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Maximizing Camunda’s Potential with External Task Pattern

In the evolving landscape of workflow automation, Camunda has emerged as a robust platform for orchestrating business processes. One of its most powerful and flexible features is the External Task Pattern. This pattern allows tasks within a workflow to be executed outside the BPMN engine, enabling a decoupled, scalable, and language-agnostic approach to process automation.  

Understanding the External Task Pattern

The External Task Pattern in Camunda allows tasks to be handled by external workers, essentially standalone applications that fetch tasks, execute the business logic and then complete the tasks. This decoupling provides several advantages:  

▶️ Scalability: Tasks can be distributed across multiple workers, facilitating horizontal scaling.  

▶️ Language Agnosticism: Workers can be written in any programming language, offering flexibility in tech stack choices.  

▶️ Resilience: External workers can run independently of the BPMN engine, enhancing system resilience.  

When your business process comes to a Service Task, no implementation code will be executed inside Camunda’s process engine. Instead, Camunda will only create an external task and wait for code outside of Camunda (worker) to execute some business logic and progress the business process. Here’s the kicker once again – the worker can be any application capable of talking to Camunda (using any of the available APIs, for example, REST API); this way, you can use any existing in-house knowledge or resources available at any given moment.  

This principle somewhat reminds of a micro-service architecture: One business process can use as many workers as needed, written in any technology and by any team, while workers can be reused by any number of business processes.  

Applicability and benefits

This feature offers numerous advantages in various business scenarios, including:  

▶️ Integrating BPM functionality into legacy systems  

▶️ Introducing process orchestration into various existing systems  

In our daily operations, project delivery typically begins with the consultancy team using Camunda to model a business process. Initially, the model serves to document our objectives. Once all stakeholders, including the customer, agree on the model and clearly understand the goals, we proceed to the next phase.  

During this phase, we develop a model to be executed by Camunda’s process engine. We consider all relevant factors and decide on the implementation of custom logic and external system integrations.  

Expertise tailored to your needs

The Camunda External Task Pattern offers a powerful way to handle complex workflows with flexibility and scalability. By leveraging this pattern, you can build robust and maintainable systems that are easy to scale and integrate with various technologies. As experts in Camunda, we are well-equipped to help you implement and optimize this pattern in your business processes, ensuring efficient and reliable workflow automation.  

Feel free to contact us for more insights or assistance in harnessing the full potential of Camunda’s External Task Pattern. 

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