Neches Users Guide

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Overview

Neches for Analysis is a SaaS process application analysis tool created to simplify the management and analysis of BPM solutions. Using proprietary mathematical analysis, Neches produces a report scoring a user’s BPM project and finds problem spots that may increase total cost of ownership. The software also articulates the complexity of the user’s processes and services to identify areas that are most likely to cause maintenance and support problems.

Most customers use this tool before staging releases to ensure code quality is maintained at every level. However, the tool can also be used by individual developers during implementation time to get a sense of how their own process applications rate against similar models currently using Neches.

The ultimate goal of Neches is to provide guidance on building maintainable BPM solutions long term through a quantifiable feedback loop.

Getting Started

Users can upload their BPM processes to the Neches space for evaluation. When complete, Neches will provide a score, ranking, and feedback on the problem areas to resolve. Detailed instructions below

  1. Navigate to the Neches
  2. Click SIGN UP to REGISTER for a new account.
  3. Follow the confirmation instructions via email to Sign in to Neches.
  4. After signing in, Upload one or more Process (.twx) files. The upload and assessment process will take a little bit of time to complete. It is possible that the application will time-out before upload is complete. Be sure to refresh the browser session to view upload status. Once complete, an email notification with score will be sent to the user who uploaded the file.
  5. Upon completion of the assessment process, you will see Neches scores under the Process Apps tab and Toolkits tab. Further helpful data for the snapshot assessed are displayed, such as number of Artifacts and Toolkits.
  6. Click on the Neches Score(s) under either tab to View Findings. In order to view the detailed reports, you must Purchase credits for each Neches Report. More information on Neches Reports, see the Features section. To add credits to a space, please contact support@bp-3.com.
  7. Alternatively, clicking on the Process App row, outside the Neches Score, will provide a visual of the Snapshots, all the Toolkits, and a break-down of the Artifact count. Accessing this page will not require the Purchase of credits.

Features

Neches provides a robust set of tools to help build maintainable BPM solutions. Due to the many features, they can be easily overlooked. Concepts will be discussed in this section to highlight key Neches features. Look for the  icon throughout Neches for more detailed information.

Score

After clicking on the Neches Score on the main page (with purchased credits), you will see the Neches results, or Findings.


Findings can be viewed either as Grouped by Rules or Grouped by Artifacts. The Neches Score and Community Rating are displayed on the left side of the page. On the right are the RULES CAUGHT, defaulted to order by greatest violation severity.

Neches Rules are built against common BPM implementations that affect maintainability. RULES CAUGHT reflect those implementations and if there is a violation against those Rules, points are accrued to determine the Neches Score.


Image 1

In the above screen shot, the Findings column (on far right) lists the occurrences of the severity thresholds violated. The thresholds (High, Medium, Low) are defined by the Neches application to calculate the raw score, contributing to the linear algorithm that will provide the total points accrued. Due to this logic, a lower Neches Score is more ideal, as it reflects fewer violations. However, it should never be a goal to receive a score of 0. Read What is a Neches Score? for more information. 

Rules

Neches Rules are the basis for calculations within the algorithm for the final Neches Score. Rules consist of the most common BPM implementation patterns found to impact maintainability. The most impactful will have a greater set of points assigned against the various thresholds.

To view the RULES CAUGHT, or the Rules found in the BPM solution evaluated by Neches, navigate to the Neches Report. Reports will require Purchased credits.  To add credits to a space, please contact support@bp-3.com.

Rules are directly listed under the Grouped by Rules tab and are also available under Grouped by Artifacts, but you have to drill down into the Artifact Name to get the RULES CAUGHT. 

Violations against Rules can be measured by thresholds defined within Neches. For example, Image 1 (above) shows that the Rule JS Block Length has a High severity violation occurrence of 41 times, Medium severity occurrence of 4 times, and a Low severity of 9 times, directly impacting the final Neches Score. 

