Camunda Platform OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Camunda Platform is the #1 ranked solution in Business Process Design tools, #1 ranked solution in BPM Software, and #2 ranked solution in top Process Automation tools. PeerSpot users give Camunda Platform an average rating of 8.4 out of 10. Camunda Platform is most commonly compared to Apache Airflow: Camunda Platform vs Apache Airflow. Camunda Platform is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 69% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 20% of all views.
Camunda Platform Buyer's Guide

Download the Camunda Platform Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: December 2022

What is Camunda Platform?

Camunda is the leader in process orchestration software. Our software helps orchestrate complex business processes that span people, systems, and devices. With Camunda, business users collaborate with developers to model and automate end-to-end processes using BPMN-powered flowcharts that run with the speed, scale, and resiliency required to compete in today’s digital-first world. Hundreds of enterprises such as Allianz, ING, and Vodafone design, automate, and improve mission-critical business processes with Camunda to drive digital transformation. To learn more visit camunda.com.

Camunda Platform was previously known as Camunda BPM.

Camunda Platform Customers

24 Hour Fitness, Accruent, Allianz Indonesia, AT&T Inc., Atlassian, CSS Insurance, Deutsche Telekom, Generali, Provinzial NordWest Insurance Services, Swisscom AG, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, VHV Group, Zalando

Camunda Platform Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Camunda Platform pricing:
  • "We're using the free version. We used the Enterprise version for some time. If I compare free versus what we paid at that time, the Enterprise version costs a lot. For the additional functionality that we got with the Enterprise version, it was too costly."
  • "It is good for a startup. When we started, its price was fair, but the way we are using it to orchestrate microservices makes it expensive. When you are growing as a company, you would have more microservices, and you would have more users. There is an exponential effect when you are growing in terms of the number of conditions, processes, and users because they bill you per process. So, the price was increasing very quickly for us, and it was very difficult."
  • "There is a bit of scope for improvement in how the licensing and pricing are done. They are based on the number of processing instances you execute on the cluster... but on the self-hosted mode, the pricing model should be customized."
  • "We are using the open-source version, free of charge. We didn't bother with the enterprise features."
  • "There is an open-source version available, that in its core features (workflow and decision engine, modeler) is exactly the same as in the enterprise version."
  • Camunda Platform Reviews

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    Joscelyn Jean - PeerSpot reviewer
    IT Solution Architect at a government with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Top 10
    Open-source, easy to define new processes, and easy to transition to new business process definitions
    Pros and Cons
    • "We can easily define and deploy business processes. Camunda provides the tools that allow business people to design business processes. We don't have to have developers for it. It is so easy to use that our business people can go into the tool and model their business processes. We get time to do other things than just designing business processes."
    • "We're trying to put the people from the business to do it. We are using APIs, and we have open APIs to define our APIs and the request-response that each call requires and sends. So, to base the mapping on that, there was nothing to help. I know that with some tools, such as Oracle tools, you can see the input and expected output. With drag and drop, you can take one property from the left and drag it to the right, and it does all the mapping itself, but that's not the case with Camunda. So, for me, this is something that can be improved."

    What is our primary use case?

    It is usually used to orchestrate or automate flows of interaction between our systems. It is basically for integration. For example, for a permit that needs to go through several systems, in Camunda, we have a business process that orchestrates all the steps where the permit needs to be processed. All the systems are notified of this permit, and if there are people who need to interact with a specific permit, they get notified. They can then take action. That's the kind of use case for which we use Camunda in our organization.

    For myself, the use case is similar, but it is for invoicing. When we receive an invoice, we need to process it. It goes through the business process. There are a lot of business rules that are applied to it. For example, we will check whether the total amount is balanced with subtotals and tax, and if that's not the case, with Camunda, we can create what's called a user task. It allows us to make an agent to take care of this invoice and fix the data that is related to it. These are the use cases that we are trying to achieve with Camunda. The goal is to clean up the invoice and make sure that the information related to it is correct so that it can be transferred to our ERP to pay suppliers.

    It is on-premise, and we've been able to put it in a Docker container. It is deployed in Kubernetes in our organization.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The main benefit is automation. When you don't have such a tool, you take a business process and try to interpret it in terms of code. You don't have visibility. Camunda helps an organization to see the process. If you see that something is wrong in your process, you can easily adjust it to fix the issues. There is a tool that comes with the Enterprise version of Camunda that allows you to see where most of the tasks or processes are merging in your business process. So, you can update and optimize that. If your organization uses Camunda to automate processes, you can have enormous gains from that.

    It is a great tool. It was our choice to use it. It works well as a universal process orchestrator for complex business processes. It allows us to focus on the business process itself. If you want to orchestrate multiple calls to external systems and you want to be sure that all the systems are notified, it works great. My use case was more business-oriented, and it worked great for that. As a universal orchestration tool, it is good and powerful.

    It allows business users to create, update, and execute complex workflows. This is important for us. We are more project-oriented, which is also the way most organizations work. We have a lot of developers during the development, but when we reach a point where the solution is built and we are in an operational state, we prefer to have a tool that can be used by the business. They should be able to configure and personalize their solution without requiring developers to do it. They should be flexible and autonomous in doing that, and we in IT don't necessarily have to have developers for that. We can focus on other projects. There are a lot of benefits to working like that.

    Its ease of use is important in allowing us to automate processes. For my personal use case, it simulates a type of virtual agent. It allows us to gain greater value because people don't have to work on basic things. Camunda is doing it instead. We are adding great value by using Camunda for small things.

    It has the ability to integrate with a variety of automated and digital systems, which, for us, was a prerequisite. It was important because if it could not interact with our system, it would have been hard to automate anything. It would become just like a business process to orchestrate people instead of the system. Therefore, it was important that we have connectivity with other systems. In the version we have, there are no specific connectors. There are more generic connectors, such as HTTP connectors. This might have changed in the new version, but the ability to interact with other systems was a prerequisite for us. If it didn't have this functionality, it wouldn’t have been interesting to use Camunda.

    It helps bridge communication gaps between our development and business departments. Because everything is visible, the developers could see exactly what the client is trying to accomplish. To have something that we can see or even touch was interesting. It reduced the gap between two things. Only connectors were a little bit hard to understand for the business people, but developers were there to assist in configuring the connector. They had to work together, but the main focus was on the business, and it helped the developers in understanding what the business was trying to achieve.

    Camunda automation has freed up our staff's time to focus on other valued tasks. When we are developing our solution, we have sprints of two weeks. We organize our work for two weeks, and regularly, we have tasks related to the business process and how we need to update it to adjust to some reality. Now, we have people from the business who are doing it, but it is still visible to the developers. It has saved the time of at least one developer for the two weeks because the business is able to work on that alone. We have five or six developers, and now, they can focus on the technical side of the solution.

    Before Camunda, we had a lot of people interacting with the invoice daily. We had, for example, an agent who was doing 300 invoice checks and validations per day. With Camunda, those people are now handling only more complex checks and validations. Our processing time for an invoice is reduced from about 30 days to 10 days. There is about 70% saving of time.

    What is most valuable?

    We can easily define and deploy business processes. Camunda provides the tools that allow business people to design business processes. We don't have to have developers for it. It is so easy to use that our business people can go into the tool and model their business processes. We get time to do other things than just designing business processes. They are called business processes because it is the business that's driving them. So, it is better that they can design them because they're the right people to design them. The tool is great for that.

