Discussions

News: New open source B2B workflow solution Twister 0.1 released

  1. Twister is a whole open source workflow (or business process management) solution, written in Java, using the WS-BPEL standard . It's web services oriented but also supports other ways of interaction.

    The Twister solution is split into 3 separate blocks and an additional service:

    • The process designer that assist end-users in designing a process in a user-friendly way and produces a standard XML description.
    • The process deployer that takes this document as input and deploys it in the process engine runtime.
    • The process engine that runs your process.
    • A Work List Manager service that produce the user view of the list of tasks for the process actors.
    The first (0.1) version doesn't include the process designer and doesn't support 100% of the WS-BPEL specification but is already pretty functional.

    http://www.smartcomps.org/twister/

    See also:
    OASIS Web Services Business Process Execution Language TC
  2. Well thanks for yet another open source workflow engine, your entry has now been added to this ever growing list:

    http://www.manageability.org/blog/stuff/workflow_in_java
  3. rather many than too few[ Go to top ]

    as far as I am concerned. It takes a little while to evaluate all options, but thats an acceptable drawback IMO.
  4. re: rather many than too few[ Go to top ]

    I must say I really agree with you. The absence of categorization is certainly a problem but I'm sure that if you look closer, each solution has its own advantages and disadvantages. The business process management field is still pretty open which leaves a lot of space for different implementations covering different fields.
  5. BPEL[ Go to top ]

    From a simple search for the term "BPEL" in your list, it seems it's the only one (kind of) supporting that - so maybe it's not that uninteresting.
  6. How many such frameworks[ Go to top ]

    Thanks carlos for adding it to the ever growing list of workflow engines. I definitely think that there too much of creativity flowing around.

    So many frameworks will result in confusion. I think every development team lead should justify why a new framework is required and what features differentiate it from lets the top 2 frameworks in that space. I guess this will result in helping people understand what is done better.

    ~ anand
  7. Re: How many such frameworks[ Go to top ]

    I certainly don't have enough time to categorize all workflow or business process management solutions and evaluate advantages or disadvantages of each but I can tell you about Twister. What is certainly a difference between Twister and other Open Source products is that it supports WS-BPEL, relies on other well tested Open Source technologies and has been developed to be easily integrated in real business projects (we are professional consultant working on such projects).

    The WS-BPEL specification standardizes the way business processes are written using a specific XML grammar (schema). It has been created by IBM, Microsoft and BEA Systems and SAP joined this effort later on. I believe that gives it a good chance to become a real market standard.
  8. I have no problem with Carlos scratching his itch by creating a new framework but I do know exactly how it feels to be stuck using a bad commercial product but not have the time to evaluate 20 alternatives.

    I would love to see a comparison of the various frameworks/products.
    Some criteria I would like to see compared would include:

    Standards compliance.
    Documentation quality.
    Main target group.
    Ease of installation, development and administration.
    Graphical process designer?
    Readable textfile representation of process design?
    Maturity.
    Size of developer community.
    Technologies used in the implementation.
    Technologies needed to be mastered by developer using the tool.

    I realize that these criteria are highly subjective but for me right now any systematic comparison would be better than nothing.
    I guess that the lack of this sort of information is what is hindering the take-up of these frameworks. The tools themselves all seem to be developed by highly gifted people. I think most big organisations just tend to use the "well nobody ever got fired for buying from you know who" approach to selection.

    all help greatly appreciated,
    Richard
  9. I believe such a categorization would be a really great idea, especially now that workflow solutions are getting more and more under the spotlights (see SOA). I would be happy to help though, at least for elements about Twister.
  10. Thanks Matthieu for the info on Twister.

    Categorising dozens of workflow systems would of course be a huge job but maybe somebody could provide the infrastructure and the community could provide the content ?

    Something like a WIKI where people who have ACTUALLY USED a framework could post some details and a link to a more complete review.
    There is of course the application server matrix already on TSS ( http://www.theserverside.com/reviews/matrix.tss ) but it looks fairly static to me.

    Once there was such a matrix it could of course be used for a lot of tools (web-app frameworks, persistence frameworks, IDEs ...).
    Hey TSS just think of all the advertising you could throw at such a targetted audience !

    Richard
  11. Does anyone know where is the articles make comparison about all the current Workflow management system? Please give me a comment, or the link.