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Questions about Activiti

Question asked by andreyilyin on May 2, 2013
Latest reply on May 2, 2013 by andreyilyin
Hi all,

I am currently evaluating Activiti for building soft collection software and have a few questions:

1) I want to break the whole process into several smaller process definitions, e.g.
    1st phase: Classification - check what's the debt age, amount etc and select collection strategy.
    2nd phase: Run specific process for entity
    N-th phase: run specific process (e.g. Client communication)

The reason of this I want to break whole process into small bpmn files and do not change whole process while deployment to production.

2) Is there a concept of work list? E.g. once entity arrives to specific state, I need to specify the list of activities user can perform. E.g. in pre-sms work list I want use to be able to a) check current balance b) Write comment c) Complete work on the client. I am not sure how to model this in BPMN 2.0.

3) Once some action (automatic or user) is triggered, the process instance should go to the start of whole workflow again. How do you model this?

4) Even if process instance reaches the end state (e.g. if client has no outstanding debt), once client delays his payments, I need to start the process again, but not as new process instance, but continuing the same (process instance is identified by client id) to retain the history. Does that mean that I have to keep all my process instances alive at all time or I can somehow finish the current process instance and once some event happens I can resume same process instance

5) Total amount of clients is about 20 millions with 2 millions requiring work. I don't want to have 20 millions constantly running in activiti, how can I suspend the 18 mil and only run them if some event occurs?

6) Is that possible to update process definition in runtime? Do I have to shut down activity engine?

7) What happens if new version of process definition will not contain the state from old version of process definition? How do I define the mapping?

8 ) Can I have several activiti engines running? E.g. if one instance goes down, it should automatically fail over. Does activity lock the process instance using database?

9) What happens if there is a error in either condition or task? E.g. java exception. I want to be able either move the process instance to error work list or depending on error (e.g. deadlock or database error) move process instance to the start of process definition and retry whole process again.

10) Is that possible to acquire list of permitted tasks for process instance that user can do using engine API?

11) How does activiti stores the process instance data? E.g. as I understood, process instance is the state of business entity in the workflow and you add the actual data as attributes. I am not sure if activiti actually serializes the whole entity as stores it as BLOB in the database?

12) How activity handles the timers? E.g. let's say I send sms for 200,000 clients and want the process to sleep for 2 days before
Does activity do some polling in the database or keeps timers in memory?

13) How many activiti engines I can keep running? Can I run 10 activiti engines in parallel? Also, If I need to run new process instance, is there a way to load balance between engines?

Thank you.