    Transition-wise also, it is good. For example, if you have a defined business process with an invoice, and then for some reason, the business people decide that they want to add the business rules in their business process, they just can take the latest version of the business process, add the business rule, and easily deploy the new process to Camunda. Magically, all the new invoices will go to the new process, and the old ones will remain until all the invoices are processed. It is very easy to transition between all those business process definitions. These are the two most interesting features that Camunda provides.

    What needs improvement?

    We're trying to put the people from the business to do it. We are using APIs, and we have open APIs to define our APIs and the request-response that each call requires and sends. So, to base the mapping on that, there was nothing to help. I know that with some tools, such as Oracle tools, you can see the input and expected output. With drag and drop, you can take one property from the left and drag it to the right, and it does all the mapping itself, but that's not the case with Camunda. So, for me, this is something that can be improved.

    If you stick to the basics, it can be pretty easy. If you need to extend, as we did with custom plugins, this is rather hard because the documentation is not that great. Everything is there. It is an open-source tool, and we had access to classes and documentation, but there was no great explanation on how to use them. There were also not many examples. It was pretty hard to go this way, but if you stick with the basic functionality, it is a great and easy tool.

    Another thing that we struggled with has already been fixed. They now offer a SaaS version of Camunda. We struggled a little bit with how to deploy Camunda in our infrastructure. The way it was designed was that the database can easily become a performance bottleneck. It is something that they could improve. They can provide more examples of how to implement a scalable solution using Camunda.

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    For how long have I used the solution?

    My organization has been using it for around five years. For me, it has been around two years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We had to do a lot of tweaking. It hasn't been stable from the beginning, but with some effort, it can become stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is limited. The way it works is that when you are starting, you have to create a full autonomous Camunda instance with its own database. It can work, but it is not out of the box. If you want to have minimal scalability of Camunda, you can do it, but it will be linked to a single database, which can become a bottleneck. So, if your database sizing is not great enough, when you scale Camunda, there will be a performance issue. Usually, it works great, but it depends on your business case and your intent in using Camunda.

    How are customer service and support?

    Our experience was great. Usually, they were assessing what we did. They were asking us to provide our configuration, and they were responding fast. It is different for different organizations, but I personally always prefer that they don't do the work for us. They should provide more advice and then we learn from that. They had the same approach, and I was happy with that. We used their consultant two or three times, and each time, it was a great service. I would rate them an eight out of ten.

    How would you rate customer service and support?

    Positive

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

    We started with Camunda. 

    How was the initial setup?

    We have three instances of Camunda running, and inside Camunda, there are multiple business processes for different solutions. For example, we have different types of permits. Each one has its own business process, and everything is deployed on Kubernetes. We have about 10 or 15 endpoints that are used through connectors.

    Its setup was a little hard. The documentation was not that great at that time, and they had a lot of versions. What made it hard was that their recommendation was changing. For some time, they were providing a Docker image, and then they changed to what they call a green stack where we were using spring boot to achieve that. I'm not sure what it is now, but I know that it changed again. So, it was hard to follow the best practices related to Camunda at the beginning. It came down to documentation.

    Overall, it took weeks. To have something running was fast and took days, but we had a lot of tweaking to do. To be advanced in our solution development, we did stress tests and had a few problems with that. We were trying to adjust the configuration, and the documentation was not always easy to read. Sometimes, the configuration was easy because we had to adjust the configuration just with the XML file. Sometimes, we had to go a little further in Java. There were different levels of tweaking. Overall, it was fast to have the initial version of Camunda running, but it took us a lot of time to have something production ready.

    What about the implementation team?

    We started doing it in-house because we wanted to acquire knowledge about that. After a few weeks or months, as we were getting closer to our production date, we got the Camunda Enterprise version. One of the things that came with that license was support from Camunda. So, we contacted them just to update how we did our configuration. They found that we had a lot of instance processes, and because of our level of history, it had a lot of extra data. They provided us with scripts to help clean our database from unrequired data. So, in the beginning, we didn't take any help from a consultant or Camunda, but as we were near our delivery dates, we took some help. Even when we were in production, we had some issues. We contacted Camunda for some things that were not working correctly. It was just to get advice on how we installed things. It was okay, but it required some adjustment.

    In terms of the number of people involved in its deployment, because it was something that was considered complex, I did it myself just to have the basics, and after that, when there was something to adjust, the team did it with me. So, it was me, and there was a team that came after.

    In terms of maintenance, the way they have made it, it is pretty low maintenance. If you want to upgrade the version of Camunda, you just have to go into the dependencies to adjust the version. Inside the version, there's always a migration script that is embedded in the version. So, it isn't self-maintenance, but you just have to change the version, and everything is done magically.

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

    We're using the free version. We used the Enterprise version for some time. If I compare free versus what we paid at that time, the Enterprise version costs a lot. For the additional functionality that we got with the Enterprise version, it was too costly.

    The feature that appealed to us in the Enterprise version was the migration plan. If you have a business process, for example, with an invoice, and you deploy a new version with a new invoice, for certain times, you will have two business processes running, but we wanted to have only one process instance running at a time. So, we have to migrate the old process instance to the new process definition. They provide the APIs for doing that, but it can be hard. If you are at the node in the old process, you need to tell the engine that you want to migrate it to another node in the new process definition. Doing that manually can be hard. If your business process doesn't change that much, it can be okay, but in the case where it changes a lot, the Camunda Enterprise version provides a user interface to help map the migration between the nodes. We have long-running processes. For example, we could have invoices that are stuck in this process for 10 or 20 days. So, to migrate, we can't wait for the invoice to be processed because it is taking too much time. So, the tool helped us to do this migration planning, and that was one of its greatest features. 

    Another appealing feature was that if something happened in your process and you want to debug to see what is going on, the Enterprise version provides a user interface to easily follow the progression of your process. For each node, you can see what changed at what time. That was very helpful when we had a problem with our process. These were the two features that helped us a lot because, at some point, we had some problems using Camunda. Having the Camunda Enterprise version helped us to fix those problems and helped us migrate, but when you have something more stable, as we have right now, those features are less important. We are no longer using the Enterprise version.

    In terms of TCO, because it is an open-source solution, it was limited to the time that we spent integrating it. It took us a full year to integrate it into our system. It took a lot of time, which cost us a lot. The cost is also related to the infrastructure. For example, our database is getting bigger every day, but it is not much. Overall, it didn't have a big impact on our functional budget.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    At that time, it was one of the few open-source solutions available in the market. For us, it was easier to go with Camunda. We are a government organization, and we need to go through the request of proposal process to acquire a solution, but we didn't for Camunda because it was open source. 

    We quickly liked how it was working. It was a no-brainer at the time. We knew that we wanted a workflow engine, and it was only Camunda that provided the level of flexibility that we were searching for and was open source. That's why we went with Camunda. We didn't find any other interesting providers. Now, I know there are a lot more solutions. So, if we have to start over with a new solution, we will take time to see if there are any other tools that can achieve the same.

    What other advice do I have?

    The most important thing would be to do a proof of concept before going too far. Some tools are very stable and you can go with them right away, but with Camunda, just because there is so much to know, it is better to do a proof of concept before going all in.

    The connectors provided by Camunda can be enough. It depends on your use case. By default, there is an HTTP connector, and there is also a SOAP connector. It is easy to use the connectors. They provide a base connector, and you can build it more. In our case, we had to go a little further and develop plugins in Java, which was a bit of an issue because it is not our main technology stack. We don't develop much in Java. So, there was a learning curve for developers, but overall, it went well.

