Pattern 11 (Automatic Execution)

FLASH animation of Automatic Execution pattern


The ability for an instance of a task to execute without needing to utilise the services of a resource.


The End of Day work item executes without needing to be allocated to a resource.


Not all tasks within a process need to be executed under the auspices of a human resource, some are able to execute independently once the specified enabling criteria are met.


Where a task is nominated as automatic, it is initiated immediately when enabled. Similarly, upon its completion, subsequent tasks are triggered immediately.


There are no specific context conditions associated with this pattern.


Staffware, FLOWer, COSA, iPlanet, BPEL, BPMN and UML 2.0 AD all provide facilities for defining tasks which can run automatically within the context of the process environment without requiring distribution to a resource. WebSphere MQ does not support automatic tasks and requires that all work items be distributed to a user for execution.


None identified.



Evaluation Criteria

An offering achieves full support if it 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 + Directly supported via automatic steps
Websphere MQ Workflow 3.4 - Not supported
FLOWer 3.0 + Facilitated through the use of automatic actions
COSA 4 + Achievable by assigning work items to internal system users
iPlanet 3.1 + Directly supported
BPMN 1.0 + A partitioning of a process into Pools and Lanes is not required, i.e., any resource allocation of a task is not necessarily done during design time.
UML 2.0 + Directly supported
Oracle BPEL 10.1.2 + Oracle BPEL PM allows specifying tasks which involving the user, but also the tasks which are to be performed automatically. Any of the basic or structured activities offered by Oracle BPEL PM in the BPEL palette are executed automatically. Thus this pattern is directly supported.
jBPM 3.1.4 + jBPM supports this pattern through the notion of Nodes, where any customized behaviour can be defined.
OpenWFE 1.7.3 + OpenWFE supports this pattern by providing the possibility to define any external application (which can implement automatic execution tasks) as participants to which work (in this case the execution of the corresponding applications) can be distributed.
Enhydra Shark 2 + Enhydra Shark supports automatic execution through Tool Activities.

Summary of Evaluation

+ Rating

+/- Rating

  1. Provision exists within the process model to nominate tasks that can execute without requiring their corresponding work items to be allocated to a resource.
  1. Work arounds exist to execute a task automatically by allocating it to an internal resource or by executing a linked external program.