, so I built one for my development environment and another one for my production environment (I have started using the engine for my own workflows now – I figured if I want a truly fit for purpose workflow engine, I may as well use it for myself)

To make starting the engine easier, I created an Ubuntu desktop application launcher which starts the engine and also starts Tomcat, where the web app resides.
Below is the screenshot of the launcher file in ~/.local/share/applications

What’s next?

As always, I have a backlog to choose what I build next. I’m not sure what that will be but among the list is LDAP authentication module, an EZPack installer and improving working with “attached” files


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