How to access CMMN in the modeler?

Hi!

While I did see the blog post on why Camunda doesn’t want to put as much energy into CMMN anymore (https://camunda.com/blog/2020/08/how-cmmn-never-lived-up-to-its-potential/), I still believe in the long run it can help answer quite a few questions that are not that easy to answer in BPMN - especially from the perspective of the healthcare industry.

Two years are nothing in this industry. :wink:

I was a bit surprised, that in the latest version of the Open Source modeler the ability to construct a CMMN model seems to have been taken out entirely, which is a pain for me, as I really like the modeler.

How do I access the latest version of the modeler, that DOES have the CMMN modeling capability?

Hi @AstaSyneri
Welcome back to the forum :slight_smile:

Have no fear the older versions haven’t gone for ever. You can still find a list of all modeler versions here. I think that the last one to have CMMN was 4.3.0.

Thank you for the quick answer! That was exactly the kind of link I was missing!

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Hi @AstaSyneri,

the CMMN editor is disabled using a flag per default in the latest version (4.5) of the Camunda Modeler. But you have full power to modify the flags and therefore you can still enable it if you wish!

In order to do that, you need to set a “flag”. You can choose between two options to do that:

Option 1. Pass the --no-disable-cmmn flag via the Comand Line Interface
When starting the Modeler, you need to pass the --no-disable-cmmn via the Command Line.
So for example on linux, you run a command:

$ ./camunda-modeler --no-disable-cmmn

Likewise for example on Windows, you could start the .exe over the commandLine with the flag, or you could create a shortcut to the camunda-modeler.exe and append --no-disable-cmmn to the target of the shortcut.

Option 2. Define a flags.json file
You can locally create a file called flags.json, which defines the flags which the Camunda-Modeler should pick up when starting. In the file you would need to save the following text content:

{
    "disable-cmmn": false
}

The flags.json file needs to be saved either in your user-data-directory or application-data-directory.

There are more flags and therefore more options how to customize the Camunda Modeler to your specific use-case with flags. Please refer to the flags documentation to find out more.

Regards
Max

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Indeed, seems pity that Camunda does not provide support for CMMN.
What about scenarios in which you want to add tasks during runtime? Or omit tasks?
BPMN can be really cumbersome to find workarounds on that (actually I haven’t seen any (nice) ways to do so).

Any other alternative that supports CMMN? Flowable maybe?

CMMN has a very specific use case but as i pointed out in more detail here. The fact is while it has a small number of patterns that look better than the alternative in BPMN - the basic things done in CMMN are really hard to follow. Plus we’ve been supporting CMMN for a while without any meaningful impact on the community.

I really do understand Camunda’s line of reasoning. BPMN is relatively easy, because it builds on ways we (humans) have been taught to think and has plenty of predecessors (from Flowcharts to other “standards” like EPK and others). BPMN itself had to evolve a bit.
Case Management is a totally different beast. The processes itself are much more complex (at least those I encounter in healthcare) and therefore not only much more difficult to grasp, but also much more difficult to design supporting systems for. This is not something that will yield an immediate return. It may take decades for this to evolve.
In this I don’t follow Camunda’s reasoning, sort of calling for an early death of CMMN.
As long as CMMN’s support is “frozen” into the state it is now, I am okay with it, though, and I am happy to use it to model “knowledge worker” processes as is. This construct really helps with modeling physician’s activities (and no, it would not easy to make them understand the notation, but…).

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