My webMethods Server - An Introduction

Issue 2, 2012 Download pdf


If you are using the webMethods product line (Integration, ESB, or BPMS), chances are that you are working with the My webMethods Server product but you may not be fully aware of all its capabilities. If you are using the ETS or ARIS product lines, you may not have even heard of My webMethods Server. This article provides an in depth review of how My webMethods Server plays a critical role in providing the user interface framework for the webMethods suite and centralized monitoring and administration. 
My webMethods Server plays a critical role in the webMethods Suite, where it provides:
  • A Web container for hosting custom Web, portlet, and BPM applications 
  • The administration and monitoring user interface for most of the webMethods Suite 
  • The Task Engine that provides human workflow capabilities to the BPM Suite
In the following sections, I will dive deeper into the first two core functions listed above. 
The Web Container
As a Web container (server), My webMethods Server is capable of serving Web applications and powering Web portals. All of us are familiar with traditional web applications. A Web portal, on the other hand, is a Web server that brings together information from diverse sources in a unified way.  In the consumer world, iGoogle and My Yahoo are good examples of Web portals that bring together information from many sources in one place and enable the user to personalize and customize the information displayed on the page. The portal displays content from each information source in a window (known as a portlet) in a dedicated area of the page; in many cases, the user can configure which portlets to display on their portal page, and how they are arranged as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1:  Example custom Portal using My webMethods Server
Composite Application Framework
CAF is an Eclipse-based development environment that works seamlessly with webMethods BPMS. Working with CAF in Software AG Designer, you can create user-centric apps with minimal coding that combine a wide range of information sources and services onto a single screen, and then deploy those applications to My webMethods Server. 
CAF comes prepackaged with over 200 pre-defined user interface (UI) controls, enabling you to rapidly build your user-centric applications. Examples of available UI controls include buttons, tables, forms, dialog boxes, charts, and maps, among many others. These controls, combined with drag-and-drop development, make it possible to rapidly develop user interfaces.
Software AG Designer features a graphical editor you can use to design the pages of a Web or portlet application. You create a page layout by dragging and dropping controls from the Designer Palette view into the active view in the design canvas as shown in Figure 2.
FIGURE 2:  Design Web pages or Portlets by dragging and dropping controls
Along with WYSIWIG editing capabilities, you can view the application interface at any time with Designer’s rapid deployment capability, enabling you to review the user interface design and navigation during development. Furthermore, the CAF design canvas is fully integrated with the Designer Java build mechanism. As you make changes in the design canvas, Designer continually updates the underlying Java code. 
Web Services
My webMethods Server can invoke any Web service hosted by the webMethods Integration Server, giving you the ability to quickly generate user interfaces (UIs) for backend services that are exposed by Integration Server as Web services. With this powerful capability of CAF, you can re-use any Web service managed by webMethods products as well as put a modern interface on applications that have run your business for years.
In addition to Web services hosted on Integration Server, My webMethods Server can also invoke any Web service that is exposed by your customers, partners, cloud service providers, or SAS platforms like, as long as you have the WSDL for the Web service and authentication credentials.
When building Web applications, you can further streamline your development with built-in templates, as well as the ability to create new page templates (called template views), which greatly speed up the design and development of pages. A template page (or view) is a regular view used to define common areas of all application views, such as header, footer, navigation bars, and so on. 
Designer, My webMethods Server, and Task Engine are also equipped with support for built-in, customized task applications. You can develop dynamic and powerful support for the human workflow activities in your organization with such features as individual user tasks, task inboxes, e-mail notifications, e-form support, collaborative workflow, and complete task administration and management capabilities.  
You can define the layout and look and feel of custom BPM, Web, and portlet applications hosted in My webMethods Server through the use of shells and skins. 
A shell generates the My webMethods Server header, footer, and portlet title bars. Where a portlet produces the primary content of a page, a shell provides the structure that frames that primary content. Common Web page idioms such as banners, standard links, and search boxes appear in a shell.
You can set up many different criteria to determine which shell is used for a particular user request. My webMethods Server offers a variety of ways to configure personalization rules to dictate which shell is displayed for a given user, group, or resource.
The look and feel of a page is encapsulated in a skin. My webMethods Server offers a variety of ways to configure personalization rules that dictate what skin is displayed for a given user, group, or resource. For example, you can brand the page with your own corporate logo and match your corporate colors for one group and something completely different for another user group.
My webMethods Server allows portal users to create their own personal workspaces.  Users can compose and organize their own content and add both built-in and custom portlets to their workspaces, using a simple drag-and-drop mechanism. By default, workspaces are private, but users can choose to share them with other users to create a collaborative work environment. 
My webMethods Server gives users the added flexibility of being able to create workspaces (or pages) with their most frequently used portlets, arranged in a manner that best suits their day-to-day business work activities. 
Administration and Monitoring
As a portal server with built in authentication and single-sign-on capabilities, My webMethods Server is ideally suited to serve as the administration and monitoring point for products in the webMethods Suite. My webMethods Server provides administration and monitoring interfaces for the following products in the webMethods Suite:
  • Trading Networks
  • Content Server Platform
  • Optimize, Monitor
  • Task Engine
  • Process Engine
  • Rules Engine
  • Blaze rules editor
  • Broker
In addition, My webMethods Server provides administrative capabilities for role-based access control, enabling you to grant or deny both functional permissions and access permission to users and roles, and create, manage, and delete users, roles, and groups.  
Through its powerful administration and monitoring capabilities, My webMethods Server enables you to configure access to hosted Web or BPM application pages, portlets, users, groups and access controls lists, as well as configure access to Task Engine Inbox or to monitor the health of your business. 
My webMethods Server is a core component of the webMethods Suite, and plays a critical role in providing the UI framework for the suite, allowing customers to create and deploy Web, portlet, and BPM applications. My webMethods Server also acts as the central point for administering and monitoring most of the products in the webMethods Suite. 
Read more about My webMethods Server CAF here . 

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