Introduction

What is Axon.ivy

Axon.ivy is a Digital Business Platform that simplifies and automates the interaction of humans with their digital systems. The platform typically is in charge in the most precious business cases where companies produces value. Here is how we do it:

  1. Visualize: Our platform allows you to document business processes fast and intuitive. A shared view on users, roles, departments and technical systems that are involved in a business process improves your work. HR recruitment profiles become clearer, bottle necks become obvious, ideas for effective improvements arise by anyone who is involved in the process.

  2. Automate: Documented processes are good. But what you really want is to drive your highly valuable processes automatically. Often the daily work of employees that are involved is distracted into searching and filtering data from various tools and feed these data into other technical systems. Even tough value is produced in a well-known business case, there is a lack of a clear interface which guides the involved users through the process. Highly valuable data is often divided and stored in various dedicated technical systems. With Axon.ivy you can drive your process automatically. People, data and technical systems can easily be orchestrated by our platform. An initial application that leads users through the process can be generated without the need to hire a software engineer. People can contribute to the process by using their favourite device such as a smartphone or workstation.

  3. Improve: The digitalization of your company can evolve over time, we favour small predictable improvements over big bang solutions. The Axon.ivy Digital Business Platform allows you to start simple and fast with your existing environment. You may just start by task notifications that are sent to users that should contribute to a running process. And eventually the Platform becomes your single interface for all your business interactions. You will be able to measure KPIs based on the highly valuable data that is produced during the execution of your business processes. Based on these insights, you can advance your business constantly and effective. The cost of business transformations become reasonable and predictable.

The Axon.ivy Digital Business Platform consists of:

  • The Axon.ivy Designer - where you draw, simulate and implement automated business processes.

  • The Axon.ivy Engine - an application server that executes your business cases and provides a shared interface to process users.

Why Axon.ivy?

Axon.ivy is exciting for everyone that partakes on your digital transformation journey.

  • Business: we enable you to start your personal digital transformation journey and make new business opportunities possible. You are still the captain of your ship, start with simple automations and transform essential parts of your business when you gain trust and confidence.

  • Business Analysts: it has never been easier to document processes fast and intuitive. The process simulation allows you to verify that you have a shared view how processes should be executed. Setup a simple structure for the data of a processes and you even get a simple executable application with generated front ends that are meaningful. No software engineer is required to create an already powerful application from scratch.

  • Developers: develop your application on a rich stack of Java frameworks that stood the test of time. We minimize your technology evaluation effort by giving you a set of libraries and an IDE that match perfectly together. This allows you to quickly jump into projects and deliver value. While you always have the ability to break out of our predefined tooling and use advanced features of Tomcat, JPA, JSF, JAX-RS or whatever you require.

  • Operations: we deliver packages for popular Platforms (Linux, Windows). No big change, we orchestrate your existing systems. We support many DB vendors (Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, PostgreSQL). Effective monitoring and logging interfaces are provided to give you a safety that the application is healthy and accessible.

About this guide

You are now reading Axon.ivy Engine documentation.

In case you want to know more on

  • Getting the latest Axon.ivy version: Go to https://developer.axonivy.com/download/

  • System requirements: Please read Readme.html in the installation directory.

  • Working with Axon.ivy Engine: Start with the Getting Started chapter.

  • Demo projects: The Axon.ivy Designer ships with several demo projects, which can be deployed to the Axon.ivy Engine.

  • How to draw, simulate and implement automated business processes: Please read the Designer Guide (in the installation folder of an Axon.ivy Designer)

  • Upgrading an existing installation: Please read MigrationNotes.html (located in the installation folder).

All above mentioned documentations are brief and tend to describe only necessary functionality. We highly encourage reading these documentations to speed up your development, to get to know new features or to eliminate potential problems.

