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5-year anniversary!

Hi there AppWorks fans,

Welcome to a new installment of AppWorks tips.

5 years ago, I started this blog site! Remember that first post…“A quick way to install Oracle VirtualBox” back in 2019. Let me tell you, I still use Oracle VirtualBox these days to install, upgrade, and play with the OpenText AppWorks platform feature daily. I’m also amazed each week again, that something new pops up to explore and share with you all. This also tells something about the platform; It’s not a simple low-code platform as tool to implement a solution by anybody, it’s a platform that can easily connect to external systems to share information as pivotal point of communication. With the power of the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) and Business Process Model (BPM) engine it brings high flexibility in configuring an enterprise application with reusable components and advanced business logic.

I never forget my first touch with the AppWorks platform in that time…With my experience as Documentum consultant (with D2 and xCP), I saw a demo of a new product (by an OpenText pre-sales) of “AppWorks”. My mouth fell open from amazingness as I followed this person’s mouse creating lifecycles, building blocks, and advanced BPM logic. I immediately saw the potential of the platform and all the DCTM-client-struggles (from different projects) vanished directly in front of my eye as this person build a simple case management solution within 15 min. AMAZING! This triggered the switch inside of me (together with other insights and reading books) to start blogging about this great platform and eventually to also start my own business Bos ICT Services. So far, the best choice ever made in my career!

If you asked me 5 years ago if this blogsite would still exist, I couldn’t give you a solid answer; Yet, we’re still here and the backlog is still full of added items to explore. Like we’re just scratching the surface! 😍

Let get right into it…

First of all…A great “thank you” to the people that have faith in me, send me feedback, asks questions, and trigger me to explore unexplainable territories of the platform. It’s great talking with you and see you at different events from OpenText (someone even wanted a picture! 😁). This is exactly why I started my journey in the first place…Helping you to use the AppWorks platform in a correct way and connect with the experts to gain and share more knowledge during these years. You’re sending me feedback which triggers me to continue the grind for the next 5 years. Openly sharing information about the platform details helps not only myself, but also others. Use this blogsite as reference and search input to improve your knowledge as saving everything behind a credentials wall (like with OpenText) is not helping the platform in a positive way. If it’s up to me, we’ll get a community supported version that can conquer the world like other open-minded software package do as well.

Special thanks:

Email subscribers this list still increases with each month; It’s not too late to join the monthly newsletter to inform yourself about our weekly posts. We’ll continue with it…
AppWorks colleagues I work (and collaborate) with! Sharing knowledge is key, teaching each other as well, and we’ll continue doing so over some delicious “bruine fruit” and a 🍺. All for the greater good within our projects.
Dutch AppWorks experts where I have monthly online calls on insider thoughts (or eat a quick sandwich at a random bistro along De Maas).
People from OpenText arranging monthly “Community calls” (converted into “Partner User Group” sessions) where you can ask questions, and the Product Owner of the platform directly shares insights…Be there (ask your sales representative to grab the meeting links)!
Other people that I would like to talk to on my free (acquisition) open Friday-slots…Ping me to have a valuable chat!

Why did I start this blog?

I ask myself this question each year; The answer is still solid. It’s just helping you to conquer a correct implementation of the creation for the application on top of the OpenText AppWorks platform. If you follow my blog for 5 years now, you see there is much more under the surface of simple entity modelling! The configuration of a basic entity with building blocks is the easy part…The hard part is building the (advanced) logic with rules and orchestrating the services to smoothly work together within a single BPM.
Receiving all the feedback and questions tells me the blogsite is highly appreciated and that’s exactly what I want to hear and see. It brings fuel and oxygen in a fire insight of me to continue for another 5 years! So, a big thank-you.

With OpenText all the information is behind a credentials-wall where this blog-page does the opposite; And for a reason…I still hope more initiatives will start on sharing content and information for other products of OpenText as well. I even hope the platform will be more open to the world, so we can all benefit of its low-code capabilities.

The other reasons for starting the blog…

  • It opens doors that where always closed.
  • You get deep insight of the platform when describing it
  • Others can learn from your tricks and knowledge
  • Always deliver more than you consume…It helps you in your career path
  • You make connection with new people and new companies…worldwide!