    I know that Camunda offers a user interface for people when they need to interact with it. We didn't use it in our case because we found the user interface too simple. It was not providing us with enough information. and the other thing was that if a user is working in system A and had to interact with Camunda, he had to leave his context to go to system B and do the task. So, in our case, we decided to integrate it into the same system to provide all the information that a user needs to accomplish a task. So, it is a bit limited in that aspect, but the fact is that when you use Camunda, what you're trying to achieve as a goal is to prevent people from interacting too much with the process. So, it may not be a problem if the user interface is not as rich and complex.

    I would rate it an eight out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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    PeerSpot user
    arjones - PeerSpot reviewer
    CTO at ank Platform
    Real User
    Top 10
    Highly valuable for orchestrating complex business processes, solving many problems, and making the business side understand what we are talking about
    Pros and Cons
    • "The BPMN diagram is valuable. For our use case of transferring money from one account to another, the connections have to be done in the traditional financial ways. There are a lot of unexpected errors and a lot of instability with this kind of system, and we are using Camunda in order to have clear flows. With BPMN, I can show a flow to my business partner, and the business team can easily understand what's going on. The technical team can understand what the implementation is, and we can model different errors and the process for recovering from these errors."
    • "It has a Postgres database at the backend, and it is very difficult to scale if you increase the number of processes running. We did hit some barriers. We were able to overcome them, but it was a problem. Camunda has another product called Camunda Cloud, which supposedly doesn't have the same scalability problems, but we are not using Camunda Cloud because the set of features is smaller than Camunda On-Premises. So, its scalability can be improved. Because it has a single database, it is more difficult to scale if you have a huge success."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are a fintech company located in Argentina, and most of our use cases are related to transferring money from one account to another and doing the orchestration with financial institutions. 

    It is also used for the orchestration of all the documents for onboarding. We have electronic onboarding where you give some information about yourself, and then you take a selfie and provide photos of the front and back of your document. We have to orchestrate all this information in order to validate it with a third-party bureau of data. When we receive an okay from the bureau, we know that you are an active customer, and we can give you an account.

    In terms of deployment, it is a public cloud. We have Amazon Web Services running inside a Kubernetes cluster. 

    How has it helped my organization?

    We are a startup with less than 200 people. We first started doing orchestration using code, but after two sprints or about a month and a half, it became very clear that we are just generating spaghetti code. No one could understand the code after one month because it had difficult logic based on what an engineer thought would be a good idea, such as creating a new branch of decision, and if it wasn't very well documented, you wouldn't understand what was going on. Another drawback of having such a code was that we couldn't make the business understand what was going on there. So, it was very difficult to do things faster. That's why we decided to look for an orchestration tool, and we decided on Camunda as a solution. The way we could orchestrate everything was transformative. We went from having to code to drawing our processes. As of today, Camunda is used for every process here.

    It is very good as a universal process orchestrator for complex business processes. We are using it for microservices, not for a human process. We had thousands of processes happening per hour, and the tool was able to capture the data for this throughput. The thing that wasn't aligned was the pricing structure. Camunda On-Premises is more designed for a human process where you have to have some kind of manual processing. We had a lot of back and forth with the commercial team because of the price of the licensing due to the volume that we had to process. That's because every time we wanted to send $1, we had to start a new process or several processes. This was a drawback, but in terms of the project, the product was very good and robust. Process heatmaps show the process steps that are hanging or taking significantly longer. You can go there and see the values and debug those. So, it was very useful for not only orchestrating what we have but also in understanding where we have made a mistake with a production process.

    When it comes to integration, because we are a startup, we don't have any legacy systems, but we use it to connect with the legacy systems of the general payment system in Argentina. It was very instrumental for this use case. We had our own logic for how to connect and how to do the interface inside our microservices, and we used Camunda to verify the correct logic and sequence of calling different microservices, getting the response, and handling the response.

    The dashboards are helpful in making the business understand what we are talking about and what can we do in certain situations, such as, if the money doesn't arrive at its destination. We had the drawings, and we used them to ask, "For the arrow here, what should we do?" We were able to have the conversation in a clear way. If we had just the code, it would have been very difficult. To have the conversation with the business, we would have had to create a drawing on a whiteboard and hope that this drawing is exactly what is happening in the code.

    It freed up the time of our technical leaders working on this part of the system. By using Camunda, we could have the application process design, and we could quickly deploy the system to production and have the product early on the market. That was our biggest gain. We didn't have engineers struggling to orchestrate microservices.

    What is most valuable?

    The BPMN diagram is valuable. For our use case of transferring money from one account to another, the connections have to be done in the traditional financial ways. There are a lot of unexpected errors and a lot of instability with this kind of system, and we are using Camunda in order to have clear flows. With BPMN, I can show a flow to my business partner, and the business team can easily understand what's going on. The technical team can understand what the implementation is, and we can model different errors and the process for recovering from these errors. For example, it is very common that you make a transaction, but you don't have a response from a bank. You sent the money, but the bank didn't confirm this. Such errors have to be handled because it may mean that you have to do a reverse transaction. We are able to solve a lot of orchestration problems by using Camunda. Most of them are related to payments or sending and receiving money.

    The feature where you can have dynamic tables with values and actions inside the BPMN is very good when you don't have all the possible responses. We may think that the payment system is very robust, but it is not. Sometimes, we receive an error code that we weren't expecting, and this kind of solution helped a lot with that.

    What needs improvement?

    Camunda has licensing per process. There should be a different kind of licensing so that a company with thousands of microservices doesn't have to pay per process. It would be very useful for us. Their current licensing is very difficult for us to maintain. When you have a lot of processes running, it becomes very expensive very quickly.

    It has a Postgres database at the backend, and it is very difficult to scale if you increase the number of processes running. We did hit some barriers. We were able to overcome them, but it was a problem. Camunda has another product called Camunda Cloud, which supposedly doesn't have the same scalability problems, but we are not using Camunda Cloud because the set of features is smaller than Camunda On-Premises. So, its scalability can be improved. Because it has a single database, it is more difficult to scale if you have a huge success.

    We use our deployment pipeline to deploy the BPMN process. We have a continuous deployment system where when you finish your development, you are able to deploy the BPMN file as well. Sometimes, when the engineers are deploying several BPMN processes in parallel, we receive an error for Camunda, and we are unable to do the deployment. It is a very specific issue, but we have found that automatic BPMN process deployments sometimes fail in Camunda. When we try to deploy several at once, the system isn't strong or robust enough. So, there is room for improvement.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using this solution since October of 2020.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    In general, its stability is very good. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability is something that we have been worried about because everything that runs in Camunda is run using Postgres. It is very difficult to scale when the number of processes increases. Because Camunda uses Postgres, we had scalability challenges. We had to do a lot of fine-tuning in the Postgres database to support increased processes.

    The main problem with scalability is related to the database. That's why they created Camunda Cloud, which is Zeebe. They know they have this dependency on Postgres, which is hurting its ability to scale up.

    How are customer service and support?

    Their tech support is very good, but it also depends on which support team you get. You can get someone who doesn't understand the whole thing. 

    They have been very supportive from the beginning. I believe that they didn't have our type of use case before where a fintech company is using Camunda for its microservices. We could see the same people who were committing the code in the open-source version providing the support to us. It couldn't get better than that. 

    I would rate them a nine out of ten. Sometimes, we had a junior engineer, and it took a lot of back and forth communication to have the answers, but in general, we have had a very good support experience. 

