This year’s X4 Developer Day 2021 took place on September 30. In a hybrid format, around 45 participants took part on site at the Buhlsche Mühle conference center in Ettlingen and another around 100 online. The focus was on digitization and automation of business processes with the new features of the low-code digitization platform X4 BPMS. The digitization specialist SoftProject from Ettlingen invites interested parties and users to this interactive event every year. After practical presentations and live demos, the event traditionally concludes with a joint team challenge for all participants.

Innovation Manager Gerhard Lier during his speech
Participants listening

As a highlight, the developers of the platform X4 BPMS presented the new features of the current release 7.0, focusing on the topics of BPM, low code and the successful use of DevOps. They also showed the participants live how fully functional web apps can be created within a few minutes using the low-code approach without programming. “The X4 BPMS low-code digitization platform simplifies digitization in companies — it doesn’t matter what industry they come from,” said Gerhard Lier, Innovation Manager, and Patrick Toball, Development Manager, both from SoftProject. “With the features of X4 BPMS, business processes can be automated quickly and easily, accelerating digital transformation and opening up new business models.”

Free BPM Designer launched: Non-IT experts model processes

As an introductory prelude to the event, Lier and Markus Notheis, Partner and Sales Manager at SoftProject GmbH, presented the new features around BPM, no code, low code, DevOps, Web Apps and containers to the participants. Markus Scheurer, Head of the SoftProject Academy, then used a concrete example to present the new free BPM Designer. With this, even non-IT experts and employees from the specialist departments can model business processes and transfer their expertise directly into subsequently digitized processes. This ensures that no know-how is lost and that errors are avoided throughout the entire software lifecycle: from process recording and development to automation.

Developer Day participants
Networking at the X4 Developer Day

New X4 BPMS features: Find bugs and create web apps in the shortest possible time

This was followed by a joint presentation by SoftProject digitization specialists Christian Köpper, Technical Consultant, and Romy Häußler, Senior Software Developer. First, Köpper showed in a live demo how X4 BPMS users can use the new real-time debugger and Problem Views to quickly and easily identify and analyze errors, even in nested processes and without time-consuming searches. Häußler then took over: also live, she created a fully functional web app in a modern design in a very short time thanks to the low-code approach and a professional user experience (UX) — all without using HTML, JavaScript, or CSS.

Successfully use DevOps and efficiently deploy projects with X4 BPMS

After a coffee break and time for networking, Georg Kiehne, Teamlead DevOps and Product Owner X4 Solutions at SoftProject, took over. His presentation “With the X4 BPMS to DevOps success” illustrated how users can optimize business processes and automatically deploy digitization projects in different runtime environments with the digitization platform according to the DevOps approach. He also showed participants the prerequisites for successful, automated deployment and gave them tips on how they can best benefit from other DevOps advantages such as traceability, scalability, and flexibility. The morning’s series of presentations concluded with Teamlead X4 Patrick Toball and Senior Software Developer Matthias Glinka. Together, they demonstrated how easy it is for users to monitor an X4 app and customize administrative functions.

X4 Developer Day participants
X4 Developer Day participants

A plus for users: X4 Apps easy to configure and adapt to runtimes

After a joint lunch, the participants learned about the new X4 Apps in a live configuration, also conducted by Toball and Glinka. They allow digital solutions to be deployed even faster. They also simplify the deployment of processes in an X4 runtime environment as well as the establishment of DevOps pipelines. For this purpose, X4 Apps combine related X4 projects into one X4 App. The processes and services contained therein can be automatically deployed as a small, easily deployable package as individual artifacts on an X4 server or, in the future, as a microservice in various runtime environments.

The advantage: With a continuous deployment pipeline, the path from development to deployment can be automated. X4 Apps ensures that projects become even more efficient through structure and reuse, and that users always maintain an overview. In addition, the ability to reuse saves time and resources.

Toball and Glinka showed how users can easily change variable parameters or control the availability of X4 Web Apps, for example, by setting them active or inactive. In the process, the participants learned about different approaches to configuration: on the one hand via an adapter in the X4 process and on the other hand via the REST interface of an external tool.

X4 Developer Day participants
Virtual fair area

The virtual escape room: an adventure for everyone

Another highlight of the X4 Developer Day was the joint challenge: Trapped in a virtual escape room, the goal was to solve tasks related to typical X4 applications together, get to the next task and escape before time ran out. What was remarkable was that mixed teams with X4-experienced and X4-newcomers also took the top places. Before moving on to networking, Lier gave attendees an exclusive preview of the X4 BPMS roadmap and the numerous, new planned features SoftProject’s digitization experts are already hard at work on.

“The X4 Developer Day is one of the most important events for us, along with other events that we hold regularly: on the one hand, it gives us the chance to show the new and further developments of the X4 BPMS platform live and to answer questions directly. On the other hand, the participants benefit from first-hand practical tips around the new features from the X4 BPMS developers,” say Lier and Toball. “We are already looking forward to the X4 Developer Day 2022!”

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