Workflow Server—a microservice architecture component

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Introduction

Microservice architecture is companies’ architecture of choice these days. Its advantages are simplicity, scalability and flexibility. Our clients asked us many times how to quickly integrate Workflow Engine into their architecture. Now we have a special product for such scenarios—Workflow Server. Workflow Server is a standalone server which fits the microservice architecture perfectly.

Capabilities

We tried to make Workflow Server as lightweight and simple as possible, yet, with a wide range of capabilities. Key capabilities of Workflow Server are:

Workflow features are:

Architecture

Workflow Server is based on Workflow Engine and has an HTTP API, a backend for an administrator and a set of reports. The architecture of the product is depicted below. When developing Workflow Server, we were guided by the generally accepted rules of building program products.

Workflow Server Archtiecture

Module Purpose
1 Workflow Engine Responsible for workflow processing and has a graphic designer for workflow creation
2 BusinessFlow Allows to determine the current workflow form depending on the state and user role
3 HTTP API External API module for integration with other applications
4 Backend UI for administrator. Allows to create and modify schemes and manage workflow processes
5 Reports Statistic reports on schemes and performance

Workflow Server uses .NET Core, which provides for the support of multiple platforms. MS SQL Server or PostgreSQL are used to store data.

Integration

Workflow Server has a set of two APIs for integration:

  1. Workflow API allows to create processes and set their states
  2. CallBack API allows to include additional actions and conditions to the workflow, get notifications on workflow state changes

An example of integration of Workflow Server into a microservice architecture with and without an enterprise service bus is depicted below. Integration with enterprise service bus:

Enterprise Service Bus Integration

Integration without enterprise service bus:

Simple Integration

Conclusion

It doesn’t matter which platform or programming language you’re using in your company: Workflow Server will fit perfectly into your microservice architecture, whereas a simple integration API will allow you to integrate it easily with other applications. Workflow Server supports configuration both with and without enterprise service bus.

We’ve done everything to help our clients get started with our product quickly. You won’t need to develop an integration API, administration panel or reports yourself—Workflow Server comes with all the necessary components in-built.

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