    How would you rate customer service and support?

    Positive

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

    We started with Camunda.

    How was the initial setup?

    It is kind of straightforward. We have everything configured as infrastructure as a code. So, we got the best practices from Camunda, and we wrote our deployment instructions for Camunda's deployment as code by using Terraform. We did that on our side, but it would be very good if we can get it from them, but I understand that each client probably wanted to have their own method of deployment.

    Camunda's deployment was easy, but fine-tuning the Postgres that we had as the backend database wasn't easy. 

    After the deployment, it took us two to three months to wrap our minds around how to use it correctly. After that, it was a matter of creating templates that our team would be able to leverage and start using more and more. It isn't a very difficult product to understand. It has its quirks, and that's the part that you have to learn and has a steep learning curve, but when we did our due diligence, Camunda seemed to be more mature and straightforward than its competitors. I value it very highly.

    What about the implementation team?

    Everything was done in-house. I built a very knowledgeable technical team. We had DevOps, and we had frontend and backend engineers. We had a complete team dedicated to making the startup grow. There were two to three people doing the work for a few weeks, and we have been able to make everything work.

    It is easy to maintain, with the exception of the database. For the Camunda instance, for example, it is very easy to maintain the licenses. It is easy to attach a license to the container, and we are good to go, but we also have to take care of the database. We have grown so fast, and in order to not have a huge Postgres database, we have to delete some of the instances, such as instances from a day earlier. We are deleting the processing history because the database couldn't handle all the data that was passing through it. Maintenance-wise, that's what I remember the team complaining about.

    What was our ROI?

    We have definitely seen an ROI. We are using it for all critical processes in the company. The dashboard and the BPMN part have been instrumental to our success.

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

    It is good for a startup. When we started, its price was fair, but the way we are using it to orchestrate microservices makes it expensive. When you are growing as a company, you would have more microservices, and you would have more users. There is an exponential effect when you are growing in terms of the number of conditions, processes, and users because they bill you per process. So, the price was increasing very quickly for us, and it was very difficult.

    The commercial team has been trying to find a way to have different licensing, and it seems that we have found a way. We're starting a conversation with them, but so far, our experience is that when you grow as a company, the cost increases very fast. It has been difficult for us. However, our use case was related to microservices, but that might not be the case with other use cases.

    We purchased a license directly from Camunda. It was the first time that we were working with a process orchestration system, and the features or aspects of the paid license that appealed to us included support and dashboards. Having a dashboard helped us to understand which processes are failing and where they are failing. They have heat maps that show the paths that are more used in our process. It has been very useful to understand how things work in general, and then you can go and do a deep dive and select a specific process and debug it. You understand why it was failing. It has been very valuable for the engineers in understanding what's going on and how to fix a bug.

    If you want to debug a process and also understand what's going on in different instances that are failing, the features in the paid version are very valuable.

    The paid license features are instrumental for us. Because of the price increase, we are looking at alternatives. We are looking at just an open-source solution, but we really don't want to do that because we're going to lose a lot of features. The dashboard, heat maps, and visual administrative interface are not available in the open-source solution.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We did a little bit of research. We looked at Zeebe, which is their own. We also did research on jBPM, but it didn't have all the features. 

    We were trying to solve a problem in our startup, and we just started to look for solutions. We didn't have a broad benchmark. We were looking for something that could work, and Camunda was fit for our needs. We couldn’t find anything that had the stability or robustness that we were looking for. So, we went ahead with Camunda.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would advise comparing it with Camunda Cloud or Zeebe. If your use case allows you, go with Camunda Cloud because, this way, you can leverage this new system that has fewer scalability problems. It is not a straightforward recommendation because at least until last year, the set of features in Camunda Cloud wasn't the same as Camunda On-Premises. That's why we didn't use Camunda Cloud.

    We didn't use any third-party connectors. We used Camunda and then we used just the HTTP connector to orchestrate our microservices. We didn't do a direct connection from Camunda to any outside or third-party system. With Camunda, we only wanted to orchestrate our microservices, which can then connect to third-party or other systems. We wanted to keep our architecture clean, and this piece of software was used to orchestrate microservices, which was great.

    Camunda provides an interface where business users can create, update, and execute complex workflows, but we didn't use this feature. No one from the business side used it for creating their own processes or modifying anything. I used it only for microservices. Being able to have a diagram and being able to have a business discussion by using the diagram as a reference was good. It was very interesting because we could have all the teams and all the specialists on the same page, but I didn't have anyone from the business side or operation side directly using or connecting with Camunda.

    It hasn't reduced the cost to design and implement critical processes. That's because we weren't using any other tool previously. So, I don't have a comparison. It also didn't have any effect on our TCO. We are a cloud company. We have a very modern infrastructure where everything is on Amazon. The team is very used to getting docker systems and running complex systems inside of Kubernetes. We haven't had any trouble running it.

    I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Public Cloud
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    Buyer's Guide
    Camunda Platform
    December 2022
    Learn what your peers think about Camunda Platform. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: December 2022.
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    Staff Software Engineer at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Process diagrams help stakeholders understand processes, and connectors enable us to standardize our integrations
    Pros and Cons
    • "The integration with almost any language, product, and even human tasks, is valuable. It's very seamless to integrate into existing systems. It doesn't require you to rewrite a lot of your existing system. That's where it really stands out."
    • "While it's very scalable, it would be great if auto-scaling capabilities were added to it... one area that really could help out would be to have dynamic resizing of the cluster. Right now, you have to do capacity planning."

    What is our primary use case?

    We have an event-based architecture and Camunda works as an orchestrator for our microservices.

    Over the last three years or so, we have been using Kafka a lot. We wanted to bring in an orchestration engine to integrate seamlessly with our nesting system. We had a lot of existing applications that are not that old, and we did not want to rewrite software components that we own to get the benefits of orchestration. That was where there was a need. One of the factors that will decide if we will use it for more use cases at our company or not, is the ease of integration.

    How has it helped my organization?

    As an organization, we don't want to reinvent the wheel, so it's important to us that the connectors are available out-of-the-box and reusable. We don't want our developers to write boilerplate code. Having the connectors ensures that we have standardization in the way that we are integrating with other parts of our ecosystem. It also allows us to put some best practices into those standards. For example, we can implement three tries for a connector. That helps us be declarative. It provides a good tradeoff between low code and no code.

    It has a ubiquitous language across stakeholders. When we are talking to stakeholders about how a process evolves over time, or about the complexity of a process, it's a lot easier to explain without having to go through Confluence pages or through a lot of sessions with product people explaining to them how a particular system works. They have a good amount of understanding by looking at the process diagram. That really helps me, personally, in communicating with them.

    We have also been able to build out dashboards for our asynchronous processes. Those dashboards have been really helpful. Otherwise, we would have to rely on the data analytics team to provide us with any analytics data around the events that are flowing in our system. Now, for some of our purposes, we can build dashboards ourselves using Camunda.

    In addition, we have built dashboards that show important statistics about our business process and key changes that happen in our process definition. Those changes communicate a business value to our business stakeholders. For example, in the last seven days, how much traffic have we ingested into our system, and where has most of it gone? That kind of information is now more of a self-service for everyone. The dashboards we have built are giving us a good amount of information about what's happening in our systems. We are also using the BPMN designs for our design discussions with the product team.