Recap from last year…

Every year I do a recap; And every year I conclude it was a wonderful year with interesting posts, insights, and knowledge. Let’s recap the highlights…

Four releases passed by this year:

  1. Release 23.3; The ‘Dynamic workflow’ BB for the business analyst in runtime starts to be more mature and developers are getting an option to create new items/models (like a bpm or config) directly from a dropdown/picker
  2. Release 23.4; A “quick-search” option for end-users on lists in runtime; JMX monitoring on entity CRUD operations; Support for TomEE 9
  3. Release 24.1; New SPS-license format (over OTDS), AI (OpenText Aviator) support with OpenAI and Google Bard (now Gemini!)
  4. Release 24.2; Introduction of the new “Developer eXperience”, Generate apps based on AI-prompting (incl. Excel reading and template solutions)

In between all the releases, interesting posts passed by the blogsite. What about the ‘File Connector’; An underrated connector that makes it possible to simply manipulate files (like TXT and XLS) on the AppWorks filestorage. Isn’t this connector rather old? Yes, it is! But customers still use it heavily with the platform these days.
It’s the same with the ‘ReST Gateway Connector’. Underrated, but highly usable when it gets to producing/consuming JSON on an XML-minded, but beloved AppWorks platform!

We saw it’s also possible to craft your own connector. You find the code behind it at GitHub; Pick the fruits and play with it to learn the first basics.

Let’s also not forget the high-valuable ‘JMS connector’ where queues get in place based on subscribe and publish events. A key mindset to learn when microservices enter the AppWorks architecture.

From an administration look at the platform, we learned about the ‘queued’ state for BPMs and how to solve them. We also saw what can cause painfully database disasters in production on wrong relation choices and later inheritance choices…Always use the platform wisely! Know what you’re doing and what the consequences are of your implementations.

Let’s also not forget the XSLT data transformation post. How much fun was it to play with it…Especially if you didn’t know it existed! That’s exactly why I collaborate with people that have the knowledge (or even have better knowledge!). A key in life; Find yourself a good buddy/coach who can teach you all the tricks within a niche market and make sure to produce back other valuable information which makes the circle of knowledge building complete!

At the start of 2024, we directly did a post on a distributed (multi-node) installation of the platform…It was blood, sweat, and tears, but we made it! Benefit from this information as it’s not shared in such details anywhere on the interwebs! For me, it was a great learning experience to play also with load-balancing and NGINX as reverse proxy.

In 2024, again administration tasks past the posts on the website. What about cleaning your PSL data!? The magic behind dynamic Enum caches!? Or receiving history once the entity instance is gone!? All deep-dives on what is happening in the backend of our platform, how to monitor it, and how to keep things clean…A daily task for an administrator; To be honest…Totally missed out at some projects for strange reasons!? How do I know? Well, that’s because you call the experts once the disaster took already take place and when there is no way back. Would you let people drive in your car without any drivers-license or any practical experiences? Or do you want to drive on a high-way surrounded by people not having a driver’s license? You also go to a surgeon for a reason…right? The surgeon can also give you advice to prevent further disaster.

Finally, a great post about the most usable runtime references within projects at customers. Don’t invent the wheel, be smart and reuse components! Like a great programmer does too.

Promises turned into actions

Have a double-check on the promises from last year:

I had a special goal to arrange last year and that a “meet & greet” with the great Jan Baan…Inventor and initiator behind our beloved AppWorks platform. In that time branded under the name “Business Operations Platform (BOP) by the company “Cordys” and currently acquired by OpenText.
As a technical consultant, I work together with old Cordys employees that have seen the platform evolved to a mature software platform it is today. I always heard about the splendid work ethic and inspirational environment (“the Baan-culture”) these people grow their knowledge, and I was simply curious where it came from. Where to better find it at the root, so I pinged Jan at LinkedIn with a message that triggered an invitation at his “De Vanenburg” castle in Putten (The Netherlands). That was my first WOW-moment that I embraced directly!

This was my message to initiate the connection over LinkedIn:

Hi Jan,

What an honor that we can connect on LinkedIn together.
You don't know me, but your name comes up at every
lunch walk (with old Cordys employees).
I too have fallen in love with the Cordys platform which
is now sold under the OpenText banner as AppWorks.

I share my enthusiasm at https://appworks-tips.com
Thanks for the connection,
Antal Bos

With a rapid response that I will never forget:

Nice to hear this dear Antal. 

But this has become 'old-school' by now. Although the basic idea with everything
in one stack, with collaborative workspace etc. is still quite strong, we now
have to deal with Big Data, Kubernetes, REST APIs, and generate directly from
the consultation between the business consultant with the deep knowledge of the
business owner at the customer; 80% JAVA code and at the same time we can
perform 'the last mile' with our platform.

