Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Oracle BPM: Time for Time Out (1)

In this posting I describe how to time out a specific BPM scope with the option to re-initiate the timer.

In case you need to model a time out for a specific scope within a process where you want to be able to modify the time out run-time, then you can model it similar to this:

A parallel flow is used where the top flow covers the main process, and the bottom flow handles the timeout. To make the timeout configurable, the bottom flow uses an Event Gateway with a Message event to interrupt the timer and re-initiate it again. The first of the two flows that reaches the Complex Merge aborts the other one (first come, first served), as configured in the Complex Merge:

Note: If you want re-initiation to happen based on a Signal, than you cannot use that in an Event Gateway. However, as a work-around you can define a separate component in the composite that is subscribed to the Signal event, and then calls the "Reinitiation Requested" Message Start event.

Time Out Flow

The timer is configured using an expression that results in a duration:

Furthermore you need some variable that is initiated in the Start operation as false, e.g. called a "mainProcessTimesOut":


"mainProcessTimeOut" is set to true in the "Set Timed Out" Script activity, and used in the "timed out?" Exclusive Gateway to go to the "End" or "Timed Out" End event.

Reinitiate Flow

The "Reinitiation Requested" Message Catch event exposes a "reinitiateTimer" operation that takes the new expiry duration as input, plus an id to correlate the instance:


As the "Reinitiation Requested" Message Catch is only activated in case re-initialization of the timer is requested, the condition of the no-flow from "reinitiate?" can simply be set to false, and the yes-flow as the default.

In a follow-up article I will discuss some more patterns for timing out with re-initiation.

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