    We have been more agile because we don't now have to keep the Confluence documentation up to date. When you put something in Confluence, it's hard to keep it updated and make sure that it's up to date with the latest implementation. Now, the business process flows are code. They are modeled as BPMN files, so we don't have to make extra effort to maintain the business process. And while we are discussing our product, we can communicate how the small things that are part of a process could build up and what role they are playing in the overall process. It also helps us find out, if some part of our process were to fail, what impact it would have on the overall process execution. That's something that teams have recently started discussing more.

    Since day one, our goal was to build reusable components that can be used in other projects. We recently did a discovery for one of our projects and we found that we could reuse 80 percent of what we had developed on the Camunda platform. The microservices and the connectors were reusable and that really reduced the development effort drastically for that use case.

    We are now spending more time looking at the bigger picture, and not just looking at a particular microservice. The developers can now see where their microservice fits into the flow and how their microservice responds, whether in a successful manner or in failure.

    What is most valuable?

    The integration with almost any language, product, and even human tasks, is valuable. It's very seamless to integrate into existing systems. It doesn't require you to rewrite a lot of your existing system. That's where it really stands out.

    We have used a couple of connectors, including the Kafka connector a lot because we have mostly a Kafka-based architecture. The connectors are really seamless. They just fit in. They don't require you to make a lot of changes to your existing infrastructure. That's what connectors are primarily meant for, to enable enterprise-level integrations. We also build out custom connectors for our use cases.

    In addition to Kafka, we can easily integrate it using any microservice or legacy microservice. All you need to do is include their library and put in a couple of annotations on your existing methods, and they can act as Camunda workers. You can transform your existing code into Zeebe components and that requires very minimal coding. We are also working on building more connectors, and that will smooth out further adoption of this technology within our ecosystem. We can orchestrate almost any remote system if it's accessible over the network and it implements any protocol. If it's reachable, we should be able to orchestrate it via the Camunda platform.

    In terms of its ease of use for engineers, it's pretty easy. We have an engineer who joined us two weeks back and he has been onboarded. He's able to make changes in the BPMN. That's very important for modifying business processes.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using Camunda Platform for a little less than one year.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We anticipated the load for one year, at least, and we have done load tests. The system is pretty reliable. We have not had even a single issue in production using their product. It's very reliable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is very scalable. It's built on a similar architecture to Kafka, which we know is a very scalable platform. The scalability has been one of the most important features that they have designed their product with. They had scalability in mind from the start. 

    We have tested it for thousands of process instances per second. There are some blogs from Camunda that show it even goes to millions of process instances per second.

    While it's very scalable, it would be great if auto-scaling capabilities were added to it. We haven't seen any issues in production related to scalability, but one area that really could help out would be to have dynamic resizing of the cluster. Right now, you have to do capacity planning. You plan for the capacity that you need in the next couple of years and then size your cluster accordingly.

    Having said that, I haven't seen problems with the product so far.

    How are customer service and support?

    I would rate their technical support a nine out of 10. The one thing that I feel there could be more of is their exposure to AWS. I'm not saying that they don't know about AWS, but I think a lot of their customers are using Google Cloud. I think they, themselves, deployed it on Google Cloud. But AWS is the market leader and there are a lot of customers on AWS.

    How would you rate customer service and support?

    Positive

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

    We have used AWS Step Functions.

    How was the initial setup?

    They provided help charts, so it was pretty straightforward. But when you want to tune it or run it on an enterprise level, you will want to try out a few of the parameters they have provided, and play around with them, to ensure that the software components that your cloud provider has can be used smoothly for deploying Camunda. Initially, you might have to make some effort to set things up on your own cluster, but they have good documentation and help charts for deployment on your Kubernetes.

    We have different environments, including development, testing, staging, and production. We could even implement a CI process for our workflow instances and BPMN files, as they can be deployed using a CI/CD pipeline. Microservices can be deployed at their own pace in a CI/CD pipeline. That was the strategy for deployment.

    What about the implementation team?

    We did it in-house, but we did use some consulting from Camunda during some of our initial days. One of their solution architects was really good in terms of technical knowledge. He knows the product really well and he guided us through some of the parameters and tuning of our clusters while we were deploying.

    In addition to me, we had one more person doing the deployment. One of our senior people took care of the deployment on our side. I was overseeing things but he did most of the work.

    What was our ROI?

    So far, we have been very pleased with what we have achieved with Camunda. We are still within our initial one-year contract but we have seen value from it.

    In the use case where we were able to reduce 80 percent of the development effort with reusable code, that equated to man-hours that are directly related to cost. If you reuse code for more use cases, the cost can be justified.

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

    We have an on-premises, self-managed installation because of some internal decisions. There is a bit of scope for improvement in how the licensing and pricing are done. They are based on the number of processing instances you execute on the cluster. They have two modes of deployment, one is their cloud version and the other one is the self-hosted mode. For the cloud version, it definitely makes sense to have it based on the number of processing instances you run, but on the self-hosted mode, the pricing model should be customized. If it were customized a bit more, it would be better for us.

    We purchased their workflow engine, Zeebe, and consulting. We also operate the tool with which you can monitor your process instances. There are a couple of more tools available in their product suite, but these three aspects were most compelling for us. If we are running mission-critical workloads, we definitely need support if things go wrong on a given day. We need their expertise, so the consulting is very important for us. The workflow engine itself is also very important, as that is why we evaluated Camunda in the first place.

    If data privacy is not an issue, then definitely go for the cloud version of Camunda because then you don't have to worry about managing the cluster and capacity on your own. It's more seamless than having to manage your own cluster. But if you're considering upgrading from the free version, the consulting is definitely important. They also do BPMN consulting as part of the contract. You can ask for BPMN reviews and you can ask for sessions with their solution architects. They also have a 24/7 hotline that you can call in case there are any issues.

    They have an excellent open-source community. I have not seen many other forums that have developers who are as active as Camunda's developers are on their forums. The technical advice that we get from Camunda is really helpful. They know best about the product they have built over the last few years. You definitely need to have expertise on a product that you're thinking of using. The people who have built it provide a great additional value.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We did take a look at some of the options available in the market, solutions that allow you to do process automation, including Cadence/Temporal.

    We selected Camunda due to a few important reasons. It's a product that solves a problem that many organizations don't even realize exists in their architecture: visibility. It gives us visibility into the complex processes that are often implemented in software or if some of the tasks are done by humans. Camunda, with its integrations and great tools for reporting, like Optimize, allows us to see where the bottlenecks are in our processes.

    It also has companion tools, like Operate, that allow you to visualize the flow of a particular business process. And you can find some really cool statistics about how much of a process is actually done or where it is blocked. Those are some of the really important features that any workflow orchestration or engine should have, and Camunda supports them pretty well.

    What other advice do I have?

    Take a look at their co-founder and CTO, Bernd Ruecker's, blog. He has a lot of good write-ups about the platform where he explains the technical architecture. He talks about how to do performance benchmarking.

    Another good piece of advice is to leverage the Camunda community and forum. Their team is very active on the public forum and they respond to your questions within a day, most of the time. They give very to-the-point answers. That is a really helpful resource. They also have a good set of tutorials on BPMN in what they call the Camunda Academy. It's worth taking a look at that when you are adopting the Zeebe workflow engine, which is their primary workflow engine.

    One of the important things that we want to deliver is enabling business, developers, and operations. It's important that our non-technical stakeholders don't have to get into the nitty-gritty details of technical implementations. They can have a bird's-eye view of what's happening in a process, and they can suggest or even extend a process by themselves and then hand it over to us as a requirements document. That's the direction we really want to take. So far, the product team has been very enthusiastic about it. They like it. Camunda uses a language for modeling called BPMN and it doesn't require you to be a coder or an engineer. It's a simple drag-and-drop tool. It's really cool and it helps our stakeholders to be involved in working with workflows.

