Apex has been using Apex Coach Views (ACV) to bring enhanced features into IBM BPM since 2012 and our ACV2 product since 2014. I decided to sit down with the product’s chief developer, Kyle Hoskins, to look back at the history of the product and to talk about how it is being used now that it has matured as well as our roadmap for future development.
Can you talk a bit about the history of ACV2 and what led to Apex moving to incorporating AngularJS into our coach-view toolkit strategy?
What does ACV2 offer that the out-of-the-box coach views didn’t provide?
So ACV2 offers a better responsive experience as well as better performance all around. It allows users to extend easily using AngularJS to get more interactive pages using DOM and HTML experience on a page. The ACV2 page components have many features and a consistent configuration approach. Our mobile-first approach during development means that IBM BPM user pages developed with ACV2 are taking advantage of responsive design with Bootstrap CSS and are going to look good on tablets, phones or traditional laptop or desktop screen. When some of our customer’s workflow takes BPM tasks out to a factory floor or to workers using tablets or phones, the developers don’t have to spend so much time worrying about whether their pages are going to look okay on the devices used in different departments. ACV2 makes using AngularJS with BPM an intuitive experience and the BPM developers don’t have to learn AngularJS to take advantage of its features.
What were some of the challenges of bringing AngularJS into the IBM BPM ecosystem?
What kind of improvements came with ACV2?
With AngularJS everything is updated as you type and the screen is being updated so you get a more active display and user experience. We combine that with the Bootstrap CSS which gives a better responsive page layout for devices — it was the fastest growing CSS framework at the time we wrote ACV2. We wanted to move away from the Dojo framework and move towards AngularJS since it was more popular and very powerful. (read more)
What’s the future of ACV2? Is it still relevant with the new BPM 8.6 Spark UI tools now being included OOTB?
What are you working on now? Anything you can talk about?
We’re developing a new tool for low-code rapid development of applications that can stand alone or be plugged into a BPM environment. We’re calling it Apex Designer and we’re already using it with a few clients but we’ll be able to talk about that more in the very near future.