Alfresco's Business Case for Activiti

  • May 21, 2010
  • Scott

A couple of posts from Alfresco personnel about the launch of Activiti hit the wires over the last day or two.

First, John Newton explains why Alfresco was interested in getting involved in the Activiti project:

Activiti emerged from our desire to have an Apache-licensed BPM engine. Although we were quite happy with the jBPM engine, it’s LGPL license was preventing us from OEM’s Alfresco to larger software companies that were concerned about any open source license with the letter G in it. It’s irrelevant that they shouldn’t be concerned about it, we intended to take care of it. It’s understandable that RedHat did not want to change its license, but our business needs dictated that we needed to find an alternative.


By answering these questions, Activiti is addressing the requirements of business process management for new applications. The Activiti engine as small as a few classes that are embedded in your application or as big as an internet and consumer scale engagement server. Applications that wouldn’t have even considered a large scale, stand alone workflow server because of cost and complexity will now be able to freely embed a business process engine. However, new Cloud applications

So, there was a belief that ECM software needs good workflow, a licensing concern, and an interest in an embeddable engine that scales from smallest to largest installations.  Not a bad business case for someone in the business of opensource ECM.

On another note, Joram Barrez writes an article that captures links to many of the news stories and blogs that covered the launch of Activiti. I was even mentioned in the flurry of responses.  I’ll top my quote just slightly – I was not the only person on my team who downloaded, installed, and played with the demo setup.  I guess it isn’t usual for people to install the product they’re writing about … usually you need a license! And I’m very partial to BPM engines that are written in Java to natively support Mac (or Linux).  (as an aside, I hope IBM / Lombardi will support Mac/Linux fully as well (there are no real technical issues preventing it)).

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