View Full Version : Workflow engines and Spring
Feb 15th, 2005, 12:13 PM
I'm curious if anyone here has experience using OpenWFE with Spring? On a related note, what workflow engines have people found to work well with Spring? OSWorkflow is tempting, since it works well with Spring, but it lacks certain features (such as task list management) that we would find extremely useful. On the other hand, OpenWFE seems to be a platform unto itself - a little more than we feel comfortable with, but provides tempting functionality.
Feb 15th, 2005, 12:22 PM
I use OSWorkflow with Spring and I find it to be more than adequate for what I need. What do you mean by task list? Do you want to get a list of the inputs available for the current state or a list of past actions? Both of these can be done with OSWorkflow.
Feb 15th, 2005, 03:12 PM
A workflow can employ both humans and other services/participants. In the end, what I want is to get a list of all outstanding states against a particular user. Say 10 different workflow instances are all waiting for "approval" from a particular user. When that user logs in, I want to present the user with their task list: the things waiting their attention. I had asked on the OSWorkflow list if OSWorkflow supports this. The response was, "no, but you can implement it by writing your own functions." Certainly an option, but other workflow engines can do this for me. Maybe the responder didn't understand my question?
Feb 16th, 2005, 03:34 AM
I think you can do this... I'll take a look at it and see what I can come up with. To summarise you have multiple workflow instances for a given user. You want to get all these instances and display the current state from each along with the valid inputs, essentially building a task list.
Feb 16th, 2005, 02:36 PM
Say 10 different workflow instances are all waiting for "approval" from a particular user. When that user logs in, I want to present the user with their task list: the things waiting their attention.
I do this in my current app. When the user logs in, you call:
int currentSteps = workflow.getAvailableActions( workflowEntryId, new HashMap() );
If currentsteps contains the step you are looking for (in this case, an 'awaiting approval' step), then add that workflow to the user's to-do list.
The only extra step in your case is that you will need to assign the workflow to a specific user when it enters the 'awaiting approval' step. This can be done with Beanshell in your workflow .xml definition file, either by assigning a userId property to the workflow, or by using OSWorkflow's built-in OSUser integration.
Feb 17th, 2005, 12:18 AM
I'm working on a large scale project and we'll be using Spring, Hibernate and JBoss. We are currently in the early stage of evaluating jBPM as our workflow engine and i just came across OSWorkflow.
jBPM is currently based jPDL and is not a standard. Does OSWorkFlow based on any major standards for BPM?
Feb 17th, 2005, 02:12 AM
Like jBPM, OSWorkflow has its own workflow definition language. If you are looking for standards based workflow then check Enhyrda Shark. This uses the WfMG standards for workflow definition and for plugins. However, I don't think it is as simple as either jBPM or OSWorkflow.
Feb 17th, 2005, 10:57 AM
As there are different kinds of non-standard workflow engines in the market, i'm not sure which is the right choice.
Has anyone used Enhydra Shark? If yes, what was the reason why you've choosed to use it? Did you evaluate other workflow engines before going for Enhydra shark?
Could someone please share your experience on this?
Feb 18th, 2005, 09:50 AM
In response to your earlier query. You can access all active workflows for a user using the WorkflowExpressionQuery and from here you can iterate over the worklows and retrieve the list of current steps, from which you can get the statuses.
Feb 18th, 2005, 10:46 AM
Thanks for the tips guys! OSWorkflow does indeed seem tempting due to its simplicity and integration with Spring.
Feb 19th, 2005, 06:11 PM
I read the OSWorkflow documentation/tutorial/manual. I wrote a workflow descriptor following the tutorial. The tutorial is not very clear about the testcase for testing. I'll be using OSWorkflow with Spring/Hibernate based Non-web application.
Do you have any sample code that you can share it with me? If yes, i could provide you with my email and we can discuss it offline.
Feb 22nd, 2005, 09:39 AM
Thought this list might be of interest: http://www.manageability.org/blog/stuff/workflow_in_java/view
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