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Bonita & Bonitasoft | 8min

Bonita 2021.1 is out and available now

Miguel Valdés Faura
February 02, 2021

We are have just released a major update of the Bonita platform, and expanded the Bonita Enterprise and Cloud subscription. Read on for more details!

Bonita 2021.1 platform release

This Bonita platform release includes significant improvements and updates for our community, customers and partners. Because of this jump in value, we thought that this release merited to be a Bonita 8.0 (major release) rather than a Bonita 7.12 (minor release with no discontinuities). Strictly following the semantic versioning rules would mean we would release a Bonita 7.12, as there are no backwards incompatible API changes or any other breaking changes.

But with that logic guiding the major version jump, Bonita could potentially remain 7.x forever.

So, we decided to change the naming of this and future product releases to calendar versioning to set the correct expectations with users around quality & stability, and at the same time help us and our users to avoid the confusion around the significance of a release. 

Bonita 2021.1 is now released! And here's what we've done to the Bonita digital automation platform, and why.

Low-code approach (visual programing vs coding)

This release adds additional value to both visual programing and coding capabilities, to support our vision to simplify project collaboration and governance.

Visual programming

  • A new expression editor that allows users to visually create business rules and conditions
  • A new view in Bonita Studio to see all project issues and warnings 
  • A global dark theme for Bonita Studio in which users can turn the screen to dark at night
  • Other useful improvements to boost UIDesigner usability: autocomplete widget returned value, fragments and custom widgets full name display

Coding 

  • Two new SDKs, based on the Maven Archetype project templating toolkit, are available to developers to create and test customized REST API extensions and themes
  • It is now possible to create Rest API extensions in Java

Platform extensibility 

In addition to the new SDKs to allow developers to create and test extension points, Bonita users can now reuse and extend Bonita Portal in their applications. The portal has been split into two independent Bonita applications (User App and Admin App) that can be used as is - or customized with UIDesigner. 

Platform robustness and scalability

A new recovery mechanism to handle incidents like database or network outages has been added to the Bonita platform to automatically recover from incidents. This new service completes the existing clustering and auto-scaling capabilities of Bonita and Bonita Cloud editions to address the most complex process automation use cases.

Open source vs commercial

In order to better serve our community, continue to boost adoption, and unify development tools between the Bonita Community and Enterprise editions, we decided to open source an unprecedented number of features in Bonita 2021.1:

  • Multi environment management
  • All connectors (SAP, Office, Salesforce, UI Path)
  • All editors (Rest API Extension, Themes, Living Applications)
  • Collaboration tooling (Git)
  • Advanced wizard (email, web service, database, Twitter)
  • Search indexes
  • Fragments
  • Localization updating from Bonita UI Designer
  • Responsive UI management - multiple screen size
  • New widgets (save form, rich text area, chart, advanced table)

The 2021.1 release has also been the opportunity to adjust some features and services with the objective to clarify what is available in Bonita Community vs Bonita Enterprise.

  • Bonita Community: open source edition of the platform including all capabilities required to develop and deploy process automation projects. The platform is based on Bonitasoft's unique approach to low-code and clearly separates visual programming vs coding capabilities to drive collaboration and simplify project governance.
  • Bonita Enterprise: commercial edition of the platform to address core and critical process automation use cases. This edition adds capabilities to Bonita Community to secure, scale, monitor and continuously improve process automation projects. The Enterprise edition is bundled with a customer success subscription that provides full project lifecycle support and services from development to operations.

The following capabilities were moved from Bonita Community to Bonita Enterprise edition:

  • PurgeTool. This tool is now part of the Enterprise capabilities to manage Bonita Platform scalability. The tool allows to purge finished (archived) process instances from a Bonita Runtime environment.
  • Maintenance releases. From now on, maintenance releases (ie 2021.1.x) are only available to customers. All fixes done in-between two minor releases will be included and released in the next minor release for community users but maintenance releases will be available for customers only.
  • JMX metrics publisher, monitoring log files and API dynamic security capabilities will be removed from the next Bonita Community release and will be part of the set of Bonita Enterprise features related to security and monitoring themes respectively. As a matter of clarification, operational logging capabilities of the platform will remain in Bonita Community.

As a direct benefit of these changes, upgrades/downgrades operations between Bonita Community and Enterprise editions will be simplified.

Both operations will still require the re-installation of the targeted platform but there is no need for project re-development anymore. Enterprise downgrades to Community also imply that Enterprise edition capabilities and subscription services will not be available anymore.

Bonitasoft's subscription offer update

Together with the release of Bonita 2021.1 and the changes related to the clarification of the product values between the Bonita Community and Bonita Enterprise editions, we’ve decided to update our full commercial offering. 

