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Discovering event-driven process management with Flowable — Hands-on insights

I was asked to explore the Flowable engine for a client project and write a small POC to see if it can integrate flows with Apache Kafka.

I took on this challenge and ended up creating a small demo using Spring Boot and the Flowable Open Source libraries. This Spring Boot application listens to events on a Kafka topic, starts a process when a message arrives, and if the message has the right format, logs it and starts a user task.

This user task waits for users input via an online form and when the form is successfully submitted, it sends a message to another Kafka queue.

In BPMN, this is how it looks:

So, in this flow, we combine event-based and user input. We have actually two types of tasks:

  • Event driven
  • User based

This was also the main goal of the POC: to demonstrate that we can use the Flowable engine for workflows where you have these two types of tasks. And yes, the Flowable engine can do this and so much more.

The software of this small POC can be found on GitHub with a very detailed explanation about pre-requisites, configuration, used APIs:

GitHub - onepointconsulting/flowable-event-registry-poc: Flowable Event Registry POC with Kafka

This project is a Spring Boot which contains an implementation of a simple Flowable 6.8.0 event registry process. It…

Flowable is a very good engine which supports mixed event driven and user based workflows and can be used in creative ways by coders like me.

Gil Fernandes, Onepoint Consulting

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