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Lists of strings or numbers as process variables?

Question asked by k-minor on Sep 18, 2012
Latest reply on Sep 19, 2012 by jbarrez
Newbie here, evaluating the applicability of Activiti for our corporate BPM space.

I've been reading the documentation, examples, and Manning book, but am still unclear how a list of values gets stored and manipulated in the process variables.

It appears than anything beyond a trivial single data item (number/string/date) gets serialized and stored as a blob in the database.   Is that correct?    If we want to store, for example, a list of product numbers associated with a process instance, and maybe a list of affected customers IDs, is the only way to store these as process variables going to be as blobs (serialized bytearrays)?

This seems like it would complicate the data model to the extent that reporting/debugging the schema would be a nightmare.

Am I overlooking something?   I know this is not an easy problem to solve, but I can't quite picture how any non-trivial use of Activiti would be able to avoid collection-type process variables.

Feel free to just point me to someplace in the docs if I've just failed to RT the right FM.   :)