Patterns-based evaluation of open source BPM systems : the cases of jBPM, OpenWFE, and Enhydra Shark

P. Wohed, N.C. Russell, A.H.M. Hofstede, ter, B. Andersson, W.M.P. Aalst, van der

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


In keeping with the proliferation of free software development initiatives and the increased interest in the business process management domain, many open source workflow and business process management systems have appeared during the last few years and are now under active development. This upsurge gives rise to two important questions: What are the capabilities of these systems? and How do they compare to each other and to their closed source counterparts? In other words: What is the state-of-the-art in the area?. To gain an insight into these questions, we have conducted an in-depth analysis of three of the major open source workflow management systems – jBPM, OpenWFE, and Enhydra Shark, the results of which are reported here. This analysis is based on the workflow patterns framework and provides a continuation of the series of evaluations performed using the same framework on closed source systems, business process modelling languages, and web-service composition standards. The results from evaluations of the three open source systems are compared with each other and also with the results from evaluations of three representative closed source systems: Staffware, WebSphere MQ, and Oracle BPEL PM. The overall conclusion is that open source systems are targeted more toward developers rather than business analysts. They generally provide less support for the patterns than closed source systems, particularly with respect to the resource perspective, i.e. the various ways in which work is distributed amongst business users and managed through to completion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1187-1216
JournalInformation and Software Technology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2009


Dive into the research topics of 'Patterns-based evaluation of open source BPM systems : the cases of jBPM, OpenWFE, and Enhydra Shark'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this