To start with Imixs-Workflow you first create a workflow-model. The model describes your business logic. You can change the logic later without changing one line of code. Imixs-Workflow is based on the BPMN 2.0 modeling standard. BPMN is useful for visualizing both - the business process and the responsibilities.

You create your workflow model with the Eclipse based modeling tool Imixs-BPMN. Let’s take look at a simple example:

The blue boxes symbolize Task elements, while the yellow symbols describe Event elements. The later can change the state within the process. An event is typically triggered by a process participant within your application. The example model can be download from Github. You will find more examples about modeling in the section How to Model with Imixs-BPMN.

Next lets see how you can integrate Imixs-Workflow in your own Java application.

Notice: In case you plan to use Imixs-Workflow as a microservice you can start an Imixs-Workflow instance with one single command in a container. Learn more about how to containerize Imixs-Workflow in the section Docker. See also the Imixs-Microservice project on Github which provides full Docker support.

The Imixs Process Manger

With the Imixs Process Managager you can start within seconds. The Business Process Management Suite can be used for development, testing and productive environments. It provides you with a generic user interface which can be easily adapted. The Imixs Process Manager comes with a Docker image that can be deployed locally or in a containerized environment like Docker Swarm or Kubernetes.

Download the docker-compose.yml file and run:

$ docker-compose up

You can access the Process Manger from your Browser


Find more about the Imixs Process Manager on GitHub.

How to Integrate Imixs-Workflow into you Business Application

The Imixs-Workflow engine is based on Jakarta EE and so it can be integrated easily into a business application by just adding the maven depdencies:


From you code you can access the Imixs-Workflow engine by injection.

Let’s see what this looks like in your Java code:

private org.imixs.workflow.engine.WorkflowService workflowService;

ItemCollection workitem=new ItemCollection().model("1.0.0").task(1000).event(10);
// assign some business data...
workitem.setItemValue("_customer","M. Melman");
// process the workitem
workitem = workflowService.processWorkItem(workitem);
  1. You inject the Workflow Engine with the annotation @EJB.
  2. Next you create a new business object and assign it to your model.
  3. You also can add your own business data.
  4. Finally you ‘process’ your object.

From now on the newly created Process Instance is under the control of your business model. After you have created a new process instance you can use the UniqueID to access the instance later:

String uniqueID=workitem.getUnqiueID();
// load the instance
ItemCollection workitem=workflowService.getWorkItem(unqiueID);

Depending on the design of your workflow model a process instance can be assigned to a team or a single process participant. E.g. the method getWorkListByOwner can be used to select all process instances belonging to a specified participant:

List<ItemCollection> result=workflowService.getWorkListByOwner("melman", "workitem", 30, 0,null,false);  

See the documentation of the WorkflowService for more details.

What’s Next…

Continue reading more about: