Saturday, December 8, 2007

XML Workflow Engine

There are many frameworks (i.e JBPM etc') which allow to create workflows in XML files and then run this workflows on the Application server.

I think that this frameworks are useless and not necessery the feature which they provide are usually are:

- UI to change the process steps ar run-time
- stateful context to store data for the current process

The reason which this frameworks are useless is because if a workflow process needs to be changes for a specific customer then you can't just change the XML file where the process definition is stored, you usually need to also add new classes for new steps or you need to change the UI.

Regard the stateful context you can just store it in session cache or in a stateful bean.

The maintenance of this XML is very complicated and if writing the steps in a single POJO class would be much more easy for maintenance.

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