    There is a bit of a learning curve with BPMN. It's an industry standard, not something proprietary to Camunda, but Camunda hosts an online academy where they have tutorials about it. They have videos and free courses on how to use BPMN. That helps out in the onboarding of users.

    We have been using it for a little less than a year, so our entire organization is not using it. We are really into building our experience with Camunda by applying it to a few use cases. As we see more use cases in other parts of the organization, what we have built over this past year as templates—as reusable software—can be leveraged so that they don't have to set up everything from scratch on their own.

    Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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    Mohammed Sulty - PeerSpot reviewer
    Principal Consultant at Palmira
    Real User
    Top 5Leaderboard
    Stable with support that's good for tracking bugs and has a very good BPMN engine
    Pros and Cons
    • "We are using the BPMN engine of Camunda; we are not using the user interface. We are using just the engine, the back end of this. For us, it is working quite well."
    • "The initial setup can be complex for business users."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are using the product as an OAM that we have included in our software product. We are offering a private cloud solution and we sell it and deploy it to our customers. 

    We are using it to create a low-code solution for strategic planning and performance management in order to automate the management processes such as planning, performance management, governance processes, and business process management as a whole.

    What is most valuable?

    We are using the BPMN engine of Camunda; we are not using the user interface. We are using just the engine, the back end of this. For us, it is working quite well.

    The stability of the solution is quite good.

    Technical support is good for getting alerts about bugs.

    What needs improvement?

    The form builder that will be utilized in the system and the data monitor both need improvement at this time. I want to exchange the data between the activity and UI basis. Currently, they are using a JSON file, which needs to be improved. We need something that can be used as a user interface and the user can make the data binding and exchange data between the activities.

    This is what we did ourselves. We had the engine itself and we created a data monitor and formed it on top of it. This is what is missing in the system.

    The initial setup can be complex for business users.

    There occasionally be some bugs in the solution. 

    The solution needs to offer more languages such as Chinese, Arabic, Hebrew, et cetera.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The system is stable. This is why we selected it. Based on other products, we've found the most appropriate results coming out from the Camunda BPM engine. It's very good.

    There are occasionally a few bugs, however, we are quite capable of dealing with them.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Since we are using Camunda as a core solution, a core engine of our system, we are going to continue using it. I'm not willing to change it down the line. There's no plan for us to change it and we are not thinking about changing it. It has all functionalities and we are using about 50% of the engine itself in terms of its capability. We will continue to invest in utilizing all Camunda functionalities in the BPM engine.

    How are customer service and support?

    In terms of technical support, we are using basic technical support as we are a technical organization. We are a software house. Our team is professional and they have experience in Java and private cloud technology. They are able to fix any issue. 

    That said, there are certain bugs in Camunda. They are publishing information about them from time to time. We study the tool very carefully. Support from Camunda doesn't mean too much to us actually, as, in our organization, we have about 380 employees, and the majority of them are Java developers. We take the basic support to track the bugs only.

    How would you rate customer service and support?

    Positive

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

    I also have some experience using Visio as business process management and ARIS as well as Bizagi.

    We are partners of Software AG webMethods as an automation tool. We are using Mendix and OutSystems as a low-code solution. ARIS, webMethods, Mendix, and OutSystems are what we mainly use. 

    You cannot compare Camunda with ARIS since ARIS is only for our documentation, business process documentation. You cannot compare it with Camunda. It is a totally different scope. However, in comparison between Mendix, OutSystems, and webMethods, they are very expensive tools and ultimately provide the same functionality, yet they are not using a pure BPMN XML. Maybe transferring the workflow between those systems doesn't work. That said, the consistency between, for example, Bonitasoft and Camunda and Bizagi is a matter of import and export. Between other systems such as webMethods and OutSystems and Mendix, for example, in webMethods, they are only still using an enhanced BPM engine mainly, meaning that they are not using the pure or the standard BPM notation. The same applies to Mendix and OutSystems.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup, for business users, is complex. If you compare it with cloud systems and Mendix, it is complicated. It has a very strong and very rigid back-end BPM engine and it's more trustworthy if XML files have been generated from Camunda. The quality of the XML file being generated from Camunda, the XML files of BPMN, is more trustworthy than other systems. That's why we selected it. This is the main reason that we selected it.

    With the Camunda installer, the deployment of just the solution is pretty fast.

    However, the automation process with the current functionality, meaning with the missing functionality of data monitor and data binding and with the lack of proper UI representation, it took us a year to develop those components to have a low-code solution on top of it.

    Now, with our low-code solution on top, it will take us one to two days to have a visible process automated.

    What about the implementation team?

    We are an integrator and we are consultants in business process management, and we are developing a tool on top of it. Therefore, we help our clients to implement. However, when we originally installed Camunda, we handled the process ourselves. The way we do things now, we try to make it easier for clients.

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

    We are using a developer license. I can't speak to exactly how much we are paying, or exactly what license type that we are using. I'm not the technical lead or the solution delivery team. Therefore, I can't answer this question.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We did a lot of POCs on available products in the market, such as Bonitasoft, Camunda, Bizagi, so on. However, based on that POCs, we found that the best way to go forward in our solution in terms of the functionality and the accuracy of the XML files. If they could be generated by Camunda it can be more useful for us to adopt in our solution.

    What other advice do I have?

    We are users of the solution.

    We are the latest version due to the fact that we are developing our own product based on Camunda. We are developing a solution based on Camunda. We are a heavy user of Camunda.

    Camunda is not so popular in the market due to the UI (meaning the form builder, the way of developing the forms which would be attached to the process), and the data monitor (how to exchange the data between the activities).

    A company would need to create an integration framework between Camunda and other systems. If they sold their offering with the UI and data monitor it would be the biggest automation tool ever.

    For us, with our experience with using the tool, you need a good developer to be able to use the system effectively. Other than that there are no issues. For an organization that wants to adopt Camunda, they need to have the proper resources, and the proper training to use the system. 

    I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten. There's a bug inside the BPMN monitor that knocks a few points off the rating. If the system is not saved, it will crash.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Private Cloud

    If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

    Other
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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    Ivana Sabatova - PeerSpot reviewer
    Senior Business Consultant, Managing Partner at sabi consulting
    Consultant
    Free version best for teaching how to develop process application
    Pros and Cons
    • "I think that the positives of Camunda Platform are that our customers can start with the free version. I think it is the most important."
    • "There are a few things that I'm missing. For instance, the user interface creator, which I know other systems have, like Aurea or Lombardi, which are IBM solutions. The interface creator, including the data model creator or some module which would allow the users who are not programmers or business consultants and who are not technically skilled in database and Java programming, to create data models and user interfaces."

    What is our primary use case?

    I use Camunda Platform for trainings. I teach people how to develop process application. I am helping people understand what Business Process Management Suites are, what they can use it for, and their advantages. I am a trainer and a consultant, but not a reseller.

    We use the open-source free version so we do not pay for support.

    Because Camunda has various versions, there is the Platform itself, which contains the process server, and there is the Modeler, and it is distributed differently and used for different purposes.

    What is most valuable?

    I think that the positives of Camunda Platform are that our customers can start with the free version. I think it is the most important.

    I do not recommend anybody use the free version for production without paying for a support subscription. I always recommend to use the free version only for testing and learning purposes. And I think for that purpose, it is perfect.