Visuals also represent severity violations. Mouse over for information on their representations. On the left side, FINDING SEVERITY slices depict the breakdown of severity violations. Clicking on the slices will display the Rules violated on the right. The RULE CATEGORY also represents the violations against a type of Rule. Depiction is the same as FINDING SEVERITY where the category with the highest violations will be at the base of the pyramid slice.

Clicking on each Rule provides details such as the Neches score breakdown and Artifacts that are affected. To obtain the greatest amount of detail per Rule, click the ADVANCED checkbox.

rules-adv.png
Image 2

The following explains Image 2.

A. Breakdown of occurrences against the severity thresholds (High, Medium, Low). The advanced view includes the Points calculated based on the Rules violated.

B. Detailed explanation of the Rule and recommendation(s) on maintainable practices. The advanced view displays a small table that provides what the thresholds are, and a break down of the points assigned to each threshold per occurrence. In the above example, all occurrences of using Live Connect will accrue points under the High threshold only. Live Connect will never have points under the Medium and Low thresholds since there is no meaningful trigger there. Other Rules, such as Documentation and Javascript Block Length, takes advantage of the different thresholds to flag violations, even if the violations do not accrue Neches points.

rulesNoPoints.png
Image 3

For example, Image 3 shows that Findings display 28 occurrences for Low severity violation of JS Block Length (40 lines) but it doesn't accrue any Neches points.

C. Lists Artifacts that are affected by this Rule. Enough details are provided to locate artifact(s) in the Process App snapshot to review and/or fix. In the advanced view, it will list out a numerical value reflecting violation per Artifact. Image 2 displays the number of Occurrences against Live Connect per Artifact.

The ADVANCED checkbox within this context also allows for removing Rules from the Neches Score calculation. Click on the  icon to remove the Rule(s).
Image 4

Removal of Live Connect will automatically remove those points from the Neches Score.

Community Rating

The Neches Community Rating can be found underneath the Neches Score. The goal of this rating is to provide some context over what the raw score means by leveraging similar overall implementations. 

Unlike the raw Neches Score, the Community Rating compares the current Process App snapshot against comparable snapshots uploaded to Neches and ranks it against the subset of those scores. In the above screenshot, the orange stripe represents the current snapshot, and the blue lines represent other, similar solutions. The current snapshot is rated against similar solutions at 40th PERCENTILE. 

Snapshots

Neches Snapshot can be viewed by either clicking on the  icon or by clicking anywhere in the Process App row (outside the Score). This view does not require Purchased credits.

This view provides history of all Snapshots uploaded to Neches, including Toolkits and a breakdown of the types of Artifacts within the Process App. In addition, it shows potential toolkit version conflicts by connecting them with red lines across Snapshots; look for the  icon.

Timeline

If more than one Snapshot is available for a particular Process App, a Timeline can be viewed by clicking on the  icon. This graph displays the number of Artifacts and Neches Score over time for each Snapshot, allowing the user to see trends and progress. Other properties captured in this timeline:

  • Resolved Findings
  • Existing Findings
  • New Findings
  • Reintroduced Findings 

Advanced Features

Access hidden features within the Neches Report by selecting the ADVANCED checkbox. The hidden advance features will provide more details and/or functionality to enhance the user experience with Neches.

Main page

New Tags tab displays Rules caught by Tag Name. Here, Tags can be excluded as well.

 

The Exclusions box provides a convenient way to see excluded Tags, Artifacts, and Rules. It also allows a quick way to add them back.

Excluding Tags will remove associated Artifacts, but will not be included within the Exclusions box since they were not explicitly removed, as seen in Image 5.


Image 5

For example, in the above screen shot, except for Get Results, all other Artifacts were excluded (grayed out) using the Dashboard Tag. However, those Artifacts associated with the excluded Tag are not listed within the Exclusions box. Get Results is listed as an Artifact because it was explicitly excluded.

Selected Rules 

Refer to above Rules section for ADVANCED features.

For questions, comments, or features request, email support@bp-3.com.

Have more questions? Submit a request

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