The purpose of this guide is to give you a hands-on quick demo of some of the features of Flowable Work and Flowable Engage, and then to lead you into exploring its capabilities in more depth. Our goal is that within 30 minutes, you will have run your first demo that includes case, process, decision and content management!
In Part 1, you’ll get the trial download installed and running.
Part 2 takes a first walkthrough Flowable to show the general features available. It uses a demo app to make it easy to get going and give a starting point for understanding how Flowable can used.
With Part 3, we take the walkthrough a bit further, showing some of the more sophisticated features available.
In Part 4, you’ll see how to extend the demo case and process models, and get more idea about how they were put together with other business models to create the tutorial app.
Chapter 1: Installing the trial version of Flowable
Get and unpack the trial bundle
The trial download is Flowable Engage, which includes all the Flowable Work functionality. This tutorial will focus on the features common to both. If you haven’t already requested your trial download, then head to https://flowable.com/trial and get the links to the download bundle and trial license emailed to you. Once you have downloaded the zip file containing the trial installation, you just need to unzip it and move the extracted
flowable folder to where you have file permissions to run the trial (under Microsoft Windows, you may be best to run it in C:\flowable). There is a
README.txt file that gives some more detail, but essentially, if you already have Java installed and are just going to try this yourself you can use the simple built-in H2 database and start it straight away. If you want to use a real database, such as CockroachDB, MariaDB, MySQL, MSSQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL – follow the information in the README. The license will be needed later to activate Flowable within the applications by uploading the file.
If you have any problems, you can look for help on the Trial forum.
You will need to have Java installed before starting Flowable. You can check this by opening a terminal or command window and typing the command
java -version. You need version 1.8 or higher. If you do not have Java installed, we suggest you use the AdoptOpenJDK version available at https://adoptopenjdk.net choosing OpenJDK 11 and HotSpot. Please use the extra option to set the JAVA_HOME variable if available.
Running Flowable on Microsoft Windows
Two batch scripts are provided to start and stop Flowable on Windows.
start-engage.bat file in the
flowable\bin folder. This will start the Tomcat application server and open other command windows to run all the components Flowable needs. Don’t be confused about any error message occurring within the Tomcat command window. If you have problems with the script not running, please check your JAVA_HOME variable is correctly defined.
stop-engage.bat file in the
flowable\bin folder. This will stop Tomcat and the other Flowable command windows.
Running Flowable on MacOS or Linux
Two shell scripts are provided to start and stop Flowable for MacOS and Linux.
Open a terminal and change directory to wherever you moved the 'flowable' folder, for example,
cd /Applications/flowable. Run the
start-engage.sh script in the
bin folder, for example, from the Flowable directory, type
bin/start-engage.sh. This will start Tomcat and services to run all the components Flowable needs. If you want to see system logging details you can run the command
tail -f tomcat/logs/catalina.out from the Flowable directory.
stop-engage.sh script in the
bin directory, for example, from the Flowable directory, type
bin/stop-engage.sh. This will stop Tomcat and the other services.
Checking it’s working
To check all is working, you can try to start the Flowable apps. The start scripts will try and open your browser at http://localhost:8080 where you will be given options to start Flowable Engage, Flowable Design and Flowable Control. Select each in turn and you should see a sign-in page for each of them if they started successfully.