Qualitative comparison of development of embedded (jBPM engine) and remote (IPS) applications

Solution Unverified - Updated -

Environment

  • Red Hat JBoss BPM Suite 6.x and higher.

Issue

  • We need to migrate our current, BPMS 6.x Business Central packaged application to a packaging supported by future versions of BPMS.
  • We need to make a choice between Intelligent Process Server (IPS; remote) or jBPM engine (embedded) BPMS application development.

Resolution

Summary

  • Embedded should offer more flexibility and - slightly - more performance, whereas remote should be less of a development effort.

Qualitative comparison of deployment modes

  • Embedded (jBPM engine): the process engine is deployed as a library contained in the application/service. The application/service interacts with the process engine using a Java API.

    • Pros
      • Better control of the interfaces exposed to external systems or users.
      • Better control of the process engine - transaction control (full Java API).
      • No remote calls, better response times.
    • Cons
      • Higher development costs.
      • Updating the libraries requires recompiling and redeployment of the entire application/service (change of internal APIs).
      • Subscription required for every deployed application.
  • Remote (Intelligent Process Server): the process engine is deployed with IPS. IPS exposes various APIs for interacting with the process engine (REST and JMS).

    • Pros
      • Exposes by default REST​ and JMS APIs for interacting with process engine and management operations.
      • APIs may be extended to cover other integration options.
      • Common execution of multiple (projects') processes.
      • Subscriptions only required for IPS nodes.
      • Lower development costs.
    • Cons
      • Potentially less performant due to marshalling overhead

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