    What needs improvement?

    There are a few things that I'm missing. For instance, the user interface creator, which I know other systems have, like Aurea or Lombardi, which are IBM solutions. The interface creator, including the data model creator or some module which would allow the users who are not programmers or business consultants and who are not technically skilled in database and Java programming, to create data models and user interfaces. I used to use have this with Savvion and Aurea BPMs.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I am using the Camunda Platform for about six years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Because we use it only for learning purposes and the solution is not used by more than four - six people at once, we haven't faced any issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Our purpose is very simple, it is only for trainings for our customers who come to us to learn how to create process application. I do about four trainings a year and they usually have from four to six attendees. So it's about 20 people per year who have access for only two months each.

    They receive the access to their personal account for two months. They receive it when they attend the course and they have access two months after the course and then the account is closed and the tenant is deleted.

    In terms of how much staff is needed for deployment and maintenance, it is just me and one programmer.

    Hard to say if we will increase usage. I am in communication with another company which is developing their own process platform, so maybe I will switch from Camunda to their platform in the future.

    How are customer service and support?

    We have been using the community very often, but we haven't tried to contact support because we do not pay for the support.

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

    I did use two platforms intensely in the past. I worked with the IBM Business Process Suite. It was later replaced by the Lombardi solution. Then I was working with and implementing Savvion, which was later bought by Banerjee and now is represented by Aurea Business Process Management Suite, which is still my favorite.

    I met in-person with Mr. Ketabchi, who is the father of Savvion Business Process Management Platform and I really believe that it is a very well designed solution and very user-friendly for the business consultants and business process analysts. It is my favorite one. After Progress Software divested this solution and created the Aurea company and distributed it from there, Aurea managers decided that our market is too small for their interest, and we had to search for new solutions.

    Then we switched to Cordys and we became a partner Cordys for Central Europe, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia Republic and Hungary.

    We implemented Cordys to at least one important customer which is East European broadcasting, TV broadcasting corporation. But then Cordys was diverted by Mr. Baan, the founder of Cordys to OpenText, and again OpenText changed their sales policy. So again, our market is too small for them.

    We were searching again for another solution. So the next in the queue was with Bonita and Bizagi, but finally I decided for the free version of Camunda because at that time I only needed something for training purposes because six years ago I started to concentrate on trainings for business process analysts and consultants and for trainings in the area of process automation.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is not too complicated.

    We started with the analysis. The implementation depends on what you are asking for. We had a few discussions with the developers about what I expect and they developed and implemented it in about two months with about 10 days of work.

    I have to say that the developers I cooperated with had previous experience with Camunda.

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

    The price is for support, because as far as I know, Camunda doesn't sell licenses, it provides service support, not the licenses. It is a difference. Because you don't buy a license, but you do buy the support services. I think that for the support services, the price is very fair. And if I would go for the project, I would surely decide for Camunda because the yearly support price is very fair. I don't remember exactly. But at that time, when we did the calculation, it was about €20,000 per year.

    What other advice do I have?

    My advice to anyone considering Camunda is that I recommend to use the free version for trainings and for testing and for not very crucial process automation for pilot project purposes, but not for production and not for key processes. For key processes and for production, I always recommend to buy the support.

    On a scale of one to ten, I would give Camunda Platform a 10 for sure.

    It's very good. But it depends on what you are expecting.

    For other purposes, there might be something else which is preferable. It is not easy to say there is one business process management for all purposes, for all companies. I would recommend Camunda for either small or middle-sized companies.

    I would not recommend it for corporate uses because to integrate in this scenario requires much more extensive and intensive technical work for integration with the usual applications, et cetera. Therefore, Bonita or IBM Business Management Suite, for example, already have many thousands of connectors to Salesforce, SAP, ERP Systems, Microsoft systems, et cetera, whereas with Camunda, you are almost in the beginning and you have to develop everything by yourself. So for larger companies, the implementation might be too long and too expensive.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Public Cloud
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    SjefVan Leeuwen - PeerSpot reviewer
    Senior Software Engineer at a non-profit with 201-500 employees
    Real User
    A good open-source solution with a robust user community
    Pros and Cons
    • "The number of client implementations and cross-language capabilities to support multiple frameworks is very pluggable compared to Pega. It's also more portable."
    • "The user interface needs improvement. It should be more tailored to the end-user and offer a better user experience design over the user interface itself."

    What is our primary use case?

    Primary use case is for fast prototyping innovatie processes within the social domain of the government.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Camunda has enabled us to do quick prototyping within end-to-end team consisting out  of information architects/process architects/developers and product owner to form a consistent view in business value, achitectural compliancy and technology.

    What is most valuable?

    The number of client implementations and cross-language capabilities to support multiple frameworks is very pluggable compared to other BPM engines out there. It's also more portable than most of them. Next to being open source, the modellers are made in HTML and can be embedded in your own website with little effort.

    What needs improvement?

    The user interface needs improvement. It should be more tailored to the end-user and offer a better user experience design over the user interface itself.

    The solution could also use more and better frameworks in terms of embedding them in the engine. Right now the only embedded framework that's supported is Java. It's not a problem because you can also have remote workers that do part of the process through their remote RESTful API which they have clients for, but you cannot embed .NET. You cannot embed that for execution within the engine through delegates, so I would definitely say that would be a plus if they would expand that. Certainly in terms of performance.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using the solution for two years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I haven't had any issues with any instability.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    There's a free version and an enterprise version, so it depends on which you choose but it's very scalable, but you have to understand it's persistence strategies as it uses a centralized database. That's normal for a BPM, however. In their new product Zeebe, which is a derivative of Camunda, they've made it completely decentralized and scalable via partitions, which might be more generic and easier to understand than the forementioned persistence strategies of Camunda. Because of partitioning, Zeebe is also a step forward into better orchestration in a micro service landscape. On the other hand that comes with the cost of complexity of installation. I would say for small to mid-size companies Camunda is scalable enough.

    We're using it in the innovation field labs for the government so there's about potentially 350 municipalities there, and the number of people who are participating in this common ground field lab is about 150 potential developers, product owners, business analists that can be tied together in their disciplines around the Camunda Process and Decision Modelling Engines. A few products in those labs are now being developed using Camunda.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We are able to do everything from community support. Everything is well documented there. There has been no need to get support from them specifically but one of the owners writes a lot of papers and presents webinars which you can join for free. I would say they have very, very good support and are very open-source community-minded. I think they are one of the most supportive companies I've seen.

    I don't have any knowledge about the paid support, because we don't do paid plans. I suppose that it would be great because if their free seminars and white papers are good, I suppose a higher level of support would be great, they really know what they are doing.

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

    We used a workflow engine. The reason for switching is compliancy by design. Mainly Object Management Group (OMG) and Triple Crown Standards (BPMN, DMN, CMMN), which are supported by Camunda allowed us to reach this compliancy.

    How was the initial setup?

    It depends on how you set it up. If you want to set it up for demo purposes or development and start working with the product, the set up is fast. The first one I installed took me five minutes and it was running.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We wanted an open source engine. Therefore we did not evaluate other engines such as Mendix, Pega.

    What other advice do I have?

    We use the free version, the open-source version, but there is an Enterprise option. And the Enterprise version has heat maps so you can easily optimize complex processes on performance. You can easily see the hot spots that need to be scaled in a different manner in terms of hardware or improving your process flow.

