Tools we love – Camunda
- Product Reviews
Tech giants like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Alibaba are venturing into literally every industry in an ever-advancing world. The tech giants are getting bigger and bigger, in a world where the winner takes everything. Is your legacy tool/company fearing death due to superior tools & solutions being provided by big tech companies?
Jakob Freund, CEO of Camunda, asked this vital question in his keynote session at CamundaCon 2020. According to him, it’s the legacy tools (software) that are leading companies to their demise. That’s why we should aim to embrace remarkable new tools – like Camunda.
What is Camunda?
Camunda is a workflow and decision automation tool platform that enables developers to automate business processes and gain the agility, visibility, and scale that is needed to achieve digital transformation.
Camunda software aims to reinvent process automation for the digital era and automate any process anywhere in any domain-like Connected Devices, Packaged enterprise applications, APIs, business bots, Website or customer portals etc.
Today, automation teams and developers rely on Camunda to:
- Orchestrate and analyse microservices: Choreograph microservices as an integral part of a full business process and ensure they are carefully monitored, managed, and analyzed.
- Centralise your process automation platform: Provide a scalable process automation platform as an integral part of your application delivery technology stack across your organization.
- Replace homegrown workflow solutions: Overcome the limitations of hard to maintain, expensive, and inflexible in-house workflow solutions and save critical time and effort for your development team.
- To manage and orchestrate RPA bots: Modernize brittle RPA implementations. Orchestrate, monitor, and analyze multiple RPA bots alongside other activities for end-to-end business processes automation.
- Automate Manual human workflow tasks: Automate notifications, recordings, assignments, and escalations while providing a flexible Tasklist to include human workflow activities and decisions.
- Modernise legacy Business Process Management systems: Get results quicker, respond to business needs more flexibility, and move beyond technical boundaries by shedding restrictive, expensive, and outdated BPMS products.
What are the advantages of Camunda?
Camunda is compatible with other programming languages via REST. On top of the BPM standard-compliant workflow engine, Decision Model, and Notation standard-compliant decision engine, developers can choose a stack of tools for human workflow management, operations, and monitoring.
Camunda helps in externalising business rules and helps in creating software quickly in an agile manner. Almost 80% of the coding in an enterprise application is generally used to code business-related rules for the industry. This is where software like Camunda helps in quickly executing actions.
With a single tool, Camunda helps in modeling, deployment, and optimising the process creation for BPMs in various stages:
- Modeling – Create BPMN workflow diagrams and DMN decision tables in an easy-to-use editor. This tool enables remote cooperation in real-time—sharing comments and assigning tasks while working on a process map.
- Deployment – Orchestrate systems taking part in realising the process, manage interactions, realise the flow according to the model, and evaluate DMN decision tables.
- Optimisation – It allows you to monitor the course of processes, calculate metrics for any execution parameters (realisation time, interactions with humans, or other systems), and detect and report undesired situations, both from a business and technical perspective.
Camunda BPM platform
Camunda Business Process Model(BPM) platform is a very flexible platform for workflow and process automation. Its core is built with open standards such as the BPMN 2.0 compatible process engine that runs inside a Java Virtual Machine. It can be integrated with any platform.
Camunda process automation standards help in onboarding and automating new tasks easily very quickly. Workflows for any business processes are designed with UML like BPMN diagrams using Camunda modeller. It helps in defining the overall process, common work assignment patterns and various tasks at each stage. Camunda supports User tasks, Service tasks, Business rules etc.
Camunda workflows provide a common language for technical and non-technical users, with BPMN 2.0 diagrams. It helps in scheduling service tasks like scheduling emails, calls etc. and User tasks – where humans are involved in the business workflow such as Approving payments, Final Review by manager etc.
Camunda BPM platform consists of mainly three components:
- Cockpit – A tool for technical process operations enabling users to monitor workflows and decisions in production, to analyse and solve technical problems.
- Tasklist – Allows end-users to work on assigned tasks and provides additional visibility when using the Camunda Workflow Engine for human task management.
- Admin – It allows users to manage Camunda web applications or REST API users. Admin can integrate existing user management via LDAP.
Camunda RPA Orchestration
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a modern platform for automating business tasks that are generally repetitive and tedious like checking timesheets of the employees and shipping invoice bills to clients. Check how we used RPAs to automate the process of checking timesheets. Thus RPAs, help employees to spend less time and energy on low-value work and can focus on strategic projects instead.
Camunda provides a life cycle approach to designing, orchestrating, analysing and monitoring your RPA bots and provides a long-term strategy where APIs can replace RPA bots. RPAs are incredibly brittle and are a short-term solution. Yet in the long term, it becomes a technical debt. Camunda BPM 7.14 introduced the support for RPA to solve this problem.
The support of Camunda can help organisations design, orchestrate, monitor, and analyse multiple RPA bots, enabling them to be part of end- to-end business processes. Camunda comes with pre-built integration with relevant RPA product like UiPath using a newly introduced RPA bridge. It also offers RPA orchestration with UiPath.
How Camunda is being used for formsflow.ai?
Camunda is one of the central pillars in formsflow.ai, a robust open-source forms workflow analytics solution framework developed by AOT Technologies. There are numerous platforms that are BPM compliant acting as the backend for workflows. Yet, Camunda stands out being highly scalable to define an end to end business processes and agile in design.
The workflow definition process is very easy to make and operate with Camunda modeller to satisfy the business requirements. This easy workflow helps the users of formsflow.ai understand the overall workflow of their form responses with process diagram navigation. Camunda is open-sourced under Apache-2.0 license with a defined set of best practices for various stakeholders.
Also, it has developer-friendly documentation with several open-source plugins. In formsflow.ai we have used KeyCloak for authentication to satisfy OpenID standard. Therefore we used Keycloak Camunda identity provider plugin for integration with Keycloak and Camunda.
Camunda helps in designing and managing workflows which took weeks earlier. Camunda helps in better communication with all the stakeholders of the project, so they can be used in designing any workflows. It has enabled formsflow.ai to be used for complex workflows for a number of use cases like when creating a travel isolation plan during Covid-19 for BC government, or the self assessment for drone pilots project.
Sentiment Analysis integration in formsflow.ai is built with a custom component in formsflow.ai which analyses the sentiment of form responses with the corresponding workflow with sentiment analysis enabled. To know more details, check the talk by Praveen Ramachandran at CamundaCon.
Camunda Developer Community
It is open-source software under terms of Apache License and has a fabulous developer community behind it. Camunda has about 1700+ stars in its GitHub repositories.
Camunda has been deployed in Atlassian, True Engineering, 24 Hour Fitness, Goldman Sachs, Royal Bank of Scotland, Lufthansa Technik, Zalando, and NASA Universal Music, AXA Insurance, Intuit, T-Mobile, Kühne + Nagel, Sparebank1, AOT Technologies, and Generali.
Camunda regularly hosts developer conferences, meetups, and webinars across the world. If you have any doubts about Camunda, you can ask the developer community and attend these sessions. Praveen Ramachandran, co-founder, AOT Technologies gave a talk at CamundaCon 2020 about Smarter Workflows with Natural Language Processing using Camunda.