Recently we posted a blog entry Introducing Maestro and it's task types. As noted in that blog post, Maestro was a rewrite/refactor of our Nexflow product. When I wrote the first iteration of the Nexflow engine, I always had an Object Oriented approach in mind. While the original Nexflow engine is object oriented, it lacked a clear and clean way to easily implement new features. Although you could easily write a new task type, it was much more difficult to implement in the engine, requiring editing of core code which would always require extensive engine retesting.
Maestro Development Methodology:
Our overriding goal was to create a development environment that was suitable for developers to easily attach their own task types and notification mechanisms in to the system without overwriting or hacking core code. Leveraging the strength of Drupal's core functionality along with some neat OO patterns, we were able to create a base set of modules for Maestro that lets developers add their own task types and/or notification mechanisms via add-on modules.
In order to create a Maestro task module, you need to first understand that there are 2 sides of a Maestro Task. There is the User Interface side and the Engine side.
The UI side is responsible for providing the end-to-end user driven experience in creating a workflow using the visual workflow editor. The user interface provides the hooks for showing a task's general display widget as well as its associated editing panel. Without a UI component, users can't use the task in the workflow designer.
The Engine side is responsible for providing the behind-the-scenes worflow engine capabilities that allow Maestro to carry a process forward through the template created by the UI side. The engine side provides all of the necessary logic to execute and complete a task by the Maestro engine.
Maestro is a Drupal 7 module -- meaning that it will not run on Drupal 6. All development for Maestro in terms of its engine must be done on Drupal 7. This blog post is 100% dedicated to showing you how to create a D7 Maestro task module.