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What’s New in 1.5 – Grid Row Section

When it comes to editing data in a Grid, the classic solution is to pop-up an interface in front of the grid and let the user edit one record at a time. But there are problems with this approach. It doesn’t work well on mobile, it doesn’t let you easily cut and paste from one record to another, it only allows you to edit one record at a time, and so on.

Our solution to this is the Apex Grid Row Section. It empowers your IBM BPM grids with a new interface that lets you edit multiple records at once without limiting your options. With Grid Row Sections, new editable areas replace the grid row and let you edit right in the same screen. It’s a wonderful user experience and works great on mobile devices.

erikafulkWhat’s New in 1.5 – Grid Row Section
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What’s New in 1.5 – Dynamic Table

The Apex Dynamic Table gives your IBM BPM applications an amazing new user interface. Your app can display a table of data, and then users can instantly add new columns or rows. You should check out our demonstration video for this feature to see how it dramatically changes things. It is stunning in its simplicity and fluidity.

We use two more new tools to make these Dynamic Tables work. These are the Calculate and Iterate views. As their name suggests, they let you automatically perform math functions on your table data, and iterate changes through the table in real time. Behind the scenes some very technical things are going, but your users will simply experience a powerful and easy to use enhancement to their IBM BPM applications.

erikafulkWhat’s New in 1.5 – Dynamic Table
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Apex Coach Views Release 1.5 Available

Apex is pleased to announce general availability of Apex Coach Views Release 1.5 that includes new capabilities described below.  This release contains 11 new views enhancing our data binding, layout and grid functionality.  Additionally, many views have been updated to support responsive mobile design and to improve page performance.  Check them out!

Enhanced Data Binding

  • A new Binding Coach View has been added to the toolkit to make it easier to work with server-side variables on the client.  Additionally, the @binding and @options capabilities make it easier to perform client-side logic when server-side variables change.

Dynamic Table

  • A set of coach views has been introduced to enable client-side editing of data in a grid presentation.  These views include Dynamic Table, Row, and Cell.  In prior versions of ACV, editing data in a grid format was accomplished by using a combination of Dynamic Section and field views.  The Dynamic Table and it’s related views simplify your design and allow you to implement this interface faster.

Client-side Data Manipulation on Lists

  • The new Calculate and Iterate views have been released to allow you to easily manipulate lists of data on the client.  These views are not visual in your design but have a wide range of use when needing to run client-side calculations or JavaScript operations on a list of items.

Grid Row Section

  • The Grid Row Section extends the library of Grid views by introducing a new interface for viewing additional details and editing an item within a Grid Row.  Multiple rows of data can be edited at a time with Grid Row Section and since the interface is inline, you won’t lose access to any data on your screen.

Grid Complex Row

  • The Grid Complex Row increases the amount of data that you can show in a Grid by allowing multiple lines of data per grid item.  By putting Grid Row views into a Grid Complex Row, you can expand the attributes shown for a single item and conditionally display Grid Rows making Grids more effective in narrow layouts.

Collapsible Sections

  • Several layout views have been updated to allow the section to be collapsible.  The Vertical, Horizontal, and Table Sections have all been enhanced to allow the contents of those sections to be collapsed or expanded on page load, and then be collapsed or expanded by the user clicking an icon.  Of course, the regular way of having the section always visible is still available too!

Responsive Mobile

  • Making corporate applications operate on mobile devices is increasingly a requirement for application developers.  In this release, certain coach views have been updated to enable better usability on mobile devices.  These include:
    • Horizontal Section – Introducing a “Wrap” config option, which dynamically adjusts the content of the section to fit a smaller mobile device.
    • Dynamic Section – Introducing an “Orientation” config option, which will allow the repeating section to repeat vertically or horizontally.
    • Tabs – Introducing a new layout option, “Accordion,” which will present your tabs in collapsible content panes.
    • Grid – Introducing a “Minimum Width” config option on columns, which allows you to specify the minimum width of the column before it is hidden on the grid.  Columns hide from right to left as the screen is made smaller.

