Pattern 26 (Workflow to Environment - Pull)

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


The ability of the process environment to handle requests for global data from external applications.


At any time, the Monitor Portfolios process may be required to respond to requests to provide data on any portfolios being reviewed to the Securities Commissioner.


Similar to the previous pattern, however in this instance, the request for global data is initiated by the external application.


Generally there are two distinct approaches to achieving this requirement:

  1. External applications can call utility programs provided by the process environment to export global data to a file which can be subsequently read by the application.
  2. External applications can utilise API facilities provided by the process environment to access the required data programmatically.


There are no specific context conditions associated with this pattern.


Staffware adopts the first of the implementation approaches described above to provide external applications with access to table and list data that is stored persistently by the workflow engine. WebSphere MQ utilizes the latter strategy allowing external applications to bind in API calls providing access to global data items such as persistent lists and lists of work items. COSA provides support for both approaches.


None observed.



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 + Access to table and field data is supported via the swutil function
Websphere MQ Workflow 3.4 + Directly supported via the Runtime API
FLOWer 3.0 - Not supported
COSA 4.2 + Supported via command line and C/COM/Java APIs
XPDL 1.0 - Not reported
BPEL4WS 1.1 - Not supported
BPMN 1.0 - As workflow data is not supported, any data interaction to and from a workflow is not applicable
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 workflows to respond to external requests for data
  1. Achievable via programmatic extensions