Pattern 42 (Simultaneous Execution)

FLASH animation of Simultaneous Execution pattern


The ability for a resource to execute more than one work item simultaneously.


The Bank Teller can conduct multiple foreign exchange work items at the same time.


In many situations, a resource does not undertake work items allocated to it on a sequential basis, but rather it commences work on a series of work items and multi-tasks between them.


The Simultaneous Execution pattern recognizes more flexible approaches to work item management where the decision as to which combination of work items will be executed and the sequence in which they will be interleaved is at the discretion of the resource rather than the system.


There are no specific context conditions associated with this pattern.


All of the offerings examined allow a resource to execute multiple work items simultaneously. In most tools, the resource can undertake any combination of work items although FLOWer (being a case handling tool) limits the group of simultaneous work items to those which comprise the activities in a dynamic plan.


None identified.



Evaluation Criteria

An offering achieves full support if it satisfies the description for the pattern. It achieves a partial support rating if there are any limitations on the range of work items that can be executed simultaneously.

Product Evaluation

To achieve a + rating (direct support) or a +/- rating (partial support) the product should satisfy the corresponding evaluation criterion of the pattern. Otherwise a - rating (no support) is assigned.





Staffware 9 + Directly supported. All resources can execute multiple activities simultaneously
Websphere MQ Workflow 3.4 + Resources can execute multiple work items simultaneously
FLOWer 3.0 +/- Only for elements of a dynamic plan
COSA 4 + Resources can execute multiple work items simultaneously
iPlanet 3.1 + Resources can execute multiple work items simultaneously
BPMN 1.0 + There are no constraints on how many instances of a task specified for one Swimlane can be active at any time
UML 2.0 + Directly supported
Oracle BPEL 10.1.2 + Oracle BPEL PM supports this pattern partially by allowing a resource to work with multiple browsers related to a single worklist, and thus enabling and executing several work items simultaneously
jBPM 3.1.4 - jBPM does not support this pattern.
OpenWFE 1.7.3 - OpenWFE does not support this pattern.
Enhydra Shark 2 - Enhydra Shark does not support this pattern.

Summary of Evaluation

+ Rating

+/- Rating

  1. Resources are able to execute more than one work item simultaneously
  1. N/A