Problems with the Software AG Designer

I’ve encountered this problem twice in the past week.

I’m working on a BPM .process file in the Software AG Designer - Business Analyst view. The designer will have a problem, but when I restart the designer and open the process file everything on the canvas is gone: swimlanes, tasks, notes - everything is gone.

If I spend hours or days working on a process it’s expected that I would at least have everything I was working on up to and including the last time I used the “Save” option, but no. When the designer has a problem it also deletes work that was previously saved. This is a big problem.

Have others experienced it?

If the software crashes ok. I think the logic of how and where changes are saved in this state between saves needs to be looked at.

Do I have to export everything on a regular basis because the save function can’t be trusted?

I don’t think the contents actually get deleted. The error is often with a null pointer when I try to open the process I get a blank canvas. I think the file still contains the content but it’s corrupted.

I’ve found these steps seems to let me see the content.

When you open the file and see the null pointer error, open it anyway. When it prompts to switch to the developer view don’t do it. I use the build and upload function for execution eventhough I can’t see anything. Doing this allows me to see the content on the canvas. At least the work isn’t “lost” but it definately makes you feel that it is.

The good:
I think the AG Designer has great potential for building BPMs. It’s very easy to use and has great integration with the AG BPM developer tool. I especially like the bility to right click steps and adding implementations. It’s very click and has great potential.

Needing some improvement - version 8 Software AG Designer
The designer has some real challenges that need immediate attention. I am still finding myself having to go into the designer to re-lay out everything after a close and save not working correctly. Swimlanes are automatically resized between closing of a process file and reopening it. Shapes are automatically moved between closing a process file and reopening it. The save feature is so unreliable there shoudl be a warning on it. Please do a print screen of your process design, because when you reopen it, what you saved will disappear.

I hope this stuff is easy to fix, because I think it’s a great product.

If I notice patterns that cause the problems I’ll pass them along with hopes that it will help resolve the bugs sooner.

One in particular: (If i see other possible causes I’ll add them)

  1. I think this behaviour happens when there is an object hidden underneath (z-order) of a swimlane rather than on top of it.

When I see these problems happen: (hopefully this helps someone who looks into the forum who could fix the software)

  1. Z-ordering of objects - something buggy here when things are moved
  2. When resizing a swimlane some of the objects move automatically when they probably shouldn’t. Subprocesses seem to behave as expected but steps connected to the subprocesses don’t move the same way.
  3. Descriptions attached to conditions seem to cause problems when swimlanes are resized. They retain their original positions which causes some unexpected results. Swimlanes automatically become much larger than necessary.

Hi Richard,

I’m reviewing some old postings to this forum and came across your comments here. I notice that there were no replies to your issues at the time.

Now that a year has passed, I am curious whether you got the latest fixes or service packs to Designer to see if they resolved your issues with

  1. Saving the process.
  2. Z-ordering
  3. Swimlane behavior

We have not gotten official support issues regarding processes disappearing on save. That is a critical issue that, if reported as an SR, should have been fixed immediately. I do hope that the issue disappeared for you. Which version were you running at the time?

I am not familiar with any z-ordering issues.

There were many issues with swimlane resizing that have been resolved in our past couple of service packs, so if you are still facing them, I’d advise you to install the latest version.

I apologize for the extremely late response. R&D will be monitoring this forum more closely going forward.