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Camunda 8 vs Camunda 7. Migration and implementation challenges

Michał Lisiecki 4 min Read

In April 2022, one of the best-known BPMN engines, Camunda, was upgraded to a new version. The upgrade was important enough for the new version to deserve its own number, officially hailed as Camunda 8. Indeed, the changes were more than cosmetic: Camunda 7 and Camunda 8 differ both in terms of technology and licencing rules. As a result, users who decide to upgrade their engines will face multiple migration and implementation challenges. What is the smart way to avoid the potential negative impact of these tech and licencing changes on your business and processes? 


Camunda 8 vs 7: main differences in technology

The major differences that should be emphasised and taken into account include: 

  • New gRPC API – The previous version had a JAVA/REST API. Because of the API change, you will need to rewrite your old application to ensure compatibility with the new protocol. 
  • Available BPMN implementation – If you have already modelled your processes, you won’t be able to carry them over 1:1 to the new version. They might need to be remodelled. 
  • Process engine deployment strategies – This change creates new IT opportunities and makes Camunda a cloud native solution.
  • Different process state management methods and a data persistence layer – In Camunda 7, all process variables and process states were saved in a database. The database has been eliminated in version 8. This means a major performance boost, but may also pose a challenge for clients with ACID transaction requirements. What you can do is to implement a dedicated mechanism that would allow you to keep the improved performance of the new architecture and address your ACID requirements at the same time. 
  • Different scaling and clustering mechanisms – This opens up new opportunities related to the speed and flexibility of horizontal scaling. 
  • New disaster recovery opportunities – In Camunda 8, the pre-configured replication mechanism will allow Camunda 8 to recover from a software or hardware failure without any loss of data. 

Camunda 8: licencing changes

Camunda Community 7 will continue to be supported for a few more years but, sooner or later, every user will need to face the challenges of migration. It is a good idea to get ready for the licencing changes introduced in version 8, because they may have a particularly important impact on your finances. 

Camunda Community is essentially a set of applications:

  • Process Engine,
  • Tasklista,
  • Cocpit,
  • Admin.

As you can see, recent licencing changes mean that as of now, Camunda Community will only be free at the development stage (apart from the process engine, which will remain available at all times). Sudden licencing costs may make it difficult for many businesses to run Camunda-based projects. 

In order to continue using the free version of Camunda Community, you will need access to all four. In Camunda 7, they were all available for free (albeit with certain restrictions, which did not prevent users from working with the platform and could easily be addressed thanks to additional software). The new version only offers free access to applications at the project development stage. As soon as the project is ready for production and delivery to users/clients, you will need to buy a licence to continue using the app. 

How to migrate to Camunda 8 and keep the benefits of Camunda 7?

Altkom Software has capitalised on the free Camunda Community engine to build customised solutions for Enterprise-class clients for many years. This has allowed us to both optimise costs and deliver all the benefits. By combining attractive licencing models and in-house designed applications, we have been helping our clients meet all their business needs, including their financial objectives. 

In the spirit of this philosophy, our upcoming free webinar will be devoted to a detailed discussion of the differences between Camunda 7 and Camunda 8, and explains how you can deal with the challenges created by the new version. Whether you are planning to launch a business process automation project or already have a system based on Camunda 7, join us to get ready for your future migration to Camunda 8. 

We will also talk about various alternative ways of tackling these challenges. 


Learn Camunda 8 challenges and how to deal with them