Performance Improvements

  • Release 1.5 introduces the Template Loader and Template Wrapper coach views that allow sections of your application to be cached and loaded only when needed.  Packaging a portion of your coach into a Template Wrapper only takes minutes and can greatly improve the performance of your application.  Additionally, in 1.5, the coach view code has been repackaged into a JavaScript file cached on the client.  The result is a much smaller page size and additional improvements to performance.

We’ll be releasing video updates on these new features in the coming weeks, make sure to stay up-to-date with all of Apex’s new features!

erikafulkApex Coach Views Release 1.5 Available
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Reflecting on the past – looking towards the future

It is almost my 1 year anniversary with Apex, and it has been one of the best, most interesting years of my life. As we gear up for our annual kickoff meeting I have to think a lot about what has happened while I’ve been here and what’s is coming up in our future. Also, Apex just celebrated it’s 5th anniversary (Happy Birthday to us!).  The week or two before the Christmas party was filled with stories of Christmas parties past. Stories of Apex startup which started with weekly meetings at a brewery not to far from our current office. Everyone was so excited about how far we had come in such a short time.

And having only been there for a year, I can attest to how much we’ve moved forward. At first I took time to figure out what Apex was doing, coming into a new company with a marketing and social media background, learning what and how BPM was used was a bit challenging. I tried to learn something new every day. To not be overwhelmed, but to fully comprehend. And for a while, I thought I was doing a good job, until one day I realized that I had been with Apex for 6 months and I was still learning what we were doing.

It’s not that I’m a slow learner. It’s that we do something new every day, every week, every month. We’re constantly growing our products and services. Every day I’m trying to catch up, I’m falling behind on learning what we’re currently making. So I’ve stopped looking into Apex’s past and started to just look at the future, to delve into everything we’re currently working on. To fully wrap my brain around what’s going on.

I’m excited for our kickoff meeting next week. I’m excited to see what our partners and employee’s have to say. And can I mention that I’ve created some killer team building exercises?!

Get ready for some great video’s about our 1.5 features, we’ve been working on them in between projects and they are just about ready to launch.

Looking forward to sharing the New Year with you. We have a bunch of really amazing stuff planned!

erikafulkReflecting on the past – looking towards the future
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Is your company succeeding at listening but failing at implementing?

Is this how your company functions –

This Company has been in business for over 75 years. They started their successful business long ago and only a few of the processes have changed over the years. You work for This Company, and you love it; your job is great, the co-workers are fun, and there are lots of windows, what more could you ask for? Let’s say, every Friday, you sit at your desk filling out an Excel spreadsheet with hours worked, then you fill out a time card online, then fax the spreadsheet to a person across the room who checks it against the online time card. And you sit there, spending 2 hours a work week filling out these forms, and think – ‘There must be a better way to do this, it’s 2013!’  So you write a comment on a comment card –

comment card

And then you wait. And wait. You forget that you’ve filled out the comment card, except for Friday’s when you spend 2 hours filling out your timesheet. Then, one day, someone walks up to your desk and says “We’ve read your comment card, and we agree, can you help us improve the timecard process?” To which you ecstatically say yes! Since you’ve submitted the comment card you’ve spent a boring 2 hours a week filling out the time cards and dreaming of how this process could be better.

So you and 15 people you’ve never met go into a conference room one sunny day, all full of hope. You sit through an 8 hour day with everyone giving their best idea’s. And at the end of the day, you’re feeling particularly good about the new proposed system. The moderator tells you that it will be a month or two before they can set up the new system, and you don’t even care. Hope for a new system has you living on cloud 9.

Three months go by. You keep thinking – ‘Man! I bet this will be the coolest time card system ever!” In your head there are laser beams that appear when you hit submit, you know that’s not in the plan, but that’s how awesome this new system will be. You can’t even wait. You’ve told all your co-workers about the meeting and about how fast this new process will be.