We do not have low-code, but 'high-code'. Because of the underlying data model
(all in Big Data), the developer can also briefly use Python to ensure that the
now dynamic workflow app with an 'end-to-end' data stream is provided with AI/ML.

Happy to show you this and take you together through the development of the
last 10 years.
In addition, you will then receive the three volumes of my new autobiography.
If you come to "De Vanenburg" around 4 p.m., we will conclude an intensive
presentation with a relaxed good Vanenburg dinner.
I look forward to seeing you and coming with some dates, preferably 2nd half of
June or after the vacation period.

Warm regards / Best regards,
Jan Baan

So, my journey to “Vanenburg” started and because of the location (and calculated the traffic jam), I started to drive to Putten at 14.00…2 hours should be more than sufficient (for that calculated 1-hour drive!). Well, NOT! It was the most terrible traffic jam in history and didn’t make it before 16.30! So, that was already -1 on my side! No excuses will make up for this, I just accepted it, parked my car, and rushed insight (wherever the insight was!?). It was raining, my phone almost death, nobody answering WhatsApp messages (AND for a reason), but I made it to the correct door. I knocked, went inside, and there he was already presenting all the details on the new way of working with big data and AI. I sat down at the reserved place with the other old-Cordys members, and I was instantly immersed into a great talk for my new LinkedIn connection! A moment to never forget…What a personality is “Jan Baan”! Now I understand all the lunch walks and where it all comes from.

Jan is a great talker (almost no space for questions!) and has a perfect vision what will happen in “Industry 4.0”. We slightly move to “Systems of innovation” with new products that embrace loosely coupling microservices, where vendor-lock-in is something from the past, we get back to the basics, and customization is a separation to add.


After all the PowerPoint terror, it was time for a demo. A great product (in the GCP-cloud) was shown, but I (and others) were not directly enthusiastic…I know, we’re in a pre-phase, but the more we saw, the more questions were raised on security, maintenance, data-end-points, configurability, customizability(?); All based on experiences we all have with the AppWorks platform. I leave in the middle if it’s our limited thinking or that we don’t want to see it because we see the success of AppWorks. What I did see was a great vision of someone who wants to go for it! AND in my experience (so far) that’s already 80% of the job done, the last 20% will happen automatically.

At the end of the day, we all received a signed copy of his free autobiography “Profit by loss”. It’s a 3-part book on the history of his life as an IT entrepreneur, on insights and background on his companies (and products), and provides ideas, suggestion, and lessons learned:

  • Part 1 is “Systems of record” (Baan Company)
    • B-Shell, Unix, Durango, Global, Boeing, NASDAQ-BAANF, Oikonomos, ERP, BaanWeb, Farewell,
  • Part 2 is “Systems of differentiation” (Cordys)
    • Cordys, BOP, CPF, Offshore, PaaS, OpenText, Intel, WebEx, Industry-4.0, Cloud, GCP
  • Part 3 is “Systems of innovation” (Vanenburg);
    • Edge-computing, Browser-apps, Micro-services, Loosely coupled, Eva, Collabrr, Data, Knowledge-worker


Other topics to discuss…

“The booklets”…at the ‘Products’ page. I see them downloaded a couple of times per month which is great. I leave them online for you to consume. There is a third book in the pipeline (10 steps to learn practical AppWorks “administration”), but the progress is currently “On hold”; Why? I don’t know…Convince me in de comments to continue it.

“Forum posts”; That’s a good one…Also, a reminder for myself! To be honest…I didn’t do anything with it but let me also be strait that I don’t have a clue which forum is the most leading one and the most active one. After clicking and cleaning some of my old favorites, it looks like this is “the one”. Let me give you a promise that I will monitor it again each month and answer the questions asked with my vision and knowledge. I do know the power of collaboration in a forum! So, let’s start with it again! YEAH!! 💪

“Patreon / Discord server”; I don’t hear anything in the field for any demand. I’ll scrap it for now…comment me otherwise.

“Bootcamp/workshop/training”; Well, give me a call, email me; You know where to find me…The PowerPoint presentations are ready for explanation at your company (onside or online). We deliver them with an expert in the field to explain all the details of the platform. The basics of entity modelling with its building blocks will pass the information flow together with the advanced logic of building BPMs and lifecycles. To monitor, configure, and install the platform, you can follow the administration parts of the module-wise courses.

Google Analytics

Numbers, numbers…That’s what we all like! 🤗 It’s a view since “Google GA4” on March 1st, 2022.


