Activiti is a light-weight workflow and Business Process Management (BPM) Platform targeted mainly at business people, developers and system admins. Its core is a fast and solid BPMN 2 process engine for Java. It's open-source and distributed under the Apache license. Activiti runs in any Java application, on a server, on a cluster or in the cloud. It integrates perfectly with Spring, it is extremely lightweight and based on simple concepts. Some of the main features:

  • It allows user updates to be combined with process updates in a single transaction.
  • It runs on any Java environment like Spring, JTA, standalone with any form of transaction demarcation.
  • It’s easy to get up and running with the setup utility.
  • Built to support the cloud scalability from the ground up.
  • Very simple to add new custom activity types and complete dedicated process languages.
  • Extremely fast.
  • Contains transactional
  • Ability to test process executions in isolation in a plain unit test.

Some of those features dramatically improve the collaboration between non technical business users and technical developers. I.e: Activiti Engine comes with BPMN support and a lot of activity types out-of-the-box. But non technical business people might still create an extensive description with a certain activity that doesn't match any of the activity types. In that case, the developer has 2 options. One option is to iterate back to the business person and propose a different model based on existing activity types. Or, and this is unique for Activiti, the developer can write a custom activity in Java code that implements the complex behaviour described by the business person. In that case the diagram will remain as given by the business person, simplifying communication between business and IT.

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