Finally the big day arrives. You get into work, and notice that all the eyes staring at you while you walk to your cube.  Your friend across the aisle says dryly “Thanks for the work on the time sheets.” You are a bit confused, as you sit down and power up  your computer, you notice the email “NEW TIME SHEET SYSTEM” Your heart beats faster.



Suddenly you understand why everyone is staring at you. You’ve just increased their timesheet time from 2 hours to 4-6 on a good day.

You sit there and wonder why the focus group spent so much time listening to you, but not acting on any of your idea’s.


You know, if your company used Agile Methodology, this could have been prevented 3 months ago.

Now, that was a really long intro to get you into the point of this blog.  Agile.  Agile is the point. 

Agile Methodology is simple in theory, and boils down to this – clients and developers are in contact throughout the project. Iterations are made and the project is looked at over the entirety on a bi-weekly basis. If the clients needs change – so does the project work. If the developers make what they thought was right, but it’s actually adding work to the process, the client has time to step in and say ‘no, that’s not what we wanted, we were looking for __x__.” Saving both developer and client from getting something neither wants.

The Agile Manifesto is based on twelve principles:

  • Customer satisfaction by rapid delivery of useful software
  • Welcome changing requirements, even late in development
  • Working software is delivered frequently (weeks rather than months)
  • Working software is the principal measure of progress
  • Sustainable development, able to maintain a constant pace
  • Close, daily cooperation between business people and developers
  • Face-to-face conversation is the best form of communication (co-location)
  • Projects are built around motivated individuals, who should be trusted
  • Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design
  • Simplicity—the art of maximizing the amount of work not done—is essential
  • Self-organizing teams
  • Regular adaptation to changing circumstances

How does this Agile process help you and your company?

In the middle of this example, you gave your input to the moderator and never saw anything until the final product had already launched. What happened in those 3-4 months where lots of extra processes were added and a new website was created? With Agile development, someone from the team gets to meet with the development team while they are building what you wanted.

To make it simple, say you want a pizza, you can tell the waitress “I’d like a 1/2 cheese and 1/2 pepperoni pizza” What you get is a pizza with no sauce and only cheese on one side, and the other side is only pepperoni, no cheese, no sauce (this is a real life example, it happened once to me).  That is what you asked for, but it’s not what you thought you’d get.

In Agile, you say I want 1/2 pepperoni and 1/2 cheese. As you watch the chef start to make the pizza, he makes the crust, you approve. You can see he’s not adding sauce and skipping right to the toppings, you can say – “Oh, I want sauce on that.” And then when he gets to the cheese, he’ll ask you “Did you want cheese on the pepperoni half?” You have an open dialog with each other, one side talks to the other to make sure that each is getting what they want. This makes it better for the client and the developer. And what you get is the perfect pizza quicker and cheaper than if you had gotten the wrong pizza, explained what was wrong, sent the old one back and wait for a new one to be cooked.


Time is money. Money talks and so should you. Make sure you work with an Agile team.  A team like Apex.

erikafulkIs your company succeeding at listening but failing at implementing?
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Apex – around North America

Every week we have teams working with clients all around North America. Last week we had people in Canada, the US and Mexico. This week we’re not in Mexico, but we have started a few new projects around the country. Check out the map below and see where our consultants are working this week –



