Using soapUI to access Lombardi WebAPIService

IBM WebSphere Lombardi Edition 7.2 provides SOAP Web Service interface to its managed resources, be it business process definitions or instances thereof.

In a conversation, Dawn Ahukanna said (quoting with permission):

“The Lombardi coaches/forms are specifically for exposing process variables and business data to a user to complete a process activity.”

It struck me so heavily.

Such a simple sentence made my day when I realized that IBM WebSphere Lombardi Edition or IBM WebSphere Process Server, or any another product provides some kind of API that allows internal, external (remote), whatever access to its managed resources. It’s just an API and a kind of protocol (= a way to communite) to get at the resources. Moreover, these resources are available via the API and, in case of Lombardi, coaches are exactly a means of exposing their publicly accessible state (variable values). They’re for default UI.

When I first saw Lombardi, I wasn’t glad to have coaches everywhere. They made modeling human-centric business processes easier for the intended audience, but as I’m more developer-like thinking person, I felt a little bit constrained to have just coaches. Now, when this thinking’s gone, I’m much happier.

And retrieving data with SOAP Web Service interface or REST, or any other communication protocol or UI framework is just this – accessing the API which in turn accesses managed resources. It was merely a single sentence that blew me away so much!

When I knew all this and had soapUI downloaded, fitting separate pieces together was an easy task (or activity? :)).

I began with a simple business process definition.

I ran an instance of it.

And finally fired up soapUI providing a correct URL for the WebAPIService and its GetProcessInstance operation.

Don’t forget the username and password before sending out a request. It’s a protected operation, and tw_admin/tw_admin should do the trick. Have fun!

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