Camunda BPM Review

This flexible, open-source, Java-based solution allows us to integrate microservices quickly


What is our primary use case?

We use an open-source version of this product. In some cases we install on-premises, in some cases, we install on Dockers. How we install the product depends on the use cases and the needs of the projects that we engage in.  

One client may be in logistics. Another client may be involved with internal communication. Another one is in retail. Some will be in business project management. We have to treat each of these to fit their unique needs.  

What is most valuable?

I like the product since we are a Java-oriented company. Our solutions can be compact with Java. We found it quite useful because we can merge microservices together. It is a different kind of architecture but it is a flexible product that we can use to go live with solutions quickly.  

What needs improvement?

From my point of view, there is a lot that has room for improvement. But one option that they should focus on most is improving the basic parts of the BPM tools. One example is that they should offer some additional options in terms of employing connectors. We implemented most of our solutions in Java through delegation. We could have done a better job of that with connectors. So connectors are one of the cases where they might improve.  

Another point that I am thinking of that I can not do by myself is to improve the forms. Right now the forms are fairly simple. It would be nice to implement some kind of wizard, or advanced form, and be able to fill in data dynamically.  

A possible add-on is to have a mobile app. Specifically, it would be a tool used to prepare forms dynamically and to preview business projects. If you know what you need to do, you can actually do a lot with a product like that.  

From a security point of view, I think that some features can be added or enhanced. I see a lot of opportunities for interesting stuff that can be implemented like installation identity or places where token authorization can be used. More security measures can be added in order to offer options to protect the front line.  

One final feature that would be nice is the opportunity to operate an active database. I do not think that will happen soon. It is okay because we have very powerful database options right now.  

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for about one year.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the product is quite good. You need to have the knowhow to work with it to optimize for best performance with the database and CPU and stuff. But it is a stable and reliable product.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is a scalable product. We do not have much on the cloud right now. It is less than 5 nodes. But we could expand that if we needed to.  

As I understand more of the benefits of using the product, I have more plans to increase usage. With any new customer that has a proper use case, Camunda will be my first choice. Even if it is just for the fact that we know we can deploy fast. We can start with a single instance and after that, we can scale without hesitating too much in the planning stages. It is very comfortable for the customer to see things happen quickly. From our experience, most new customers prefer to start small. Better to start fast and get them going and to build them a little at a time to more automated projects than to wait around with nothing seeming to happen.  

I have been around 10 years or more in this industry as a solution architect. With this product, we have the flexibility and speed to serve customers quickly and that is important.  

How are customer service and technical support?

As for technical support, let's say we do not need it. We can cover any issues by ourselves with our team. We do not have any issues. If we do have an issue, we will compensate for it using Java.  

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I prefer not to mention the other product by name because it seems like I would be saying it was not good enough and had to move on, but we did use a product as a solution before Camunda. Every product has its benefit in terms of what they deliver and we just decided that Camuda BPM fit our needs better than the other solution.  

For example, if we wanted to incorporate a solution in a situation where a client was using the Oracle family of products already, we might use Oracle SOA or Oracle OSB to stay within the family of products. Those choices would be a perfect fit.  

On the other hand, if your stack is Spring Boots and Java and open source, Camunda fits well. If you are stuck in an enterprise using Red Hat, there is Bonita and other Red Hat BPMs that may work best for you.  

What you use depends on a lot of things. It could change because of the recommendations of team members, it might depend on the current environment, it could be influenced by whether the company is new and needs to grow fast or if it is an established company with a predictable trajectory. At the end of the day what you use depends on the choice you make for what best fits your circumstance.  

How was the initial setup?

The setup was straightforward. We need to have Java, and that is it. My team does the work on the deployments so I don't know exactly how long it takes anymore. But it is a simple concept that the more complicated the client's needs and use cases are, the longer it will take.  

We do deployments with just two people: one senior and one junior tech. But it depends on the complexity of the workflow. Sometimes we might bring an extra tech if the workflow is complex.  

What about the implementation team?

Of course, we do not use an integrator, reseller, or consultant for the deployment because we are in that role. We know how to build it and we know how to run this kind of project. In the beginning, we did make a lot of mistakes, but at the end of the day, it works. Now when we have a new customer, we know what to do.  

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We are using the open-source version so it is without cost.  

What other advice do I have?

My advice about Camunda is I recommend this product when it fits your needs. It is that simple.  

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate this product as a nine because it fits my demands. Of course, there is always room for improvement in the interface, or performance, and stuff like that.  

I hope that people will work on Camunda and within the next releases we will have more connectors, we will have a much more powerful interface, and maybe we can have a mobile app as well.  

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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