See what our consultants see –

[image title=”Apex – Southfield, MI” alt=”Apex – Southfield, MI” caption=”Apex – Southfield, MI”][/image]
[image title=”Jim – Toronto” alt=”Jim – Toronto” caption=”Jim – Toronto”][/image]
[image title=”Chenthil – Warren, OH” alt=”Chenthil – Warren, OH” caption=”Chenthil – Warren, OH”][/image]
[image title=”Nick – Tampa, FL” alt=”Nick – Tampa, FL” caption=”Nick – Tampa, FL”][/image]
[image title=”Nick – Tampa, FL” alt=”Nick – Tampa, FL” caption=”Nick – Tampa, FL”][/image]
[image title=”Rama – Tampa, FL” alt=”Rama – Tampa, FL” caption=”Rama – Tampa, FL”][/image]
[image title=”Rama – San Fran, CA” alt=”Rama – San Fran, CA” caption=”Rama – San Fran, CA”][/image]
[image title=”Laura – Indy, IN” alt=”Laura – Indy, IN” caption=”Laura – Indy, IN”][/image]
[image title=”Laura – Indy, IN” alt=”Laura – Indy, IN” caption=”Laura – Indy, IN”][/image]
[image title=”Laura – Indy, IN” alt=”Laura – Indy, IN” caption=”Laura – Indy, IN”][/image]
[image title=”Laura – Indy, IN” alt=”Laura – Indy, IN” caption=”Laura – Indy, IN”][/image]
[image title=”Jim – Working from an airplane in Detroit” alt=”Jim – Working from an airplane in Detroit” caption=”Jim – Working from an airplane in Detroit”][/image]
[image title=”Sashi – Anchorage, AK” alt=”Sashi – Anchorage, AK” caption=”Sashi – Anchorage, AK”][/image]
[image title=”Rajesh – Washington D.C.” alt=”Rajesh – Washington D.C.” caption=”Rajesh – Washington D.C.”][/image]
[image title=”Atlanta Branch” alt=”Atlanta Branch” caption=”Atlanta Branch”][/image]


erikafulkApex – around North America
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Other Interesting Sessions at #IBMImpact

Here are some other interesting presentations at Impact next week:

TBU-3079 : Case Study: The State of Alaska Unified Permit Project
Speakers: Scott McEwen, State of Alaska Dept of Natural Resources; Zoya Ponomareva, State of Alaska Dept of Natural Resources
Abstract: The State of Alaska had a backlog of permit applications from entities wishing to use state resources. It needed a solution that would enable it to streamline its processes and eliminate the backlog. The state engaged IBM to create an agile BPM environment using a 14-week Quick Win Project and IBM Blueworks Live and IBM Business Process Manager Advanced software. The solution provides greater visibility into processes along with greater consistency, helping speed the application process. Plus, the platform can be extended to deliver even greater ROI.
When: Wed, 1/May, 10:15 AM – 11:15 AM
Where: Venetian – Delfino 4005

TBU-1775 : Case Study: Grupo Nacional Provincial Enables Business Decisions in Real Time
Speaker: Pablo Vidales, Grupo Nacional Provincial
Abstract: With IBM Operational Decision Management and IBM BPM, GNP deployed a central business rules repository to adapt business behavior to strategy in real time. By automating the health policy underwriting and issuing processes, GNP gained the following benefits: increased efficiency and agility, the ability to dynamically distribute workloads based on process exceptions, better customer service, lower costs, and a self-service solution that allows customers to participate in the process end-to-end. In the future, GNP will extend the solution and benefits to its main business lines: car insurance, life insurance, procurement, HR, and more.
When: Tue, 30/Apr, 05:15 PM – 06:15 PM
Where: Venetian – Delfino 4005

You can find these sessions and add them to your agenda here.

jvolpeOther Interesting Sessions at #IBMImpact
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Apex Presenting with Delphi Automotive at #IBMImpact

Jim Volpe

Apex has played a key role in three projects to implement IBM BPM at Delphi.  The first project was with their purchasing process centers, which was highlighted in a presentation last year at Impact.  We also worked with Delphi to build an engineering change process and are now helping them to complete a process for new business acquisition.

Next week at Impact, I will present with Richard Rossio from Delphi Automotive, discussing our approach to the new business acquisition process and lessons learned from engineering change.   You can find the session to add it to your agenda here.


Abstract: Delphi Automotive implemented a system to improve the efficiency and standardization of their quoting process using IBM BPM. This presentation will illustrate how they delivered a process application quickly to provide early value, then continued to work toward providing additional value through iterative releases. The presentation will include a discussion of assembling the right team and how the diversity of the team’s capabilities was important. It will also look at the complexity and challenges that the team faced. These included integration with several systems and the need to build advanced user interfaces to view and edit complex data, both easily and quickly, within IBM BPM.
When: Thursday, 2 May, 08:45 AM – 09:45 AM
Where: Venetian – Delfino 4101A

If you would like to set up a meeting with us to discuss the project or the cool new products from Apex, please contact us.

jvolpeApex Presenting with Delphi Automotive at #IBMImpact
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@apexbpm at #IBMImpact

Below are IBM’s 5 reason’s to attend Impact 2013. Want to know what we think are reason’s 0-4?

