Sep 3rd, 2009, 11:36 AM
Spring Web Flow & work flow
I want to convert an application to spring modules and am investigation Spring Web Flow. I understand that I can use webflow to specify pages flow for a single user interactions. My application is also eavely based work flow between users: when a user is finished, the next user picks up the flow and continue with what she has to, the application displays his "workflows" when she connects/starts the application. Is this kind of workflow possible using Spring Webflow?
Thanks in advance for your answers.
Sep 3rd, 2009, 01:38 PM
While SWF can fit into the above scenario, the flows it uses don't serve the same function as the workflows you're referring to.
Flows in SWF are usually transparent to the user; they are used as the infrastructure of the web app itself, defining how the pieces of the web app (views, actions, etc) are grouped and establishing the transitions between them. Flows do not persist after the user's flow ends, or if the user's session ends. Because of this, SWF flows do not map to your concept of a persistant, resumable workflow.
That said, they can be helpful to implement your design. Just keep in mind that SWF flows != workflows. You would need some separate object or data representing a workflow, along with any associated data or state, and have a way to persist this (database?), have it visible among multiple users, and ensure there are no concurrency issues if workflows can be worked upon by multiple users simultaneously. All of these concerns are completely independent of SWF itself. You would use SWF flows as a means to implement the web interaction corresponding with the workflow. That is, you would likely need a separate webflow for each workflow which allows the interaction expected (actions, views, etc) to complete the workflow, and you would need some way to switch on the workflow type to select the corresponding webflow to execute.
I think there are other products out there which better support your concept of persistant workflows.
Sep 4th, 2009, 04:04 AM
Thank you InverseFalcon for your reply. I had started working on a workflow engine to handle the workflow between users and use SWF for in-application interactions. Do you have any product in mind which support the concept of persistant workflows?
Sep 4th, 2009, 11:42 AM
Nothing specific in mind, but I know they're out there. I have heard the buzzwords. =)