Installation Environment

The following diagram shows the installation environment of an Axon.ivy Engine:

Axon.ivy Engine Installation

Figure 1.1. Axon.ivy Engine Installation


The Axon.ivy Engine needs a system database to store its configuration, users, roles and assigned permissions and the states, cases, tasks from the deployed applications. Next, it needs file directories where the deployed projects are stored. The Axon.ivy Engine integrates a Tomcat Servlet Engine that is responsible to receive HTTP or HTTPS requests from client applications and to send back appropriate responses (similar to a web server). The client applications itself are either Web Applications that run in a web browser or Rich Internet Applications that run in a Java Virtual Machine (JVM). Both kind of client applications communicate over HTTP or HTTPS directly with the Servlet Engine. In a productive environment, normally a Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS), Apache Web Server, NGINX reverse proxy or a web application firewall (WAF) often combined with an identity and access management (IAM) system is put in front of the Axon.ivy Engine. The front-end servers are then responsible to forward the requests to the Axon.ivy Engine Servlet Container. Also, the users are imported from an external security system like a Microsoft Active Directory or Novell eDirectory. Axon.ivy applications can integrate with third party external systems like databases, web services or application servers. Axon.ivy Engine also integrates an Elasticsearch server. Instead using the integrated Elasticsearch server also an external Elasticsearch server can be used..

Tip

It is good practice to separate the data directory where you store the deployed project and other data files from the Engine installation directory. This will later simplify a migration to newer Engine versions.

Example:

PathDescription

.../AxonIvyEngine/Data/Applications/HRM/...

Directory where the deployed projects for the HRM application are stored.

.../AxonIvyEngine/Data/Applications/FinTech/...

Directory where the deployed projects for the FinTech application are stored.
.../AxonIvyEngine/Data/ElasticSearch/...Directory where the Business Data search indexes are stored.
.../AxonIvyEngine/6.0.1/...Installation directory of Axon.ivy Engine version 6.0.1 (can be removed if no longer needed)
.../AxonIvyEngine/6.1.0/...Installation directory of Axon.ivy Engine version 6.1.0 (can be removed if no longer needed)
.../AxonIvyEngine/6.2.0/...Installation directory of Axon.ivy Engine version 6.2.0

Table 1.1. How to organize data and installation directory


Engine Types

There are two different Axon.ivy Engine types:

  • Standard Edition (formerly known as "Standard ")

  • Enterprise Edition (Clustered Engine, formerly known as "Cluster ")

Axon.ivy Engine Standard Edition

The Axon.ivy Engine Standard Edition is installed on a single machine. A DBMS that can hold the Axon.ivy system database is the only special infrastructure it needs. The deployed projects can be stored on a local harddisk on same machine that the Axon.ivy Engine Standard Edition is running on.

Axon.ivy Engine Standard Edition

Figure 1.2. Axon.ivy Engine Standard Edition


Axon.ivy Engine Enterprise Edition

The Axon.ivy Engine Enterprise Edition is a cluster of multiple Axon.ivy Engine instances. It is built on a load balancer that receives requests from the clients and forwards them to multiple Axon.ivy Engine nodes typically running on different machines. The different nodes of an Axon.ivy Engine Enterprise Edition all share the same system database which is normally stored on a dedicated database. The deployed projects are stored on a file system that can be accessed by all nodes.

Axon.ivy Engine Enterprise Edition

Figure 1.3. Axon.ivy Engine Enterprise Edition


Axon.ivy Engine Nodes are typically installed on multiple server machines, but it is also possible to install more than one Axon.ivy Engine Node on a single server machine. The load balancer can be realized either by a hardware load balancer or by an IIS or Apache web server that distributes the incoming requests to the installed Axon.ivy Engine Nodes.

What engine edition do I need?

The Axon.ivy Engine Enterprise Edition has two major advantages compared to the Standard Edition:

  • Performance and scalability: An Axon.ivy Engine Enterprise Edition can serve more clients than the Axon.ivy Engine Standard Edition. If your number of clients increases, you can add another Engine node to your Axon.ivy Engine cluster. If you have a lot of sessions it may even be better to have two Axon.ivy Engine nodes on the same server machine instead of having a single Standard Edition. Because each session needs memory on the engine and Axon.ivy can handle two processes with medium memory footprints (i.e. Engine nodes) faster than one process with a large memory footprint (i.e. Standard Edition).

  • High availability: In an Axon.ivy Engine Enterprise Edition installation, a single node may crash without affecting the other nodes, which still serve clients. However, if you require high availability of your Axon.ivy Engine you also need to ensure that all other components the engine is depending on (Load Balancer, Database Server, File Share) have a high availability.

The disadvantages of the Axon.ivy Engine Enterprise Edition compared to the Standard Edition are:

  • higher complexity of the system

  • higher hardware costs

  • higher licence fees