Getting started with workflows

In this tutorial you learn about the workflows prerequisites, install Eclipse, a widely used open source Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for developing Java applications, and the Flowable Eclipse Designer, a plug-in to graphically model, test and deploy Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) processes.

Collibra Data Intelligence Cloud (Collibra) uses the core engine developed by the Flowable project to run and trigger workflows. A workflow in Collibra is an automated series of actions that produces a specified outcome. At certain points, it requires actions from the Collibra users in the form of tasks. Using Eclipse in conjunction with the Flowable Designer plug-in enables you to create BPMN files that are ready to be deployed in Collibra.


  • You must have Eclipse Mars or newer to install the Flowable Designer plug-in.

  • Before installing Eclipse, make sure you have installed version 8 or newer of the Java SE Development Kit.

    To check if you already have a JDK installed or to get help with the installation, follow the Install Guide instructions for your platform from the Oracle Help Center.

Install Eclipse IDE

Skip this step if you already have Eclipse installed and proceed with the Flowable plug-in installation.

Eclipse provides the environment to accommodate the Flowable plug-in.

  1. Go to the Eclipse Installer download page.
  2. Download the installer corresponding to your operating system.
  3. Run the downloaded installer:
    • Windows:
      • Accept the security warning if any.
    • macOs and Linux:
      • Extract the downloaded archive.
      • Run the installer.
  4. Select the desired package. We are using Eclipse IDE for Java Developers for this tutorial as it provides the basic required functionality.

    If you already have or if you need another package, see the Compare Eclipse Packages page to ensure your package includes Java Development Tools.

  5. Accept or change the default installation location.
  6. Review and accept the license agreements.
  7. Launch Eclipse IDE.
  8. When prompted or set a custom folder, click Launch to accept the default workspace, a folder where your projects are stored.

For additional installation instructions, see the Steps to Install Eclipse.

Eclipse IDE interface

The first time you start Eclipse, you are presented with a welcome screen containing shortcuts to various resources. Clear the Always show Welcome at start up check box if you don't require this screen every time you start Eclipse.

To access the main interface, click Workbench. The workbench is composed of several views which are arranged based on the selected perspective. The views are windows containing one or more tabs. A perspective is a predefined layout of a set of views with specific tabs. You can rearrange the views by dragging them to the desired position, minimize or maximize them. To go back to the initial layout, select WindowPerspectiveReset Perspective...





Perspective Selector

A perspective explorer and the most recently used perspectives.


Package Explorer

A tree list display of files and folders associated with the current project.


Shared Area

A tabbed space containing either a visual or textual representation of the selected file or files.


Contextual Views

Project related tasks, the outline of a currently open structured file and other views.

The placement might differ depending on the selected perspective.

Install the Flowable plug-in

The Flowable Eclipse Designer provides a list of diagram elements and a drag-and-drop method for developing workflows within Eclipse IDE. The resulting files are fully compatible with Collibra.

To install the Flowable plug-in in Eclipse:

  1. In the menu bar, click HelpInstall New Software....

  2. In the Available Software window, click Add.

  3. In the Add Repository window:
    1. Enter a Name, for example Flowable BPMN 2.0 designer.
    2. Enter the Location:

    3. Click Add to close the Add Repository window.
  4. In the Available Software window, select the Flowable BPMN Designer check box.
  5. Leave the other check boxes as they are and click Next.

  6. Review the installation details and click Next.
  7. Review, accept the license agreements, and click Finish.
  8. If you are prompted with a security warning, click Install anyway.

  9. Click Restart Now to finish the installation.

For more installation instructions, see the Flowable documentation.

If the repository location is unreachable, you can try using or download the plug-in from the Flowable GitHub repository and install it as an archive.

Create a Flowable project

When Eclipse is restarted after the installation, switch to the Flowable perspective to optimize the workbench for designing diagrams:

  1. Click the Open Perspective icon .

    If the Open Perspective icon is not visible, right click on an empty area of the toolbar and select Restore Hidden Toolbar Entries or access the perspectives via the menu: WindowPerspectiveOpen PerspectiveOther.

  2. In the Open Perspective window, select Flowable and click Open.

  3. In the Project Explorer window, switch to the Flowable Explorer tab if not already there.

Create a new Flowable project:

  1. In the menu bar, select FileNewOther.

  2. Select FlowableFlowable Project and click Next.

  3. Enter a name for the project and click Finish. We are using My Workflow in this example.

The Flowable Explorer in the is populated with the project files.

Create a Flowable diagram

  1. In the Flowable Explorer tab, select the project and go to srcmainresourcesdiagrams.
  2. In the Flowable Explorer tab, right click and select NewOther.
  3. Select FlowableFlowable Diagram and click Next.
  4. Enter a name for the diagram file and click Finish.

The shared area displays the empty diagram and a Palette.





Flowable Explorer

A tree list display of files and folders associated with the current project.


Shared Area - Diagram

When a diagram is selected the left part is displaying the visual representation of the diagram.


Shared Area - Palette

When a diagram is selected the right part is displaying a list of diagram tools and components.



The outline of a selected structured file and its elements.



The property fields of the selected diagram component.

Next steps

You have created your first Collibra workflow project and diagram.

The next tutorial shows you how to create a simple workflow: Workflows “Hello World!”.

Additional resources