Pattern 21 (Environment to Case - Push)

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


The ability of a case to accept data elements passed to it from services or resources in the operating environment.


During execution, each case of the Evaluate Fitness workflow may receive additional fitness measurements data from the Biometry system .


During the course of the execution of a case, new case-level data elements may become available or the values of existing items may change. A means of communicating these data updates to a nominated case is required.


There are two distinct mechanisms by which this pattern can be achieved:

  • Values for data elements can be specified at the initiation of a specific case.
  • The offering can provide facilities for enabling update of data elements during the execution of a case.


There are no specific context conditions associated with this pattern.


Staffware supports the former approach allowing startup values to be specified for cases. Websphere MQ also allows values to be specified for data elements at case commencement. FLOWer provides direct support for update of data elements during case execution through the chp_dat_setval API call. Similarly iPlanet provides a variety of XML and HTTP-based API facilities that allow the value of process data elements to be updated.


None observed.



Evaluation Criteria

An offering achieves full support if it has a construct that satisfies the description for the pattern. It achieves a partial support rating if there are limitations on the times at which data can be passed to cases (e.g. only at start-up).

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 +/- Limited supported for passing parameters at case commencement
Websphere MQ Workflow 3.4 +/- Parameter values can be specified at the initiation of each case
FLOWer 3.0 + Supported via CHIP library API
COSA 4.2 + Trigger functions allow process instance and folder data to be set
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 does not support this pattern.

Summary of Evaluation

+ Rating

+/- Rating

  1. Direct workflow support for cases to accept externally generated data at any time during execution
  1. Achievable via programmatic extensions