Credits: Adapted from Neil Kolban

This page gives you ideas on how to make the most out of the developerWorks forums for the IBM BPM product. This forum can be found here:

BPM on dwAnswers

Ask questions on dwAnswers

There are many places to get great information on the IBM BPM product including the InfoCenter, the BPM Wiki and the public dwAnswers forum. This article concentrates on forum usage.
The BPM space on dwAnswers is highly active and is constantly monitored by skilled BPM users.

What to include in a post?

There are many versions of the IBM BPM product in existence. When asking a question about the product, always include which version of the product you are using. Examples of this would be:

8.5.6
8.5.5
8.5
8.0.1.1
8.0.1
8.0
7.5.1
7.5
7.2
Lombardi

This information allows the reader to correlate the question to the capabilities available in the product. For example, a question asked about 7.5 and answered with a feature found in 8.0 probably won’t be a good response.

When writing a question, always consider what your reader may or may not know. Posting a question where you assume they have been sitting beside you for the last hour while you battle unsuccessfully with a problem is probably a bad idea. Assume that your reader knows nothing about the background of your issue. Start by explaining what you are trying to achieve. Include what you have done and what the outcomes were. Conclude with the question with which you would like assistance. If your question could benefit from screen shots, consider writing it as a document and turning into a PDF and posting that PDF as an attachment. You may also consider including sample code or TWX files but only do that if you are 100% certain that your employer would have no objection to that information being made publicly available.
UI questions

If you are posting a question about how to do something in a “Coach” please give the version you are working with, and if it is 8.0 or later, be aware there are 2 UI frameworks “Heritage” (a.k.a. “Coach Designer”) and “Coach Views”. The correct answer will differ greatly depending on which of these you use. Please make it clear which you are asking about.
Database Questions

If you are asking about a Database item, or if your error includes a SQL Snippet, please tell us what database you are running.
Who should respond to a posting?

The forum is a community effort. Everyone is equal. If you have anything to contribute to the thread, post it. If you are unsure of your thoughts … post those too. There is simply no such thing as a “wrong post” in terms of content related to a discussion thread. IBM employees watch the forum and also respond. However, to the best of our knowledge, no-one at IBM has any responsibility for the content or accuracy for the forum. With that in mind, please do not hold off from posting waiting for some official answer from IBM … it won’t be forthcoming. If an IBM employee posts and makes themselves known as such, great … but it will never be a final or official answer (on the forum).

If you hold off from posting a response to the forum because you feel you aren’t an expert, don’t. If you do that, no-one will be posting to the forum.
English is not my first language

English appears to be the primary language of technical communications on the Internet but English is the first language of only a percentage of forum users. Try and post your question or response as best you can. Do not worry about spelling or grammar but do consider the information contained within. If you are doubtful about how clear your question may be, write the same question in the post over and over using multiple different ways of saying it. Readers will take the time to read your text but if it is unclear as to your meaning, there is little they can do.

What expectations should I have for a response?

While dwAnswers is monitored by our support teams, if you require a response within your service level agreement or if your problem is urgent or relates to a software defect that you believe you have uncovered, you should contact our support team directly. A community is composed of peer members like yourself.

The quality and timeliness of a response to a post appears to be directly related to the quality and content of the original question that you pose. If your question is vague or difficult to comprehend, at best you will be asked to clarify it. At worst, it will be ignored. As a general rule of thumb, attempt to put at least as much time into the question as you would hope that someone would spend considering a response.

Discussions, learnings and etiquette

Beyond asking questions on the forum, don’t hesitate to post interesting things that you learn or find. If you uncover something that may be new or a combination of items that are interesting, consider posting those to the forum or creating a new Wiki page or updating an existing Wiki page. In addition, discussions related to IBM BPM are also welcome. Considered opinions are welcomed. It is human nature to write when we find something we dislike and not write when we find something that works as expected/desired so if you find something that troubles you, feel free to write about it … but do try and be constructive. Think about what might be changed to make it the way you want it. IBM maintains a Request For Enhancements list where we can add requests for future releases.

Nothing in this article changes the basic/common respect we must have for each other. So no warnings here about bad language, attacks on each other etc etc … we are all way above that kind of thing.

Where should I go to study more on IBM BPM?

There are a wide variety of places to go and read about IBM BPM. These include:

*The InfoCenter – The InfoCenter is the IBM product documentation available on the web. There is no sign-up required to read it. It answers the vast majority of questions … but it is big. VERY big.
*The BPM Developer Center (this site) – bpm/DEV contains articles and samples. Unlike the forum which can be thought of as a stream of questions and answers, bpm/DEV attempts to be a repository of knowledge. Like the developerWorks forum, bpm/DEV is community property meaning that you are encouraged to participate and add to the knowledge contained there.
*The developerWorks articles – IBM publishes articles on all its products weekly. There are already hundreds of articles on the product.
*Books and PDFs – There are a number of freely available books on IBM BPM including IBM’s own red-books and PDFs written by BPM community members

Notes on mechanics of posting to the forum

Posting code

The forum has been found to mangle code if entered directly in a posting. Please surround your samples with {code} tags. By placing code within these tags they are correctly formatted. For example:

{code}
… your code goes here …
{code}

Adding attachments

A forum post can be enhanced by including screen shots and other descriptive information. The forum allows only a single attachment per post. If you have multiple attachments, place them within a ZIP and attach the zip. In the body of the post, provide a description of what it is you have attached.

8 comments on"Making the most out of your posts on the BPM Dev Center and dwAnswers"

  1. Hi Neil,

    Where do we go for knowledge that was available on BPM Wiki? It was a great source to find answers to a lot of questions with great searching ability. Please do something to bring wiki back.

    • Hi Rahul,

      We’ve taken most of the content from the old BPM wiki and migrated it to the Docs section and in the Use section of the Developer Center. So check in those places to start. If there is something in particular you are looking for and can’t find, let us know and we’ll help you locate it in the new site, or we will see if it is something that we can import.

      We’ve also added a lot of new capabilities in the developer center that weren’t available in the old wiki, like video support, social capabilities, and a consolidated forum on dwAnswers. Hope you’ve had a chance to see those as well.

      Jim

  2. Hi Niel,

    How i can download your kolban toolkit for 8.5.6 or 8.5.5?
    since on devopts i can’t your .twx on your Project

    Thank you,

    Hendry Talib

  3. Divya Tiwari November 24, 2015

    Hi neil

    I am working on 8.5.6 and have a requirement where there are 5 radio buttons having values yes and no.
    If the main radio button is clicked on no, then rest of the radio buttons should be automatically set to NO.
    And if any of the radio button is clicked on yes, then the main radio button should be changed to YES.
    Could you please help me to implement this.

  4. Divya Tiwari November 24, 2015

    Hi neil

    I am working on pd 8.5.6.
    I have a requirement where there r 5 radio buttons having values yes and no.
    One is main nd other 4 r similar.
    If the value of main radio button is NO, then rest all the radio buttons have to set as No by default on the ui page, they can b editable.

    If any radio button among the 4 is clicked on yes, then the main radio button should have yes selected.

    How can i implement this.
    Would really appreciate ur help.

  5. Jayalakshmi March 07, 2016

    Hi Neil,

    Im new ti IBM BPM . i have a doubt in email service. Can you please guide me in the following scenario.

    I need to attach the uploaded document in email and send it.

    Please guide me in this.

    Im using IBM BPM 8.5.6

    Thamks in advance.

    • Hi there,

      I suggest you post this one in our forum. That’ll give others the chance to give you their advice (Neil I’m sure will help you too!)

      Jim

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