I'm doing some research on the workflow concepts and specifically BPMN standard. And I'm mostly interested in the available software on the subject.
I've already studied software like Activiti and jBPM, both of which are implemented in Java. As great as they are, I'm looking for something else. Even though such software call themselves
BPM Engine I would rather name them
BPM Engine Servers. They are stand alone servers (with web based GUI) which makes it really hard to embed them in other servers.
Now my question is: Is there a concept as
BPM Engine in the manner it only executes the given BPM with the given data, only one step? Without any GUI or direct user interaction (something like a library)? What should I search for? What is it named? Are my expectations valid?
I've spent the last hours studying Activiti's user guide. I'm still not sure if I can use it the way I want it to! And I'll be grateful if someone can confirm it.
I'm interested in a console-like application which I can run whenever I like, give it the previously running process (most likely serialized as a string). The engine should construct the process based on the given history.
Once the process is reconstructed, I would like to move it forward one step by telling it what has happened. Then it should inform me of the next tasks to be performed and shutdown.
Finally I'll be storing the updated process after getting it as a string (the engine should serialize it in a way so it can unserialize it later).
I don't want the engine to have its own database or memory storage. I want it to shutdown completely once it's done. This is what I mean by
Engine, no user interaction, no storage access.
Can any of the BPM engines perform in such a way?