    I would definitely recommend the solution to anyone. At least for the short-term. They are currently shifting towards their new product, Zeebe. We are actually currently using it already in smaller labs on smaller projects, such as modelling process flow's and micro service orchestration driving front end ui's such as digital assistants. But there is not much difference between the two so, I would definitely advise anyone starting with a BPM, in general, to start with Camunda. I found Camunda really easy to start with.

    I would rate this solution 8 out of 10.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Private Cloud

    If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    SeanMcClellan - PeerSpot reviewer
    Managing Director at Cheltenham Consultants
    Real User
    Top 10
    Lightweight and can be embedded in existing Java code, but technical support is below average
    Pros and Cons
    • "The most valuable features are that it's lightweight, can be embedded in existing Java code, and keeps track of the workflow state and the instances that we need."
    • "In the future, I would like to see better transactional integrity."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our deployment is not live yet. We are in the process of building it.

    We make basic use of this solution. It is embedded within a code module that requires workflows. Essentially, Camunda is used to keep track of workflow activity. So, we're not making massive use of it. Rather, we're making use of it as an embedded microservice.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable features are that it's lightweight, can be embedded in existing Java code, and keeps track of the workflow state and the instances that we need.

    What needs improvement?

    The development team had a lot of issues at the start. Guaranteeing the execution times that it will work to is difficult. It's an embedded state machine, although it doesn't give you guarantees of when it will update the state. It can be quite difficult because you can get into timing issues, which is a real pain to sort out. We were able to resolve this by writing a wrapper around it. You have to be very certain that the transactional integrity is provided to the API user.

    In the future, I would like to see better transactional integrity.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been building the Camunda Platform for approximately two and a half years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We use it on a daily basis and apart from the timing issues, we haven't had any problems. We have been doing a lot of heavy testing because it's a big, National system.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability-wise, it's fine. It sites within the Kubernetes nodes and scales with those.

    I am the technical design authority that chose the product. A whole team of developers is working on it. As it's not live yet, the users are testers and developers, and there are approximately 40 of them.

    When it goes live, there will be several thousand users, but that won't be until next year. In terms of expanding usage, potentially, we might because there are a lot of workflows that we could map out of the current one. The one that we are doing now is quite complex and we needed to embed the service. Potentially, it could go across the whole of this business area, which is something that we are thinking about.

    How are customer service and support?

    We contacted technical support when we had the initial problems with timing, and they were below average. We ended up having to resolve the problem ourselves by writing a wrapper.

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

    We did not use another solution prior to this one. It was all greenfield development.

    How was the initial setup?

    Camunda is easy to set up. The initial setup was fine until we had an issue with execution times not being guaranteed. That took quite a number of weeks to resolve. 

    We developed this platform on-premises and we deploy through AWS.

    What about the implementation team?

    We brought some people in to assist with our implementation. They were supposed to be experts, but they weren't that great. They wanted us to make much wider use of it, and we only wanted to use it quite in a small way. So, we paid for a bit of consultancy, but then we didn't keep them on.

    They were typical London consultants. At £1,800 (approximately $2,400) per day, they were ridiculously expensive.

    It is only a small team that maintains it. Right now, we only have one person for that.

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

    We are using the open-source version, free of charge. We didn't bother with the enterprise features. We did look at the enterprise features for the MI component but we ended up writing our own.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    More than two years ago, we did a lot of work evaluating Camunda and other products. The two other solutions that we looked at were Pega and Appian.

    Pega and Appian were much larger than Camunda, so they didn't meet the criteria of being lightweight. They had a lot of features, which is something that we took into consideration. However, if we were going to extend it to all of the other workflows then these other products were not quite right.

    What other advice do I have?

    My advice for anybody who is implementing Camunda is to pay attention to transaction integrity. The biggest lesson that I have learned from using it is to do a little bit more architectural spike work before committing to all of the development.

    Overall, it is a pretty good product but there is room for improvement.

    I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Public Cloud

    If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

    Amazon Web Services (AWS)
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Piotr Mazur - PeerSpot reviewer
    Digital Transformation Solution Manager at Altkom Software & Consutling
    Real User
    Top 5
    Flexible API integration, multiple database support, and cost-effective
    Pros and Cons
    • "The Camunda BPMN Platform is very flexible and gives several options to deploy and scale it."
    • "In the future, I would definitely like to see the process administration (migration, audit, tracking) and process evaluation (optimize) features added to the community edition."

    What is our primary use case?

    We have integrated Camunda workflow and decision engine into our solution that enables management and digital sales of products – Digital Product Center. We use mainly Camunda Modeler and Camunda Cockpit. For some implementations, we also used Camunda Tasklist.

    Camunda is used to model and orchestrate processes. We have developed a module where for selected process steps, the user can build forms that will be used to present or gather data by the end-user.

    Another module is responsible for defining the products, with business parameters, that an end-user will be able to buy on the platform. The link between product definition and process definition is also configured.

    How has it helped my organization?

    This solution did improve our product significantly. We were able to focus on the development of other modules that integrate with Camunda, and together provide a powerful tool for our clients. Using such a solution gives our clients great flexibility and a short time to market for new product implementations. 

    Next to our product, we are also using the Camunda workflow and decision engine in other custom implementations. Our partners can benefit from open-source, as we did with our product, and thanks to that, we get more custom development contracts.

    It is very important for us to have an engine that understands the model defined in the modeler, according to BPMN 2.0. This way, we can use the model for business and development purposes without extra workload. We noticed that the project team collaboration is more effective when we use a working process model.

    Last but not least I can mention robust and flexible Camunda Rest API Integration, the lightweight process engine can be easily distributed as a microservice, multiple database support, pluggable architecture, and bpmn.io.

    What is most valuable?


    What needs improvement?

    In the future, I would definitely like to see the process administration (migration, audit, tracking) and process evaluation (optimize) features added to the community edition. Right now, thanks to the pluggable architecture, we have built features that partially substitute the enterprise edition features.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using Camunda Community Edition for six years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We didn’t have any problems with the Camunda Community Edition on production installations. We do have experience with process instance volumes starting in hundreds a year and up to 10 million a year.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The Camunda BPMN Platform is very flexible and gives several options to deploy and scale it. Process Engine can be deployed as:

    • Embedded process engine – in your custom application (ex. Spring boot application)
    • Shared – Camunda deployed in Application Server or Servlet Container (can be a Spring boot app)
    • Standalone instance - it can be deployed as a microservice

    These options give you a wide range of possibilities to scale your application. From horizontal scaling to vertical. Moreover, it can be deployed on-premises, cloud, or private cloud, including autoscaling mechanisms.

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

    We did not use another similar solution but we did have experience with homegrown workflow engines, embedded in business applications.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is straightforward, especially with Spring Boot Camunda Starter. The configuration is in application.yml files.

    What about the implementation team?

    We have an in-house team for deployment and maintenance.

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

    There is an open-source version available, that in its core features (workflow and decision engine, modeler) is exactly the same as in the enterprise version.

    My advice is to think about what is most important to your business case and choose the right version. You can always migrate to Enterprise edition.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    When we started to build Digital Product Center, we evaluated several options available at that time. We decided to use Camunda due to several reasons, but primarily due to the most valuable features mentioned above.

    What other advice do I have?

    We are using the community edition so it is hard to ask for extra features ;-) I fully understand that if we still want to benefit from the open-source version, there has to be a paid premium version, so that the product can be further developed.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Private Cloud
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free Camunda Platform Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
    Updated: December 2022
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free Camunda Platform Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.