The numbers of users and sessions is always great to start with:


That’s a 2x increase compared with last year! 😍

What about the page views:


Almost 100K page views! NICEEEEE…

Where are all those people coming from?


The top 3 is still the same! Germany dropped off a little and Poland is the new one in the list.

The browser they use?


YaBrowser is the “Yandex Browser” with a Russian background.

The OS?


Screen resolution?



How did the users get on my site?



The top 10 pages visited?


The same top ten pages still have a leading place on the chart.

What did you search for?


Great to see those numbers again! It adds fuel to the fire within me on the continuation of our exploration for a sixth year (and beyond it!) 🤠

The future

What do I see in my crystal ball for the future?

AppWorks Hosting; It’s available as a product. Give me a ping, a mail, or a call, and we’ll have a chat over MS Teams to talk over the possibilities and requirements from your side to help you on your track.

The booklets are still open as free download option:

An administration type of booklet is in the pipeline, but for now “on hold” unless commented below.

Training/workshops starts to take off. The first certified trainees roll of the band for the platform…Will you be the next one? You know where to contact me.

Community building! It’s a returning task on my list. I’m open to have a one-on-one collaboration, just ping me; You get a chance to ask questions or find out about specific AppWorks functionalities. I also do monthly calls with AppWorks gurus; OpenText has community/partner session monthly, and do discussions in my projects, WhatsApp group, the blog, and on top of it answering questions at the OpenText AppWorks forum.

Sponsorship…That’s an interesting one! Reconsider it if you didn’t see it yet. You can find it behind this URL. You support the website’s yearly costs and relative services to communicate to the outside world. If you want to do more? Give me a call and we discuss the possibilities.

Backlog topics (preview) for new posts

A quick list of the biggest topics on my Kanban board:

  • Subtyping struggles; It’s a tag on its own, but there is also enough to talk about. How you can use it wisely, the impact on the database, the pros/cons of using it, and simply the practical issues we saw in our projects that will help you in making the correct architecture choices.
  • Interesting implementation; Where we explore the edges of lifecycle implementation, serving the mobile users, or doing “Anonymous” calls! 😮
  • Insights on BPM instances; On BPM logging levels, custom configs to overrule it, or calling special BPM services to automate these manual behaviors.
  • AppWorks solutions to the test; A closer look at “Contract Center”, “People Center”, and the “Case Accelerator”…All build on top of AppWorks and (I guess) smoothly working together with OTCS.
  • Installation; Running a silent installation, or an installation on WSL2 (Windows Subsystem for Linux 2).
  • Monitoring; With a post on JMX, its counters, and a tool called “Java Mission Control” to further extend your administration tasks.
  • Implementations; Interesting UI mocks are on the backlog for implementation and to see how close we can get with it.
  • Services; There are still things to cover on the internal services of the platform and calling interesting external services…How about calling LocalAI with your own LLM! “PARTY ON”! 🎉
  • Customizations; Also, explorations on extension classes, the SDK, the new JS API updates, and new remote debug sessions to explore deep insights at code level of the platform.

Quote for this year

“Learn to grow”; If there is one important thing in life, it should be learning new things! Ohw, AND learn from your failures! You see, read, and hear it everywhere, and it starts the moment you were born. Guess how you started to be good at walking, cycling, driving a car, playing music, or running a 10K. What you can accomplish is in direct proportion to the amount of effort you put into it. So, the more you do it, the better you will get. Imagine what five years of blogging about AppWorks, talking with AppWorks people, working on AppWorks projects, and reading and smelling like AppWorks will bring!? Trust me…It’s in one word greatness! Was it worth all these years? Hell yeah….Do I still learn new things? Hell yeah…Will I continue to learn new things? HELL YEAHHH!

That’s it for a recap on year five…It’s a “DONE”; We know where we came from, and we know where we are now. All these years of broadcasting OpenText AppWorks knowledge is helping others (I read and hear all your feedback) and myself (for clearing my mind). These five years, I made AppWorks my passion to work with that also makes me love my job (or better my hobby). When it doesn’t matter anymore that a customer can call for a question on Sunday morning, you know you’re on the correct path of growth. When live becomes one big puzzle to solve, you know you found your passion. Five years is a wonderful time, but there is always more to explore (my backlog is full of new topics to describe and to try-out). Let’s toast to the past 5 years and let’s usher in the next 5 years; AND as always…ping me, mail me, call me; I’m always open for a chat. Cheers! 🍻

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