Working with Data Paths

Data paths are a way to define read and write accessors to workflow data of a process instance. You can use data paths programmatically during runtime via the provided WorkflowService. Please refer to the chapter Stardust Services for detailed information on the embedded usage of Stardust services. If defined as descriptors, data paths can be also used to visualize process data in the Stardust Portals. Note that only data paths defined as descriptors are visible in the Stardust Portals.

Creating Data Paths for Process Definitions

To add a data path, select Data Path in the Overview tree on the left side of the properties dialog pertaining to the chosen process definition. In the right pane, click the Add button.

Creation of a Data Path
Figure: Adding a Data Path

The Data Path property pane opens.

Creation of a Data Path
Figure: Adding a Data Path

You can specify the following attributes:

Descriptors

To define a descriptor for a process definition, select the Descriptor radio button in the properties page. By default, Not a descriptor radio button is selected. Then select a data to use as the process data. Note that timestamp data types like datetime, date and time are currently not supported as descriptors. It is also recommended to avoid using Object types like Serialization, Entity Bean or Hibernate as this can lead to performance problems during queries.

Define a Data Path as Descriptor.
Figure: Define a Data Path as Descriptor.

Use Cases

A data path defined as descriptor can be used in the Stardust portals to visualize data relevant for work items in a participant's worklist or to filter displayed entries by these values, for example:

Descriptors and subprocesses

Process descriptors attached to a main process do not apply to its sub-processes. If you like to apply the same descriptor, you have to set it explicitly for the sub-process itself.

Key Descriptors

The key descriptor allows designating special descriptors which helps in searching related processes with matching key descriptors. To define a key descriptor for the process definition, select the Key Descriptor radio button.

For more information, please refer to the Case Descriptors section of the Case - Grouping Processes chapter of the Concepts handbook.

Key Descriptor
Figure: Defining Key Descriptor

When defining key descriptors following rules are applied for IN data path as well as OUT data path:

Key Descriptors in the Stardust Portal - Use Cases