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Thread: why shark ?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Default why shark ?

    why did you choose shark as your workflow engine ?
    why not jbpm ?

    Post edited by: nafise, at: 11/09/2005 04:58

  2. #2
    gmoran Guest

    Default Re:why shark ?

    There are several discussions on our web site that can give you more info on how we made the decision to use Enhydra Shark for our workflow engine - check these out:

    In our Workflow FAQ:

    What criteria did Pentaho use to select a Workflow Engine?
    Why did Pentaho select Enhydra Shark as the core workflow engine? {GEM 12/19/2006 - This FAQ has been removed from our site}

    From our workflow discussion forum, by Pentaho founding engineer Doug Moran:

    When we evaluated workflow engines (April 2005), we took a long serious look at jBPM - we liked Tom's philosophy, and the language was efficient and simple. jBPM's language (jPDL) didn't have support for deadlines and exceptions at the time of our evaluation - and we definitely wanted to define those things in the XML, not in code. We wanted a solution that could be expressed in large part in XML, with minimal coding requirements.

    The biggest drawback was that jPDL is jBPM's own native language, and no one was promoting it as a standard, which was a core selection requirement.

    Here is the cool part - with our component based architecture, it is possible to write an interface for other workflow engines.

    Hope this helps answer your questions
    best regards, Gretchen

    Post edited by: gmoran, at: 11/09/2005 10:35
    Last edited by gmoran; 12-19-2006 at 10:47 AM. Reason: manually fixing up URL links

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Default Re:why shark ?

    I only found shark as a good xpdl compliant workflow engine but you know some open source projects like : openWFE , jBPM , YAWL are realy strong and also all of them say that WFMC standard is not a complete solution !

    jBPM has 37 developers of jBoss with realy good architecture !
    also openWFE is realy mature project !

    please tell me more about your reasons choosing shark .

    Post edited by: nafise, at: 11/09/2005 11:16

    Post edited by: nafise, at: 11/10/2005 00:55

  4. #4
    jdixon Guest

    Default Re:why shark ?

    We evaluated many workflow engines before we selected one. We selected the workflow engine based on:
    • Support for existing standards that are endorsed by multiple companies.
    • Availability of support.
    • Resources of the project team behind the engine.

    At the time we selected a workflow engine jBPM was not part of JBoss, and Shark was the best fit for our requirements.

    Over time we will add support for other workflow engines.

    You are welcome to contribute a plug-in to support another workflow engine (minimum of only two objects to implement) or we can provide you with services to do it for you.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Default Re:why shark ?

    I would like to give my own opinion about Shark.
    When we started searching a workflow engine (february 2005), we evaluated several with almoust the same requirements, and Shark was the "chosen one".
    But during the implementation phase, Shark became complete uninstable, with his components simply stopping to work from one time to another (mostly bad data in the database). Specially his lack of a decent documentation is the worst drawback for us.
    His database needed to be recreated almost every day. It could be a issue with DODS more than with Shark, but we did not test Shark with hibernate yet.
    We are hopping that Shark will become much better in a near future, or we will use OS Workflow as our main workflow engine.
    To us Shark become a project risk, and I hope it will not become a project risk for the Pentaho Project.

    Post edited by: miraman, at: 12/01/2005 07:47

  6. #6
    jdixon Guest

    Default Re:why shark ?

    Shark is an optional component for Pentaho.

    There are four kinds of workflow an workflow integration with Pentaho.

    1. Action Sequence. Simple workflow and business logic can be defined in action sequene (xaction) files.

    2. Embedded Workflow Engine. For this we currently use Shark. Using XPDL executed by Shark you can execute Action Sequences as part of a more complex workflow. There are defined interfaces between Pentaho and Shark, we can implement these interfaces for other workflow engines such as JBPM.

    3. Web Services/BPEL. Using external applications or external workflow engines you can execute Action Sequences.

    4. Code Level. Using your own Java objects or JSPs you can execute Action Sequences and use your own logic/workflow in code.

    As you can see we are not heavily reliant on Shark and we intend to offer alternatives in the future.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Default Re:why shark ?

    Thanks for the explanation James. It's crystal clear to me now. All this time I thought we are attached to Shark. For me xaction is already good enough.

    This is the question that made me (and others) wondered since shark is hard to learn, configure and install unlike pentaho itself eventhough it follows the wfmc standards.

    But from your explanation I'm now relieved that I am not attached to Shark. Keep up the good work.
    Best Regards,

    Check out my blog

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