New Bonita subscription offering for elastic deployments

With the adoption of cloud computing and initiatives such as IT modernization and legacy systems migration, we are seeing a growing number of customers deploying Bonita in both public and private clouds. In those environments, the ability to acquire resources as you need them and release resources when you no longer need them (elasticity) is key.

Bonita Cloud natively provides elasticity of Bonita deployments to our customers. In other words, they have the ability to scale in and scale out Bonita Runtimes automatically.

But customers who decide to deploy and manage Bonita on-premise and/or in a private/public cloud of their choice are generally already using Kubernetes or other frameworks or services to manage auto-scaling of Bonita Runtimes. For those deployments, where it is difficult to know in advance the number of clustered nodes of Bonita Runtime that will be needed, we have launched today a new subscription offer that includes unlimited nodes for a Bonita Runtime.

New services and components included in Bonita Enterprise subscriptions 

To deliver full project lifecycle support and services from development to operations, we have added the following new services and components by default to every new Bonita subscription. These services are added to the current ones and will be available no mater of the support level (Gold Elite or Platinum) selected in the subscription.

  • Annual 2-day audit of the Bonita platform. Examples of topics that can be covered in this audit include:
    • Confirm best practices have been followed (platform configuration, security settings, logs, database, etc).
    • Check for optimal performance (platform sizing & tuning, IS integration & dependencies, processes). Some improvements might be proposed.
    • Development code review. If appropriate you’ll get suggestions for corrections (processes, BDM, UI, etc). 
    • Annual update/migration to the latest Bonita release. Bonita experts will assist you remotely, once a year, to update your Bonita on-premise platform to the latest version. You’ll be sure to get the latest Bonita features and patches. 
  • Unlimited access to Bonitasoft experts through the brand new Bonita Experts Corner. This is a new service that allows customers to book 30 minutes or 1 hour slots dedicated to get feedback/help from our experts on a topic related to the Bonita development/implementation. The question discussed must be provided in advance. Bonitasoft experts will propose a date & time within 2 business days.
  • Bonita maintenance releases will, from now on, only be available to Bonita subscription customers. In other words, every major and minor release will still be available to Bonita Community users.
  • Bonita Continuous Delivery (BCD)  is now part of the Bonita Enterprise subscription by default. BCD enables continuous delivery practice in Bonita projects and leverages best-of-breed technologies such as Jenkins and Docker for continuous integration capabilities. BCD can also be used to provision new Bonita instances on-premises and in Cloud (ie AWS, Azure, etc.).

These new services and components will be available by default to new customers from now on. Existing customers can upgrade their existing subscription - contact your Customer Success or Sales rep!

Professional services offers 

As part of our engagement to provide first class services to our customers, we have launched three new services packages.

  1. Bonita Fast Track: to help customers to get started rapidly with their first Bonita project  implementation. The Bonita Fast Track is declined into two flavors:
    • Implementation best practices and project shadowing. An experienced team of Bonitasoft experts & certified partners will help customers to get started as soon as your Bonita Subscription has been activated. During this process, you will learn best practices, recommendations and advice to gain further expertise on Bonita in the context of your first project.
    • Turn-key project implementation. An experienced team of Bonitasoft experts and certified partners will commit to deliver your first project implementation at a fixed price based on a defined scoped. Bonitasoft professional services will start by gathering your requirements and prefered work best practices and will translate it into a statement of work.
  2. On-premise to Bonita Cloud upgrade: an all inclusive and fixed price offering to upgrade Bonita on-premises deployments to the Bonita Cloud. Bonitasoft experts will assess the compatibility of your Bonita platform with Bonita Cloud and will take care of all required actions of this upgrade.
  3. Bonita on-premise upgrade to the latest version. This package includes all required expertise to address the migration between your on-premise deployment to the latest version of the product. The Bonitasoft Professional Services team will deliver this service based on an agreed scope of the migration for a fixed price.

So much to be proud of in this current release. Please feel free to download Bonita Commmunity or Bonita Enterprise and Have Fun With Bonita!

Miguel Valdés Faura

Miguel Valdés Faura

Miguel Valdes Faura is the CEO and co-founder of Bonitasoft, a global provider of BPM, low-code and digital transformation solutions. He leads the charge for Bonitasoft’s mission: help innovative companies worldwide reinvent, automate and gain deep visibility into their business processes.

Miguel is a recognized thought leader in the BPM/DPA fields and is passionate about open source community building. He is a regular speaker at international conferences such as O’Reilly, Global Expansion Summit, and WebSummit and has also been featured in major publications such Forbes, CNN and Mashable. Miguel received one of the prestigious CEO World Awards in 2019.

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