In addition to the great content presented at Impact, our Apex experts will be out and about during the conference to show you what we’ve been up to since the last time you’ve checked in with us. We spent a lot of time with customers understanding what they need to make their IBM BPM projects successful, and we’ve been upgrading our products to make sure all of our clients (existing and future) will have access to these new great features. Some of these solutions may be things you never knew you wanted, but I bet when you see them, you won’t want to do another project without them. Check out some of the other great reason’s to meet with us:

0 – A sneak peak at a game changing new product from Apex that enables case management in IBM BPM

1 – Meet 1:1 with an Apex expert to learn more about Apex Coach Views (You can read more about our upgrades to Coach Views before you stop by)

2 – Check out one of our current products that we’ve spent a lot of time revamping, we’ll reveal which one when we see you! 

3 – Find out how Apex can accelerate your IBM BPM process improvement project

4 – An exciting concert from Matchbox 20







erikafulk@apexbpm at #IBMImpact
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Apex Coach Views Release 1.3 Available

Apex is pleased to announce general availability of Apex Coach Views Release 1.3 which includes the new capabilities described below. These features were a direct result of feature requests from our current customers. Keep the great ideas coming!

More… Display

In release 1.3 we added a new config option “More” for a Multiline Column. This is used to specify how the display of the “more” text will show in a Multiline Column. When the text description is more than the number of lines defined, the “more” text can be displayed in one of two ways: as a Dialog which shows on click of “more” or as a Tooltip which is displayed on mouse hover of “…”.


After clicking “…more” the dialog box pops up –



As a Tooltip, hover the “…” to show more text –


More… Placement

As a further enhancement to the “More..” Display, the placement of “More..” on Multiline Views has been changed to the lower-right corner of the text block.


Help Text

Prior to Release 1.3, help text for field views was only available when field labels were visible; it shows on hover of the label. In Release 1.3, the display of help text on field views is visible on the field’s control even when the field label is turned off. The below example demonstrates three different combinations of the help text with and without a field label visible.

When your field views have labels turned on, the help text displays on hover of the label and the value of the field displays on hover of the control.



When your field views do not have labels turned on, the help text displays on hover of the control.


When your field views do not have labels turned on and they do not have help, the value of the field displays on hover of the control. This is helpful if you have an extra-long value in your control that is not fully visible within the control itself.



Tree Grid

Release 1.3 of Apex Coach views include a new Grid view called Tree Grid. This view is used to define a tabular presentation of data in a multi-level format. In the below example we demonstrate the relationship between parts, showing a root part.


When expanded, we show all the parts that make up that part. All of the regular grid columns can be used in a Tree Grid.


Below is another example of the Tree Grid functionality. This grid demonstrates that multiple object types can be displayed within the tree grid. At the top level, there are Process Applications. Expanding a Process App one level, you see the branches of that process app. And, expanding one more level, you see the snapshots that have been taken within the branch.


Click to Edit

In Release 1.3, a new feature has been added to many input field views called Inline Edit. With this feature, fields show as read-only with click-to-edit capability. This functionality has been added to enhance the user experience and display of field views on coaches. The default display shows a “pencil” icon, indicating to users that this is a click-to-edit field; however, this can be easily removed or styled differently based on the needs of the application. Inline Edit is currently in the following views: Text, Masked Input, Multiline, Number, Currency, Date, Custom Date, Lookup, Precent, Time and Select.

w icon

wo icon

Initial value is shown, hover to see an editable field


Click text to edit field


Edit field


When you tab away from the field it will automatically save


When save is complete the value is displayed as text


Find out more about Coach Views here

erikafulkApex Coach Views Release 1.3 Available
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