Pattern 20 (Environment to Case - Pull)

FLASH animation of Data Interaction - Environment to Case - Pull-Oriented pattern


The ability of a case to request data from services or resources in the operational environment.


At any time cases of the Process Suspect process may request additional data from the Police Records System.


In the event that a case requires access to the most current values of external data elements during execution, it may not be sufficient for these values to be specified at the initiation of the case. Instead, facilities may be required for them to be accessed during the course of execution at the point in the case where they are most likely to be needed.


As for pattern 19.


There are no specific conditions associated with this pattern.


Similar to pattern 19, this pattern has not been widely observed in the PAIS evaluated. Once again, its implementation requires explicit support by the offering for the extraction of data elements from external applications. FLOWer provides this capability via mapping functions linked to each activity in a plan which extract required data elements from an external database.


The main issue associated with this pattern is determining an appropriate time to undertake the "pull" action of the data element from the case to the environment.


As for the previous pattern, there are many points during case execution at which the update of a data element from a source in the operating environment does not seem to be sensible. In the case of FLOWer, this action occurs at the beginning of a specific task (or tasks) within the case. It would also seem to be appropriate to pass required data elements from the environment at the beginning of a case.

Evaluation Criteria

An offering achieves full support if it has a construct that satisfies the description for the pattern.

Product Evaluation

To achieve a + rating (direct support) or a +/- rating (partial support) the product should satisfy the corresponding evaluation criterion of the pattern. Otherwise a - rating (no support) is assigned.





Staffware 9 - Not supported
Websphere MQ Workflow 3.4 - Not supported
FLOWer 3.0 + Supported via the mapping construct using In type
COSA 4.2 - Not supported
XPDL 1.0 - Not reported
BPEL4WS 1.1 - Not supported
BPMN 1.0 - Not supported. Message flows can indeed be drawn between the boundaries of two pools, one representing the Process the Case instantiates, and other one representing the Environment. However, the semantics of this construct does not capture data exchange at any moment during the execution of the case
UML 2.0 - Not supported
Oracle BPEL 10.1.2 - Not supported
jBPM 3.1.4 - jBPM does not support this pattern.
OpenWFE 1.7.3 - OpenWFE does not support this pattern.
Enhydra Shark 2 - Enhydra Shark can be configured to use an external database such as Oracle, DB2, mySQL for its persistence. Through a Tool Agents, a case can pull data from the defined storage. However, in the evaluated version of the tool, the predefined Tool Agents implementing this connectivity are not available. Therefore, any support for this pattern is considered to be missing.

Summary of Evaluation

+ Rating

+/- Rating

  1. Direct workflow support for cases to initiate requests for data and receive replies from external applications at any time
  1. Achievable via programmatic extensions