Introduction to BPS APIs
WEBCON Business Process Suite is a comprehensive platform to efficiently manage documents and business processes in every company. It is also very expandable thanks to a set of APIs available in the system. BPS provides two different API types. The SDK extensions registered as plugins and run within the system while the workflow is being processed. Second is a Web API that enables running operations on elements within the BPS system from external systems.
Choose the right API
The choice of the right API depends primarily on the type of operation that needs to be performed. In regards to modifying workflow instances, both sets offer similar possibilities. However, they differ as to the approach and procedure.
- If you integrate BPS with other systems, and need changes in the external system to cause a new workflow instance to be created or moved to another step in the WEBCON BPS system, calling the appropriate method in Web API web service will be the right choice.
- Additionally, if you need to get data from a specific instance in WEBCON BPS to some other system, it is best to use Web API for that purpose.
There are two Web APIs, SOAP and REST. Both services provide the methods for operating on workflow instances in the WEBCON BPS system. They allow external systems to start new workflow instances in the system, modify and alter the status of instances existing in a workflow, and to operate on binary attachments of those instances. It enables the same operations to be performed at the programming level as those performed by the system users with WEBCON BPS forms.
BPS REST API uses HTTP, so it is easy to understand, implement and employ in most technologies. In WEBCON BPS 2019, this API is available in all types of installations (SharePoint and Standalone). REST also makes efficient use of bandwidth, as it’s much less verbose than SOAP.
BPS SOAP API is good for applications that require formal contracts between the API and consumer since it can enforce the use of formal contracts by using WSDL. However, please note that SOAP API is available only for SharePoint Classic installations.
- If, during the integration, it is the BPS that initiates the event, then it is best to use custom actions from SDK to initiate change in a different system.
- If you want to extend the BPS operation by new types of controls in the form, or change the operation of the currently available ones, it is best to use proper custom controls from BPS SDK.
- See the possibilities offered by SDK actions, if you want to extend the process in BPS by a behaviour or functionality which BPS does not provide. They allow virtually any system extension and connecting such extension in many points in the workflow.
- Do you need to generate extra reports or create specific file types based on the elements in the system? The custom actions are best to do that.
- Do you want to use, in the BPS system, the data available in the structure whose data sources are not supported in the BPS? Use the SDK to create a custom data source that can retrieve data from such structure.
BPS SDK is a set of libraries which make it possible to create plugins allowing full adjustment of the BPS system to the current needs. The extensions are run within the BPS system, so they have to be implemented in the Microsoft .NET Framework technology, for example using the C# language. After registering with the system, they can be used in any process.
The SDK set comprises several plugin types with different uses. The actions enable execution of the own logic, reading and modifying data of workflow elements, recalling logic from external systems, generation and modification of attachments. The layout and behavior of a form can be changed through custom controls or extensions of the controls to fully adapt it to the user’s needs. With custom data sources, the set of external sources supported in the BPS system can be extended. Print templates allow modification of bar code label printing and creating custom paper prints.